GPC wins big at Phi Theta Kappa ceremonies

Contact: Roger Barnes
Phone: 678-891-2693
Fax: 678-891-2966   
Author: roger Barnes   

Georgia Perimeter College enjoyed an impressive showing during two Phi Theta Kappa award ceremonies in March. Three GPC students were named to the PTK All-Georgia Academic Team, one student was awarded a Coca-Cola scholarship and the Dunwoody Campus PTK chapter, Alpha Zeta Mu, won two group awards.

PTK is the official honor society of two-year colleges. Georgia Perimeter students Joanne Butler, Natalee Dukes and Benson Nsunwana were named to the PTK All-Georgia Academic Team. Dukes was also awarded a $1,250 Coca-Cola Scholarship.

“We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa and make it possible for deserving students to achieve their educational goals,” said J. Mark Davis, President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. “The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges.”

At 16, Dukes took advantage of early college programs like Dual Enrollment and Move on When Ready to leave Heritage High School in Rockdale County and become a full-time student on GPC Newton Campus. In May, an 18-year-old Dukes will receive an associate degree from GPC in general studies and her high school diploma from Heritage.

“I wanted more freedom,” says Dukes who leaves GPC with a 4.0 GPA and plans to study pre-medicine at the University of Georgia. “I knew I could finish high school and two years of college at the same time. Being named to the All-Georgia Academic Team is a really huge honor and the scholarship is a real surprise.”

At the end of her senior year of high school in Ohio, Butler found herself one class shy for graduation, so she didn’t graduate. She couldn’t have imagined that eight years later she would be a GPC honors graduate and named to the All-Georgia Academic Team.

“It’s overwhelming for me,” says Butler who studied on the Decatur Campus. “This means a lot to me. I’m being recognized for accomplishing something I never thought was possible five years ago.”

Butler’s plan for her future is to become a nurse. She has already been accepted intto the nursing schools at Mercer University and Emory University.
Another All-Georgia Academic Team member, Nsunwana, came to the United States from Nigeria in 2008 looking for the best place to continue his education. He choose GPC.

“My mom encouraged me to go to Georgia Perimeter College,” he says. “She said it was a good school and a good place to start. So I went to the Newton Campus, and those were three years of my life well spent.”

Nsunwana graduated in December and is now working on a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Georgia State, having earned a cumulative 4.0 GPA during his time at GPC.
The induction of Butler, Dukes and Nsunwana to the All-Georgia Academic Team gives GPC three of the 29 students named to the 2011 team. The team draws students each year from 37 eligible Georgia campuses.

“This year’s All-Georgia Academic Team winners from Georgia Perimeter truly highlight the academic quality GPC offers,” says GPC president Dr. Anthony S. Tricoli. “One student was looking for an early start to college; one needed a later start. A third student was new to the country and found GPC as the best place to begin his higher education. It is obvious that each of these students received a top quality education from our outstanding faculty.”

Alpha Zeta Mu won a PTK group award for a research project that examined the democratization of information: How the free flow of information has changed how people in places like Germany or Africa communicate with the outside world. The Dunwoody Campus chapter also won the College Project Award for a 22-minute documentary on the diversity of nationalities, cultures and backgrounds at GPC.

“I was so happy to see them rewarded for the high quality of their work,” Dr. Brooke Skelton, assistant professor of physics and astronomy and the PTK lead advisor for the Dunwoody Campus said. “So it’s not just me who knows what good things they are doing.”
The Dunwoody chapter’s two awards come as part of the PTK’s Honors In Action program. This program has four hallmarks: scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship, Skelton said.

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Georgia Perimeter College, the third largest institution of the University System of Georgia, serves more than 25,000 students through four campuses and several sites in metro Atlanta. For additional information, visit