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March 31, 2021

Student honored for exemplary scholarship, leadership and COVID-19 research.

Johnson County Community College student Jacquelyn “Jacqui” White was selected for the 2021 All-USA Academic Team by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Selection to the team recognizes high-achieving college students who demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor, leadership and service. Jacqui’s impressive record of scholarship, involvement and scientific research made her a standout.

She is one of just 20 students chosen from a pool of over 2,000 candidates nationwide. The All-USA program is recognized as the most prestigious academic honor for students attending associate degree-granting institutions.

Jacqui will receive a $5,000 scholarship and a commemorative medallion and will be recognized during the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) virtual convention on May 13. In addition, JCCC President Dr. Andy Bowne will receive a commemorative obelisk.

Jacqui has also been named a 2021 New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar and has earned an additional $2,250 scholarship. Selection was based on the score earned in the All-USA Academic Team competition, and Jacqui received the highest score in the state of Kansas. This program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation and the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, with additional support provided by the AACC and Phi Theta Kappa.

Jacqui has nearly finished her coursework toward an associate degree in General Sciences at JCCC. She will transfer to the University of Missouri-Kansas City this fall to complete a bachelor’s degree in biology. She then plans to earn a master’s degree in medical science and become a physician assistant.

Campus Engagement and COVID-19 Research

As vice-president of membership for JCCC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, Jacqui manages social media, community engagement and fellowship activities for the group. In addition, she is an active participant in their many service projects. 

Jacqui is also involved in JCCC’s STEM Scholars Program, a research and mentoring initiative funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). With support from her research mentor, JCCC professor of science Heather Seitz, and help from STEM Scholars faculty Beth Edmonds and Suneetha Menon, Jacqui partnered with two local health departments on a COVID-19 study.

Through analysis and calculations of their data, Jacqui discovered trends between age and COVID-19 symptomatic expression. The results of her efforts will be shared with the NSF.

Jacqui said it was her mentor Professor Seitz who helped her realize the positive impact she could make through hard work and out-of-the box thinking. She shared that this research project allowed her to grow in ways she never could have anticipated.

“I look forward to releasing my findings in relation to this novel research to benefit the public health of my community,” she said. “It has ignited within me an even deeper desire to serve my community as a physician assistant in the future.”

Are You a JCCC Mover and Shaker?

Check out Phi Theta Kappa, the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges. Or make the most of your JCCC experience and apply to join a community of curious and ambitious scholars through the Honors program. Questions? Contact Anne Dotter, Director, Honors Program & Community Based Learning, at adotter@jccc.edu.