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April 19, 2021

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society has selected Johnson County Community College (JCCC) student Jacquelyn “Jacqui” White to receive a 2021 Hites scholarship­ — awarded to Phi Theta Kappa members who are preparing to transfer to a bachelor’s degree-granting college or university.

Winners were chosen from a pool of 3,700 applicants nationwide for their outstanding academic achievement and rigor, leadership, and engagement in college and community activities. White is one of only 10 students chosen for the prestigious honor. She will receive a $7,500 scholarship and a commemorative medallion. 

Her combination of exemplary scholarship, involvement and research set her apart. As Vice President of Membership for JCCC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, White manages social media, community engagement and fellowship activities for the group. She is also involved in JCCC’s STEM Scholars Program, a research and mentoring initiative funded by the National Science Foundation. With support from her research mentor, JCCC professor of science Heather Seitz, and help from STEM Scholars faculty Beth Edmonds and Suneetha Menon, White partnered with two local health departments on a COVID-19 study.

“My research project allowed me to grow in more ways than I had anticipated,” White said. “Heather Seitz, my mentor, helped me realize that anyone can make a positive impact if they are willing to put in the work and think outside of the box.” The experience instilled in her an even stronger desire to serve her community in the future.

She will earn her associate degree in General Sciences at JCCC this spring, and transfer to the University of Missouri-Kansas City in the fall to work toward a bachelor’s degree in biology. She then plans to earn a master’s degree in medical science and become a physician assistant. 

Robert Hites, an executive with Ralston-Purina in St. Louis, established the Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation that made this award possible — with additional support from the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation. To learn more about JCCC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, visit our Honors Program webpage.