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COCC announces national scholarship honors, All-Oregon Academic Team members


Two students at Central Oregon Community College, Erik Kersenbrock and Janae Radke, have earned 2020 New Century Pathway Scholarships from the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society — the only students in Oregon to receive these prestigious national community college academic prizes.

The scholarships, awarded earlier this month, recognize the two best achievement scores — one for a transfer student, one for a workforce student — among each state’s community college academic team applicants. Selection is based on the highest score earned in the All-USA Academic Team competition, and more than 2,000 students from across the country, representing more than 1,200 colleges, applied for the awards.

Kersenbrock, who graduates in June, was named Oregon’s New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar. He plans to apply the $2,250 scholarship to engineering studies at Oregon State University. Kersenbrock is maintaining a 4.0 GPA and was one of four students to represent the college on the All-Oregon Academic Team.

“I hope to continue my education and earn a master’s degree, but my primary goal is to help solve some of the bigger problems that our society faces in the way of resource management, power and energy, or waste,” he said.

“I have never felt a sense of community like I have found at COCC,” he added. “I have received continuous support from staff.” Formerly of Kansas, Kersenbrock has hiked the Appalachian Trail and enjoys rock climbing and yoga.

Radke, earning her nursing degree, was named Oregon’s New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar and will receive a $1,250 scholarship. Planning to work full-time upon graduation, she is also hoping to attend school to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Her goal is to become an emergency department RN and, ultimately, a nurse practitioner. Originally from Albany, Radke has kept a 4.0 GPA at COCC and was one of four students to represent the college on the All-Oregon Academic Team.

“Nurses are in a unique position to support and care for people on some of their worst days, and I think it is an honor to do that work,” she said. “It is also an incredibly varied field with constant opportunities to continue learning and challenging yourself.” Radke enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and dog. “The faculty at COCC are amazing,” she added. “They truly want you to succeed and support you in doing so.”

“The entire college is so proud of Erik and Janae,” said COCC President Dr. Laurie Chesley. “This honor reflects incredible dedication and drive. And I think it also speaks to the amazing learning environment that our faculty foster here at COCC.”

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing academic achievement at associate degree-granting colleges. The awards are also sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and the American Association of Community Colleges. A March 30 awards event, scheduled for honorees during the annual American Association of Community College convention in National Harbor, Maryland, is currently postponed.

For more information, contact Alicia Moore, vice president of student affairs, at 541-383-7244 or


Central Oregon Community College is pleased to announce that students Amy Bachman, Erik Kersenbrock, Janae Radke and Markie Egger were selected to represent the college on the Oregon Community College Association’s (OCCA) 2020 All-Oregon Academic Team. The honor typically includes an awards banquet in mid-April with a visit to the Oregon Capitol to meet with Governor Kate Brown, now postponed to a future date due to COVID-19.

To earn the distinction, students must maintain a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA and have completed at least 54 credits. Nominated by a faculty member, finalists undergo a review process by the college’s committee for academic excellence.

Amy Bachman, 45, of Millican, has maintained a 3.95 grade point average while studying automotive technology at COCC. The dean’s list student is earning a Master Automotive Technician certification and an Associate of Applied Science degree in automotive technology in electronics and diagnostics. A Robert Maxwell Scholarship recipient, she is interested in a career in electric vehicle repair and programming.

Erik Kersenbrock, 29, of Redmond, is an engineering student who will continue his studies at Oregon State University this fall, in either electrical or mechanical engineering. Kersenbrock has kept a 4.0 grade point average and made the dean’s list every term at COCC. He is one of 52 students in the nation —representing Oregon — to receive a 2020 New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar prize, a transfer student honor co-sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges.

Janae Radke, 34, from Albany, is a nursing student who hopes to become an emergency department RN and eventually a nurse practitioner. She plans to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. With a 4.0 grade point average, the dean’s list student was one of 52 in the nation to receive a 2020 New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar prize, a workforce student honor co-sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges.

Markie Egger, 21, of La Pine, a dean’s list student every term at COCC, is planning to earn her bachelor’s degree in energy systems engineering from Oregon State University-Cascades. The former high school valedictorian and member of the National Honor Society enjoys using math to analyze everyday experiences. She looks forward to a career in energy systems engineering.

The All-Oregon Academic Team is part of the All-State Community College Academic Team program that launched in 1994 in the states of Mississippi and Missouri. Today, 38 states host All-State Academic Team programs each year, focusing on two-year colleges and recognizing exceptional students. The OCCA sponsors the annual event, in partnership with the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, which awards some $37 million in scholarships nationally to community college students.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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