CPCC student named 2014 Coca-Cola New Century Scholar, All-USA Community College Academic Team member

last modified Apr 10, 2014 03:40 PM
CPCC student named 2014 Coca-Cola New Century Scholar, All-USA Community College Academic Team member

Joseph Burch

Mr. Joseph Burch, of Charlotte, N.C., and a student in Central Piedmont Community College’s (CPCC) Health and Human Services program, has been named a 2014 New Century Scholar and All-USA Community College Academic Team member.

New Century Scholars Program

The New Century Scholars program, sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) and the American Association of Community Colleges, honors outstanding community college students for their academic excellence and outstanding achievements outside the classroom.

More than 1,700 students were nominated from more than 900 community colleges across the United States, Canada and American Samoa for recognition. A panel of judges made their selections for this year’s class of New Century Scholars based on each applicant’s grades, leadership, activities and how they extended their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.

Fifty-one community college students were chosen to be a New Century Scholar; Burch was selected as the highest scoring student in North Carolina. As a result, CPCC will be recognized at the American Association of Community Colleges Convention and Burch will receive a $2,000 scholarship.

All-USA Community College Academic Team
Burch was one of 20 community college students to be named to the 24th annual All-USA Community College Academic Team. The award honors students for their outstanding intellectual achievement and leadership. As a result, Burch will receive a $2,500 scholarship, furnished by Follett Higher Education Group, the leading provider of college and university bookstore services.

The program is widely recognized as the most prestigious academic honor for students attending community college. Nominees are hand-selected by colleges for showing intellectual rigor and for demonstrating academic, leadership and civic growth. The program also recognizes students who extend their community college education to better themselves, their schools and their surrounding communities.

Burch was selected by a panel of judges from more than 1,700 students nominated by more than 800 community colleges. Judges considered grades, leadership, activities and, most importantly, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.

“Joseph is an outstanding student, as well as an enthusiastic, dynamic and natural leader,” said Sara Graham, director of TRiO Student Supoort Services at CPCC. “He has high personal standards which he models through the respectful behavior he demonstrates toward the CPCC TRiO students, staff and campus community.”

In addition to being a member of CPCC’s PTK Chapter, Burch is president of the college’s TRiO Student Support Services Club, serves as an assistant ministry coordinator at Sugar Creek Church of Christ, and volunteers at McDowell Nature Center and Preserve, In Goode Company and First Ward Academy.

At the age of 20, Burch was a college freshman, a newlywed husband and a father. In the years that followed, he became a divorcee and a single parent. By 40, his goals became more defined and he began forging a commendable career. When he was laid off from his job during the nation’s recession, he turned his attention to volunteerism and realized his passion for helping others. Since that time, he has dedicated his energy toward serving and inspiring hope in others.

“This recognition is phenomenal because it enhances my access to resources that will advance my academic and professional career,” said Burch. “I'm grateful to become part of a 23-year tradition wherein USA Today, Phi Theta Kappa, Follett Higher Education Group, Coca-Cola, and the American Association of Community Colleges annually identify, inspire and honor post-secondary scholars.”

To see the complete list of 2013 New Century Scholars, please visit http://www.ptk.org/become-a-member/scholarships/new-century-scholars.

To learn more about the All-USA Community College Academic Team, visit http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/08/phi-theta-all-usa-academic-team/7380319/