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PJC student named Gold Scholar

Published or Revised January 11, 2017

Joel Mutchler

Joel Mutchler of Paris has been named a 2016 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar, one of 30 selected nationwide.

Joel Mutchler of Paris, a student at Paris Junior College, has been named a 2016 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team program by recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver and 50 Bronze Scholars, and providing nearly $200,000 in scholarships annually. Each Gold Scholar receives a $1,500 scholarship and a special medallion.

“Joel’s scholarship application scored among the top 50 (of over 1900 applications for this scholarship) within 38 states,” said PTK advisor Diann Mason. “The Gold Scholar award is the highest ranking of the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team. We will be attending a ceremony later this semester for all Texas Coca-Cola Scholars and he will be recognized at the International Conference in Washington, DC, in April.”

Mutchler found out about the designation during the Texas regional conference held in Waco. He’s majoring in chemical engineering and plans to attend either Lamar University or Texas A&M University in College Station.

“I’m hoping to work in either the renewable energy field or in materials,” said Mutchler. “They’re making new discoveries in both fields on a daily basis and I feel like I could change the world for the better. That’s my ultimate goal, to change society and make it a little better and hopefully in the process make my family’s situation a little better.”

Mason explained that Mutchler began working on the application at a PTK scholarship workshop held in the fall. He is a non-traditional student who returned to school when he realized that he wanted more for his young family.

“As a chemical engineering major with a 4.0 GPA,” said Mason, “he is one of the most diligent students I have ever met. He is personable and really sees the benefits offered by PTK. He has honed his leadership skills this year. For example, when he realized a weakness was his public speaking, he sought out opportunities to speak at workshops, on campus, and in the community.  It is so nice to see him recognized and rewarded for his ability.”

Community college presidents or their designated nominators may submit no more than two nominations per campus for this award. An independent panel of judges considers outstanding academic rigor, grade point average, academic and leadership awards, and engagement in college and community service in the selection process.

“We thank the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation for their vote of confidence in community college students by investing in their futures,” said Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, President and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa. “Their support is especially welcome during this challenging economic climate, as more and more community college students need additional resources to help them complete their degrees.”

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

Phi Theta Kappa, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, U.S. territorial possessions and eight sovereign nations. More than 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 134,000 students inducted annually.

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