Two OSU Institute of Technology students were recently selected for the All-Oklahoma/All-USA Academic Team and will be recognized at a ceremony at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City.
Amber Walker will graduate in April with an Associate in Science in Allied Health Sciences from the School of Arts & Sciences. She then plans to enroll in Tulsa Community College’s Dental Hygiene program.
Zachary Copeland has already earned an Associate in Applied Science in Natural Gas Compression from OSUIT’s School of Energy Technologies. He is now taking courses in Arts & Sciences’ Business program before he transfers in August to New Mexico Highlands University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Oil and Gas Management.
Those selected from across the state for the All-Oklahoma/All-USA Academic Team will be recognized March 7 in the rotunda of the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Dr. Ina Agnew, vice president of Student Services, said being named to the All-Oklahoma/All-USA Academic Team is the highest recognition of a student's academic performance.
“These two students were chosen from a field consisting of academically gifted students from every community college in Oklahoma,” Agnew said. “Our team members will now be placed into an evaluation pool for high dollar scholarship awards.”
Walker and Copeland were selected because of grade point averages of at least 3.5 and because they demonstrate leadership skills in the classroom, on campus and in the community.
“I was surprised and shocked. I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Copeland said. “I didn’t even know I was a candidate.”
Walker had a similar reaction when she learned she had been selected.
“I was actually really surprised about this honor. I work hard, but I didn’t expect to be recognized for it,” she said.
Copeland said being named to the All-Oklahoma/All-USA Academic Team is motivation for him and proof that he can do what he sets his mind to.
“I was homeschooled my whole life so college was a big step for me. I had doubts I could make it,” he said. “This recognition is further confirmation that when you work hard, you can accomplish almost anything.”
Walker said joining OSUIT’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter helped her come out of her shell, get more involved on campus and kept her motivated to do well in her classes, which led to the All-Oklahoma/All-USA selection.
“I feel like it’s a privilege to be recognized. Only 35 students in the state get this honor and the fact that I am one of them is beyond amazing to me,” she said.
Being selected for the honor isn’t just a boost for the students earning the recognition, Agnew said.
“Having two students in the pool is clear validation that OSUIT teaches to the highest standards of academic rigor,” she said. “The education our students receive enables them to compete with students from any higher education institution.”