Monday, February 22, 2010

Two Named to All-Arizona Academic Team

By David Staudacher, Rio Salado College PR Manager

Thomas Edison once said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Rio Salado College students Katherine Robinson, of Tempe, and Amber Jensen, of Phoenix, are two people who work hard in the classroom, and, due to their strong work ethics, have earned the opportunity of a lifetime.

On Thursday, Robinson and Jensen were named to the All-Arizona Academic Team during an awards celebration at Mesa Community College.

“We are honored to have these two students represent Rio Salado College,” said Rio Salado Interim President Chris Bustamante. “They are outstanding students who have shown a passionate commitment for education and their community.”

Robinson was named to the first-team, and was awarded a cash prize of $1,000 and a full two-year renewable scholarship at one of Arizona’s three state universities.
Robinson earned her spot on the first team by maintaining a 3.93 grade-point average (GPA), earning 57 credits, and participating in a variety of college and community activities. Her activities include: Vice President of Leadership for the Alpha Theta Omicron Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa; editor and writer for The Alpha Theta Omicron Alpha Bits; student coordinator of a Beautification and Community Garden Program; and a victim response member for Pandora’s Project.

As a member of the first team, she also is a candidate for the All-USA team, which will be announced in April. If named to the team, Robinson could win an additional $2,500 and be featured in the USA Today newspaper.

Jensen was named to the second team and received a $750 cash prize and a full two-year renewable scholarship at one of Arizona’s three state universities.

Jensen, who plans to transfer to Northern Arizona University, earned her spot on the team by maintaining a 3.8 GPA, earning 127 credits, and being active at Rio Salado and in the community. She used the skills she has been learning at Rio Salado’s School of Dental Hygiene by volunteering as a hygienist at the Central Arizona Shelter Services, the Dave Pratt Boys and Girls Club, and at the Give Kids a Smile for elementary school students. She also served as a member of the AmeriCorps Project Ayuda where she provided dental hygiene care for special needs patients.

“I am privileged to volunteer my services as a dental hygiene student at the Central Arizona Shelter Services clinic for the homeless,” said Jensen. “Not only am I able to practice technical skills I have learned, but I recognize the impact I can have on someone’s life through my education.”

The All-Arizona Academic Team scholarships are offered every year to two students from each of the state’s community colleges. To qualify, students must have earned a high grade point average and many credits in different academic disciplines at Rio Salado College, be working toward an associate degree, and be an active participant in service learning activities such as block watch participation, charity organizations, political organizations, religious groups and other community groups.

For more information about scholarship opportunities at Rio Salado College, please visit