Sheetal Singh Named 2017 New Century Scholar

(April 18, 2017) Oakton Community College student Sheetal Singh (Des Plaines, Maine West High School) has been named a 2017 New Century Scholar by achieving the state’s highest score in the All-USA Community College Academic Team competition. Singh, who’s studying engineering, boasts a 3.77 GPA.

Each New Century Scholar will receive a $2,000 scholarship and will be recognized at Phi Theta Kappa’s Presidents Breakfast in New Orleans, Louisiana, on April 24 during the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Convention.

“Receiving this scholarship lessens my family’s heavy burden of financing my educational goals,” Singh says. “In order to support my educational goals, my father goes above and beyond expectations and makes immense sacrifices, all for me to be able to be successful in college. This PTK scholarship makes it possible for me to proudly tell my father that he no longer has to sacrifice himself for my education.”

More than 1,800 students were nominated from more than 1,000 community colleges for recognition. Judges consider academic accomplishments, leadership, activities and most importantly, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.

“Sheetal is one of the brightest and most motivated students I’ve worked with in my 10 years of working with students inside and outside the classroom,” notes Shonta Durham-Wiersma, coordinator of advising and student success initiatives. “She has been involved in almost every co-curricular opportunity Oakton has to offer.”

In addition to being founding president of Oakton’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, Singh has served as a senator in Oakton’s Student Government Association, a board member for the college’s Educational Standards Review Board, a peer mentor for Oakton’s TRiO program geared toward first generation college students like herself and community engagement programs such as Futures Unlimited, the St. Emily Parish music choir and the Historic Methodist Camp Ground in Des Plaines.

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of community college students to grow as scholars and leaders. The society is made up of more than 3.2 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in nine nations.

The New Century Scholars program, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Phi Theta Kappa and the AACC, shares a common application with the All-USA Community College Academic Team program, which recognizes outstanding community college students.

“We appreciate the support of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and the Coca-Cola Foundation to recognize the academic achievement and leadership accomplishments of these outstanding community college students,” said Phi Theta Kappa President and CEO Lynn Tincher-Ladner. “These scholarships provided by organizations like Coca-Cola make the goal of college completion possible.”