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Three SUNY Erie students earn annual Phi Theta Kappa honors

Article by: Michael Farrell

BUFFALO—Earlier this month, three SUNY Erie Community College students—Shamara Mackey Holmes, Ibtisam Omar and Austin Wheeler—were honored with awards from the Phi Theta Kappa Community College Honor Society, distributed to students and SUNY Erie representatives on March 6 at the New York State Museum in Albany, NY.

The Phi Theta Kappa awards are sponsored by the New York Community College Association of Presidents, and recognize outstanding community college students throughout the state. Among this year’s list of 82 honorees are former and current SUNY Erie students Holmes, Omar and Wheeler.

Shamara Mackey Holmes was a Liberal Arts: Childhood Education (Grades 1-6) major with a 3.75 GPA—as well as a student orientation leader and member of the College’s Honors Program—when she recently graduated from SUNY Erie. She is now attending SUNY Buffalo State, pursuing a B.S. in Exceptional Education. Ibtisam Omar is a 57-year-old non-traditional student who’s appeared on SUNY Erie’s Dean’s List four times, and plans to enroll at SUNY Buffalo State to pursue a career in social work. Sophomore Austin Wheeler (3.7 GPA) is a Liberal Arts: General Studies student who remains active outside the classroom as an events coordinator with SUNY Erie’s Student Government Association and outfielder with the College’s baseball team. After graduation, he plans to pursue studies in higher education administration while continuing to play ball. 

Phi Theta Kappa is an honor society that recognizes and encourages scholarship among two-year college students, and provides opportunities for individual growth and development through participation in honors, leadership, service and fellowship programming. In addition to academic achievement, recipients of the award are also evaluated on their leadership and community service involvement, and are named members of the All-New York Community College Academic Team. 

Since 1946, SUNY Erie Community College has met the needs of a diverse student body while contributing to the economic vitality of Western New York. As a member of the state’s SUNY system, the three-campus college provides innovative, affordable and accessible educational programs in an accommodating academic environment. Equipped with the knowledge of these programs, SUNY Erie’s faculty, staff and students strive to enrich their host communities through skill, service and partnership. For more information, visit www.ecc.edu or call (716) 851-1ECC.

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