Two Blue Mountain Community College students have been named to the All-Oregon Academic Team as exemplary community college students, and will be honored by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Friday.
The BMCC students are Erin Kelly of Meridian, Idaho, and Jonathan Wolotira of Pendleton.
The All-Oregon Academic Team, part of the national All-State Community College Academic Team program, recognizes high-achieving two-year college students who demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor combined with leadership and service that extends their education beyond the classroom to benefit society. Phi Theta Kappa honor society, community college presidents and community college state associations sponsor the All-State Community College Academic Team ceremonies in 38 participating states.
Kelly, 20, graduated from BMCC in December 2018 with an associate’s degree in business and a 3.71 GPA, and immediately transferred to Eastern Oregon University for winter term, where she’s currently working on a bachelor’s degree in business. While at BMCC, Kelly was a student-athlete on the Timberwolves’ volleyball team, president of BMCC’s chapter of the American Association of University Women, and also served as a student ambassador, which she called “the most beneficial experience of not only my college career, but my whole life.” She says she is motivated by success itself – she wants to succeed not only for herself in the present, but for her future self and others in her life.
“I have always been told that I have great potential, so I have taken it upon myself to ensure that I reach that full potential,” Kelly said. “This has shaped me into the dedicated, diligent student that I am today, and will forever influence my work ethic.”
Wolotira, 20, is studying biological and biomedical sciences, and will graduate from BMCC in June. He plans to transfer to EOU to work towards his bachelor’s degree. During his two years at BMCC, Wolotira, who has a 3.68 GPA, has played for the Timberwolves’ men’s soccer team – serving as captain this past season – and has volunteered as a Young Life Leader. He’s also been active in the Pendleton Men’s Chorus and College Community Theatre. He says his life has been enriched by the people he has met through his volunteerism and community involvement.
“Former strangers have now become close friends,” he said. “I have met people from all walks of life in my town through community music and theater productions, while helping at the Salvation Army packaging Christmas dinners, and through mentoring middle school students through Young life. Volunteerism has taught me how to look past my preconceived notions of people and form a broad range of friendships.”
BMCC Interim President Connie Green said Kelly and Wolotira have worked hard to earn the prestigious honor of being named to the All Oregon Academic Team.
“Completing an education while also being active in athletics, leadership, volunteerism and in the community takes real commitment and dedication,” Green said. “These two young leaders are to be commended for their accomplishments.”
Students from the 38 participating states nominated to the All-USA Community College Academic Team are automatically named to the All-State Community College Academic Teams. Students receive medallions and certificates at the state-level recognition ceremony, along with scholarships. The purpose of the team is to promote statewide to legislators, and corporate, community and education leaders the quality instruction and outstanding students our community colleges produce.