Posted: February 22, 2007

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Thirty-three two-year college students who make up the All-Minnesota Academic Team were honored today at Best Buy Corporate in Richfield.

The students are the state's nominees for the All-USA Academic Team for Community, Technical and Junior College Students, a program sponsored annually by Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society for two-year colleges, USA Today and the American Association of Community Colleges. State academic teams were introduced in 1994 to provide scholarships and scholastic recognition to Phi Theta Kappa members. The 33 students range in age from 18 to 52.

All of the students attend one of the 25 community and technical colleges, which have about 110,500 students, in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

The students who are being honored and their colleges are:

Heidi Capp and Janell Suchy, both of Alexandria Technical College; Michelle LeGro, Anoka Technical College; Davidson Blanchard, Diana Gay and Amanda Even, all of Anoka-Ramsey Community College; Amy Mapel, Century College; Jean Dresch and Robert Kohler, both from Dakota County Technical College; Ngoc Vuong, Hennepin Technical College; Laura Brown and Amy Forslund, both from Inver Hills Community College; Neva Swanson and Samantha Voelkner, both from Lake Superior College; Christina Alvaredo de Gutierrez and Aaron Corcoran, both from Minneapolis Community and Technical College; Krystal Boland, Minnesota State Community and Technical College; Colleen Duba and Elizabeth Little, both from Minnesota West Community and Technical College; Michael Kompanets and Barbara Teed, both from Normandale Community College; Emem Udoh and Kim Dzhagaryants, North Hennepin Community College; Mary Gorman, Northeast Higher Education District-Mesabi Range Community and Technical College; Marit Dalen and Brandon Fontes, both from Northland Community and Technical College; Stephanie Njos, Gary Kiekenapp-Higgens, and Ahmed Abdirahman, all from Riverland Community College; Kendall Craven and Richard Woo, both from Rochester Community and Technical College; Anh Dao Nguyen, St. Paul College; and Holly Wagner, South Central College.

Students selected for the All-USA academic team receive stipends or plaques. The 2007All-USA team members will be announced April 16 at the American Association of Community Colleges convention in Tampa.

To be nominated to the Minnesota team, a student must be currently enrolled at a Minnesota two-year college and expect to graduate during the 2006-2007 academic year, have completed at least 12 semester credits and have a grade point average of at least 3.25 at a Minnesota two-year college.

Nominees were selected based on biographical information, letters of recommendation, academic performance, demonstration of leadership, and campus and community service involvement. Applicants also wrote an essay describing a specific educational experience while attending a two-year college that has transformed the student's thinking about learning or the future.

The Minnesota All-State Academic Team is sponsored by Best Buy Co.; the Minn-Wi-Kota Region of Phi Theta Kappa; Dakota County Technical College; Minnesota State University, Mankato; Normandale Community College; and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Office of the Chancellor.