Two Cleveland State Students Named to Phi Theta Kappa All-Tennessee Academic Team

Friday, February 28, 2014
Mark Partain, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and Rachel Ann Burgess
Mark Partain, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and Rachel Ann Burgess

Cleveland State Community College had two students named to the 2014 Phi Theta Kappa All-Tennessee Academic Team. Rachel Ann Burgess and Mark Partain were two of 26 of the state’s highest achieving college students recently honored and presented with a medallion at a special ceremony at the Doubletree Downtown Hotel in Nashville.

Many of this year’s 26 nominees were accompanied by their local state senators and representatives. The honorees include students pursuing a variety of degrees and careers, including aerospace engineering, nursing, law, chemistry, communications and business. Most intend to transfer to four-year universities to continue their educations.

The All-Tennessee Academic Team is comprised of students nominated by their colleges to be considered for the All-USA Academic Team, sponsored by USA Today and Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society. Each of the state’s 13 community colleges selects two outstanding students to recognize for their academic achievement, leadership and service to the community.

Miranda Cagle, CSCC’s PTK Advisor, said, “The All-State Academic Teams are a really excellent way that we identify students who are exceptional, not just in their academic success but also as individuals, and as community members.  Often the recipients are first-generation college students, or may be working parents or military returning to school.  They aren't just judged on their grades -- they have to show involvement on and off campus, and that they have taken on leadership roles, too.  It's wonderful as a professor to honor students that we see are going above and beyond to improve their lives and futures.  And it opens the door to a lot of state scholarship funds that are reserved for All-Tennessee nominees.”


“Each year, it’s a privilege to recognize the hard work, dedication and commitment these students have exhibited at their colleges,” John Morgan, Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, said. “They’ve not only achieved a high degree of success in the classroom, but they’ve made significant contributions to their communities through their volunteer efforts and leadership skills.”

Rachel Ann Burgess had a daughter at 17. Her new role as a mother changed her plans from attending a major university to first enrolling at Cleveland State Community College. A Phi Theta Kappa member and active community volunteer, she holds a 3.8 GPA and will graduate with an honors diploma in May 2014. She plans to earn a Business degree at Lee University and aspires to be self-employed in her own specialty cakes business.  

After work and military service hindered his academic career at Cleveland State Community College 20 years ago, Mark Partain’s experiences on a professional oversight board fueled an interest in studying law and he reenrolled. He has since maintained a 4.0 GPA and will graduate with an honors distinction. He is active in Phi Theta Kappa, as well as the Honor’s Program, International Club and Travel Abroad Program and continues to volunteer in his community. He eventually plans to earn his Law degree, but meanwhile counts his children and 21-year marriage as his greatest accomplishments.

Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education, with more than two million members and 1,200 chapters in the U.S. and beyond. Students must have a 3.5 grade point average to qualify for membership.  


New Communications Arts Building Nearing Completion At Lee University

Main Street Cleveland members got a preview tour of Lee University's nearly-finished Communications Arts Building Monday. "We wanted it to look great all the way around," Dr. Jerome Hammond, vice president for university relations, told those touring the 41,000 square foot building. The structure will be a prominent part of downtown. One foyer opens onto the Ocoee St. and Central ... (click for more)

UTC College Of Business Hosts Veterans Entrepreneurship Program

For the third consecutive year, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Veterans Entrepreneurship Program is offering free training and mentoring in entrepreneurship and small business management to our nation’s disabled and service distinguished veterans.   Participants in this year’s VEP are attending an eight-day boot camp at UTC through Saturday, July ... (click for more)

EPB Files With FCC To Expand TV, Phone, Internet Offerings Outside Electric Service Area

 EPB announced Thursday that it has filed a petition to the FCC "in an effort to respond to neighboring communities’ requests for access to the company’s gigabit enabled high-speed Internet service." Officials said, "EPB offers high-speed Internet access, video programming and voice services using a fiber optic communications network that allows the company to deliver these ... (click for more)

Black Creek Developers Say They "Followed The Rules" On $9 Million TIF: To Continue Project

The developers of the Black Creek project at Aetna Mountain said Thursday they "complied precisely by the rules when we applied for and received approval of the TIF district." Doug Stein said the group plans to continue on with the project, which he said earlier would include the creation of a small town on a huge undeveloped tract on the mountain above Black Creek (formerly ... (click for more)

Pickle Ball? - And Response

Collegedale has done some wonderful things for its residents.  The Greenway is a perfect example of money well spent on helping to give her residents the opportunity to improve their lives, at least from a health standpoint. Having taught at Wolftever Creek for a decade plus, I was fortunate to have opportunity to take my classes on walks from time to time.  It provided ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Say It Ain't So, Larry Joe!

Larry Joe Wheelon, the tainted horse trainer who was charged with 18 counts of aggravated animal cruelty when his barn was raided in April of 2013 and some animals were sored so badly that they could barely walk, finally went to a court hearing in Blount County on Wednesday and his steps toward Judge Tammy Harrington’s bench were decidedly heavy. My goodness, yours would have been ... (click for more)