Mack selected as new Academic All-Star at PCCUA

Aug 31, 2021

 

Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas (PCCUA) announces the selection of the student who represents the mark of excellence throughout its three-campus district. Attending classes on the Stuttgart Campus, Sidney Mack, of Stuttgart, has been named PCCUA’s new Academic All-Star.

This scholarship program is designed to honor excellence in academics and leadership. Mack will be honored among other All-Star students chosen to represent each two-year college within Arkansas Community Colleges. She will receive a $500 PCCUA scholarship for her final semester and will also have the opportunity to visit with Arkansas public four-year university representatives about potential scholarship offers to complete her bachelor’s degree.

Mack says her PCCUA experience has enhanced her self-confidence in terms of putting her own ideas into the world and being more accepting of others’ ideas and opinions.

“I come from a large family, and I cannot really remember a time when I was encouraged or confident enough in myself to discuss my opinions or thoughts with others,” she said. “My experience at PCCUA has pushed me to rethink my decision making for myself based on fact and to seek out others to learn from their experiences.”

Rosary Fazende-Jones, a PCCUA instructor, described Mack as an excellent student who made her own opportunities to thrive in a very complicated academic year.

“Sidney has shown herself to be able to take the lead in solving a problem.  In her spring 2021 courses, some of her classmates found they needed more support in their courses, and Sidney created peer study groups—properly masked and socially distanced—to support her classmates and help them to succeed in their courses,” said Fazende-Jones.

PCCUA instructor and academic advisor Tracie Karkur added that Mack brought to her classes a level of analytical thinking that is rare among her students.

“This shy young lady who was afraid to talk to anyone has blossomed this past year,” said Karkur. “And her academic strengths as demonstrated by her 4.0 GPA are complemented by her leadership skills.”

Mack will graduate with an A.A. degree in May, 2022, and plans to transfer to the University of Central Arkansas to complete a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing. Her long-range plans include starting her own retail or cosmetic company.

While at PCCUA, Mack has maintained a 4.0 GPA, has been inducted into Phi Theta Kappa international honor society, and has been named to the Chancellor’s List. She has also helped collect needed supplies for the Stuttgart Animal Shelter. 

Mack is very appreciative that her first college experience was at PCCUA, because through this positive experience, she has grown to be more confident.

“What I never could have imagined was the way in which my time here would change me,” she said. “Looking at myself now, I am confident and I enjoy putting myself out there in my search for new ways of thinking. I will continue to always strive to be the best version of myself, always hope to learn from others, and will be forever grateful for what PCCUA has taught me.”

To be eligible for Academic All-Star nomination, students must be currently enrolled in an Arkansas two-year college. To apply, the nominee must have completed at least 24 credit hours in pursuit of an associate degree. The student must also currently post a cumulative grade point average of not less than 3.25 out of a possible 4.0 in all credit coursework taken at that college. As part of the application process, students are also required to have letters of recommendation and write an essay.