MCC News

USA TODAY Names MCC's Eric Howard to All-USA Community College Academic Team

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Eric Howard, a Muskegon Community College honor student and active campus leader, is one of only 20 college students nationwide to be named to the prestigious 2014 USA TODAY All-USA Community College Academic Team He was honored at a reception in Washington, D.C., on April 8.

USA TODAY’s All-USA Community College Academic Team recognizes exceptional students at the nation’s community colleges. Judges consider grades, academic rigor, growth and how well the students use their education to benefit their schools and communities. The program is administered by Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Howard will receive a $2,500 scholarship.

Each two-year college in Michigan may nominate two students per campus to the All-USA Academic Team.  Howard earned the top score among all Michigan applicants for the honor and will receive the Coca Cola New Century Scholar Award, which includes a $2,000 scholarship and a plaque from The Coca-Cola Foundation and Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation.

“This award is all about how you used what you learned in the classroom outside of the classroom,” said Howard. “I hope by sharing my story it will inspire students and show others that your college experience is all about what you make of it."

A 2009 graduate of Mona Shores High School, Howard will earn his associate’s degree in nursing this May at MCC and become a Registered Nurse this summer. He is continuing his education and working toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Grand Valley State University.  He plans to pursue a master’s degree in Nurse Anesthesia at Michigan State University.

While at MCC, Howard has earned recognition every semester on either the President’s List or the Dean’s List. He currently has a 3.93 grade point average.

During his second semester at MCC, Howard responded to a Student Services Office request to serve on the Disciplinary Board. That experience became a stepping stone to his serving as a four-time MCC Student Government Association president, a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and the MCC Sustainability Task Force, and as the student representative on the Student Services Council.

“I just saw a need for student involvement,” explained Howard, who also viewed his participation as a way to help build MCC. “There’s a different kind of student life here. It is more involved with student clubs that have focused areas. They allow you to build relationships with faculty and staff and other students in a way that maybe you can’t at a larger institution.”

Howard volunteers as a mentor with Michigan State University’s 4-H STEM Program, where he works both one-on-one and with groups of middle school students. He is a swim coach for kids from 5-18 years of age and is a nanny/sitter for five different families.

He also coordinated the student efforts in the recent successful campaign to gain voter approval for funding expansions and renovations to science, health, and art facilities at MCC.

See a complete listing of this year’s honorees at: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/08/phi-theta-all-usa-academic-team/7380319/