Riverland student named 2010 Guistwhite Scholar

Published 8:55 am Monday, April 5, 2010

Ivan Okhin, a Riverland Community College student and Phi Theta Kappa member has been selected as a Guistwhite Scholarship recipient and will be recognized during the Phi Theta Kappa Convention in Orlando April 8-10.

Guistwhite Scholars are chosen based on academic achievement, participation in Phi Theta Kappa programs and service to their colleges and communities. Okhin is one of 20 recipients for 2010 selected by a panel of independent judges from more than 791 applicants. Each Guistwhite Scholar is awarded a $5,000 scholarship for baccalaureate studies.

The Guistwhite Scholar Program is named in honor of Dr. Jack Guistwhite and his wife Margaret Guistwhite. Dr. Guistwhite established the first designated transfer scholarship for Phi Theta Kappa members at Florida Atlantic University in 1975, and the first Guistwhite Scholars were recognized in 1992.

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“Dr. Jack Guistwhite planted a seed in 1975 that resulted in hundreds of four-year colleges designating transfer scholarships for thousands of Phi Theta Kappa members,” said Phi Theta Kappa’s Executive Director Dr. Rod A. Risley. “It is fitting that we continue to honor our Society’s best and brightest students each year as Guistwhite Scholars in honor of Jack and his wife Margaret. Through their generosity and those supporting scholarships through the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation, these students will receive funds to defray the cost of pursuing their baccalaureate degrees.”

Phi Theta Kappa, the honorary scholastic society for two-year colleges, was founded in 1918 and is recognized by the American Association of Junior College in 1929. It is the respected fraternity demanding scholarship, service and leadership. Today, Phi Theta Kappa has more than 800 chapters throughout the United States. The Riverland Community College Chapter, Zeta Eta, founded in 1947, has inducted more than 1,900 over the chapter’s history.

Riverland Community College, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is a regional comprehensive community college inspiring learning for living through a personalized educational environment. Approximately 4,000 students are served, annually, through a wide range of credit-based educational opportunities. An additional 5,600 students are annually served in non-credit courses. Facilities are located in Albert Lea, Austin, and Owatonna, Minn. Riverland may be found on the Internet at www.riverland.edu.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system comprises 32 state universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves about 250,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 140,000 students in non-credit courses.