Malaurie Hullings and Kenneth Washington

Piedmont Tech Students Named to Academic All-State

Two Piedmont Technical College students were recently among those named to the Phi Theta Kappa South Carolina All-State Academic Team. Malaurie Hullings of Plum Branch and Kenneth Washington of Hodges were among the 29 students honored at a ceremony in Columbia.

Hullings and Washington are joining an elite group. Less than one percent of America’s six million two-year college students have distinguished themselves with this superior level of academic achievement and service to their colleges and communities.

“These students have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and impressive records of service to their colleges and communities,” said Dr. Ray Brooks, president of PTC. “They are the best and brightest that our state’s Technical Colleges have to offer, and I congratulate them on their many accomplishments.”

The students named to the South Carolina All-State Academic Team were selected by technical college presidents on the basis of academic performance, leadership accomplishments and service to their colleges and local communities. In addition, these students qualify to participate in the annual All-USA Academic Team competition, sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges and Phi Theta Kappa, the International Honor Society of the Two-Year College. Through this program, Hullings was also named a Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Bronze Scholar. Bronze Scholars are selected based on scores earned in the All-USA Community College Academic Competition. Hullings was one of 50 students from across the country who were selected from a pool of 1,700 students to receive this honor. Each Bronze Scholar receives a $1,000 scholarship and a special medallion.

Hullings has been connected to Piedmont Tech since her days at McCormick High School. She enrolled in the Middle College program at the high school before continuing her education in the engineering graphics technology (EGT) program at PTC. In May, she received her Associate in Arts degree in addition to her EGT degree.

“I thought it was awesome that I could graduate high school and already almost have my associate degree,” Hullings said. “I was accepted to some of the bigger universities, but I knew I wanted to start here, close to home.”

Washington spent many years working in customer service. When he felt he had reached the point where he couldn’t go any further, he searched for a better fit and found the mechatronics technology program at Piedmont Tech. In May, he received his Associate in Applied Science Degree with a major in Mechatronics.

“I’ve always enjoyed a challenge and solving puzzles,” Washington said. “The skills required for mechatronics offer that challenge in a growing field.”

David Rosenbaum, associate dean of students says, “It is wonderful to see our top students recognized among the best in the state and the country. They’re so impressive not just because they’re outstanding academically, but because they give so unselfishly in service to their college and their community.”

Phi Theta Kappa was founded in 1918 to emphasize and recognize academic excellence in two-year colleges. Today, Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1.5 million members in the United States, U.S. territories, Canada and Germany.

The Coca-Cola Two-Year Colleges Scholarship Program is made possible with funding from the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation.  The Whitehead Foundation provides grants in support of human services initiatives. The late Joseph B. Whitehead was one of the original bottlers of Coca-Cola.  

Photo Caption: Malaurie Hullings of Plum Branch, left, and Kenneth Washington of Hodges were recently among the 29 students named to the Phi Theta Kappa South Carolina All-State Academic Team. Hullings was also selected as a 2015 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Bronze Scholar at the annual All-USA Academic Team competition.