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. Todd Raugh of Greenwood and Erika Tinsley of Newberry will be among the 23 students honored at a ceremony in Columbia in March.

Raugh and Tinsley 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.”

Raugh is enrolled in the business program at Piedmont Tech. The Greenwood resident came to the college seeking a degree after a cancerous tumor on his eye left him legally blind and in search of a new career. He found ways to give back through his work as a Journey Mentor and a Presidential Ambassador.

“As much as the college has given me and helped me, I want to give that back in any way,” Raugh said. “It’s an honor that my journey can have an effect on someone.”

Tinsley knew she wanted to go into the health care field, but she wasn’t sure what area. The Newberry native explored several different paths and didn’t feel they were for her. Then she found the radiologic technology program at Piedmont Tech.

“The first day of clinicals, I felt comfortable,” Tinsley said. “I had that feeling that I can do this. I can be good at this and enjoy what I do.”

David Rosenbaum, associate dean of students says, “It is wonderful to see our top students recognized as among the best in the state. 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.”

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 will participate in the annual All-USA Academic Team competition in April, sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges and Phi Theta Kappa, the International Honor Society of the Two-Year College.

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.