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Jefferson Community College Website

JCC Student One of 20 Nationwide Named to All-USA Community College Academic Team

Jefferson Community College (JCC) is pleased to announce that Jefferson student Laura D. DeNardo, Watertown, has been named to the 2014 All-USA Community College Academic Team of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society of community colleges.  DeNardo was one of only 20 students selected from a pool of 1700 nominations to earn this prestigious designation.  Judges consider grades, academic rigor, growth and how well the students use their education to benefit their schools and communities. The All-USA Community College Academic Team is presented by USA TODAY and Phi Theta Kappa and is sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group.  Prior to the All-USA Academic Team honor, DeNardo was first named to the All-New York Academic Team of PTK.  With her ranking the highest in New York State, Laura was also named the 2014 Coca-Cola New Century Scholar for New York.

DeNardo was honored on April 8, 2014 at the Presidents Breakfast held during the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) convention in Washington, D.C.  She was accompanied by Jefferson president Carole A. McCoy.

After graduating from Watertown High School in 2011, Laura DeNardo enrolled at Jefferson to pursue her nursing degree.  She was awarded the Jefferson Can Community Scholars scholarship, which offers free first-year tuition to students who rank in the top 15% of their graduating high school class. Laura graduated from Jefferson on May 16 with her associate in applied science degree in nursing.  In addition to working in the healthcare field, Laura plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree in nursing.  During her time at Jefferson, Laura clearly established herself as a leader in the classroom as well as with many co-curricular activities.

With her 3.82 GPA, Laura earned President’s or Dean’s List honors every semester and is a member of Jefferson’s Tau Xi Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society.  In addition to being a Jefferson-Can Community Scholar, Laura also received both the Dr. and Mrs. Earle J. Kelsey Scholarship and Lyle and Ethel Sheldon Memorial Scholarship through the JCC Foundation. Laura has served both as president and vice president for the Student Nurses Association (SNA) in which she organized the freshman class participation in club activities and led many fundraisers to help with local charities.  She participated in walks to raise awareness of suicide prevention, breast cancer and heart health. Laura organized a mentoring program between the senior and freshman classes with the goal to increase retention by fostering communication and cohesiveness among nursing students. Currently, Laura is working with the Medical Reserve Corporation to register SNA members as volunteers.  In the community, Laura is a fourth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and has been an instructor with Wiest’s Tae Kwon Do Training Center in Watertown.

As an ALL-USA Community College Academic Team member, DeNardo received a $2,500 scholarship and special medallion, as well as a $2,000 scholarship and plaque from the Coca-Cola Foundation and Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation.  Additionally, DeNardo was featured with fellow All-USA Community College Academic Team members in the April 8 edition of USA TODAY newspaper.  She is only the second Jefferson Community College student to be named to the USA Today All-USA Community College Academic Team. 

“We are proud and thrilled that Laura was recognized on the All USA Academic Team,” said Jefferson president Carole A. McCoy.  “With her academic achievements, involvement in and leadership of co-curricular activities, and service to our community, Laura is an outstanding example of the best of community college students.”