David Shepherd named 2015 Coca-Cola Gold Scholar

Northeast State student David Shepherd of Kingsport has been named a 2015 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar. He will receive a $1,500 scholarship and a special medallion.

The program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and is administered by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Nationally, 50 Gold, 50 Silver, and 50 Bronze Scholars were named with nearly $200,000 in scholarships awarded. More than 1,700 applications were submitted for consideration.

David Shepherd
David Shepherd

The selection process is based on scores earned on outstanding academic rigor, grade point average, academic and leadership awards, engagement in college, and community service.

“When I saw the e-mail announcement, I thought it was just a Phi Theta Kappa newsletter or something,” said Shepherd, a home school graduate, who earned 29 credits hours in the College’s Dual Enrollment program. “Then I started reading it and it was like ‘Whoa!’ My two brothers were in the room and I said ‘guys, I just won $1,500!’”

Shepherd is a biology major, planning to transfer to either Lipscomb University or East Tennessee State University in fall 2015. Upon transferring, Shepherd said he intends to major in biochemistry and eventually attend medical school.

At Northeast State, Shepherd is president of the Scholars Foundation, vice president of leadership for the Alpha Iota Chi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, and chief justice of the traffic court. He also holds the Basler Incentive Endowed Scholarship.

“I thank my parents and family for supporting me through all these different meetings and projects each week. I think they can see the hard work is starting to pay off,” Shepherd said. “I also want to thank the faculty and staff that got me involved; they were always there to support me.”

Phi Theta Kappa will recognize the 2015 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Scholars at this year’s Annual Convention, April 16-18, in San Antonio, Texas.

In addition, Shepherd was recently named to the All-Tennessee Academic Team. The All-Tennessee Academic Team is composed of students nominated by their colleges to be considered for the All-USA Academic Team, sponsored by USA Today and Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Each of the state’s 13 community colleges selects two outstanding students to recognize for their academic achievement, leadership, and service to the community.

“We thank the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation for their vote of confidence in community college students by investing in their futures,” said Dr. Rod Risley, Executive Director of Phi Theta Kappa. “Their support is especially welcome during this challenging economic climate, as more and more community college students need additional resources to help them complete their degrees.”

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Miss., is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1,285 chapters on two-year and community college campuses around the world. Nearly three million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.

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