Trisha Norfleet honored at All-USA team gathering in New Orleans
KOKOMO, Ind. – Trisha Norfleet, a recent graduate of Ivy Tech Community College’s Kokomo Campus, is one of 20 two-year college students who have been named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team. The students, recently honored for their outstanding intellectual achievement and leadership at a ceremony in New Orleans, will each receive a $5,000 scholarship to continue their educations.
The All-USA program is widely recognized as the most prestigious academic honor for students attending community college. Each college may nominate two students for showing intellectual rigor and for demonstrating academic achievement, leadership and civic growth. The program also recognizes students who extend their community college education to better themselves, their schools and their surrounding communities.
This is tops among many honors earned by Norfleet, who received an Associate of Arts in General Studies degree from Ivy Tech Kokomo in May and was recognized with the Dean’s Award as the top student in her program.
Norfleet also is one of just 10 students nationwide awarded the Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education through Phi Theta Kappa, which includes $5,000 to assist in the completion of an associate degree and to push students to begin a bachelor’s degree. She also was among the 597 top community college students from across the nation selected as semifinalists to compete for the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.
A United States Air Force Reserve veteran who hails from Illinois, Norfleet has been active in student veteran affairs, as well as the Phi Theta Kappa academic honor society for community college students, and served as president of the Student Government Association at Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Campus. She was one of the first three students statewide named to serve as student representatives to the Ivy Tech State Board of Trustees and she also served as the State of Indiana’s representative to the Heads Up National College Promise Campaign.
She will be continuing her studies this fall at Indiana University Kokomo’s School of Business where she will pursue a bachelor’s degree in business management. She plans a career as a human resources manager where she can continue to advocate for others, especially military veterans.
“Trisha is very deserving of this recognition, not only for her academic achievement but also for her leadership skills,” said Michelle Simmons, president of Ivy Tech Kokomo Campus who nominated Norfleet for the award. One example Simmons cited was Norfleet’s efforts to encourage her fellow students to take advantage of financial aid opportunities.
“Through Trisha’s vision and coordination, the Kokomo and Logansport campuses held their first ‘Scholarship Day’ this spring, with the goal of increasing student awareness of scholarship/grant opportunities,” Simmons continued. “Trisha garnered the support of her fellow Phi Theta Kappa and Student Government Association members and worked collaboratively with the administrative departments of Student Life, Resource Development and Marketing.
“I greatly appreciated Trisha bringing the project forward, and believe it can be easily sustained in years to come. She has been a wonderful asset to the Ivy Tech Kokomo Campus and we are all so very proud of all of her accomplishments.”
For Melissa Dwight, financial aid advisor and veterans’ benefits coordinator for Ivy Tech Kokomo Region, Norfleet’s involvement with SGA and Phi Theta Kappa greatly benefited her fellow veterans through projects aimed at easing the transition from military service to college life.
“Trisha is an amazing student. She started at Ivy Tech as a Veterans Affairs (VA) work study and joined our Stars and Stripes Student Veterans Association. From there on, I knew she was special,” Dwight said. “I am very proud of her scholarly achievements, and her contributions to our student body and college. I think she is an excellent alumna and wish her all the best at IU Kokomo and in her future.”
The 2017 All-USA Community College Academic Team is sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group, which furnishes the scholarships, with additional support provided by Phi Theta Kappa and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).
Student winners were introduced at Phi Theta Kappa’s Presidents Breakfast held during the recent AACC Convention in New Orleans. In addition to scholarship funds, each All-USA Community College Academic Team member was presented with a special medallion. Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann, who attended the conference with Norfleet, was among the representatives of the team members’ schools who received a commemorative obelisk in recognition for their leadership.
The team of 20 was selected by an independent panel of judges from colleges, community and national organizations and foundations. Judges considered grades, leadership activities and, most importantly, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.
Phi Theta Kappa also awards additional scholarships through the New Century Scholars Program, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and The Coca-Cola Foundation.