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Three COCC Students On Oregon Academic Team


Central Oregon Community College (COCC) is proud to announce that students Anthony Alegria, Kris Kent and Jordan Taylor have been selected to represent the college on the Oregon Community College Association’s (OCCA) 2024 All-Oregon Academic Team. Additionally, Kent was chosen as a national Coca-Cola Academic Team Bronze Scholar recipient by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

The students will be honored at the OCCA’s All-Oregon Academic Team luncheon event on Friday, April 19, at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, with state Rep. Tawna Sanchez, D-Portland, providing the keynote address.

To earn the team distinction, students must demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor combined with leadership and service. A minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA and completion of at least 54 credits is required. Nominated by a faculty member, finalists undergo a review process by the college’s committee for academic excellence.

Aviation student Anthony Alegria of Washington state is earning a professional airplane pilot degree while attaining a 4.0 GPA and conducting a work-study position with COCC’s veterans department. Alegria is a former U.S. Marine sergeant whose airbase service inspired him to become a pilot. He plans to initially become a flight instructor locally and then attend the Oregon Institute of Technology for a bachelor’s degree in operational management, with the goal of working for a major airline carrier.

Kris Kent, originally of Ravena, New York, is an aviation student earning a degree as a professional helicopter pilot. The dean’s list student, with a 4.0 GPA, is a U.S. Army veteran and former EMT and firefighter. Kent was recently named a 2024 Coca-Cola Academic Team Bronze Scholar — one of just 50 in the country — by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, a scholarship administered by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He aspires to serve as a helicopter flight instructor in Central Oregon and eventually transition to aerial pilot work in forestry or agriculture.

Jordan Taylor of Bend is a natural resources student who hopes to work in the field of wildlife conservation, contributing to the protection of endangered species and habitats. The dean’s list student, with a 3.9 GPA, is planning to transfer to Oregon State University for a bachelor’s degree in natural resources. She envisions a career working closely with organizations and agencies dedicated to preserving biodiversity and finding sustainable solutions to environmental challenges.

The All-Oregon Academic Team is part of the All-State Community College Academic Team program that started in 1994 in the states of Mississippi and Missouri. Today, 38 states host All-State Academic Team programs each year, focusing on two-year colleges and recognizing exceptional students. The OCCA sponsors the annual event, in partnership with the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, which awards some $37 million in scholarships nationally to community college students.

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