Niles students named to All-Michigan academic team

Published 9:18 am Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Submitted photo Lake Michigan College students left to right are: Joseph Franc, Syed Husain and Kurt Wendland during the Phi Theta Kappa All-Michigan Academic Team ceremony in Lansing (not pictured: Lynne Christiano).

Submitted photo
Lake Michigan College students left to right are: Joseph Franc, Syed Husain and Kurt Wendland during the Phi Theta Kappa All-Michigan Academic Team ceremony in Lansing (not pictured: Lynne Christiano).

Four Lake Michigan College students were selected to represent the College in the All-USA Academic Team competition. By virtue of their nominations to compete for the All-USA Academic Team, the students have been named to the Phi Theta Kappa All-Michigan Academic Team.

The students were honored, along with nominees from other community colleges across the state, at a ceremony held last month in Lansing and hosted by the Michigan Community College Association.

The students representing LMC were:

• Lynne Christiano, of St. Joseph, will complete her associate’s degree this spring and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration or organizational leadership.

Christiano has held leadership positions with a number of organizations such as the YWCA, Women’s Service League, 100 Women Strong, The Readiness Center and United Way of Southwest Michigan.

Christiano owns and operates Purely Michigan, a retail shop in St. Joseph.

• Joseph Franc, of Niles, is a participant in the Early College Academy at Lake Michigan College and is a senior at Niles High School.

He is working toward his Associate of Arts degree and plans to transfer to a four year university in the fall of 2014. Franc’s long term goal is to earn a Master of Science degree in computer engineering.

While attending school, he has been actively involved with Business Professionals of America and the robotics team. Franc has also been selected as a 2014 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Bronze Scholar.

• Syed Husain, of Niles, is a full-time student at Lake Michigan College. He is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and has been on Lake Michigan College’s President’s List for the last three semesters. Husain’s future plans include transferring to Ferris State University in the fall of 2014 to complete his bachelor’s degree in accounting, and eventually becoming a certified public accountant.

• Kurt Wendland, of Stevensville, is the president of Phi Theta Kappa, vice president of student senate and president of the LMC Science club.

As a chemistry and math tutor, he enjoys helping students progress through their academic studies.

While attending LMC, he remains committed to the community by volunteering weekly in the ER at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, as well as at Habitat for Humanity, Make a Difference Day and at local libraries to promote reading awareness. Other groups Wendland is involved in at Lake Michigan College include the sky diving and martial arts clubs.

He plans to major in biochemistry at Western Michigan University and then attend medical school to become a hand surgeon.

Students are selected to compete in the All-USA Academic team based on academic achievement, community service involvement, and leadership accomplishment. The criteria are designed to find students who excel academically; demonstrate intellectual rigor in their course of study; show academic growth and potential; and use their two-year college education to better themselves, their schools and their communities.

To be considered for nomination, students must have a 3.50 or better cumulative grade point average and intend to have a minimum of 36 semester (or 48 quarter) college-level credits completed by August 31, 2014. Thirty of the semester hours must be completed at a community college within the last five years. Candidates must also be on track to obtain an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

The All-USA Academic Team competition is sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa, Coca-Cola Foundation, New Century Scholars and USA Today. It recognizes outstanding students enrolled in community and technical colleges across the nation. From the nominations received, 20 students will be selected to the national team, each receiving a $2,500 stipend. National winners were featured in USA Today.