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Biology Major Recognized Nationally for Academics
April 16, 2018

A Walters State Community College student has received national recognition for academic excellence.
Rachel Eccles, a biology major from Jefferson City, is one of only 15 students in the country to be named a Guistwhite Scholar. More than 3,500 students applied. The award includes a $5,000 scholarship. Eccles was also named a 2018 Coca-Cola Silver Scholar, one of only 50 such scholars in the country. This award comes with a $1,250 scholarship. 
She was also one of only five students nationally to receive the $1,000 GEICO Creativity Scholarship.  
Eccles is the only student from Tennessee to receive these awards. 
“Rachel is very dedicated to her studies and is also very involved in out-the-classroom activities. Speaking on behalf of the college, we are very proud to count her among our students,” said Dr. Tony Miksa, president of Walters State.
“This achievement is even more impressive knowing that Rachel is a full-time dual enrollment student. She will complete her associate’s degree at Walters State two weeks prior to earning her high school diploma,” Miksa also said. 
The Guistwhite Scholarship is the second-highest scholarship offered by Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community colleges. It is named in honor of the late Dr. and Mrs. Jack Guistwhite, who established the first scholarship for transfer students. More than 3,100 students applied for this scholarship. Recipients are selected based on academic achievement, leadership accomplishments, and engagement with Phi Theta Kappa. 
The Coca-Cola Foundation funds scholarships for Coca-Cola Scholars. Selection is based on academic achievement, leadership, and engagement in college/community service.