Two TCC Students Each Receive A $90,000 Scholarship

April 9, 2014

Two Tulsa Community College Honors students were given life-changing news when they learned Wednesday, April 9 that they received a $90,000 scholarship over a three-year period to complete their bachelor's degree.

James “Jim” Presley, a Physics major and Michelle Harris, a Liberal Arts major are recipients of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, the largest private scholarship for two-year and community college transfer students in the country. These two TCC students make the fifth and sixth students from the college to receive the award since the inception in 2001.

Presley and Harris are active in the TCC Honors Program. Presley has served as honors ambassador with the honors program for both TCC Northeast and TCC Southeast Campuses. Presley also is involved with Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for two-year higher education institutions. Harris presented at the 2013 Conference of the Great Plains Honors Council, a regional organization of college and university honors programs. She was the 2013 recipient of the Kontogianes Award, an award given each year by the TCC Honors Program to recognize the outstanding honors scholar.

Both are expected to graduate in May with Presley obtaining an associate degree in Physics and Harris obtaining an associate degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis on Peace Studies.

“Presley and Harris are outstanding students and have achieved academic success, given back to their community and demonstrated perseverance and personal strength,” said TCC President Tom McKeon. “The scholarship recognizes the nation’s top community college students and TCC has been fortunate to have six recipients awarded this prestigious scholarship.”

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s intention is to remove financial barriers for outstanding students to attend top-tier transfer institutions. Each award is intended to cover a significant share of the student’s educational expenses including tuition, living expenses, books and required fees to achieve a bachelor’s degree.

Presley and Harris are among a group of 85 scholars selected from across the country to receive the award. The selection process for these awards is rigorous and highly competitive. The review panel judges the applicants based on achievement and academic ability, financial need, persistence, leadership and desire to help others.