LINCOLN — Six Northeast Community College students were recognized recently in Lincoln for being named to the 2019 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-Nebraska Academic Team.

Shanae Baker of Petersburg, Lizbeth Bustos-Salcido of South Sioux City, Logan Connot of O’Neill, Preston Dickau of Atkinson, Whitney Lindsay of Norfolk and Viviana Villarreal of South Sioux City joined 21 other all-state team members from five other Nebraska community colleges in a ceremony at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Lincoln.

The all-state academic team is sponsored by PTK – an international honor society for two-year colleges – and the Nebraska Community College Association, to honor students for academic achievement, leadership and service.

District 29 State Sen. Kate Bolz served as guest speaker during the ceremony.

The 27 honorees were each introduced and presented Nebraska All-State Academic Team medallions and certificates. 

Connot is a business administration major at Northeast in Norfolk. She is vice president of scholarships for Northeast’s PTK Tau Chi Chapter, a peer advisor and a volunteer for Meals on Wheels. She has been named to the dean’s list and achieved PTK honors in Action 5, Star Project and College Project.

Her career goal is to become a high school or college-level business teacher.

“I want to teach students how to budget, plan for finances in the future, and overall, be wise with their money. I feel this is an extremely important aspect of life, and many schools, like my own, did not teach students even the simple task of budgeting. I feel it needs to be a more popular subject in schools because it involves real life situations. Money is rare for many people, but it is thrown away like trash,” she said.

Connot plans to transfer to Wayne State College to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Dickau is an auto body technology major at Northeast Community College. He has been named to the president’s list and is PTK’s New Century Pathway Scholar for Nebraska. He has been active in the Auto Body Club, SkillsUSA and various campus activities.

Dickau was one of the students selected to speak at the event in Lincoln. He said while his peers and his community have shaped him, “The one belief I stand behind the most is that your integrity shows forth in everything that you do.”

He said he has a goal to join the work force and raise industry standards.

“Aside from being honest and producing quality repairs, my education is second to none and this will help me achieve my goal of exceptional service,” he said. “I strive to get the most out of my education to make me the best auto body technician I can be. This will help me to become a leader in the industry and someday own my own successful shop.”

Upon graduation from Northeast, Dickau will continue his work at Ernie’s Body Shop in Atkinson.

Last year, more than 800 of the country’s finest community college students competed for recognition, sponsors on the national team and cash stipends. 

Northeast Phi Theta Kappa sponsors are Colleen Barnes, criminal justice/sociology instructor; Andrea Suhr, physical therapist assistant instructor in Norfolk; and Cara Watchorn, student support specialist in South Sioux City.


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