Thomas Nelson Students Named to All-Virginia Academic Team

Published: May 9, 2008

Thomas Nelson Community College students Eduardo Davila-Reyes, Ashley Wiggins and Kelli Cutler have been named to the 2008 All-Virginia Academic Team. Selection is based on the nominations submitted by two-year colleges for the All-USA Academic Team, an international competition co-sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society, USA TODAY and the American Association of Community Colleges. Davila-Reyes and Wiggins will be graduating from TNCC on May 13 at the College’s thirty-ninth Annual Commencement Ceremony to take place at 7:00 p.m. at the Hampton Coliseum.

Davila-Reyes has attended TNCC since fall 2006 pursuing an Associate of Science and an Associate of Social Science degree. This fall, he will transfer to the College of William & Mary to pursue a degree in Biology or Neuroscience with a minor in Biochemistry. He aspires to become a pharmacist.

Davila-Reyes has been a PTK member since spring 2007. He has served as a volunteer for several PTK events and also was part of a group of PTK students who cleaned up a waterway in Virginia Beach. Davila-Reyes has also been a tutor in the College’s Tutorial Center helping other students with various math courses. He has also been a note-taker for a visually impaired TNCC student, has been involved with the College’s Science Club and the Student Ambassador Program. Davila-Reyes credits a TNCC adjunct faculty member for the passion he has developed for the sciences. “Ms. Carla Briscoe is the best teacher I have ever had,” he says. “She has encouraged me to learn and to keep going when things seemed really difficult. She also encouraged me to become a tutor for other students which has helped me realize that I can also make a different in a person’s life.” Davila-Reyes is one of four TNCC students who will be graduating May 13 who have completed the College’s Honors Program.

Ashley Wiggins joined TNCC in the fall 2001 to pursue a degree in Administration of Justice. She became a PTK member in fall 2004. She has served this organization as a Chapter Vice-President (2005-06), Chapter President (2006-07) and as the Virginia Region Vice-President (2007-08). While holding these positions, she was twice recognized to the PTK Hall of Honor. In 2007-08, she also received the Phi Theta Kappa International Award for 2008 Distinguish Regional Officer.

Wiggins has been actively involved in the campus life at TNCC. She has served as Secretary/Treasurer for the Student Government Association, served on the College Council as a student representative and was part of the work-study program assisting in the Office of Outreach and Recruitment. She has also taken many opportunities for personal and as a professional growth by volunteering at many campus events. She says, “Thomas Nelson has a variety of opportunities for leadership, scholarship and civic engagement. It was up to me to take advantage of them and I am proud to say I did.” Upon her graduation from TNCC, Wiggins will continue to pursue her education at Ferrum College where she plans to major in Business Administration. Her professional goal is to obtain a masters degree and work in the Human Resources field. Ashley is a second generation TNCC student. Her mother is also a TNCC graduate.

Kelli Cutler enrolled at Thomas Nelson Community College in 2004 to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse. Cutler had been a stay at home mother since the birth of her first child in 1985. While raising a family, she was a volunteer for the Meals on Wheels program and the Kingsmill Relay for Life event. Cutler also took an active role in her children’s school activities by becoming involved with the Parent Teacher Association of James River Elementary School in Williamsburg.

Cutler has been a member of Phi Theta Kappa since 2007. She has been actively involved in campus activities and has assisted in the organization of Pinning ceremonies for other graduating classes. Upon her graduation in December 2008 she plans to seek employment at a local hospital. Her interest is to assist pregnant women in labor and delivery.

Students named to the 2008 All-Virginia Academic Team were recognized by the Virginia Community College System during an awards luncheon which took place in April at the Omni Hotel in Richmond. The three students received a medallion and a certificate in recognition of their scholarly achievements and their involvement with the community.

For additional information, please contact the Office of Public Relations at 825-3811.

Release #08-0531

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