Eastern Gateway Community College students Natalee Bommer and Greg Wickham will receive First Team All-Ohio Academic honors during a statewide event April 25 in Columbus. Both will receive scholarships.
Additionally, Boomer will receive the Gold Scholar award for being named to the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the team. She will receive a $1,500 scholarship.
When the 17th-annual awards luncheon is held in the Ohio Statehouse atrium, it will be the first time in the college's history that two students will receive first team accolades.
A Wintersville resident, Bommer maintains a 4.0 grade point average while completing her associate of arts degree. Following her graduation in May, she will transfer her credits to Youngstown State University to seek her bachelor's degree in nursing.
As vice president for public relations for the college's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Bommer recently won the Order of Athena, given to the top officers in the state. She also was among the chapter's officers receiving the Order of the Torch award, presented to the three top officer teams in the state of Ohio.
Bommer was instrumental in building the chapter's membership and member activity by establishing e-mail and Facebook connections for members. She plans and participates in induction ceremonies and fundraisers for the group. Also, she was an office volunteer for the local Red Cross and was a hospital front desk volunteer at Trinity Health System and activity coordinator volunteer at Skilled Care.
An Indian Creek High School graduate, Bommer received the Horizon Grant at Eastern Gateway. It provides free tuition for two years for qualified high school graduates. "The Horizon Grant provided more opportunities than I could afford," she said. "I was able to attend college right out of high school.
"Eastern Gateway changed my life. It provided a gateway to the world of education," Bommer said. "I will transition easier to my bachelor's degree and with less debt."
Bommer is the daughter of Daniel and Diana Bommer.
Wickham of Richmond maintains a 3.83 grade point average in pursuit of his associate of applied science in electrical engineering. "I have all my general education courses covered and some major specifics," he said in reference to transferring to the University of Akron. He will pursue a bachelor's degree in electrical or computer engineering.
For his work as president of the college's Phi Theta Kappa chapter, Wickham also received the Order of the Torch award. "My participation in Phi Theta Kappa is great for my future. The group is good for the community," he said. "It is good to volunteer your time such as helping with the Steubenville Christmas parade, member inductions and Committed to Finish, which is a program to get students to complete their degrees."
Wickham is a volunteer coach for baseball and soccer and for youth activities at the Jefferson County Sportsman Club. He likes to mentor and inspire his friends to reach goals of nutritional health and involvement in community service.
Wickham graduated from Edison Local High School and received the Horizon Grant to attend Eastern Gateway. "It has been so positive for me. I was able to stay home, have a seasonal job and have my tuition paid. Now I will graduate without debt," he said.
He is the son of Gregory "Scott" and Amy Wickham.
The All-Ohio Academic Team provides recognition to outstanding students in Ohio's 23 public two-year colleges. The program is sponsored by the Ohio Association of Community Colleges and Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Since the program began in 1997, more than $220,000 in scholarships have been awarded to hundreds of outstanding two-year college students.
To be eligible for the All-Ohio Academic Team, students must be nominated by their college president. Nominees must be eligible to graduate during the current academic year and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25. The rankings for the All-Ohio Academic Team are determined by the scores nominees receive in the All-USA Academic Team judging. Winners are selected on the basis of academic performance, demonstration of leadership, and community service involvement. Ten First Team members, ten Second Team members and Third Team members receive cash scholarships, as well as, medallions, certificates, and pins.