Southwest Students Named to All-Tennessee Academic Team

For more information, contact:
Robert Jackson
901-333-4116
rjackson@southwest.tn.edu

April 6, 2017 - Twenty-six of the state's highest achieving community college students were honored at a special ceremony in Nashville. Representing Tennessee's Community Colleges, the outstanding students were named to the 2017 All-Tennessee Academic Team. Each of the state's 13 community colleges selects two outstanding students to recognize for their academic achievement, leadership and service to the community. The outstanding students representing Southwest Tennessee Community College are Carter Sanders and Johnnie McKinnie.

Johnnie McKinnie

Johnnie McKinnie

Sanders is majoring in biology and business with a current GPA of 3.8. He graduates May 2017 and will attend a four-year university to pursue his degree in biology. In addition to being academically successful, Sanders is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa, a Student Ambassador, Student Government Association (SGA) representative and participates in Project M.O.S.T. A basketball player in high school, Sanders decided to become an orthopedic surgeon after breaking his leg. Outside Southwest, he is active in community service projects and has a full-time job. "This recognition means the word to me because it inspires me to keep pushing even when times get tough because at the end it will all be worth it," says Sanders.

McKinnie is studying music and will graduate May 2017 with an Associate of Science degree. His current GPA is 3.54. He plans to continue his studies at the University of Memphis in the fall and earn his bachelor's degree in Commercial Music. McKinnie's ultimate goal is to teach music at the elementary or middle school level. He is a member of SGA representing the Macon Cove campus. Outside Southwest, McKinnie is a youth counselor at his church, works with the church's after-school program, helping kids to improve their reading skills and works part time. "This recognition means a lot to me. I am a non-traditional student and coming back to school after being out of high school for 10 years has been a bit of a struggle," says McKinnie.

Carter Sanders

Carter Sanders

"It's a pleasure to have this opportunity to recognize the hard work, dedication and commitment these students have exhibited at their colleges," Dr. Flora W. Tydings, chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, said. "They've achieved a high degree of success not only in the classroom, but they've made significant contributions to their communities through their volunteer efforts and leadership skills."

The All-Tennessee Academic Team is comprised of students nominated by their colleges to be considered for the All-USA Academic Team, sponsored by USA Today and Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education, with more than two million members and 1,200 chapters in the U.S. and beyond. Students must have a 3.5 grade point average to qualify for membership.

Southwest Tennessee Community College

  • Carter Sanders
  • Johnnie McKinnie