Taking academic, service and leadership skills beyond the classroom are members of the Texas All-State Academic Team including Lone Star College-CyFair’s Ana Alza and LSC-Fairbanks Center’s Ernesto Joubran.
These two outstanding scholars selected to represent LSC-CyFair join some 80 students representing the top 40 community colleges statewide. Sponsoring the state team and recognizing these students with a certificate, medallion and a recent ceremony in Austin are the Texas Association of Community Colleges and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
“Ana Alza is an exceptional student who embodies the title ‘servant leader,’” said Esther Robinson, LSC-CyFair’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter advisor. “As a member of the LSC-CyFair Model United Nations delegation and officer of the Beta Lambda Mu Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, Ana has shown exceptional scholarship and leadership skills. She’s just been an absolute pleasure to work with this year!”
Getting involved with LSC-CyFair faculty and student clubs on campus, as well as outreach in the community through Phi Theta Kappa service projects, helped Alza decide what she wants to do in life. She said as part of last year’s Model UN delegation, she learned the basic of politics and enjoyed it so much that it has become a career goal, but not until after graduate school.
“It feels good to be recognized for the work you do not just at your community college but statewide,” said Alza, a political science major. “It’s nice to know my work means something.”
With a scholarship opportunity through the Texas All-State Academic Team, Alza plans to transfer to Rice University in the fall.
Another Phi Theta Kappa member, Joubran, began taking basic courses three years ago at LSC-Fairbanks Center. Soccer was his passion, so with 12 years experience in Italy, he volunteered as a coach for ages 6 to 7 and recently led his Cy-Fair Youth Soccer team to a winning season. Now he is also ready to transfer to a four-year university as a pre-med student.
“Ernesto came to us from Italy as an international student and was extremely excited about starting his education here in the United States,” said LSC-Fairbanks Center’s Assistant Dean of Student Services Connie Garrick. “I remember meeting him for the first time and found that Ernesto has an eagerness to learn and is dedicated to excellence, which is reflected in all he does.”
Joubran said being part of the Texas All-State Academic Team was unexpected and when he told his family, they were all ecstatic.
Prior to LSC-CyFair, Joubran had a volunteer opportunity to live 24/7 for six weeks at a Kenyan orphanage his grandfather helped build. Doing whatever was needed – changing diapers, making beds, folding clothes, cooking, cutting grass, helping build a first aid hospital as well as driving sick people to and helping out at the village hospital, managing study groups and children’s activities, playing soccer with the children - was a touching experience, he said.
“Going back to Italy after my Kenyan experience, my parents rewarded me with a vacation in Houston where I fell in love with the medical system and thought it would be great to study here since the school system is great, too. Everything came together,” said Joubran, who had once considered becoming a pro soccer player. “I wanted to do my best to make sure my life had meaning. Now, I have new goals.”
This summer, in addition to hosting a soccer camp, he plans to volunteer time at his church and has applied for a volunteer opportunity at North Cypress Medical Center. In the fall, he will focus his studies toward becoming a sports medicine doctor or a surgeon.
For information on the Texas All-State Academic Team, go to www.ptk.org/schol/allstate. For information on LSC-CyFair’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, contact Robinson at 281.290.3994. For information on LSC-CyFair or LSC-Fairbanks Center, go to LoneStar.edu.