Bobby Clift receives prestigious award

Bobby Clift, was named Silver Scholar on the 2014 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team.
Bobby Clift, was named a Silver Scholar on the 2014 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team.
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Bobby Clift, an engineering major, has been named Silver Scholar on the 2014 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team and received a $1,250 scholarship at the Honor Society Annual Convention April 25 in Orlando, Florida.

According to Dalila Paredes, a biology instructor and a Phi Theta Kappa adviser, the last time someone from Amarillo College won such an award was five years ago.

“The award not only recognizes Bobby, who was a recipient, but it says a lot about AC,” Paredes said. “That we can be competitive with the rest of the nation academically.”

Paredes said factors considered when a student is considered for the award include academic excellence, intellectual rigor, leadership and service. Clift is involved in community service as well as other clubs on campus, she said.

“He’s focused, he’s determined. He works very, very hard,” Paredes said. “He’s just a good guy. I don’t even know how else to say that. You just know those good people; he’s just one of those.”

Clift said he heard about the All-USA Community College Academic Team award from Judy Carter, honors program coordinator, and Heather Atchley, student life director. A part of the application for the award was filling out an application for the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team, he said.

Clift said the award has helped him get his name out to other colleges and universities that now have sent him emails inviting him to their schools.

“It gets AC’s name out there, and maybe they will look to AC more to give more students scholarships,” he said.

AC has allowed him to get involved with the community, he said, and he credited Carter with involving him in Presidential Scholars and Atchley with getting him involved with the Student Government Association.

“If I hadn’t gotten into Presidential Scholars, I probably would have just come to school,” Clift said.

He said honors classes have allowed him to build stronger relationships with the students in his class and with the instructors.

“Some of my honors classes have been easier because you will have a lot less students in the class and you will have one-on-one conversations, one-on-one relationships with your teacher,” he said.

Clift traveled to China last summer with the Presidential Scholars He also is an honor student, a Blue Blazer, an SGA parliamentarian, is involved with the AC Engineering Society and is a Phi Theta Kappa member.

According to Paredes, each school that has a PTK chapter can nominate two people to go into the pool; then the state is represented by the nominations from each school. The state later sends the nominees to the national level, where the decision is made.

The second nominee from AC was Chaysen Viner, a biology/pre-med major, who is the PTK president and also went to Florida in order to attend the PTK conference.

“In that conference there are lots of workshops, especially leadership workshops,” Paredes said. “Being the president of Phi Theta Kappa, I think he can learn a lot from other people around the nation.”

Viner wrote in an email that he would be able see how other clubs are working, take notes to bring ideas for fundraisers and gain ideas that could benefit the campus.

“I also plan to take away new leadership skills from listening to the various seminars that will be taking place at ‘Nerd Nation,’” he wrote.

Paredes said Viner has the qualities to be a leader and is able to motivate a team.

“Chaysen has actually been a leader his whole life,” Paredes said. “He knows what it takes to be excellent.”

Paredes said that because Viner was a nominee, he would be recognized for that as well.

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