GHC Nominates Three Students for All-USA Academic Team

Posted on: Feb, 9, 2024

GHC Nominates Three Students for All-USA Academic Team

Grays Harbor College nominated three students for the 2023-24 All-USA Academic Team, a national recognition program sponsored by the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and college presidents. Emily Fry, Charles Gumecindo, and Lillie Perdue were announced as nominees at Thursday’s GHC Board of Trustees meeting, where each student was surprised with a scholarship from the Grays Harbor College Foundation in addition to the award from Phi Theta Kappa.

The All-USA Academic Team honors outstanding students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines.  Participating schools can nominate up to four students per campus, two who will transfer, and two who will enter the workforce before fall 2024.  Both Charles Gumecindo and Lillie Perdue will transfer after graduating GHC, while Emily Fry will enter the workforce.

“I am excited to nominate Emily Fry, Charles Gumecindo, and Lillie Perdue for the All-USA Academic Team,” said vice president of student services at GHC, Dr. Cal Erwin-Svoboda. “The three nominees have such varied backgrounds and career goals, but are all three outstanding students committed to their education and making a difference. For these reasons and more, they are excellent representatives of GHC.”

GHC nominated three students for Phi Theta Kappa's All-USA Academic Team. From left: Emily Fry, Charles Gumecindo, and Lillie Perdue.

Emily Fry

Emily Fry is enrolled in GHC’s Nursing Associate Degree program.  On her application for the All-USA Academic Team, Fry shared that her career goals include becoming a labor and delivery registered nurse. While she will be entering the workforce after graduation, she has the goal to eventually return to school to pursue a master’s degree.

For Fry, “Healthcare was an obvious choice because it combines science and taking care of people,” both of which she had an interest in from a very early age. When asked how GHC helped prepare her for nursing, Fry said, “My community college has helped prepare me to be successful because they are training me how to think critically as a nurse needs to. They are doing this not just through academics, but through clinical experience as well. It is important to have both aspects because prioritization and problem-solving is much different on paper than it is in real life.”

Charles Gumecindo

GHC’s second nominee, Charles Gumecindo, is earning an Associate in Business – Direct Transfer degree and plans to transfer to Central Washington University to study accounting. Gumecindo chose CWU, “as they offer the full bachelor’s online which is perfect for me and my family.” During a transfer fair at GHC, he found that, “Central assists with finding accounting internships even to those working online which helps a lot and is something I plan on doing.”

Online options both at GHC and beyond can truly impact access to education, as well as programs such as Running Start, which Gumecindo participated in prior to enrolling full time. On his application, Gumecindo shared that he is motivated by wanting to make his family proud and setting a good example for others, “I've seen the impact of making my parents proud and inspiring others to try harder; that impact is incredibly motivating for me and pushes me to succeed and keep up what I'm doing.”

Lillie Perdue

The third GHC nominee is Lillie Perdue.  Perdue is working towards an Associate in Arts – Direct Transfer degree.  After graduation she plans to transfer to Central Washington University to pursue a degree in Social Services.  On her application Perdue talked a little about her future career goals. “My whole life, I have always had a passion for helping others. This is why I have chosen to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Social Services. This is going to help meet achieve my career goal as a social worker. My community needs social workers right now more than ever. I come from a community with a high level of poverty and substance abuse. I want to help children escape their poor living conditions, and be their advocate for a better life.” Perdue, who is currently a 911 operator as well as being a student, cites time management skills as the key to her being successful at both being a full-time employee and full-time student. She looks forward to using the time management skills she’s learned while at GHC in her future career as a social worker.

About Phi Theta Kappa

Fry and Gumecindo are on track to graduate in 2024, while Perdue graduated from GHC this fall. All three students are well on their way to achieving their career goals, and this opportunity from Phi Theta Kappa is another push in the right direction. Phi Theta Kappa was established in 1918 and has expanded to almost 1,300 community college campuses in 11 countries. The American Association of Community Colleges recognized Phi Theta Kappa as the official honor society for two-year colleges in 1929. To learn more about the Phi Theta Kappa chapter at GHC, visit the Phi Theta Kappa page on GHC's website.