Four Spoon River College students have been named to the Phi Theta Kappa All-Illinois Academic Team as a result of their nomination to the All-USA Community College Academic Team. They are Travaughn Miller and Devon Simpson on the Macomb Campus, and Madison Draughan and Aja Lawson on the Canton Campus. Nominees are chosen on the basis of academic achievement, volunteer work, campus activities, honors, and awards.
Devon Simpson of Macomb is working towards an applied science degree in Health Information Management/Medical Assisting. She is a member of TRIO, Phi Theta Kappa, and serves as President of the HEAL Student Association. Simpson also represents Spoon River College as a Student Ambassador, volunteers with the Midwest Food Bank, and held the volunteer management position with the Summer Meals program offered through Genesis Garden/AmeriCorp.
Simpson has been on the President’s List for the past three semesters, and was the recipient of the Horatio Alger Scholarship, Fellheimer Scholarship, and a TRIO scholarship. She intends to continue studies in Health Information Management.
In addition to the All-Illinois Academic Team honor, Simpson was also named a 2021 New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar based on the All-USA Academic Team competition that had more than 2,000 applications. Simpson was the top scoring applicant in Illinois, and will receive a $1,250 scholarship, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation with additional support provided by Phi Theta Kappa.
Travaughn Miller, hometown of Indianapolis, IN, is working towards an associate degree with a business major. He is a member of TRIO, and a self-described entrepreneur with a passion for writing music and poetry. Miller was honored to share a poetic tribute in honor of Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian during a memorial landmark ceremony in Macomb and is currently partnered with John Curtis/Genesis Garden on a community involvement project.
Miller has been recognized for academic achievement on the President’s List for the past three semesters, and is the recipient of a TRIO scholarship and a Fellheimer scholarship. He plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business and audio engineering. He hopes to start his own businesses that will provide jobs for others in his community.
Madison Draughan of Cuba says she “finds pleasure in learning and education” and after completing an associate degree she plans to transfer to Eureka College to continue studies in education. She has been recognized for academic achievement on both the President’s and Dean’s lists, and was the recipient of the Tompkins-Wolf Scholarship, ICEMA Scholarship, and the Shauna Helle Scholarship.
Draughan volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and Town Clean Up, and works at Christian Ducks Learning Pond. In her free time she enjoys traveling, doing anything outdoors, and spending time with her family.
Aja Lawson of Ellisville is studying Computer Information Systems for an applied science degree, and would like to find a potential career “where the various areas of IT and music creation can be intertwined.” She has been recognized for academic achievements on the President’s and Dean’s lists, serves as the campus secretary for Phi Theta Kappa, and was the recipient of the Illinois Community College Faculty Association Scholarship and a SRC Foundation Scholarship.
While at Spoon River College, Lawson has been active in the SRC Theater program and the SRC Community Chorus, and is currently a student worker in the College’s IT department. In her free time, she enjoys singing, playing guitar and learning new instruments, working with computers and “building better ones,” and making memories with friends.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, the annual in-person Phi Theta Kappa banquet will be replaced with an online recognition that will air on YouTube on April 14. All members of the All-Illinois Academic Team will also be featured in USA Today.
Spoon River College instructors Shelli Stuart (Macomb) and Rebecca Werland (Canton) are the advisors for the Nu Delta Chapters of Phi Theta Kappa at Spoon River College.
The All-USA Academic Team is sponsored annually by Phi Theta Kappa, USA Today, and the American Association of Community Colleges. The All-State Academic Team is a division of the Academic All-USA Team for Community, Technical and Junior Colleges. It seeks to honor outstanding community college students who show intellectual rigor in their course of study, demonstrate academic, leadership, and civic growth and who extend their community college education to better themselves, their schools and their communities.