Phi Theta Kappa/AACC Award $50,000 in Frank Lanza Healthcare Scholarships

Jackson, MS – Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), with the generous support of CAE Healthcare and L-3 Communications, Inc., have awarded $50,000 in scholarships to the 2015 Frank Lanza Scholars. Twenty community college students were selected to receive up to $2,500 each for completion of associate degrees.

The Lanza Scholarship program targets part-time, full-time and international students who have completed 50 percent of their coursework toward an associate degree in nursing, emergency medical services or respiratory care programs offered by regionally accredited community colleges. Phi Theta Kappa membership is not part of the application or judging criteria; however, the majority of the 2015 recipients were Society members. A panel of independent judges selected the recipients by application based on academic and leadership endeavors as well as community service.

The 2015 Lanza Scholars are:

Emelita Bardzell, Passaic County Community College, New Jersey

Tim Batz, Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana

Ana Checa Vilela, Florida SouthWestern State College, Florida

Carmit Cohen, College of the Canyons, California

Lisa Denmark, SUNY Monroe Community College, New York

Jeffrey Glass, University of Pittsburgh-Titusville, Pennsylvania

Michael Klein, Lansing Community College, Michigan

Kristin LaValle, College of the Mainland, Texas

Monica Lichtenwalner, Bucks County Community College, Pennsylvania

Tigest Maru, Central Arizona College, Arizona

Tiffanee Merritt, Northwest Mississippi Community College, Mississippi

Jeannean O’Connell, St. Petersburg College, Florida

Laura O’Keefe-Fontaine, St. Petersburg College, Florida

Beatrix Perez, Manchester Community College, Connecticut

Wendy Prairie, Jackson College, Michigan

Teal Rosinsky, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Wisconsin

Christie Schreiner, Calhoun Community College, Alabama

Leorelkys Villar, SUNY Suffolk County Community College, New York

Cassandra Westgate, Mt. Hood Community College, Oregon

Evan Winney, Rogue Community College, Oregon

This will be the last year the Lanza Scholarships are presented, as the funding for the program has been completed. Over the past six years, 120 students have received more than $300,000 in scholarships through this program.

“We are grateful to Lou Oberndorf, CAE Healthcare and L-3 Communications, Inc. for their generosity in providing funds for this program over the last six years,” said Phi Theta Kappa Foundation CEO Dr. Nancy Rieves. “The Lanza Scholarships have helped many community college students meet the high cost of completing these rigorous health-related programs.”

Frank Lanza served in the U.S. Coast Guard during the Korean War. He was a member of the board of directors for the Coast Guard Foundation and received the 2003 Distinguished Corporate Leadership award from the Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’ and Airmen’s Club. Lanza was also a member of the board of governors for the Aerospace Industries Association and the American Italian Cancer Foundation. A philanthropist, he and his wife supported a variety of charities through a family foundation.

Lanza founded L-3 Communications in 1997, a global aerospace and defense company that has grown to $15 billion in annual revenues and employs approximately 66,000 people worldwide. With its corporate headquarters in New York City, L-3 is a leader in C3ISR systems (command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), aircraft modernization and maintenance, government services and specialized products that serve the military, homeland security, aviation and other commercial markets. L-3 customers include the U.S. Department of Defense, other U.S. government agencies, allied foreign governments and commercial customers. Under his leadership as chairman and CEO, L-3 became the nation’s sixth largest defense contractor, comprised of more than 73 operating units, among them Medical Education Technologies, Inc. (METI), now known as CAE Healthcare.

In honor of Lanza’s visionary business leadership and generous commitment to charitable causes, Lou Oberndorf, founder and retired chairman of METI, initiated the endowment of the Frank Lanza Memorial Scholarship, which was funded by L-3 Communications, METI (now CAE Healthcare), AACC, and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Oberndorf and his wife, Rosemary, also recently established the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship. Lou Oberndorf also serves as a Trustee of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation.

Based in Washington, D.C., AACC is the primary advocacy organization for community colleges at the national level and works closely with directors of state offices to inform and to affect state policy. AACC represents almost 1,200 two-year, associate degree-granting institutions and more than 13 million students.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, eight other sovereign nations, and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 134,000 students inducted annually.

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