Five Central Arizona College Students Earn All-Arizona Academic Honors

By Angela Askey, Executive Director Public Relations and Marketing 

Five of Central Arizona College’s outstanding students have been selected to the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society All-Arizona Academic Team. 

The All Arizona Academic Team awards are positive collaboration between Arizona's community colleges and the state universities in providing educational opportunities for students. 

Audrey Bimbi (Signal Peak Campus), Olivia Jaqua (Superstition Mountain Campus) and Tigest Maru (San Tan Campus) were awarded First Team honors and each received a $1,000 scholarship. Cassandra Holcombe (Maricopa Campus) was named a Second Team member, receiving a $750 scholarship. Edward Aguirre (Aravaipa Campus) was chosen as a Third Team member and was granted a $500 scholarship.

The awards were announced at the All-Arizona Academic Team Recognition Ceremony held at the Hilton Phoenix/Mesa on Thursday, March 3, 2016.

Phi Theta Kappa, USA Today, community college presidents, and community college state associations co-sponsor All-State Academic Team recognition programs in 32 states. Students nominated to the All-USA Academic Team are automatically named to the All-State Academic Team. Ranking on the All-State team is determined by the student's score in the national competition. Nominations are based on outstanding academic performance and service to the college and community.

Recipients are also eligible for full tuition scholarships to any of state’s three public universities: Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University or the University of Arizona.

Audrey Bimbi (Signal Peak Campus) – First Team  

Bimbi, holds a 4.0 grade point average and plans to transfer to either Arizona State University or the University of Arizona to pursue a government/political science degree to achieve her goal of becoming an attorney. A member of Phi Theta Kappa, Bimbi has served as Vice President of the college project and is a contributing writer for the CAC college newspaper, “The Cactus."

Olivia Jaqua (Superstition Mountain Campus) – First Team  

Following her graduation from CAC, Jaqua plans to transfer to Northern Arizona University to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. She has served as an executive officer of the student leadership organization and Phi Theta Kappa, and was named honors student of the year in 2014-2015. Jaqua is a blood drive captain and volunteers in the emergency room of Mountain Vista Medical Center. She also has received a Rotary Club scholarship, Soroptomist International Scholarship and Who’s Who Among Student recognition.

Tigest Maru (San Tan Campus) – First Team  

Maru is a nursing major who holds a 4.0 grade point average. She plans to transfer to Northern Arizona University to further her education and become a Surgical First Assistant. Maru is involved in the student nursing associations; CASNA and NSNA. She is a Frank Lanza Memorial Scholarship recipient and was recognized as the San Tan Campus Phi Theta Kappa Distinguished Officer for 2014-2015.She also was honored with Exemplary Leadership at Central Arizona College and Pinal County in Celebration of Women’s Herstory 2015.  

Cassandra Holcombe (Maricopa Campus) – Second Team  

During her time at CAC, Holcombe has been a student leadership officer and is involved with the Honors Program and Phi Theta Kappa. Additionally, she is a writing tutor for the Title V program and volunteers countless hours at humane societies throughout the area. She completed the Honors 204, 205 and one seminar class and received Dean’s List honors in 2014. Holcombe plans to pursue a career in sales and marketing or public relations at either Arizona State University or Northern Arizona University while continuing to be an active volunteer in her community.

Edward Aguirre (Aravaipa Campus) – Third Team  

Aguirre serves as the Aravaipa Campus Student Leadership Vice President, Phi Theta Kappa Vice President, Science Club Vice President, and We Are Will Power Community online support group administrator. During his time at CAC he has been recognized with Dean’s List and Who’s Who Scholar honors. He represented the college as a SPPF representative in Washington D.C. and has received other numerous awards. Upon receiving a Doctorate of Nursing Practice, Aguirre plans to work as a nurse practitioner delivering health care that ensures no one experiences discrimination or compromises their health because of their identity while counseling obese youth for their emotional and nutritional needs.

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814