Lorain County Community College students Margaret Box and Son Phan earned All-Ohio Academic Team honors at an awards ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium in Columbus on May 2.
Box and Phan were selected to the All-Ohio Academic Team Third Team. They received a $100 cash scholarship and an all-Ohio medallion.
Box, of Westlake, will graduate this spring from LCCC with an associate of applied business – business administration marketing degree. She will graduate with a 3.81 grade point average.
Phan, an international student from Vietnam who lives in Elyria, is concurrently working on an associate of science degree from LCCC and a bachelor of science degree in computer science and engineering from the University of Toledo through the LCCC University Partnership program. He will graduate from LCCC with a 3.81 grade point average.
Box and her husband Gary have three sons, one of which attends LCCC’s University Partnership. They turned their hobby of building performance engines for muscle cars into a business and that’s why she sought a marketing degree. She handles all of the marketing, advertising, website and bookkeeping while Gary runs the shop.
She had been working at a fast-food restaurant for years because it was convenient while raising a family, but the decision to start their own business pushed her to attend LCCC. “In order to leave the restaurant industry I needed to advance my education…LCCC was the answer,” she said.
Box also got involved in LCCC’s chapter of Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE). SIFE is an international non-profit organization active on more than 1,400 campuses in 48 countries. SIFE teams organize outreach projects that focuses on: market economics, entrepreneurship, personal financial success skills, and business ethics.
An unexpected thing happened to Box. Both she and her son Christopher joined SIFE and have been extremely active in the organization. “Christopher and I connected through SIFE. We found ourselves ‘hanging out’ together in Student Life and talking about projects. It enabled us to share many experiences,” she said.
Box has won a variety of awards while at LCCC including Outstanding Business Administration Student and the SIFE Leadership Award. She has also been a part of the SIFE team that won the Club Leadership Award and a Regional SIFE Championship. She has been on the Dean’s List throughout her career at LCCC.
Phan came to the United States in 2002 through the International Student Exchange program and was assigned to Lorain Southview High School. He graduated with a 4.0 grade point average and honors. It was at this time he decided to return to the U.S. and Elyria for his college education.
“Through the post secondary enrollment options program I became familiar with LCCC,” Phan said. “I have been growing with LCCC for three years and consider myself blessed in the living and learning environment that inspires my vision of a bright future.”
Phan’s goal is to become a computer hardware engineer. But in the meantime he has been giving back to other students at LCCC. He has worked since 2003 as a math tutor and since 2004 as a computer lab assistant.
“It was an excellent and privileged opportunity that I was able to add a small contribution by being a part of the academic support team, from whom I learned that intelligence and knowledge would be meaningless if it were not to be shared,” Phan said.
Phan’s awards include a LCCC Foundation scholarship for computer science and engineering students, the Outstanding Achievement in Math Award from the LCCC division of Science and Mathematics, the Dean’s List, an Honorable Mention in the North East Region International Collegiate Programming Contest and the Presidential Gavel for the Lake Erie Model United Nations Corporation Northcoast XXIV region.
Created in 1997, the All-Ohio Academic Team provides recognition to outstanding students in Ohio’s 23 public two-year colleges. The program is sponsored by the Association of Community Colleges (OACC), Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, Honda of America Mfg., Inc., KnowledgeWorks Foundation, and the Robert and Lynne Haehnlen Sprague Scholarship Fund in Honor of Joshua Haehnlen Sprague and Sean Haehnlen Sprague.
To be eligible, students must be nominated by their college president to the All-USA Academic Team. Nominees must be graduating during the 2006-2007 academic year, and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25. Winners are selected based on leadership qualities, community service and academic performance.