Two Jefferson State Students Named in Top 20 Nationwide

May 4, 2022 [email protected] Blog

Twenty of the Nation’s Top Community College Students Named to 2022 All-USA Academic Team

All USA Academic Team 2022 1

Two Jefferson State students were among the nation’s top 20 college students named to the 2022 All-USA Academic Team that will each receive a $5,000 scholarship.

Students were selected for their intellectual rigor, academic achievement, leadership, and civic growth, and for extending their educational experiences to better themselves, their colleges, and their surrounding communities. These students were nominated by their colleges for the scholarship program.

“We are extremely proud of Jefferson State Students Hannah Combs and Frank Lee for their commitment to excellence in and out of the classroom,” said Jefferson State President Keith Brown. “It is rare to have one student included in the nation’s top 20 students, but to have two at one time is quite extraordinary. Hannah and Frank are wonderful examples of perseverance and they are very deserving of this honor.”

The 2022 All-USA Academic Team is sponsored by Cengage, with additional support from Phi Theta Kappa and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). In addition to the scholarship, Team members receive a special medallion, and their college presidents receive a commemorative obelisk in recognition of their leadership. The All-USA Academic Team was officially introduced and recognized during the American Association of Community Colleges’ convention on May 2, 2022, in New York City.

“Community colleges play an important role in providing affordable education that helps students transition successfully to the workforce,” said Kevin Carlsten, Senior Vice President of the U.S. Higher Education Institutional Group at Cengage. “Unfortunately, community colleges felt the largest enrollment impact from the pandemic with a decline of nearly 15% in two years. We want to do all we can to support community college leaders and students with affordable access to quality education and are deeply inspired by the achievements of this year’s All-USA Academic Team, as prime examples of the power of learning.”

The All-USA program is widely recognized as the most prestigious academic honor for students seeking an associate degree or credential, and this year, more than 2,200 students were nominated for this award.

“The All-USA Academic team represents the very best students from the nation’s two-year colleges,” said Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, President and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa. “We are proud of their outstanding engagement both in the classroom and in their communities, and can’t wait to see the inspiring things they will do next. We thank Cengage for recognizing these student leaders and for investing in their futures.”

Hannah Combs 1 resizedHannah Combs

Jefferson State Shelby-Hoover Campus

Major: Business Administration – Entrepreneurship and Communications

Hannah is a non-speaking student and uses a letterboard for communications. She will be the first degree candidate in Alabama to use a laminated letterboard as a means of communication. Hannah is the president and primary researcher for her Phi Theta Kappa chapter. She’s also the editor of her school’s literary magazine and is set to receive an award for her writing at the Sigma Kappa Delta national convention in March. She hopes to open a consulting firm to work with school districts, advocating for non-speaking students.


Frank Lee 1 resizedFrank Lee

Jefferson State Jefferson Campus

Major: Psychology

Frank is a non-traditional and first-generation college student who plans to transfer to the University of Alabama at Birmingham and later work in mental health services. He is a U.S. Army veteran who served for 8 years. Frank helped to establish a non-profit dedicated to the historical preservation and revitalization of historic downtown Pell City. He is the vice president of Fellowship at his Phi Theta Kappa chapter and regional officer – vice president of District Two for the Alabama Region. Frank was also named a 2022 New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, the American Association of Community Colleges and Phi Theta Kappa.