Jemima Spill, center, a UNM-LA student selected to the All-State Academic Team, was honored at the State Capitol in Santa Fe during the Legislative Session. She is pictured here with UNM-LA CEO Dr. Cindy Rooney, right, and her mother Mary Spill. Courtesy/UNM-LA
University of New Mexico-Los Alamos sophomore Jemima Spill was selected in January as a 2016 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar.
The 19-year-old from Española will receive the $1,250 scholarship provided by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, in September. She will graduate with an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts Degree in May.
Spill said she plans to use the money to help pay her tuition at UNM-LA, and as she continues working toward a doctorate degree in 19th Century British and American Literature and a minor in 19th Century British and American history.
“In the fall, I will be transferring to a 4-year university out of state,” Spill said. “I have been accepted to several universities and am currently choosing which one is best for me. Not only will the money help me pay for my continued education, but the scholarship will eventually help me get into graduate school by showing that I am a dedicated student.”
Selection as a Coca-Cola Silver Scholar was based on scores Spill earned in the Phi Theta Kappa All-USA Community College Academic Team competition, for which more than 1,900 applications nationally were received this year. Phi Theta Kappa is a worldwide honor society for two-year college students, of which Spill is the current Vice-President of UNM-LA’s chapter, Beta Zeta Chi.
To be considered for the PTK All-USA Academic Team, Spill had to pass an eligibility quiz that included a GPA filter, and to complete an application that included writing several short essays and two long essays. Students are also chosen based on their outstanding efforts in extracurricular activities that demonstrate leadership and service beyond the classroom. Spill is an active member of student government and also serves as a campus ambassador, assisting with new student orientation, College Days, and welcoming students to campus.
“Jemima is a delight to have on campus, always willing to help and get involved,” said Elizabeth Rademacher, UNM-LA Academic Student Success Manager and Phi Theta Kappa Chapter Advisor. “I am thrilled at this recognition she is receiving. She’s worked very hard and done it with a smile.”
The PTK All-USA Academic Team recognition was awarded to Spill by the New Mexico Association of Community Colleges and the New Mexico Independent Community Colleges, and was presented to Spill on Community College Day during the legislative session in Santa Fe. The awards event included a tour of the State Capitol, recognition of team members in the House of Representatives and State Senate, and a formal awards ceremony with fellow nominees, community college leaders, and state officials.
“I think UNM-LA is an often overlooked treasure in our community. Attending school here has been an ideal opportunity for me to get an associate degree while still working, living at home, and being surrounded by my support group,” Spill added. “UNM-LA also has outstanding professors who I have had close working relationships with because of the intimate size of our campus. The teachers here are dedicated and sincere, truly wanting their students to succeed, and I am very grateful to them.”
UNM-LA offers 21 Associate Degree programs and six Certificate programs. For more information or to enroll, visit losalamos.unm.edu or call UNM-LA Student Services, 505.662.0332.