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OJC Press Release ID: 2644

Monday, April 17, 2017

OJC students honored as Rising Stars

Two Otero Junior College students received Rising Star awards at a luncheon on April 11 at Arapahoe Community College’s Littleton Campus (ACC). The Colorado Community College System, its State Student Advisory Council (SSAC) and ACC produced the event. The event was sponsored by the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association (Colorado PERA).

The annual Rising Star Awards Ceremony is designed to recognize the outstanding contributions of students and staff across the Colorado Community College System to college activities and community service. Honorees must show a high level of involvement in campus leadership/activities, be enrolled in at least nine credit hours at the time of their nomination and have a GPA of 3.0.

Serena Rife and Clay West were chosen for the award by OJC’s Associated Student Government leadership as students who exemplify the best in service and leadership.

Serena Rife is an excellent student with a strong background in science. She graduated in a class of six from Branson High School.  As a high school student, Rife was an active participant in the regional science fair.  OJC faculty Wayne Beadles highlighted Rife as “an outstanding student outmatched only by her work ethic.”

Rife’s experiences at OJC during regional science fairs brought her to OJC to continue her education.  She is pursuing an Associate of Science degree before moving on to Colorado State University to study veterinary medicine.
Clay West comes from a small town in Iowa.  He came to OJC as a member of the Rodeo team after attending a bronco riding school in Texas and attracting the attention of the assistant coach. West strives for excellence, working hard to maintain a 4.0 GPA.  He was invited to join PTK during his first semester. 
This spring, West competed in the first Battle of the Scholars sponsored by the Power Creek Rodeo Company in Cheyenne, Wyo. Inspired by a mentor who sparked his interest in conservation, agriculture and livestock at the age of 10, West plans to continue his education in Crop and Soil Sciences after graduating from OJC.

Each of the honorees received a commemorative plaque at the ceremony.

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Serena Rife, a freshman from Branson, has been named a Rising Star at OJC.

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Clay West, a freshman from Iowa, has been named a Rising Star at OJC.