SHERIDAN — Sheridan College student and Gillette native Trapper Rieniets has been chosen as a 2013 New Century Scholar by the All-USA Community College Academic Team.
The New Century Scholars program and All-USA Community College Academic Team, which is presented by USA TODAY and Phi Theta Kappa and sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group, share a common application and together recognize outstanding community college students. More than 1,700 students were nominated from more than 800 community colleges for recognition. Judges consider grades, leadership, activities and how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom. Only 50 scholars are chosen for recognition.
Rieniets entered the competition through his involvement with Phi Theta Kappa, a two-year collegiate international honor society. New Century Scholars are the highest scoring students in each state, plus one student from Canada and one additional student chosen from among the remaining seven sovereign nations where Phi Theta Kappa is represented internationally. Each scholar will receive a $2,000 scholarship and plaque.
Rieniets is a student in machine tool technology and plans to graduate in May. He will return for an additional year to earn a second associate degree in business.
“Trapper is truly outstanding. He has been able to carry a full credit load and at the same time is one of the most involved students on campus,” machine tool technology instructor Randy Whyte said. “He is outgoing and is able to get along with everyone. He continues to be a leader in our Machine Tool Technology club and is a prime example of a star student.”
In addition to his academic achievement, Rieniets is currently the Student Senate financial manager, Student Senate president-elect and a resident assistant at Sheridan College. He is an active member of Phi Theta Kappa and the Outdoor club.
Phi Theta Kappa advisor and SC English instructor Sarah Sinclair said, “Trapper’s perseverance and consistent positive attitude are refreshing. He is also conscientious and hardworking — traits that make him a natural leader and an ideal student. Anyone who knows him would agree that he is very deserving of this prestigious award.”
Rieniets will be awarded the scholarship at the 2013 American Association of Community Colleges convention in April in San Francisco. The New Century Scholars Program is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Phi Theta Kappa and the American Association of Community Colleges.
“I was shocked when I was told about my selection,” Rieniets said. “To be recognized along with other students throughout the nation is truly an honor. My instructors have helped me to understand the true value of a well-rounded education. My plan is to couple my machine tool skills with business and finance skills so that I have more options in the future. I want to move up in management or become an entrepreneur and start my own business. I know I can do it.”