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News Release

Date: April 20, 2009
Media Contacts: Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970; Marcus Rosano, 240-567-4022

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Montgomery College Students Honored for Academics and Community Service
Daniela Pila, Sheena Austria and Nadia ElFallah Named to 2009 Coca-Cola All-State Academic Teams

Note to editors: For high-resolution images to accompany this release, click on the link below. http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/news/highresolutionimages/09/coca_cola_academic_team/

Three Montgomery College students—Daniela Pila, Sheena Austria and Nadia ElFallah—recently received national recognition in USA Today as members of the 2009 Coca-Cola All-State Community College Academic Team. As a Silver Scholar, Pila has earned a $1,250 scholarship and a special medallion. Finalists Austria and ElFallah have earned $1,000 scholarships.

The Coca-Cola All-State Academic Team is a scholarship program that recognizes outstanding students who are dedicated to academics and their communities. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the awards in partnership with Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, an international honor society for two-year colleges. Pila, Austria and ElFallah are all members of Phi Theta Kappa at Montgomery College.

“I am very proud of Daniela, Sheena and Nadia for their accomplishments at Montgomery College and their service to our community,” said Dr. Brian K. Johnson, president of Montgomery College. “They represent the thousands of talented students who choose Montgomery College for their college education.” 

A native of the Philippines, Daniela Pila currently serves as president of the College’s Rockville Campus Student Senate. In this role, she has helped organize community service activities and events for students, including an egg hunt for children in the community and the campus Early Learning Center, fundraisers for a textbook scholarship for students and collections for the campus food pantry. A resident of Rockville, Pila holds the position of editor-in-chief of the Red Jacket, a student-run literary arts journal, and worked as editor of the student newspaper, the Advocate, in the spring 2008 semester. She participated in internships at the Library of Congress and the Potomac Review, a literary journal, last summer. In May, Pila will graduate from Montgomery College with an associate’s degree in general studies. She plans to transfer to Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts or McDaniel College in Maryland, where she would major in international relations and English.

An education major at the College’s Rockville Campus, Sheena Austria has an internship at Bell Elementary School. On campus, she serves as vice president of community service for the Phi Theta Kappa chapter. She has helped organize student volunteers to pack food at a local food bank, serve lunch at a homeless shelter, collect coats for a national charity and play bingo with residents at a local nursing home. Austria, a Potomac resident, is a member of the College’s Montgomery Scholars honors program and has given presentations at two honors conferences. She also attends the Philippine International Bible Church in Laytonsville, where she is a member of the worship team, plays piano in the youth band, sings in the choir, and teaches Sunday School. Austria will earn her associate’s degree in general studies this May and an Associate of Arts in Teaching (A.A.T.) later this summer. She intends to transfer to a four-year university to study education or English.

A Germantown resident, Nadia ElFallah is a member of the Renaissance Scholars honors program on the College’s Germantown Campus. She currently holds the position of vice president of the Phi Theta Kappa chapter on campus. She has helped organize a collection of winter clothing for women and children in Afghanistan, and collections for the campus food pantry and for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Outside of classes, ElFallah works part time as a lifeguard at the Germantown Indoor Swim Center. During her summers, she also coaches a swim team, the Germantown Torpedoes. This May, ElFallah will graduate from Montgomery College with an associate’s degree. She will transfer to a four-year college to study international relations.  

For more information about the Coca-Cola All-State Community College Academic Team, visit the Phi Theta Kappa Web site at: www.ptk.org. For more information about Montgomery College, visit www.montgomerycollege.edu.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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