SHERIDAN, Wyo. — Sheridan College Machine Tool Technology student, Trapper Rieniets, has been selected as the 2013 Wyoming New Century Scholar by the All-USA Community College Academic Team. Rieniets, 21, grew up near Gillette. As a high-school student, he competed in swimming and rodeo and was also honored as an Eagle Scout.
He will graduate from Sheridan College in May with an associate’s degree in Machine Tool Technology, and plans to return to Sheridan College for one more year in order to earn a second Associate degree in Business.
According to Phi Theta Kappa advisor and SC English Instructor, Sarah Sinclair, “Trapper’s perseverance and consistent positive attitude are refreshing. He is also contentious 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.” Fifty community college students from the United States, Canada, and the Federated States of Micronesia have been selected to receive this honor. Rieniets entered the competition through his involvement with Phi Theta Kappa- 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.
“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,” said Machine Tool Technology Instructor, Randy Whyte. “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.” 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 most importantly, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.
“I was shocked when I was told about my selection,” said Rieniets. “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.”
Rieniets is currently the Student Senate Financial Manager, Student Senate President-Elect and an RA at Sheridan College. He is an active member of PTK and the Outdoor club. He 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 American Association of Community Colleges.
Article and picture provide by Sheridan College's Director of Marketing & Public Information Wendy Smith.