Nursing student receives scholarship award

Kristian CornellBy James Walls
Copy editor

This year, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) awarded Kristian Cornell as the Coca-Cola Silver Scholar, an award that recognizes students for their grades, personal circumstances and how well they help others through their All-USA Community College Academic Team competition. Cornell, a nursing major who was selected from a list of more than 1,800 student nominees, felt “incredibly honored” to be chosen for the $1,250 scholarship award.

Having an active role in PTK, Cornell spends a lot of time planning meetings, organizing fundraisers, participating in activities and visiting with members at the Nevada campus where she attends. She stated that the most beneficial aspect of the organization is “the brilliant minds and cohesiveness of the honor society.”

“Everyone cares about the bigger picture and makes others feel like they are respected,” she said, relating her opinion of the society.

In PTK, the international honor society, grades are an important factor, requiring students to maintain above a 3.0 grade point average. While she refuses to procrastinate on tasks, she did admit to sometimes feeling overwhelmed by homework.

“I tell myself to complete what I can every day and keep working hard,” Cornell said. “The only way, in my mind, to not feel overwhelmed is to take it one assignment at a time.”

Cornell said that one of her greatest weakness is stretching herself too thin between raising her son, college, activities and work. However, according to her, her greatest strength is goal setting.

“I enjoy setting goals that require stepping out of my comfort zone and achieving success,” she said, a fact that could explain her active role in PTK.

“She’s been very active in activities here on the campus, such as Phi Theta Kappa and our student activities, as well as being student ambassador for the past year,” said Donna Thomas, Director of the Nevada campus, who has worked with Cornell fairly regularly the past year.

The three words Thomas used to describe Cornell were “dedicated, determined, and highly-motivated.”

“She’s just top notch,” Thomas said. “She’s going to be the kind of nurse I’d want to take care of me if I’m in the hospital.”

In her free time, Cornell said she enjoys spending family time with her six year old son, often eating ice cream and watching movies. For her, this is her favorite thing to do when not having to worry about college life and all that it encompasses.

Still, college is a big part of her life, often putting in four to five hours a night studying after her son goes to bed. And, through her study habits and leadership skills, she has been recognized for her work, earning the title of 2013’s Coca-Cola Silver Scholar.