Calhoun Students Honored Nationally with PTK Scholarships

August 10, 2018

Decatur, AL – Calhoun Community College students Samantha Wilkerson and Kaitlyn Cheatham recently were recognized for academic achievement through scholarship awards from Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honorary society for two-year college students.

Wilkerson was selected as a 2018 Coca-Cola Leader of Promise Scholar and will receive a $1000 scholarship. The Leaders of Promise Scholarship, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, recognizes 200 Phi Theta Kappa members with awards totaling $200,000. Twenty-five of these scholarships are earmarked for Society members who are active personnel or veterans of the U.S. Military.

This year’s recipients were selected by a panel of independent judges from more than 1,200 applicants. Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars are selected based on outstanding academic achievement and demonstrated leadership potential.

The Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program was launched in 2001 to assist new Phi Theta Kappa members in obtaining an associate degree and encourage participation in Society programs. Today, the Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship is more relevant than ever as PTK, colleges and communities actively encourage the completion of a college credential, an associate degree or certificate among college students.

Cheatam was awarded the Trustmark Workforce Development Scholarship, a $200 scholarship awarded to 10 Phi Theta Kappa members in states throughout Trustmark’s marketplace who plan to enter the workforce upon completion of an associate degree or certification.

“Members of Phi Theta Kappa are committed to academic excellence, and we are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa to recognize their accomplishments,” Trustmark Senior Vice President and Director of Corporate Communications & Marketing Melanie Morgan said. “We would like to congratulate the inaugural Trustmark Workforce Development Scholarship recipients, and we look forward to seeing them develop into future leaders, as well as make significant contributions in their communities.”

Approximately 74 percent of students attending associate degree-granting colleges like Calhoun will enter the workforce following graduation, and one in four Phi Theta Kappa members is a technical student. The costs of required industry certifications are directly passed on to these students, and the Trustmark Workforce Development Scholarship is one of a growing number of scholarships available to assist with these expenses.

“From welding to nursing, many career fields require a certification prior to employment, and these certifications can be costly,” Phi Theta Kappa Foundation Executive Director Dr. Monica Marlowe said. “We are committed to removing these costs which can be a barrier to students entering the workforce. Congratulations to the first recipients of this new scholarship, and thank you to Trustmark for your support.”

“The Calhoun family is extremely proud of these two very talented and deserving students,” commented Dr. Joe Burke, Calhoun Interim President. “We have such an amazing group of students here at the College who are consistently recognized for their academic accomplishments at the local, state and national levels. These most recent honors are just two of many examples of this level of recognition,” Burke added.

About Phi Theta Kappa

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 10 nations. Learn more at, and the Calhoun PTK chapter page.

About Trustmark

Trustmark Corporation is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, with approximately 200 locations in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas. Trustmark provides banking, wealth management, and insurance solutions through its subsidiaries, including Trustmark National Bank, Trustmark Investment Advisors, Inc., and Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance, Inc. Visit for more information.