Mason Gordon of Springfield, an agriculture business major at Lincoln Land Community College, is one of 10 students nationwide selected to receive the 2017 Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education, a $5,000 award.
The scholarship is awarded to Phi Theta Kappa academic honor society members who are civically engaged in their community through service and who demonstrate leadership, academic rigor and excellence. Preference is given to first-generation college students. Nearly 700 applications were received.
Mason, originally from Rushville, Indiana, is active with LLCC’s award-winning Livestock Judging and Model Illinois Government (MIG) teams. He was honored as Outstanding Committee Chair in the House of Representations at last year’s MIG simulation. “I can’t think of anyone more capable or deserving of this award,” said Dr. John Vinzant, LLCC professor of political science. “He is one of the most knowledgeable and driven students I have encountered. He’ll be successful in whatever he does.”
LLCC Livestock Judging Team coach Craig Beckmier, professor of agriculture, echoed those comments. “Of all the students I’ve had the opportunity to work with, Mason is by far one of the most focused and has always set his goals high. I’m very proud to have him as a student at LLCC.”
A 2015 graduate of Rushville Consolidated High School, Mason spent the next year travelling in Indiana as an FFA (Future Farmers of America) state vice president, speaking on behalf of that organization as well as agriculture and agriculture education. Following graduation from LLCC, he plans to transfer to Purdue University, majoring in agribusiness and minoring in political science. He hopes to eventually lobby on behalf of American farmers and ranchers in Washington, D.C. or state government.
Each Pearson Scholar will receive $1,000 to complete an associate degree and $4,000 over two years to complete a bachelor’s degree. Scholars are also paired with a Pearson Mentor and will receive complimentary access to Pearson textbooks and online codes to support them as they complete their degrees.
“We are so excited to welcome these 10 new scholars into the Pearson family,” said Lindsey Erlick, senior manager of student advocacy and marketing at Pearson. “We look forward to seeing the impact that these scholars have on their campus, community and future career!”
“The blend of financial and mentoring support provided by Pearson will assure success among the 10 Pearson Scholars,” said Dr. Monica Marlowe, executive director of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation. “Studies have shown that Phi Theta Kappa members are four times more likely to complete college than their peers.”
Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, with 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning.
Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of community college students and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The society is made up of more than 3 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in nine nations.