Kansas will salute 49 top community college scholars for their academic accomplishments in an award ceremony Thursday, Feb. 18 in Topeka, including two from Seward County Community College/Area Technical School in Liberal, Kansas. Representing the 19 Kansas Community Colleges, these scholars have been named to the 2011 All-Kansas Academic Team, sponsored by the international headquarters of Phi Theta Kappa international honor society, the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees and the Kansas Council of Community College Presidents and the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. Each is also a nominee for the 2011 All-USA Academic Team, sponsored by USA Today, Phi Theta Kappa and the American Association of Community Colleges. Kelsey Darnell, an Accounting major from Liberal, and Gwen Friesen, a Liberal Arts major from Moscow, were selected for this honor. The criteria used in making the decisions included academic rigor, grade point average, involvement in campus and community activities, and demonstration of outstanding moral character. Darnell, who graduated form Liberal High school in 2009, was involved in Campus Messengers for Christ, Kappa Beta Delta and Phi Theta Kappa, where she serves as president last fall. She transferred to Kansas State University this spring to major in accounting. Friesen, grew up in Inman, Kansas, and moved with her family to Moscow in 1996. She graduated from American School – Correspondence, Lansing, Illinois, in May 1997. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and has had several pieces published in “Telolith,” the SCCC/ATS art and literary magazine. She has been a Junior Sewing Leader for her church sewing group. This May she will graduate with an associate’s degree with an emphasis in elementary education. She plans to stay in Kansas to finish her education. Phi Theta Kappa is the honor society for students attending community and two-year colleges. Membership is based on high grade point averages and other criteria, with members focusing on scholastic achievement and service to community and campus. Since 1991, Phi Theta Kappa, USA Today and the American Association of Community Colleges have sponsored the national All-USA Academic Team program. The Kansas program is an affiliate, and the Kansas students are all nominees for the national honor. Each student will receive a proclamation issued by the governor of Kansas, an educational stipend, and an academic medallion. About 500 U.S. community college students will compete for places on the first, second and third national teams. First team members each receive $2,500 stipends, and will be featured in USA Today along with second and third team members. Team members are also presented with medallions Among Kansans selected for national honors since the annual recognition program began are Donna Shank, SCCC/ATS first team, 1995 and Brandon Sutton, SCCC/ATS second team, 1996.