Wallace State students Lexie Riggins, Emily Dia recognized at All-Alabama Academic Team banquet

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Emily Dia, left, and Lexie Riggins, right, are pictured with Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics.

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Wallace State students Lexie Riggins and Emily Dia were recognized Friday at the Alabama Academic Team Scholars banquet held at the Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Prattville.

The All-Alabama Academic Team recognition program was founded in 1995 to complement the All-USA Academic Team Program sponsored by USA Today, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the American Association of Community Colleges. The All-Alabama Academic Team Foundation conducts the annual banquet in association with the ACCS and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Riggins, a Chelsea native, has maintained a 4.0 GPA at Wallace State. She plans to transfer to the University of Alabama and pursue a degree in public relations with a minor in general business. She wants to ultimately earn her MBA in strategy and change the way the world communicates.

“This experience has been wonderful. This program makes you feel special and helps you appreciate all of the hard work you’ve put in over the past two years,” Riggins said. “I’ve had a great time attending this event, and I’m thankful for my time at Wallace State.”

Riggins has shined in the classroom and on the volleyball court at Wallace State. She was also a two-time Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) Tournament MVP for the Lions and a NJCAA Division I 2nd-team All-American as a sophomore, helping the volleyball program extend its conference dominance to 10 consecutive conference championships.

Dia, a Hayden native, has also compiled a 4.0 GPA in her two years at Wallace State. Upon graduation next month, Dia plans to transfer to UAB and earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She plans to carve a career as a certified public accountant.

“The students here are examples of the great things you can achieve at a community college. I wouldn’t trade my time at Wallace State for anywhere else,” Dia said. “The All-Alabama program has been a great experience. It’s helped us network with our peers at other colleges and learn about their majors and career goals.”

During her Wallace State story, Dia has held many leadership roles. She’s student president of Phi Theta Kappa, Sigma Kappa Delta and the Wallace State Writing Club and also serves as the Rotaract Club’s Chair of Finance.

Dr. Vicki Karolewics joined Alabama Community College System Chancellor Jimmy Baker in presenting medallions to Wallace State’s student honorees.

“The individuals selected for the All-Alabama Academic Team represent our state’s best and brightest students, and are a testament to the rewards of taking full advantage of the community college experience,” Baker said. “I’m truly optimistic for our state’s future with students like these at the helm.”

While eligible students from across the entire student body may apply for selection to the All-USA and All-Alabama Academic Team, all students submit applications to their local community college’s Phi Theta Kappa nominator. Applicants must have a minimum 3.5 GPA and be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours in the semester.  

Members of the 2019 team were awarded more than $64,000 total in scholarships. Additional scholarships for All-Alabama Academic Team members are also awarded when they transfer to some of Alabama’s public and private four-year colleges is also provided.

To learn more about Wallace State, visit www.wallacestate.edu.