Four Collin College students were named to the All-Texas Academic Team. The All-State Academic Team is sponsored by the Texas Association of Community Colleges and Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), an international honor society for community college students. Nominees are selected based on academic achievement and school and community involvement.

Mariah Carvalho, of Lucas, plans to earn a bachelor’s degree and double major in biology and business. Carvalho said she wants to pursue a career in dentistry and her goal is to open a center for research and innovation that focuses on creating new advancements within the dentistry field. She said she wants to provide more research opportunities for students interested in the field.

Carvalho is the chapter president for the Collin College chapter of PTK and volunteered at the CougarThon 2019, a fundraising event for Children’s Miracle Hospital.

“Being named to the All-Texas Academic Team has truly been an honor,” Carvalho said.  “This honor is more than just another award. Being named an All-Texas Academic Team member has brought me closer to like-minded individuals that are striving to achieve the greatest version of themselves. Being named a member of the All-Texas Academic Team has inspired me to keep working hard and never give up.”

Fadi Istelinades, of Frisco, plans to transfer to a four-year university to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He also plans to pursue a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering.

Istelinades served as the Texas Regional President for PTK and received the Distinguished Regional Officer award for outstanding leadership, extensive chapter engagement, and a positive impact on the Texas Region.

“I am thrilled to have been named to the All-Texas Academic Team,” he said. “I am driven to study, lead, and serve by my love for learning, passion to help others succeed, and hunger to help those in need. I do not do it for the recognition. However, it sure does feel good to know that my achievements and work have been noticed.”

Carly Jenkins, of Allen, will receive an Associate of Science degree from Collin this spring and plans to transfer to a four-year university to earn a bachelor’s degree in finance. She also said she would work on earning a Master of Business Administration degree.

Jenkins said she would like to pursue a career focused on private equity and ultimately start a business or manage mergers and acquisitions for a large company.

She has served as the vice president of leadership for the Collin PTK chapter. She was awarded the Junior League Scholarship and the PTK Officer Hall of Honor Award.

Jenkins said she feels blessed to have been named to the All-Texas Academic Team.

“My community college experience has offered me many opportunities to volunteer and make an impact,” she said. “I have grown my leadership skills and feel much more prepared for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.  Being included in this elite group of students is very rewarding and shows me that when you work hard and believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything you set out to do.”

Jessica Dam, of Lewisville, is expected to earn her Associate of Arts degree with a business field of study certificate from Collin by the end of the summer and transfer to a four-year university and major in management information systems.

Dam said she loves technology and business and hopes to work in the information technology field in the future. She said she also plans to obtain a real estate license and work as a real estate agent as well.

Dam received a certificate for academic planning from Collin’s Quality Enhancement Plan team in Spring 2018. She has also been on the President’s List for Fall 2017, Spring 2018 and Fall 2018. Dam is also the recipient of the Roger Lawler Endowed Scholarship.

During her first semester at Collin, Dam did a service-learning project with Frisco Family Services and has been volunteering at their food pantry ever since.

“I was really surprised when I learned that I had been nominated and subsequently selected to be part of the prestigious team,” she said. “I feel that the hard work that I had put forth has paid off, and this has greatly motivated me to continue to do my best and to never stop growing and improving.”

Collin College serves more than 55,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degrees and certificates. The only public college based in Collin County, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and workforce development. In addition, the college operates the Collin Higher Education Center, which has an enrollment of 3,500 each year in partnership with The University of Texas at Dallas, Texas Woman’s University, Texas A&M Commerce, Texas Tech and the University of North Texas.

Photo Details From left to right: Carly Jenkins, Mariah Carvalho, Collin College District President Dr. Neil Matkin, Fadi Istelinides, and Jessica Dam.

Photo courtesy of Wendy Gunderson