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Students named to 2013 All-Florida Academic Team

Five Seminole State College of Florida honors students have been named to the 2013 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-Florida Academic Team.

The students – all members of the College’s Art & Phyllis Grindle Honors Institute – will represent Pi Lambda, Seminole State’s chapter of PTK. They were selected for the team based on their academic success, leadership skills and community involvement.

These students were selected:

  • Frederick Ashby, 22, of Chuluota, is an honors ambassador who serves as the executive vice president of Phi Theta Kappa at Seminole State’s Oviedo Campus. Ashby is studying microbiology and cell sciences as a pre-med student. After graduating in May from Seminole State with an Honors Certificate and a Science Merit Diploma, he plans to transfer to the University of Florida this fall to continue his studies and eventually become a doctor and medical researcher. He serves as the director of landscaping for the Environmental Initiative, which helps to improve and conserve the natural scenery around Seminole State and in the community. In his spare time, Ashby enjoys traveling and volunteering as a Crossroads Leader at River Run Christian Church.
  • Diane Castillo, 31, of Orlando, is pursuing her Associate in Arts (A.A.) with a focus in molecular biology.
  • Fiorella Gallo, 19, was born in Callao, Peru, but currently lives in Altamonte Springs. She is pursuing her A.A. degree in sociology en route to an eventual law degree. In the Honors Institute, she serves as an honors ambassador and the aide of fellowship, coordinating social events for her peers and prospective students. She has made the President’s List at Seminole State for the last three semesters. Outside school, she has logged more than 800 hours of service with various organizations. She is one of 30 students selected for the 2013 All-Florida Academic First Team.
  • Richard Parada, 20, of Orlando, is a second-year economics major who has made the Dean’s List or President’s List each of his terms at Seminole State. After earning his A.A. from Seminole State, he plans to pursue an economics degree from the University of Florida, Florida State University or Vanderbilt University. The Dr. Phillips High School graduate speaks three languages – English, Spanish and German – and works for the Storage Group as a Web manager. He plays guitar, bass guitar and piano for his church band, and he enjoys participating in sports, reading and playing video games.
  • Jessica Viera, 29, of Lake Mary, graduated magna cum laude in July with an A.A. with a focus in political science. She is now working toward her second degree, an A.S. in legal studies, and plans to attend UF, Stetson University or Rollins College when she finishes at Seminole State. Viera is involved in PTK and Phi Beta Lambda. She has two children, 11 and 4 years old, and she enjoys doing charity work around the community.

Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society for two-year colleges. Members of PTK must demonstrate honor and service to others and maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher.

The students will be recognized at an awards ceremony April 9 at the Mori Hosseini Center at Daytona State College.

PTK's 2013 All-Florida Academic Team is composed of 125 students representing the 28 colleges in the Florida College System and two independent institutions. The students were nominated by their respective colleges for the All-USA Academic Team.

The Art & Phyllis Grindle Honors Institute offers enrichment programs for academically talented students wishing to enhance their experience at Seminole State. For more information, please visit the Honors Institute online.

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