John Butenhoff profiled in USA TODAY
John Butenhoff, a student in the Nanoscience Technology program at Dakota County Technical College, has been named to the All-USA First Team as part of USA TODAY’s All-USA Community College Academic Team.
A former resident of Hastings, Minn., currently living in West St. Paul, Butenhoff was one of only 20 college students in the nation to receive the honor, with nearly 1,450 students from 800 community colleges in 49 states and Guam nominated.
“The recognition that John is receiving is truly incredible,” said Ronald E. Thomas, president of DCTC. “We are so proud of him and the other students recognized because their stories are wonderful testimonies to the great things that happen at two-year colleges.”
As a member of the national team, Butenhoff received a $2,500 stipend and commemorative obelisk from USA TODAY as well as an engraved medallion from the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, which administers the program.
Featured in the April 6 issue of USA TODAY, he was also presented at the Phi Theta Kappa’s Presidents Breakfast at the 89th Annual American Association of Community Colleges Convention (AACC) April 4–7, 2009, in Phoenix, Ariz.
Selection to the All-USA Community College Academic Team is based on a student’s superior achievements at a technical or community college. A key determining factor in the selection process is a 500-word essay detailing the student’s most exceptional intellectual endeavor that benefited her or his college or community.
One of 36 students on the All-Minnesota Academic Team, including fellow DCTC student, Charley Alden, (featured below), Butenhoff was also honored as a New Century Scholar and received a $2,000 stipend from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and the New York Times.
Majoring in Nanoscience Technology at DCTC, John Butenhoff serves as vice president of the college’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. Maintaining a 3.69 GPA, Butenhoff is also involved in the DCTC Green Campus Commitment, serving on the Executive Green Committee. He also serves as an ambassador for the Nanoscience Technology program and co-designed the Web site, Nanostudents.com.
Butenhoff’s experience at DCTC transformed him from an “average high school athlete” to a student in one of the most advanced nanotechnology programs in the nation. After DCTC, he plans on transferring to the University of Minnesota on his way to a career in nanobiotechnology.
Along with Butenhoff, Charley Alden, a graduate of the Child Development program at DCTC, attended the All-Minnesota Academic Team Celebration at the Royal Cliff banquet facility in Eagan, Minn., on March 5, 2009. Thirty-six team members and their guests attended the event, which included guest speakers: Chancellor James McCormick, MnSCU Trustee Christine Rice, President Richard Davenport of Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Michael Spitzer, provost and vice president of academic affairs at St. Cloud State University.
A native of Grand Meadow, Minn., Alden is active in her community as an American Red Cross volunteer. Maintaining a 3.97 GPA, she served as a student ambassador and worked on the Activities Committee at DCTC. She has also taken a leadership role in Phi Theta Kappa, serving as president of the DCTC chapter.
Named to the President’s List and nominated for the All-USA Academic Team, Alden plans to transfer to Concordia University, where she will continue her studies in child development with the career goal of becoming a parent and family educator. She notes that the knowledge and experience she gained in DCTC’s Child Development program have enabled her to discover opportunities in the field of child advocacy.
Charley was also selected as a 2009 Coca-Cola National Finalist. Her selection was based on scores she earned in the All-USA Academic Team competition. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the program, which is administered by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. As a finalist, Alden received a $1,000 scholarship.
The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society supports and facilitates excellence in leadership, academics and community service in two-year college students. The Phi Theta Kappa chapter at DCTC is dedicated to realizing the Phi Theta Kappa mission.