PTK Students Selected for All-California Academic Team

April 29, 2019

Written by: Sierra College

Sierra College students, Natalie Rowland (Biochemistry), and William Jeffries (Humanities/Communications Studies), were recently honored in Sacramento for their selection to the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-California Academic Team. PTK Honor Society is a national organization which works to recognize academic achievement of college students and provide opportunities for growth as scholars and leaders. The PTK All-State Academic Team Program provides recognition at the state level for the top community college students. Selection for the First, Second or Third Team is determined by GPA, leadership, and community service.

“PTK is a club of talented, dedicated students who have worked hard at community service projects in and around Sierra College, including providing support for struggling moms on campus, outreach to impoverished elementary schools in our area, support and fundraising for veterans, and acknowledging faculty who have made special impacts on the lives of our student community,” noted Humanities Professor Jason File who serves as the PTK Advisor.

This year 34 California community college students were selected for the All-California Academic First Team, 34 students for the second Team and 34 for the Third Team. These 102 students represent some of the best of the two million students enrolled in California’s 114 community colleges. The most diverse student body in higher education succeeds every day by completing associate degrees and certificate programs, getting jobs, transferring to baccalaureate programs, or furthering a lifelong habit of learning.

All-California First Team recipient, Natalie Rowland, currently serves as the Vice President of Sierra College’s PTK Chapter. During her time on PTK, Rowland created a mentor program that paired honor students with economically disadvantaged fifth-grade students at a local middle school. She plans to transfer to the University of Nevada, Reno, in the fall to pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Biotechnology, with a minor in Organic Chemistry. Her long-term career plans include the field of forensic science or immunology. Aside from academia, Natalie is dedicated to volunteering as a short-term missionary in Chile, Slovenia and Costa Rica, and serves as a vocalist on the worship team at her local church. She is also passionate about physical fitness and enjoys kickboxing, swing dancing, and hiking along the American River.

William Jefferies, All-California Second Team recipient, is the PTK Vice President of Fundraising. Having lost his vision at age twelve due to leukemia, Jefferies hopes to utilize the opportunities afforded to him through his vision loss, as well as his academic achievements and personal experience to better serve his community. His future plans include working towards positive ecological reform and advocating for systemic equity. He draws inspiration from this Helen Keller quote: “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Jeffries will graduate from Sierra with honors this fall with an Associate’s Degree in Humanities and Communication Studies. He plans to transfer to UC Berkeley or UC Davis to study classical civilizations, rhetoric, and eventually law.

Participation in PTK provides students with an opportunity to develop leadership skills, engage students with similar interests, connect with other higher education institutions in the US and internationally, as well as gain access to a database of $37 million in Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Scholarships. For more information about PTK at Sierra College please visit