Aerial view of the Dowagiac campus

SMC student awarded leadership scholarship

08/08/2019 - 9am
Anushka Ganu

Southwestern Michigan College’s Anushka Ganu is one of 207 Phi Theta Kappa members named a 2019 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar to receive a $1,000 scholarship.

The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program helps new Phi Theta Kappa members defray educational expenses while enrolled in associate degree programs. Scholars are encouraged to assume leadership roles by participating in the honor society’s programs and are selected based on scholastic achievement, community service and leadership potential. Nearly 900 applications were received.

Ganu, from Stevensville, served as secretary of SMC’s Sigma Psi PTK chapter last spring. The visual arts major will be Sigma Psi president this fall and Council of Clubs communications director.

Ganu, who is originally from India, earned all A’s spring semester to be named to the President’s List and graduates next May with her associate degree.

She won art awards for two-dimensional design and digital photography at the annual student exhibit. She plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in industrial/product design or communication design.

“We are so proud of Anushka,” said Director of Library Services Colleen Welsch, who wrote a recommendation for Ganu as her Sigma Psi advisor. “Anushka has shown me strong leadership skills in the short time I have known her. The moment she joined our Sigma Psi chapter, she quickly emerged as an outstanding leader. She immediately began attending chapter meetings and volunteered to commit 90 minutes every week for the rest of spring semester to the Roadrunner Kitchen, our chapter’s campus project and food pantry for all students at Southwestern Michigan College. Anushka did not stop there. She also immediately filled a vacant position as our chapter’s secretary. Just recently, she stepped up as SMC’s Council of Clubs’ communications director, an officer role to better position PTK on our campus to collaborate with clubs and their leaders.”

“Anushka has only lived in the United States for three years,” Welsch said, “and her ability to absolutely flourish speaks volumes for her resilience and persistence. She is a natural-born leader. Anushka excels with challenges and a busy lifestyle, constantly pushing herself to do better and attain more. She most certainly serves as a positive role model for Phi Theta Kappa, our officers, our chapter’s scholars and her peers at SMC.”

A total of $207,000 is awarded through the Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation provides $200,000 in funding for the scholarships, with $25,000 set aside for members who are veterans or active members of the U.S. military. The remaining amount is supported by donations to the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation and provides seven Global Leaders of Promise Scholarships earmarked for international students.

“The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges,” said Jane Hale Hopkins, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation president. “We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa, making it possible for more deserving students to achieve their educational goals and support tomorrow’s leaders of the global community.”

Funds provided by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation not only aid college completion, but also give students the opportunity to engage in Society programs and develop leadership skills to become future leaders in their communities.
“Research shows that Phi Theta Kappa members are four times more likely to complete a college degree than their peers,” said Dr. Monica Marlowe, Phi Theta Kappa Foundation executive director. “Leaders of Promise Scholarships recognize students for what they have achieved already and assure that financial need isn’t an obstacle to achieving their academic goals.”

Phi Theta Kappa, based in Jackson, Miss., is the premier honor society recognizing academic achievement at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 nations.