Two MCC students gain state, nat’l honor


A pair of Miles Community College students have been honored with statewide and national recognition.

MCC sophomore Jackcee Idland has been chosen as a 2014 Coca-Cola New Century Scholar. She is one of 51 students across the United States, Canada and American Samoa to have been named a 2014 New Century Scholar. The New Century Scholars Program is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). 

“When I was informed that I was named the 2014 Coca-Cola New Century Scholar, I felt very excited and grateful,” Idland said. “I felt the need to thank my Phi Theta Kappa advisor, Kristy Atwood, immediately, as she was responsible for nominating me for the opportunity to compete in the All-USA Community College Academic Team competition. 

“Receiving this award has opened up multiple opportunities for me,” Idland said. “I was given the opportunity to speak at the [Montana] Board of Regents meeting, which was a large step for me. It was so nice to share my community college experience with the board members and be recognized for my award. I will also be attending the American Association of Community Colleges Convention in Washington D.C. in April to be recognized. I am very excited to attend this convention because I have not previously visited D.C.” MCC President Stacy Klippenstein called Idland’s recognition a great honor and praised her for her hard work.

”Miles Community College is extremely proud of Jackcee Idland for receiving this recognition and scholarship,” Klippenstein said. “This also shows how valuable Phi Theta Kappa is to our learning environment. Kristy Atwood is a tremendous advisor and our students perform well. This is a testament to the quality of students we have at MCC. Jackcee, her family, and all members of the Miles Community College Phi Theta Kappa Chapter should be extremely proud.” 

Idland and fellow sophomore Lena Sleight were also chosen by Atwood to represent MCC as part of the All-State Community College Academic Team. Upon that nomination, both Idland and Sleight were automatically named to the Montana All-State Community College Academic Team. 

Both Idland and Sleight traveled to this month’s Montana Board of Regents meeting at Great Falls College-Montana State University on March 6 to be recognized for their achievements. 

“It was a great opportunity,” Sleight said. “I really felt privileged to represent MCC. We were definitely able to put MCC on the map a little bit, which was great. The trip to the Board of Regents meeting was amazing and exciting. I got to give a speech, which was a little nerve-wracking, but it went all right.”

Atwood praised her students for their hard work, dedication and commitment to MCC.

“As All-Montana Academic-Team Members, Jackcee and Lena exemplify the quality students at MCC and within the Phi Theta Kappa organization,” Atwood said. “They both understand the value of serving others and designing projects that accomplish their desire to serve. It has truly been an honor to work with and advise them in PTK.”

Idland will attend Dickinson State University next year, with plans to study Integrated Ranch Management. Sleight will attend MSU-Billings, where she will study English and Art, with an eye toward becoming a travel writer.

“That’s my dream job,” Sleight said. “We’ll see what happens.”