College of the Canyons student Carmit Cohen has been awarded a 2015 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Frank Lanza Memorial Scholarship in recognition of her academic success, civic engagement and dedication to establishing a career in the healthcare industry. The PTK Frank Lanza Memorial Scholarship annually honors students across the nation who are enrolled in registered nursing, respiratory care or emergency medical services associate degree programs.
As a Lanza Scholar, Cohen will receive a commemorative certificate and $2,500 scholarship for use in the pursuit of becoming a nurse practitioner.
“Carmit has demonstrated the strength and dedication for achieving her goals, regardless of personal challenges along the way,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook. “She is one of the best and most accomplished students here at the college and few things excite me more than students like Carmit showing the value of her community college education with tangible, measurable results. We are so proud of her achievement.”
Cohen, a fulltime student and single mother of four children, is currently enrolled in the college’s registered nursing program.
Her goal is to pursue a Master of Science degree in nursing in order to become a nurse practitioner.
During her time at COC, Cohen has also been involved with the Nursing Student National Association (NSNA) and is an active member of PTK and the Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society. She also recently accepted invitations to join the Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society and the International Honor Society.
“When I applied for this scholarship I was sure that I wouldn’t get it, because nothing tends to come easy for me,” said Cohen, referring to her daily struggle trying to balance work, school and family responsibilities.
“You have no idea how happy I am to know that there are people out there that are willing to help and contribute toward my education, regardless of if they know me or not,” added Cohen. “The trust they’ve shown in me by investing in my education and future success means a lot to me. This award is giving me energy and motivation to keep moving forward.”
Cohen hopes her story of struggle and perseverance will serve as an example to other students — specifically single mothers — who may be faced with some of the same challenges she faced.
She is currently in the process of applying to California State University, Northridge and California State University, Los Angeles, in hopes of transferring in fall 2016 to obtain her bachelor’s degree in nursing.
The Frank Lanza Memorial Scholarship is named in honor of Frank Lanza, founder of the global aerospace and defense company L-3 Communications. Lou Oberndorf, founder and retired Chairman of METI (now CAE Healthcare), initiated the endowment of the Frank Lanza Memorial Scholarship to honor Lanza’s generous commitment to charitable causes. The endowment has been funded by L-3 Communications, CAE Healthcare, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
Each year student applications are reviewed by a panel of independent judges and scored based on factors including academic rigor, engagement and leadership.
This is the last year the Lanza Scholarships will be awarded as the funding for the program has been completed. Over the past six years, 130 students have received a combined $250,000 in scholarship awards through the program.
Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education, with more than 2 million members and 1,200 chapters located in all 50 of the United States, U.S. territories, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Germany, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, United Arab Emirates and Palau.
The organization’s mission is to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students, while providing opportunities for individual growth and development through participation in honors, leadership, service and fellowship programming.
For more information about Phi Theta Kappa, visit www.ptk.org. For more information about the college’s Phi Theta Kappa program, contact Miriam Golbert at (661) 362- 5927 or visit www.canyons.edu/Offices/Honors/PhiTheta/.