Four Achievers from COCC Make All-Oregon Academic Team
April 12, 2023
Central Oregon Community College (COCC) is pleased to announce that students Adriana Altamirano of Bend, Claire Landon of Sisters, Nacho Ruiz of Madras and Oscar Tovar of Bend were selected to represent the college on the Oregon Community College Association’s (OCCA) 2023 All-Oregon Academic Team. Additionally, Tovar was chosen as a national Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver Scholar recipient by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
The students will be honored at the OCCA’s All-Oregon Academic Team luncheon event on Friday, April 21, at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, with Secretary of State Shemia Fagan providing the keynote address. To earn the team distinction, students must demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor combined with leadership and service. A minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA and completion of at least 54 credits is required. Nominated by a faculty member, finalists undergo a review process by the college’s committee for academic excellence.
Oscar Tovar, 19, of Bend, is studying psychology and plans to become a clinical psychologist.
The dean’s list student, with a 4.0 GPA, is a member of the Psi Beta Honors Society
and president of the Psi Beta chapter at COCC. Tovar was recently named a 2023 Coca-Cola
Academic Team Silver Scholar — one of just 50 in the country — by the Coca-Cola Scholars
Foundation, a scholarship administered by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He is
chair of the college’s diversity committee, serves on the LGBTQ+ Club, is director
of finance for the Associated Students of COCC, and serves as a student representative
on the COCC student affairs committee. The avid reader also enjoys playing the piano.
Adriana Altamirano, 23, of Bend, is a student in the massage therapy program and plans to make a career in restorative treatment alongside physical therapists and chiropractors, and potentially pursue a bachelor’s degree in exercise science or kinesiology. The full-time student is also working full time in the restaurant industry while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. The first in her family to attend college, Altamirano is an artist whose work has exhibited at local events and businesses. She also enjoys rock climbing and snowboarding.
Nacho Ruiz, 21, is an art student from Madras whose career goals are to work in New York City on Broadway as a prop master, technician or as a graphic designer. Ruiz works as an educational assistant at Madras High School and also assists with the high school’s theater department. The dean’s list student is a member of the Latinx Club and the student lead for the college’s Art & Design Club, who enjoys painting and traveling.
Claire Landon, 20, of Sisters, is earning her aviation professional pilot degree and plans to ultimately attain a bachelor’s degree in aviation with a goal of being an airline pilot. She hopes to eventually also earn helicopter, tailwheel and seaplane ratings. The dean’s list student enjoys hiking, reading, writing and volunteering to work with children at her church.
The All-Oregon Academic Team is part of the All-State Community College Academic Team program that launched in 1994 in the states of Mississippi and Missouri. Today, 38 states host All-State Academic Team programs each year, focusing on two-year colleges and recognizing exceptional students. The OCCA sponsors the annual event, in partnership with the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, which awards some $37 million in scholarships nationally to community college students.
Image: (Left to right) Claire Landon, Nacho Ruiz, Adriana Altamirano and Oscar Tovar.