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And 7 TCC students garner spots on All-Virginia Team



HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (April 20, 2005) – Jessica Watson, the first Tidewater Community College student to be named to the All-USA Academic Team for Community Colleges in over five years, can’t be reached easily for comment. She’s in Morocco, immersed in the native culture - part of an overseas commitment to her National Security Education Program (NSEP) scholarship and to her focus on a career in government service.

On top of the All-USA team placement and the NSEP program, Watson just won a prestigious Undergraduate Transfer Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship, one of only 25 community college students in the nation to win. The new award will give her up to $30,000 a year towards her baccalaureate study, which she hopes will be at William & Mary.

One of 1,500 All-USA nominees nationwide, Watson, at 26, has an extensive resume citing a myriad of campus and community activities. All of which demonstrates her determination to connect with - and improve - the world around her. Via e-mail from Morocco, Watson says, “Since attending TCC my primary focus has been on creating a solid foundation for my future. I have spent the majority of my time studying and volunteering. This choice has not been easy; I have had to sacrifice much of my social life and higher paying jobs to fully commit myself to education.”

A former United States Marine, Watson won the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, a Commanding General’s Award for Exceptional Dedication and other honors. Now, she’s driven to serve her country in a different post - inside the executive branch. Her goals of government policy work grow nearer to success with her NSEP scholarship, her upcoming associate degree followed by transfer into a baccalaureate program and law school and, now, with her winning a place on USA Today’s community college team.

“I am extremely pleased to be part of the All-USA Academic Team. I discovered that TCC is willing to put forth a tremendous amount of support for those who seek success,” notes Watson, a Virginia Beach resident. “I believe that this title will assist me in all future endeavors.”

Watson, among a select group of 60 students chosen for the national team, placed on the third team. The national and state program - sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa (the national honor society for community colleges), American Association of Community Colleges and USA Today - celebrates students for their academic achievements, campus leadership and community service.

Additionally, Watson holds a spot, one of 10, on the First Virginia Team, the state level of the competition. A total of 47 others, including six from TCC, earned a place on the second team of the All-Virginia Team. The TCC second-team winners are Roddena Kirksey, Gerald Ortiz, Lorraine Perez, Valerie Spoolman, Nigel Tierney and Jeffrey Watson, Jessica’s husband, who graduated from TCC last December.



Laurie White
Media Relations

Tidewater Community College is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 35,000 students annually. The 37th largest in the nation’s 1,600 community-college network, TCC ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-four percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit