JACKSON, Miss. — Bagul Mammedova, a sophomore global studies major at SUNY Jamestown Community College, is one of 20 college students named to the prestigious All-USA Academic Team and will receive a $5,000 scholarship. More than 2,000 students were nominated for this award.
The All-USA Academic Team is sponsored by Cengage, an education technology company, with additional support provided by Phi Theta Kappa honor society and the American Association of Community Colleges’.
Team members were selected for their outstanding intellectual achievement, leadership, and community and campus engagement. Mammedova is the first recipient from Jamestown Community College since 1992.
“Community college students have been most-impacted by the pandemic as many had to forgo or delay their education because of financial or other challenges,” said Fernando Bleichmar, executive vice president and general manager for U.S. Higher Education at Cengage. “Community colleges have a critical role in reskilling the millions of unemployed Americans and opening up opportunity for those who have the most to gain from post-secondary education. We’re honored to help these incredible community college students further their education by supporting the All-USA Scholarship.”
A native of Turkmenistan in Central Asia, Mammedova holds offices within JCC’s Student Senate, where she is currently a student liaison to the college’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force. She also serves as a resident assistant in Hillsides Suites West and served as a member of the staff at Camp Onyahsa, a summer camp organized by the Jamestown Area YMCA.
Nelson Garifi, executive director of Academic Innovation, was pleased to see Mammedova receive national recognition for her work ethic.
“Bagul’s story of perseverance and courage is inspiring, and I am grateful that it is being recognized at a national level. She exercises great kindness while pursuing her passion for improving the quality of life not only in her home country, but around the world,” he said. “JCC has been fortunate to help write a small chapter in what I’m confident will be a great success story.”
Dr. Renee Funke serves as the college’s director of Teacher Education as well as the co-advisor for PTK’s Alpha Kappa Beta chapter at JCC. PTK is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges.
“I am so proud of Bagul's accomplishments,” Funke said. “She is such a hard worker and has brought a lot to our chapter as our vice president. She is so deserving of this award.”
Mammedova said that receiving the honor came as a complete surprise.
“Receiving this scholarship — which I never thought I would be selected to receive — gave me more inspiration to continue doing my best,” she said. “I realized that consistent hard work is not left unrecognized. Upon hearing the news, my eyes welled up with tears of joy. I am, of course, grateful to be awarded the highest academic honor for community college students, but I am much more grateful to have a close-knit community at JCC that supports me, guides me through, and shares my happiness.”
Mammedova will be recognized during the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) virtual convention in May. In addition to the scholarship funds, she will be presented with a commemorative medallion, and her college president will receive a commemorative obelisk.
Mammedova’s placement on the All-Academic Team earned her an additional honor as a 2021 New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar, from which she will receive a $2,250 scholarship after receiving the highest score in the state. She also is a 2021 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.
The All-USA program is widely recognized as the most prestigious academic honor for students attending associate degree-granting institutions. Each college may nominate two students for showing intellectual rigor and demonstrating academic achievement, leadership, and civic growth. The program also recognizes students who extend their community college education to better themselves, their schools, and their surrounding communities.
For more information about JCC’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society, visit sunyjcc.edu/ptk.