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Student Named Coca-Cola Gold Scholar

RICHMOND, Va.  – Kelsey Messer, a Southwest Virginia Community College student and president of the Upsilon Upsilon chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, has been recognized as one of fifty nationwide Coca-Cola Gold Scholars. 

This award is part of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation program, which honors students nationwide, divided into Gold, Silver, and Bronze categories based on their academic excellence and leadership.

Messer, a Mental Health major and member of the Honors College who will graduate in May 2024, plans to pursue a career as a Licensed Professional Counselor.

The recognition occurred at the Phi Theta Kappa All-Virginia Academic Team luncheon in Richmond, where two other students from Southwest Virginia Community College, Isaac Wolford, a Radiologic Technology major, and Erin Sullivan, a General Studies major, were also nominated to the All-Virginia Academic Team.

(Pictured L-R) Dr. Tommy Wright, President, SWCC, Isaac Wolford, Kelsey Messer, Dr. David Doré, Chancellor, Virginia Community College System
(Pictured L-R) Dr. Tommy Wright, President SWCC, Isaac Wolford, Kelsey Messer, Dr. David Doré, Chancellor, Virginia Community College System

“We are so proud of Kelsey for winning such a prestigious award. She has worked hard and certainly deserves the recognition. It has been an honor to work with her,” said Hannah Hensley, Associate Professor of History and Faculty Co-Advisor of PTK at Southwest Virginia Community College. Faculty members Jacob Richardson and Julia Dotson, also serve as Co-Advisors to the Phi Theta Kappa chapter.


About Phi Theta Kappa

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) recognizes the academic achievement of college students and provides opportunities for its members to grow as scholars and leaders. Established in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa has a presence on almost 1,300 community college campuses in 11 nations. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) recognized Phi Theta Kappa as the official honor society for two-year colleges in 1929. More than 3.8 million students have been inducted since 1918, with approximately 250,000 active members in the nation’s community colleges, making Phi Theta Kappa a true catalyst among members and colleges.” (source:

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