CSCC's Medina and Phanor Selected as Outstanding Honors Students

CSCC's Medina and Phanor Selected as Outstanding Honors Students

Holly Vincent
Thursday, April 22, 2021 12:00 AM
Students, Academics

Cleveland State students Ariana Medina and Rebeccah Phanor were recently selected as the Outstanding Honors Students for 2020-2021.

“This award is a reflection of a lot of hard work and perseverance,” stated Dr. Victoria Bryan, Dean of the Honors College and Academic Enhancement. “A central component of our honors culture is developing grit, or the ability to face a challenge and learn from struggle. To say that these students have handled some struggles over the last year while learning during the Covid-19 pandemic would be an understatement. They have thrived in a very challenging environment and made our school and our honors college better as a result. I could not be more proud of them.”

Ariana Medina is a 2019 graduate of Cleveland High School. During her time at CSCC, she was heavily involved in Phi Theta Kappa serving as the Vice President for Scholarship, as well as the Vice President for Student Senate, Orientation Peer Mentor, Oral Presenter at the Tennessee Collegiate Honors Council Conference, Virtual poster presenter at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference, and the Student Voices Initiative. She is also active in her church, Keith Street Ministries Church of God of Prophecy, and has been teaching the KSMKidz Jr. class on Sundays for the past five years.

“Overall, it was a shocking, exciting, and humbling moment to find out that I had been chosen to receive this award,” stated Medina. “I have been an entirely virtual student this past year. Ironically, when I opened my email and found out I had been chosen, my first reaction was the acknowledgement that I did not achieve the accomplishment alone. I am grateful to my God for the Honors College students and faculty he placed in my life to help and encourage me while I was at Cleveland State.”

Medina continued, “One of my favorite things about the Honors College is that they don’t expect perfection; they expect progress, and the faculty is willing to help students every single step of the way. I am grateful for the people who helped me because I know that I am far from perfect.”

The topic for Medina’s Capstone project was “The Connection Between Different Age Groups and Their Dreams.” Her future plans are to transfer to Lee University in the fall to major in Public Relations.

Rebeccah Phanor is a 2018 graduate of Cleveland High School. During her time at CSCC, she served as a peer mentor, the Vice President of the Student Government Association, President of the Diversity Club, and the President of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry. She is also active in her community volunteering with the Unity Center and the Cleveland Homeless Shelter.  She currently works at the Boys and Girls Club where she gets to share her love for children and helping others.

Phanor stated, “I was honestly surprised that I had received this award. This year's graduating class is filled with remarkable students, so I was grateful to even be considered. I'm very appreciative of this honor and I'm even more appreciative of the people that have helped me get to this point of recognition.”

She continued, “I appreciate every leadership opportunity I have received at CSCC and look forward to the next level of my educational journey.”

The topic of Phanor’s Capstone project was “Understanding Relationships: The Importance of Friendships.” Her future plans are to attend Fisk University in the fall where she was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Scholarship. She plans to major in Psychology.

Cleveland State established the first honors college at a Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) institution. For more information on the Honors College at CSCC, contact Dr. Victoria Bryan at or call (423) 473-2442.

For more information on Cleveland State Community College, visit the website at or email If you are interested in applying, visit Students are currently enrolled online and on-campus through the CSCC main campus in Cleveland, Tennessee, as well as CSCC’s Athens Center in Athens, Tennessee and Monroe County Center in Vonore, Tennessee.

CSCC earned the Tennessee Board of Regent’s 2019 College of The Year. CSCC directly serves Bradley, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, and Polk Counties in Tennessee. The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving more than 140,000 students.


Rebeccah Phanor Rebeccah PhanorAriana Medina Ariana Medina


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