Shanandoah Sterling may have graduated in May, but she’s not quite finished building her legacy as a scholar and student leader at the Yavapai College Verde Valley Campus.

The Northern Arizona University-bound woman was singled out from 3,700 Phi Theta Kappa members attending a national conference this spring in Orlando, FL, and invited to star in the academic honor society’s "I AM PTK" national marketing campaign.

Denise Woolsey, YC PTK Faculty Advisor, said Shanandoah was one of just a few students chosen for the campaign based on a photograph taken during the conference. "In May, I was emailed and asked if I could recommend her as a good representative for PTK. Of course, I gave her a glowing recommendation. She will be a great representative for YC and PTK."

Shanandoah fulfilled her PTK role last week, ushering a pair of videographers around the Verde Valley and starring in shoots in, among other locations, her Sedona home office, in the Sedona Public Library where she is a volunteer English as a Second Language Teacher, at the YC Sedona Center, the Verde Valley Campus and in a Southwest Wine Center vineyard.

An aspiring English teacher who made the most of her community college experience, even as a part-time, returning adult student, Shanandoah said she appreciates the opportunity to promote PTK to community college students nationwide. "I want PTK to attract more students," she said. "It opens doors to scholarships and more. I am happy to be sharing what PTK has done for me."

PTK membership was invaluable for ensuring success in college and beyond, Shanandoah said, noting that PTK members are nearly twice as likely as other community college students to earn a bachelor's degree when they transfer to a university.

Shanandoah joined PTK after inquiring about campus activities available to part-time students with her college advisor. She recalled that initially she was one of only a handful of PTK members at the Verde Valley Campus. By working with other student clubs and organizations over time, membership more than tripled, she said.

Shanandoah was the vice president of the Verde Valley Campus PTK last year. She was also an All-Arizona Academic Team scholarship recipient, she earned the President's Academic Excellence Award for the Verde Valley campus, and she was the student speaker for the Verde Valley Campus commencement ceremony.
Although proud of all of her student achievements to date, Shanandoah said she is "beyond humbled and shocked" to be one of the faces of PTK's new marketing campaign. "It’s a big honor."

The videos created from the two-day shoot with Shanandoah are scheduled to begin posting on PTK social media and the organization's website around Aug. 1.