TCC Student Awarded Prestigious Scholarship


Justin West, a Tulsa Community College Computer Science major and Honors Scholar, has been awarded a prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. This scholarship is worth up to $40,000 a year to complete his bachelor’s degree at the university of his choice. 
“I think about the dozens of Tulsa Community College faculty and staff who have helped me on my journey, whose time and dedication enabled me to be successful,” said West. “TCC is a dream factory. The opportunities this scholarship opens have completely altered the trajectory of my life.” 
West is one of 50 recipients of the highly competitive scholarship for the nation’s top community college students. In addition, Cooke scholars are eligible to apply for up to $75,000 of funding toward graduate school. 
“I plan to utilize this scholarship to pursue research into Artificial Intelligence towards sustainability efforts. I will not waste this gift,” said West, who is considering the University of Tulsa, Yale, Cornell, and Brown. His summer plans include a position as the NASA Cyber Security Intern at the Langley Research Center. 
“I would be excited for any TCC student chosen for such a significant honor,” said Dr. Allen Culpepper, TCC’s Jack Kent Cooke Foundation representative. “I’m even more ecstatic because Justin is such a dedicated student, and one whom I have had the pleasure of teaching personally.” 
West is also this year’s TCC recipient of the Kontogianes Honors Award, sponsored by the TCC Foundation, and given each year to the Honors Scholar who best exemplifies the qualities of its namesake: intelligence, integrity, love of learning, service to others, and concern for others. He led the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for two years, increased student organization funding by 30 percent when he served as finance director for the Student Government Association, made the TRIO Student Association the most active at TCC, founded the Active Minds mental health organization and planned a Stomp Out Stigma mental health and suicide awareness program that was the largest student-led event in the college’s history. 
West is also a TRIO Student Support Services participant helping fellow student. In addition, he served as a True Blue Lead, a student ambassador, and chair of the Cyber Security Committee. West also served as managing editor for the 2019 issues of Tulsa Review, TCC’s online magazine of the literary and visual arts. 
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. 
 Nearly 1,500 students from 311 community colleges applied for the 2020 Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. This year’s semi-finalists included four TCC students. In addition to West, they were Justice Robinson, Alyssa Whan and Bethany Niman. The Foundation evaluated each submission based on students’ academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, leadership, and service to others. The recipients selected represent 17 different states and plan to enroll at the nation’s most selective colleges.