East Central Community College sophomores Andrew Hanna of Union and
Claire Griffin of Decatur were recently named on the 2013 All-
Mississippi Academic Team and were recognized with other award-
winners during special events held March 26, 2013 in Jackson.
The outstanding students were recognized at the State Capitol by the
Mississippi Legislature and during a luncheon held at the Jackson
Convention Complex on March 26, 2013. State Senator Terry C. Burton
of Newton served as master of ceremonies.
The All-Mississippi Academic Team recognizes scholarly achievements
and leadership accomplishments of students enrolled in the state’s
Hanna was one of 15 students named to the First Team and will receive
a $1,000 scholarship. Recipients of the prestigious honor compete for
placement on the national All-USA Community College Academic Team.
Hanna, a President’s List Scholar with a perfect 4.0 grade point
average, will graduate in May 2013 from ECCC and plans to major in
chemistry at Mississippi State University.
He was recently selected ECCC’s HEADWAE Student of the Year and was
honored with other students and college instructors at the State
Capitol in February 2013.
The annual HEADWAE (Higher Education Appreciation Day: Working Toward
Academic Excellence) was established by the Mississippi Legislature
to honor the academically talented students and faculty members from
each of the 36 public and private member institutions of the
Mississippi Association of Colleges.
Hanna has received numerous other honors at EC, including the Frank
Edwin and Nena Holt Leatherwood Biology Award, Frank M. Cross
Chemistry Award and Secondary Education Award. He was also named to
Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges.
He also holds various positions of leadership in several campus
He serves as vice president for leadership of Theta Xi Chapter of Phi
Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges,
and is co-president of the Baptist Student Union and Warrior Corps.
In addition, he serves as secretary of the President’s Council.
He is also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and
served as vice president his freshman year. He also holds membership
in the Environmental Club.
Hanna’s involvement in campus activities also includes participation
in athletics. He is a two-year member of the Warrior tennis team and
was on the men’s basketball squad his freshman season.
He is a 2011 honor graduate of Newton County Academy, where he was
valedictorian and chosen for the Hall of Fame. He was also selected
STAR Student and was named to the WTOK-TV All Scholastic Sports Team.
Other honors include selection as a Scholar Athlete and Citizenship
Award recipient, in addition to numerous subject awards.
Hanna also held positions of leadership in several clubs and
organizations and received numerous awards in basketball and tennis.
He is a longtime member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 29 of the
Choctaw Area Council in Union and received the rank of Eagle Scout in
In addition, he is a member of Clarke-Venable Baptist Church in
Decatur and serves as a Sunday school teacher.
Hanna is also involved in mission work and went to Thailand in the
summer of 2012 as a part of a team supporting missionaries in
Southeast Asia. He plans to return to the same area this summer and
assist a missionary doctor in his clinics and teach English speaking
He was one of 48 students selected from across the nation to attend
the FBI National Academy Youth Leadership Program in 2008 at
Quantico, VA. He was chosen president of the 11th Session of the
FBINA Youth Leadership Program.
Hanna also participated in the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership (HOBY)
program in 2009.
His parents are Rusty and Lanette Hanna of Union.
Griffin was named to the All-Mississippi Academic Second Team.
A President’s List scholar, Griffin will graduate from ECCC in May
2013. She plans to return to ECCC in the fall and continue her
education with a concentration in music.
She has also received numerous honors while at EC.
She currently serves as president of Theta Xi Chapter of Phi Theta
Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges.
Griffin also serves as sophomore class president and has served two
years as co-president of the Warrior Corps, a select group of
students who assist in recruiting and provide assistance for various
College events and activities. In addition, she has served the past
two years as assistant editor of The Wo-He-Lo yearbook staff.
She is also a member of the Ac’cents Show Choir, Concert Choir,
Collegians, Diamond Darlings, Environmental Club, Art Club, Baptist
Student Union, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and President’s
Council and is an award-winning cartoonist on The Tom-Tom campus
newspaper staff. She received second-place honors for her cartoons in
the Mississippi Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in the
Community and Junior College Division for two consecutive years.
She was recently selected to Who’s Who Among Students in American
Griffin is a member of committees, including the Recruiting/Retention
Task Force and Graphics Design Committee,
She is a recipient of numerous scholarships, including ACT,
Progressive Club, Rotary Club, Ann Burkes Phi Theta Kappa, MTAG,
Military VA, The Tom-Tom, Ac’cents, Concert Choir and Collegians awards.
In addition, Griffin serves as a youth ministry intern and teaches
Sunday school classes at Clarke-Venable Baptist Church.
She is a 2011 honor graduate of Newton County High School, where she
received several honors and was involved in numerous activities.
She served as Beta Club president and was a member of the Fellowship
of Christian Athletes, Future Business Leaders of America, Shine
Club, Vivace’ show choir and yearbook staff.
The All-Mississippi Academic Team program is coordinated by The
Clarion-Ledger, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Mississippi
Association of Community and Junior Colleges and the Mississippi
Community College Board.
Students named to the All-Mississippi Academic Team compete for
placement on the national All-USA Community College Academic Team,
sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group, presented by USA Today
and additional support provided by the American Association of
Community Colleges and Phi Theta Kappa.
Twenty students named to the national All-USA Academic Team will be
featured in the April 23 issue of USA Today and each student will
receive a $2,500 scholarship.
This year, more than 1,800 nominations were received for the All-USA
Community College Academic Team competition.
Mississippi ranks in the top six states in the nation having students
named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team.
ECCC’s Hanna, Griffin named to All-Mississippi Academic Team
East Central Community College sophomores Andrew Hanna of Union and