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 two-year colleges.

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 organizations.

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 2007.

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 classes.

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 Junior Colleges.

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.