Tyler Junior College President Dr. Juan E. Mejia has been named a winner of the prestigious Paragon Award by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international community college honor society.
Mejia is among 22 recipients out of 500 eligible college presidents, and one of only two in Texas. He will receive the award during the organization’s annual convention, PTK Catalyst 2021, to be broadcast live from Orlando, Florida, in April.
Recipients are nominated for the award by students from their respective college.
Gigi Delk, TJC professor and PTK faculty sponsor, announced Mejia’s award during a surprise appearance at last Thursday’s meeting of the TJC Board of Trustees.
“Each year, the students in the nation’s 1,400 Phi Theta Kappa chapters are allowed to nominate college administrators for particular awards, and one of those is the Paragon Award for New College Presidents,” she said. “Last fall, our students identified the marvelous ways in which Dr. Mejia encourages leadership, student success and community involvement; and we are proud to say that that our exemplary president has been named a Paragon President.”
Mejia said, “I am honored by this very special recognition, and I wholeheartedly celebrate the amazing work of our institutional chapter, Alpha Omicron, for consistently being among the best internationally. This recognition truly belongs to the students who we serve, and the faculty, staff and administrators who I have the privilege of working with.”
Peggy Smith, first vice president of the TJC Board of Trustees, said, “We are proud and feel very privileged to have Dr. Mejia as president of Tyler Junior College. We feel that he is most deserving of this award, especially because he has preserved and moved the College forward through this difficult year. We are humbled and grateful for his dedication to the College, the faculty and staff, and, most importantly, the students.”
In a message from his Austin office, State Sen. Bryan Hughes said, “Congratulations to my friend Dr. Mejia for winning the Paragon Award for new presidents. He is devoted to the students, faculty and alumni that make up the TJC family, and he is highly deserving of this prestigious award.”
About Phi Theta Kappa
Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders.
PTK students have a 91 percent student success rate, and research has shown that strong presidential leadership and support of the organization increases member success and the depth of their college experience.
Chartered in 1930, TJC’s Alpha Omicron Chapter is one of the oldest Phi Theta Kappa chapters and was the 40th chapter established in the entire nation.