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Three Vikings Named to All-California Academic Team

Three Long Beach City College (LBCC) students were honored recently in Sacramento as members of the Phi Theta Kappa All-State Academic Team. LBCC Biological Sciences major Christopher Soriano was one of 26 students named to the All-California Academic Second Team and fellow Vikings Peter Kenji Lopez and Kristen Payne were named to the Third Team. The three represent the top 76 students in the California Community College system, which enrolls more than two million students annually.


“It was by far the greatest experience I have had so far in my collegiate career,” Soriano said of the day. “It was inspirational to see the diversity of students from different backgrounds being recognized for their achievements. I was proud to be a representative of LBCC at this event and hope to inspire other students to strive for their dreams.”

Vice President of Student Support Services and PTK Chapter Administrator Dr. Gregory Peterson and Student Relations Director Alicia Kruizenga accompanied the students to the Capital where they were honored by PTK and the Community College League of California, which presented honorees medallions and a certificate to recognize their accomplishments.


“Long Beach City College is very proud of Christopher, Kristen and Peter,” said Kruizenga. “Their continued dedication and exemplary leadership skills are what makes them true PTK honor students.”


Grades, leadership and community service determined their selection to the teams. The selection for the All-California teams was determined by the scores nominees received from national level Phi Theta Kappa judges.


The program included photos and biographies of each team member:


Christopher Soriano

Long Beach City College

Age: 20 • GPA: 3.9

Major: Biological Sciences

Christopher Soriano is a Long Beach Rotary Scholar, and also an Ebell of Los Angeles Scholar. He is a President’s Ambassador and a member of the Honors Club at Long Beach City College. He attributes his successes in the future to LBCC because they paved the way to a brighter future he didn’t know was possible. Christopher thanks PTK for this recognition and is thankful to represent Long Beach City College as a California academic team member. His plan is to transfer to UCLA and major in microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics to obtain a B.S. degree. He will then continue his education in medical school to become a physician. When not studying for classes, he interns at St. Francis Medical Center.



Peter Kenji Lopez

Long Beach City College

Age: 19 • GPA: 4.0

Major: Business Administration

Peter Kenji Lopez is studying business administration at the University of Southern California. He transferred in the spring of 2014 from Long Beach City College. He joined Phi Theta Kappa on campus and became vice president and treasurer during this time. He also joined Alpha Gamma Sigma, President’s Ambassadors and Viking Volunteers. Peter was selected as a Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar in 2013 and was on the Dean’s List with great distinction for three semesters. He was accepted into the Honors Transfer Council of California Student Research Conference, his research titled “Labor Unions: An Economic Perspective” was published in 2013. He has interned for the Long Beach Small Business Development Center in global trade & logistics. He wants to pursue an MBA and become a consultant. After retiring from the private sector, Peter hopes to teach business at Long Beach City College.

Kristen Payne

Long Beach City College

Age: 37 • GPA: 3.926

Major: Communications & Accounting

Kristen is a Southern California native and grew up in the Long Beach area. After high school she had a successful career as a television production manager and traveled extensively for work. In 2011, she enrolled at Long Beach City College and quickly immersed herself in the campus community. Kristen is a member of the LBCC Honors Program, PTK Honor Society, serves on the ASB cabinet, and several district committees in addition to working in the school’s Federal Work Study program. She has been honored with the President’s National Volunteer Service Award and LBCC’s highest honor, the prestigious Viking Award. Kristen is majoring in both accounting and communications at LBCC with plans to pursue her B.A. degree and master’s degree. She enjoys golfing, laughter, and discovering the world with her daughter.

For more information, please contact the Office of Communications at (562) 938-4353 or (562) 938-4846. For media inquiries, please call (562) 938-4004.
Three Vikings Named to All-California Academic Team