Pauley-Barker named Gold Scholar | ACTC

Pauley-Barker named Gold Scholar

April 19, 2022

ASHLAND, Ky. – Ashland Community and Technical College is proud to announce that James Allen Pauley-Barker has been selected as a Gold Scholar on Coca-Cola’s 2022 Academic Team and the recipient of a $1,500 scholarship. 

His selection was based on the score he earned in the All-USA Academic Team competition, for which more than 2,000 applications were received this year. This program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and is administered by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society.

Each year, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation recognizes 50 Gold, 50 Silver, and 50 Bronze Scholars with nearly $200,000 in scholarships. Each scholar also receives a commemorative medallion.

“I'm speechless and pleasantly surprised to have been named a Gold Scholar for Coca-Cola's Academic Team in 2022. Phi Theta Kappa has changed my life, and I strongly encourage other students to become involved with organizations like it,” Pauley-Barker said.  “Phi Theta Kappa recognizes college students' academic achievements and provides benefits such as recognition, scholarships, career training and leadership development. I'm honored to have been chosen and recognized with this amazing achievement distinction, and I want to continue to model the principles outlined for recipients of this outstanding award.”

Along with being named a Gold Scholar by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Pauley-Barker was also recently selected to serve in a leadership role in the Kentucky region of PTK, being named PTK's 2022 Kentucky Regional Co-President.

“I am absolutely delighted to have been named as PTK's 2022 Kentucky Regional Co-President. I'm grateful for the opportunities ACTC and PTK have provided me during my time at our campus. They have really contributed to placing me in situations where I’ve discovered how to be a leader and communicate with others. Many thanks to all three PTK advisers and other significant leaders at ACTC, PTK, and beyond for their wonderful commitment and encouragement in teaching me how to pursue my life goals,” he said.

Janet Thompson, PTK advisor, says she is tremendously proud and impressed by Pauley-Barker’s efforts and accomplishments during his time at ACTC.  

“On top of his rigorous academic studies and working full time, James does a great job in bringing so many different people together to accomplish great things, as evidenced by his serving as Chapter President for our Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and his current achievement as Co-President of the PTK KY Region earlier this year,” she says.  “He is ambitious yet at the same time humble and inclusive.  I can fully attest that much of the success of ACTC is accomplished by the passion, drive, and determination of students just like James.”  

For more information about Phi Theta Kappa, visit