Three San Mateo County community-college students have earned statewide academic honors.

Ashley Cohen of Cañada College in Redwood City and Maher Dabit and Khalil Dabeet, both of Skyline College in San Bruno, were among 75 students chosen for the Phi Theta Kappa All-California Academic Teams.

Cohen and Dabit made the first team, while Dabeet joined the second team.

The 75 honorees were recognized last week in Sacramento during an awards luncheon by the nonprofit Community College League of California.

Team members received a medallion, certificate of recognition and a cash stipend.

"These students not only represent some of the best enrolled in our community colleges but also demonstrate the powerful impact community colleges have on all facets of California," league President Scott Lay said.

Judges at the national level for Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society for two-year colleges, picked the winning students and ranked them based on scholarly achievements and leadership accomplishments.

Journalists recognized

Five yearbook students from Notre Dame High School in Belmont have landed on the National Scholastic Press Association's Journalism Honor Roll.

They are Emma Clark, Amanda Deering, Emely Ibarra, Brooke Nightingale and Jessica Smock.


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The program recognizes students who have excelled as journalists and scholars, have served on staff for a minimum of one year and have a minimum 3.75 grade-point average.

The Best of the High School Press, the association's annual publication showcasing award-winning student work, will print a complete list of Honor Roll inductees.

DeVry grad featured

A gaming-industry pioneer who lives in Woodside helped lead the 2009 Game Developers Conference last week in San Francisco.

During a session, David Crane — a graduate of DeVry University — offered insights into the industry and techniques for a successful career as a game developer.

Crane co-founded game studios Activision and Absolute Entertainment and created award-winning games such as "Pitfall!," "Ghostbusters," and "A Boy and His Blob."

The session sponsored by DeVry also featured Steve Cartwright, another graduate of the school who has been part of the industry for three decades.

Cartwright is most well-known for his eight-year career at Redwood City-based Electronic Arts, where he designed and produced the Tiger Woods video game franchise.

Chalk Talk is a regular feature with items about schools, students, teachers and administrators in San Mateo County. To submit an item, write to Chalk Talk, San Mateo County Times, 477 Ninth Ave., Suite 110, San Mateo, CA 94402; send a fax to 650-348-4446; or e-mail education reporter Neil Gonzales at ngonzales@bayareanewsgroup.com. Visit the Chalk Talk blog at www.ibabuzz.com/chalktalk.