PTK chapter does it again: Georgia’s ‘Most Distinguished Chapter’
For the third year in a row, Athens Technical College’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa
(PTK) international honor society has won the state’s chapter of the year award at the PTK Georgia Spring Regional Convention held in Milledgeville March 8-9. The chapter won several other awards as well.
The college’s Alpha Tau Zeta (ATZ) Chapter of PTK captured the PTK’s Georgia Region Most Distinguished Chapter out of more than 30 chapters in the state. The Athens Technical College chapter has been named Most Distinguished Chapter for the state four out of the last five years. The recognition earned the local chapter two scholarships for student officers to attend the PTK Honors Institute this summer at Villanova University in Pennsylvania and study with hundreds of other PTK members and officers. The chapter’s honors coordinator, Anna Johnson, will receive one of the scholarships, and the other recipient is to be determined.
Work by Athens Technical College’s PTK chapter members also garnered the chapter awards for Distinguished Honors in Action: Issue Award, Distinguished Honors in Action: Overall Award, and Distinguished College Project. In addition, Ms. Johnson was named Distinguished Chapter Officer and was elected regional secretary for the Georgia Region of PTK.
The chapter’s Honors in Action Issue involved “The Culture of Competition,” a topic assigned semi-annually by Phi Theta Kappa headquarters in Jackson, Miss. The ATZ members at Athens Technical College focused on a more narrow issue entitled: “It’s All in Your Mind: Competition and Psychology,” according to ATZ advisor Rob Nichols, who also serves as an instructor in Anatomy and Physiology at the college.
“Where we went with it was to consider that not all competition is healthy competition. We wanted to recognize and address the negative effects of the competitive culture such as the selectivity of our healthcare programs on students trying to get into the professional degree programs,” Mr. Nichols explained. “We addressed the effects of the stress created by this selectivity and how that stress can impair the health of our students.”
ATZ’s college project, for which it also won an award, is still being developed, but the students are interested in working with administrators and advisors to create a mentorship program for students who are most at risk of withdrawing from college and never returning to complete a degree, Mr. Nichols said.
ATZ also completed PTK’s Five-Star development plan for the year. The chapter was named a 5-Star Chapter, indicating that ATZ has to meet five levels of engagement and activity that progress from local, campus involvement to regional involvement and then on to international involvement. The honor society provides a 5-Star Chapter Development Plan to guide the chapters through the levels while helping them build strong, active chapters. By following the 5-Star plan, chapter members focus on goal setting, deadlines, and organizational skills, all while developing strong working relationships with college administrators.
Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society for community and technical colleges. It has more than two million members in more than 1,250 chapters. Phi Theta Kappa recognizes and encourages scholarship among two-year college students. The organization provides students with the opportunity to develop their leadership and service capabilities, an intellectual climate for the exchange of ideas, a lively fellowship for scholars, and stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence and college degree completion.
Photo caption: Left-to right, Athens Technical College’s PTK members and advisors Lauren Threlkeld, Rob Nichols (chapter advisor and college instructor), Stacey Stern, Anna Johnson, Daniel Forehand, Trisha Reid, Winona Meddings, and Randall Fameree (chapter advisor and college instructor)