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Divisional Team Leaders are Valuable Resources for Regions, Chapters
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
While any Phi Theta Kappa Headquarters staff member is willing and able to assist advisors and members, a direct line to Society programs and resources may be found in the Divisional Team Leaders.
Divisional Team Leaders include the Associate Directors of Regional and Chapter Development (AD’s) and corresponding Key Services Consultants. One of each is assigned to the chapters in each division:
- Associate Director of Regional and Chapter Development: Onjalai Flake
- Key Services Consultant: Danya Stuart
- Associate Director of Regional and Chapter Development: Courtney Lange
- Key Services Consultant: Melissa Price
- Associate Director of Regional and Chapter Development: Mia Ramos-Shirley
- Key Services Consultant: Paige Still
- Associate Director of Regional and Chapter Development: Dawneen Banks
- Key Services Consultant: Fredrica Packnett
Divisional Team Leaders provide resources and hands-on assistance for chapter and regional leaders in membership acceptance campaigns as well as in engaging members in the Phi Theta Kappa Experience through benefits, programs and conferences. They have a vast knowledge of a variety of Society programs and initiatives, including Honors in Action, the Five Star Chapter Plan, Competitive Edge, CollegeFish.org, NerdNation, Honors Institute and more.
“Our Divisional Team Leaders really are Phi Theta Kappa gurus,” said Jennifer Stanford, Chief Student Engagement Officer. “They each have had their own unique experiences with Phi Theta Kappa that especially qualify them to work side-by-side with our regional and chapter leaders.”
Lange, who also serves as Director of Regional and Chapter Development, is a former chapter advisor from Holmes Community College in Ridgeland, Mississippi, which has been recognized as a Top 10 Most Distinguished Chapter by the Society. She attended numerous regional and international events as an advisor, including the first Advisor Institute held in 2013, and she recently completed her master's degree in communications.
“I feel as though the AD role can be summed up very simply by saying that we are ambassadors,” Lange said. “From the standpoint of Phi Theta Kappa, we serve as ambassadors as we promote awareness and encourage student engagement in Society programming.
“From the standpoint of regional and chapter leaders, we again serve as ambassadors as we carry the messages of students, advisors, regional coordinators, community leaders and college administrators back to Headquarters.”
Flake is a Phi Theta Kappa member from Mt. Hood Community College in Oregon, where she held both local and regional leadership roles. She also served as the 2010-2011 International Vice President for Division IV, and she was a 2011 Guistwhite Scholar. Prior to joining Phi Theta Kappa as a staff member, she worked as the Student Orientation Coordinator at George Fox University in Oregon.
Ramos-Shirley has been a Phi Theta Kappa member for more than 10 years, having served as a chapter, regional and international officer along the way. While at Columbia University, she chartered the first Phi Theta Kappa alumni chapter at an Ivy League school. She previously worked as the Assistant Director of Programs (New Colleges) at Achieving the Dream, Inc.
Banks has been a Phi Theta Kappa member for nearly 12 years and is a charter member of the Beta Kappa Lambda Chapter at Aims Community College in Colorado. She served as the Colorado Regional Vice President and was the first student from Colorado elected to International Office. She previously worked as a Manager of Business Development for Ellucian, formerly known as SunGard Higher Education.
“These AD’s have been in the shoes of our members and our advisors,” Stanford said. “They have faced the same struggles, and they have had the same questions and concerns. They are ready and able to extend their knowledge and experience to our regions and chapters, and they are committed to seeing the chapters in each of our four divisions grow and succeed.”
The AD’s work alongside regional leaders to help educate new advisors, plan conferences, orientate regional officers and set regional goals. They provide training at chapter and regional conferences, and they provide direct support to advisors on reporting members and managing chapter operations through PAM.
They also work closely with the International Officers, coaching and guiding them as they serve as liaisons between chapters and Phi Theta Kappa Headquarters.
“Having three former International Officers as part of the Regional and Chapter Development Team, we feel as though we are really able to arm them with the information and tools needed to be successful ambassadors for Phi Theta Kappa,” Lange said.
Ask an AD what the best part of her job is, and her answer will depend on what time of year it is. In February, they assist with Hallmark Awards judging. In April, they’re gearing up for NerdNation. In May and December, they’re seeing the students in their divisions honored with life-changing scholarship offers.
“For me, the bottom line is that Phi Theta Kappa has been changing the lives of students for almost a century now,” Lange said. “I am so grateful to be connected to that.”
While the AD’s are often traveling throughout their divisions, the Key Services Consultants maintain a home base at the Center for Excellence where they can be easily reached with questions or concerns. Stuart, Price, Still and Packnett have more than 10 years of combined experience at Phi Theta Kappa.
“Our Key Services Consultants are an integral part of our engagement with our regions and chapters,” said Wendy Giammarco, Director of Key and Conference Services. “The knowledge they possess allows them to assist our regional coordinators, advisors and members with virtually anything, from chapter chartering and member recruitment to advisor education.”