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2014 Phi Theta Kappa Academy Focuses on Diversity, Inclusivity

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A key part of the student and advisor engagement that makes Annual Convention the ultimate Phi Theta Kappa Experience takes place before the Convention ever officially begins — at the Phi Theta Kappa Academy. The Academy equips attendees with marketable leadership skills and knowledge to benefit them individually and as Phi Theta Kappa leaders — ultimately contributing to both student and chapter success.

Justin Jones-Fosu

The Phi Theta Kappa Academy will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24. Its target audience is broad: members, chapter officers, regional officers and advisors.

Inge Auerbacher

The cost for members and chapter and regional officers is $97, which includes lunch, educational materials and exclusive presentations for all Academy registrants. There is no charge for advisors, but pre-registration is required. Space is limited, and the Academy often fills up quickly, so early registration is encouraged.

This year, the Academy program focuses on the powerful role of diversity and inclusivity in our chapters, on our college campuses and in the world around us. Two dynamic keynote speakers, award-winning entrepreneur Justin Jones-Fosu and German Holocaust survivor Inge Auerbacher, will take participants on a journey through the foundations of diversity, lessons learned by experience and the roles each person can play in creating a diverse and more inclusive environment.

Jones-Fosu seeks to redefine diversity in everyday life. He is an author, an award-winning entrepreneur and a professional speaker who recently published his first book, Inspiration for Life: Dream Bigger, Do More, Live Fuller! For Jones-Fosu, it’s all about learning to hug an elephant and kiss a giraffe.

Academy participants will have fun while realizing the power that a diverse, engaged, socially just college environment offers, and they will understand their role in helping to create an environment where everyone matters and feels empowered to shape their landscape. Jones-Fosu’s unique blend of high-energy, humor and practical content will make this diversity conversation anything but generic and boring.

Jones-Fosu was named one of Ebony Magazine’s “30 Young Leaders Under 30 On the Rise” in 2008. While earning his MBA at the University of Baltimore, he was named the Distinguished Student Entrepreneur of the Year. Today, he hosts a weekly radio show on WEAA 88.9 FM in his hometown of Baltimore.

Auerbacher was born in Germany and, at the age of seven, spent three years in the Nazi Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, from 1942 to 1945. Academy participants will be moved by her unique experiences and insights as they explore the frontiers of diversity and inclusivity.

Approximately 150,000 people were imprisoned at the Terezin camp during World War II — 15,000 of whom were children. Nearly 88,000 were sent to the gas chambers in Auschwitz, and 35,000 died of malnutrition and disease. Auerbacher and her family were among the one percent who survived.

After being rescued by the Red Army in 1945, Auerbacher and her family immigrated to the United States in 1946. She graduated from Queens College in New York City with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and worked for 38 years as a research chemist.

She is the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and an honorary doctorate from Long Island University. She tells her life story in three books: I am a Star-Child of the Holocaust; Beyond the Yellow Star to America; and Finding Dr. Schatz – The Discovery of Streptomycin and A Life it Saved.