Regional conferences and projects are getting a $110,000 boost from Phi Theta Kappa Headquarters in the form of regional grants.
Twenty-two of the 29 Phi Theta Kappa regions will receive grants of $5,000 each. The funds will be used to supplement costs for conference programming and regional projects that will directly impact students. View the list of regions receiving grants.
“Our regions are hosting some incredible events and doing some really amazing work, and we’re happy to support them in their efforts,” Phi Theta Kappa’s Vice President of Membership and Student Engagement Dr. Susan Scaggs said. “Getting engaged on a regional level means our students have the ability to make a real difference beyond their college campuses.”
The grants can be used for regional conferences that take place during the 2016-2017 academic year. Many regions plan to use the funds to bring in expert speakers to address a particular Honors Study Topic theme. Below are four examples of how these grants will impact a region and its Phi Theta Kappa members.
Alabama’s Leadership Conference
Each year the Alabama Region conducts a statewide Honors in Action project, with each chapter selecting one or two members to serve on the regional research team. The capstone event for this project is the Honors in Action Leadership Conference, which brings all ideas and participants together for a panel discussion, small group sessions and outdoor team-building exercises and to determine if any further action is needed on the project itself.
To strengthen the leadership development training, the region will use its grant to secure a keynote speaker that can move its members into action as leaders and inspire them to become more globally responsible and aware.
“Our regional Honors in Action project allows students to grow as scholars as they complete research and facilitate activities that invite collaboration with numerous organizations in their communities,” Regional Coordinator Nora Lee said. “As they develop and strengthen leadership skills, they are learning to work with a diverse team to become responsible servant leaders in their colleges and communities.
“It is our hope that by being able to financially invest in a high-quality motivational speaker, we will provide a lasting impact that ripples through our region and results in more chapters being a part of this experience.”
Building Programming in the Indiana Region
The Indiana Region is all about development: they’re focusing on a robust membership campaign; they’re hosting a statewide Commit to Complete event this fall; and they’re helping more chapters achieve a Five Star status.
The region plans to divide its grant between its Fall Honors Conference and the Spring Regional Conference. In the fall, the intent is to bring in a speaker who can discuss strengths-based leadership or an equivalent program in line with the honors conference’s focus on Honors in Action and leadership development.
For the spring conference, the region hopes to secure a speaker who can focus again on leadership as well as on future opportunities for Phi Theta Kappa members.
“Leadership development is something that is not addressed in the curriculum of our community colleges, particularly Ivy Tech, so it is our intention to build and continue a legacy of excellence,” Regional Coordinator Leo Studach said. “By equipping our students with the needed leadership tools to be effective chapter leaders and community leaders, we will continue to build our programming with this grant and build our leadership base among our students.”
Middle States Completes Week
The week of October 17-21 has been dubbed Middle States Completes Week and will feature coordinated statewide completion initiatives in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Washington, DC.
The week will begin with a kick-off event on Saturday, October 15. Morning programming will promote chapter and college events taking place throughout the coming week.
Afternoon programming will focus on Honors in Action in general and on the Middle States Regional Honors in Action Project in particular. The region will use its grant to fund C4 supplies for all of its chapters and to secure a keynote speaker for the Honors in Action presentation.
“Providing workshops on completion events will assist chapters in implementing their own,” said Regional Coordinator Pattie Van Atter. “Likewise, providing a regional Honors in Action Project may assist a chapter that is not ready to implement their own but would like to be a part of a regional project.
“And, Middle States Completes also works to increase Phi Theta Kappa awareness.”
The region also hopes the added engagement through Middle States Completes Week will lead to more chapters achieving Five Star Status on an international level and Gold Status on a regional level.
Food Sustainability in New England
The New England Regional Honors in Action Project is researching and addressing food sustainability in Worcester, Massachusetts, home of Quinsigamond Community College, the site of the region’s fall conference. The region hopes to secure an environmental speaker to speak on sustainable neighborhoods and communities.
The action aspect of the project is helping build a greenhouse for Worcester on the Quinsigamond Community College campus. It’s a way for the region to work together in fellowship to create a sustainable environment for the students and families living in the Worcester area, and it will allow the students to put what they learn in the conference portion into action.
Regional Coordinator Michelle Coach also hopes this regional Honors in Action Project will serve as an outline for how individual chapters can plan and complete projects. Regional officers will start the work, and then conference attendees will be brought into the research and action aspects, creating an overall Honors in Action experience for the students.
“It has been many years since New England has done a regional project, and we want this next regional conference to be service and research driven so the students leave the conference inspired, driven and ready to complete their Honors in Action projects.”