Hallmark Awards to Expand Recognition in 2017

It’s almost that time of year again — for your chapter to enter the Hallmark Awards competition and receive recognition for all your hard work!

While there are no major changes to the Hallmark Awards program, minor adjustments have been made to allow more chapters and regions to be competitive in this process.

For the first time, in 2017 the number of College Project Awards will double, from 25 to 50, allowing twice as many chapters to be recognized.

Also Regional Coordinators can nominate up to two regional officers (previously this number was unlimited) for the Distinguished Regional Officer Award. Coordinators may still nominate the entire Regional Officer Team for the Regional Officer Team Award, in addition to submitting up to two officers for Distinguished Regional Officer Award.

Finally, to better balance the criteria for Distinguished Chapter rankings (averaging the scores of both Honors in Action and College Project), the number of total points assigned to the College Project Award will increase from 45 total points to 85. This is a testament to the increasing strength and impact of the College Projects, which encourages a positive, cohesive relationship between the college and the chapter.

Since Honors in Action remains a much more comprehensive project, it will continue to have a potential score of 115 total points.

The Hallmark Awards entry forms for Honors in Action Project Award, College Project Award and the four Administrator Award categories are now open online at my.ptk.org. The remaining Individual Award Categories for members, officers and advisors will be available soon.

The following are deadlines for the 2017 Hallmark Awards competition — all entries must be submitted online by 5 p.m. CT:

Administrator Awards – December 7, 2016
Individual Awards (Member, Officer, Advisor) – January 11, 2017
Chapter Awards (Honors in Action/College Project) – January 25, 2017

We encourage you to utilize the entry process to demonstrate what your chapter has accomplished and hone writing and presentation skills which will be helpful now, and in years to come.

Welder Finds Skills, Family in Phi Theta Kappa

Kegan Forrester was looking for a way to get more involved with fellow students at Linn-Benton Community College in Oregon. In Phi Theta Kappa, he found this and more, including leadership and travel opportunities and skills to help in his chosen career of welding.

After high school, Forrester went to work on a farm. He liked his job, but he knew a college education would bring him more success in life. He enrolled in college as a criminal justice major but became discouraged when college-level math challenged him. He dropped out and returned to the farm.

His bosses saw his potential and encouraged him to try again. This time, Forrester went the technical route. He’d enjoyed welding in high school, so the welding program at Linn-Benton seemed a good choice.

“Welding has it’s own core classes, including both math and writing for welders, which helped me to connect and understand it better,” he said in a story on Linn-Benton’s website.

Forrester is one of thousands of Phi Theta Kappa members in a workforce, career or technical field. They don’t often join the Society for the transfer scholarships; instead, they’re looking for benefits that can help them get and succeed at a job.

A 2015 report by Deloitte Development LLC and The Manufacturing Institute shows that over the next 10 years, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled. Knowing that employers value skills such as leadership, verbal communication and the ability to work in a team, Phi Theta Kappa offers free, online, self-paced programs like Competitive Edge for all members.

Gaining these preferred job skills can be as simple as serving on a committee within your chapter. Forrester served as chapter vice president, which led to him traveling to regional and international conferences, meeting people from around the world, speaking in front of his chapter and working with a team of officers.

“What I got out of being involved in PTK [was] mostly a great set of new skills — leadership, teamwork, speaking to groups and much, much more,” he said. “I also made new friends…not just friends, but a new sort of family I’d say.”

Forrester, a first-generation college student, earned his degree in welding with honors and landed a job in the aerospace industry. He’s also pursuing an associate degree in policing and law enforcement.

“I had no plan to go to a four-year school, but since I have been involved in PTK I know that I have a family to return to if I go back,” he said.

Photo by Lori Fluge-Brunker, Linn-Benton Community College