Submit Relay For Life Participation by Jan. 15

If your chapter took part in a 2016 Relay For Life event through the American Cancer Society, you have until January 15, 2017, to report the participation.

Phi Theta Kappa has partnered with the American Cancer Society to participate in Relay For Life events for 14 years, and chapters have raised more than $3.8 million for the organization since 2002. Our goal as an honor society is to raise $10 million for the ACS, so we hope all chapters will find a nearby event and form a team.

The Top 10 fundraising chapters are recognized each year at Phi Theta Kappa’s annual convention.

It doesn’t matter how much money you raised or how many chapter members participated — we want to hear about your event and see how you’re making a difference in the global fight against cancer.

One chapter’s first-time participation in a local Relay For Life brought a bigger crowd to the event, led two chapter officers to become community leaders and raised more than $2,300 for the ACS.

“We are still raising money for it, as it’s a year-round cause,” said Judy Towers, recording officer for the Alpha Kappa Xi Chapter at Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico. “I love Relay For Life and what it stands for, as I am a three-year survivor of head and neck cancer.”

Chapter President Angela Luna is a thyroid cancer survivor. She and Towers were asked by the Santa Fe Relay district coordinator to serve as volunteer coordinators for the event moving forward. They’ll travel to Utah in November to begin training for their new positions, and they’re already making plans for the 2017 event.

Alpha Kappa Xi members met ACS representatives while attending Phi Theta Kappa’s 2016 convention in National Harbor, Maryland, in April. The meeting led officers to add Relay participation as a new summer event for the chapter.

“For me, my passion came through for the fight against cancer,” Towers said. “I believe this direction is part of my journey in life after cancer.”

Need more inspiration? Check out these best practices from a few of the top fundraising chapters in 2015.

Phi Theta Kappa Receives Staples Grant

Phi Theta Kappa has been awarded a grant by Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc., through a program called 2 Million & Change that allows Staples associates around the globe to direct more than $2 million in donations each year.

Phi Theta Kappa’s account manager, Yanet Thomason, recommended the Society to receive the grant.

Funds will be used to support eight new Golden Opportunity Scholarships, designed to increase access to the benefits of Phi Theta Kappa by helping students pay for membership when they simply cannot afford it.

“We are grateful that Staples recognizes the importance of providing access to Phi Theta Kappa and altering the path of a community college student,” said Steve Mulhollen, Interim Executive Director of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation.

Created in 2012, the 2 Million & Change program is a philanthropic initiative that allows Staples associates around the world to direct funding to non-profit organizations focused on academic education or job skills. The program encourages local community engagement by awarding larger grants to organizations where associates are highly engaged in volunteering or fundraising – up to $25,000 per organization.

Staples contributes to educational and job-related community efforts with a primary focus on disadvantaged youth, from literacy and mentoring to career skills development, through in-kind and monetary donations and grants from Staples Foundation. Through its community and giving efforts, Staples has helped thousands of organizations in 26 countries. For more information, visit

In 2015, Staples awarded more than $2.5 million in grants to 875 local organizations in support of education and job skills programs, including job readiness for homeless individuals, career exploration for high school students, academic scholarships, mentoring and more.

“For 30 years, Staples associates have been making a difference in their communities around the world,” said John Burke, chief culture officer, Staples, Inc., “We’re thrilled that the 2 Million & Change program lets our associate make an even greater impact on the organizations they are passionate about.”

Let’s #KISS: Keep It Simple & Study!

Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by Sydney Pemberton, International Vice President for Division 3.

Okay Phi Theta Kappa, it’s finals time. For me, being in a medical program, studying is one of the most important things when it comes to getting good grades, so why is it sometimes so hard? Distraction and procrastination tend to be my biggest downfalls when it comes to studying.

But don’t worry — studying doesn’t have to be stressful.

They say (and by “they” I mean my grandma) that if you acknowledge something at least seven times it will go to memory, so I’m not risking it. With the help of a couple of Phi Theta Kappa members, I have put together seven simple study habits that might help you to succeed.


Your professor just assigned you 1,000,001 chapters in your dreaded textbook to review before the big test and you just aren’t that in to reading. I get it. That’s me.

However, I’ve learned throughout my educational career that reading the chapters can make a world of difference in knowing the information. Follow along and highlight what the instructor went over in class, then go back later and re-read your highlights. This way you’ll know you are studying the key information. Simply scanning over key terms and visual aids are also great ways to make reading a little easier.

2. Stacks on Stacks … of Notecards

Red ones, green ones, blue ones, I’m a notecard addict. Flashcards are a great way to get a lot of information fast! I write vocabulary words, draw concept maps, and list key ideas on my notecards. I even color coordinate them to meet the needs of my photographic memory.

Flipping through notecards of information allows you constant repetition of a subject. Get your mom, dad, roommate or friends involved, have them flip through the notecards with you and ask you questions on the subject. Teaching someone else on a matter can also help improve your understanding of a subject.

3. Play your strengths

Find out your own learning style. Visual learner, auditory learner, tactile? Whatever your learning style is, find ways of studying that are going to help you get the most out of your time.

4. Get those Endorphins Goin’

Valerie Baumann from the Beta Beta Psi Chapter at Madison College in Wisconsin uses exercise as part of her helpful study habits. She takes her books and study materials to the gym with her and claims that exercise helps her to “relax her mind and absorb the materials.” This may be a great way to exercise your body and your brain at the same time.

5. Take Breaks

Late-night study sessions before a huge test can leave you anxious and tired the next day. Be sure to take care of yourself. Eat “real” food (not that chocolate you’re hiding from your roommates), take a shower, listen to music or do something fun to take your mind off of studying. Even with a 10-minute break you can refresh your mind and be open to taking in more information.

6. Doodle

Yes, I said it. Doodle. For you visual learners out there, Ariel Bradford at Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Michigan uses doodling to help her remember important facts in the classroom. “One time we were talking about some microorganism [in class] that made me think of Plankton from SpongeBob, so I doodled him! Totally helped me remember that part of lecture,” she said.

7. Ask Questions

How are you supposed to study something that you don’t understand? Ask your professor — they’re the experts! In the middle of class and have a question? Write it down and get with the teacher right after class for clarification. Find out when they have office hours and schedule an appointment; that way, you know the information and can be prepared for your exam. Use your resources — your instructor, the library and online databases are available to you to answer questions and help you have a positive learning experience.