People of PTK: Christina Boyce

By day Phi Theta Kappa alumna Christina Boyce works at a law firm in Edwardsville, Illinois—but she also doubles as a chapter advisor and secretary of the Illinois Regional Alumni Association (IRAA).

Before being elected IRAA Secretary, she served as Senior Regional Officer of the Illinois Region, Southern Vice President of the region, and president of her chapter. Christina has attended the 2012 Honors Institute, all the International Conventions since 2012 and all the regional events since June 2012 except for one.

“I believe whole-heartedly in Phi Theta Kappa and how it can change lives,” she said. “I know it changed it mine. I grew in so many ways and learned so much about myself that I want that for every member.”

She wants to take that excitement and share it with today’s members by continuing her involvement, providing encouragement and spreading the word about what a difference Phi Theta Kappa can make.

“When you get involved in all that is offered through Phi Theta Kappa, you can’t help but be changed,” she said. “The leadership skills, the team building, the conventions and conferences, the learning, the sharing, the encouragement you receive at every turn—all of it together is truly awe-inspiring.”

From active member to alumna, Christina has recently become a Phi Theta Kappa advisor at the Southwestern Illinois College Belleville Campus.

“I am really excited for this new role and hope I can directly affect students, encourage them to get more involved, and enjoy their own life-changing experience,” she said. “I am very much looking forward to sharing my love of Phi Theta Kappa with many students as they become active members in the chapter.”

Christina has also decided to go back to school and finish her bachelor’s degree in accounting this spring, so she’ll be busy, but you can bet she will still find time for Phi Theta Kappa.

“I love Phi Theta Kappa and what it can offer students—not just scholarships, but the fellowship and learning from each other,” she said. “You form real bonds with people who genuinely want you to succeed.”

This month Christina will be helping the Illinois Regional Alumni Association host the “Lincoln Lock-In” for current members at the YMCA in Springfield to celebrate the submission of their Hallmark Awards entries and enjoy a night of fun and fellowship.

“I hope that all alumni can find ways to give back to the current members, help keep them engaged and excited about Phi Theta Kappa, and then watch their lives be changed,” she said.

Christina received the Phi Theta Kappa Alumni Award of Appreciation in 2015.

Alumni Awards

Do you know an alumnus like Christina? The Alumni Award of Appreciation is a way for chapters and regions to publicly show gratitude to supportive alumni.

In addition, the Alumni Association Awards of Merit recognize an alumni association (community-based, senior institution-based or region-based) that has been exemplary in meeting the mission of Phi Theta Kappa’s Alumni Association, conducting outstanding programs for the benefits of Phi Theta Kappa members.

Alumni award applications are due by 5 p.m. CT on February 15 and will be presented at PTK Catalyst 2017.

Take a Global Leap! Apply for the Gilman Scholarship by March 7

The benefits of study abroad experiences to personal, academic, and career success are significant. Yet a very small percentage of community college students participate in study abroad programs – less than one-tenth of one percent (<.1%; or 6,404 out of approximately 7,700,000 credit students at community colleges in 2013/2014 according to the Institute for International Education 2015 Open Doors Report). The barriers students cite most often are related to costs and lack of funding, and to lack of understanding what real-world value overseas experiences provide.

To address the financial barriers, the U.S. State Department encourages community college students to apply for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. It is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university, and funds participation in study and intern abroad programs worldwide. The Gilman application deadline of March 7 is fast approaching to apply for funding an international experience in the summer or fall of 2017. Learn more http://www.iie.org/programs/gilman-scholarship-program#.V-LgAPkrKM9

Phi Theta Kappa’s partnership with the International Scholar Laureate Program (ISLP) also seeks to address barriers to study abroad experiences for Phi Theta Kappa members. The partnership addresses the financial barriers through a tuition scholarship program, and addresses the lack of understanding the value of global study by relating the experiences to specific career fields. Over the past eight years between 200 and 300 PTK members annually embarked on two-week study abroad programs in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and China to gain valuable international perspectives in their chosen career fields. For details about ISLP programs, including tuition scholarships for PTK members, please visit the ISLP’s website: http://www.scholarlaureate.org/.