The Value of Recognition

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

Phi Theta Kappa’s President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner often says, “Our mission begins at recognition; but unlike other honor societies, it does not end there.” Phi Theta Kappa sees the value in recognition because when a person is recognized, not only does it create excitement, but it also motivates the individual and other individuals to rise. Recognition takes part in shaping the minds of Phi Theta Kappans, and the four hallmarks of PTK are the pillars in fulfilling this mission.

PTK leadership opportunities are available at the local, regional, and international levels. PTK provides the opportunity for you to get out of your comfort zone so you’re able to see another dimension of yourself.

Just as PTK’s mission is about recognition, it also wants to give you an opportunity to recognize your unique gifts. PTK does not end at recognition; rather, it’s the beginning of a transformation.

This year, the DiversiFive International Officer team created a pin to recognize Past Regional Officers (PRO’s). Creating a pin dedicated to PRO’s will recognize them for an amazing service to their region and to the organization as a whole.

Taking on a leadership role in PTK comes with responsibility. The tremendous work done by our past regional officers has contributed to the success of our Society.

We are proud to see this project come to fruition. PRO pins will be available for purchase in the Phi Theta Kappa Store at the end of April. Regional Coordinators — this will be a wonderful way for you to honor the work of your outgoing regional officers.

Scholarships are another way PTK recognizes students. The Spring Scholarship Application is now open for members who will still be seeking associate degrees in the fall. This is the moment to share your story. Complete the application for this scholarship because you will never know the outcome unless you try. A PTK scholarship allowed me to return to college.

Participation in Honors in Action and College Projects — and PTK’s recognition of it — has deepened members’ perspectives in ways we can’t comprehend. Growth, experience, love, and recognition in PTK is infinite.

PTK is all about fellowship, and the opportunity to be recognized by a peer is powerful in the process of an individual’s growth. PTK knows how to build you up if only you are willing to make yourself uncomfortable.

Dr. Tincher-Ladner said, “PTK membership is like a gym membership. What you put is what you get out of it.” You have the choice to either stop at PTK’s first part of the mission (recognition) or invest yourself in all that PTK offers in order to keep growing.

5 Ways to Turn New Members into Active Members

Editor’s note: This post was written and submitted by Oklahoma alumna Liz Tabak.

Congratulations, you’ve had a dynamic PTK Awareness Week and have exceeded your REACH Rewards goals! So, how do you encourage your new recruits to become active and involved members?

A great deal of your success in making sure those new members become involved will rest with the health of your chapter. Make time for regular chapter checkups like these:

  • Has your chapter used the Five Star Chapter Plan to develop your schedule and goals?
  • Does everyone — officer team and members alike — know their role and how your team intends to reach those goals?
  • Are your officers and advisors invested and engaged in their roles?
  • Does your officer team communicate well with one another and stay connected within the chapter?
  • Do you have active alumni members who can offer insight into how Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) has helped them after their community college experience?

If your chapter is running smoothly, you will have more energy to focus on those new members. Where do you go next? Here are some tips to inspire your new crew to get and stay involved:

  1. Connect with them at induction. Induction is the perfect time to show new members what your chapter has to offer. Have officers and current members attend to welcome these new members to the PTK family, and make sure they mingle with the crowd after the ceremony. Show a home video about what current members have gained from membership or create a video slideshow featuring pictures of your chapter’s “Greatest Hits” — community service activities, your regional convention and PTK Catalyst, candid shots of your chapter at meetings, and even graduates decked out in their regalia.
  1. Know your members. PTK boasts an amazingly rich and diverse membership, and each chapter has its own mix, all with their own strengths and challenges. Knowing a little about your members will help you connect and draw them into the chapter, as well as identify the best times for events and meetings. You may have seen the #PTKfamily hashtag? That family begins at the chapter level.
  1. Offer scholarship support. Many students accept membership to gain access to PTK scholarships. Not only can your chapter offer opportunities to add substance to scholarship entries, but you can also provide practical support like hosting workshops on completing applications. Some chapters reserve a computer lab on campus and offer real-time support for those completing PTK’s common application.
  1. Give members something worth their time. Scholarships and cool graduation regalia are not the only things PTK offers. College students have a lot on their plates, so give them a good reason to invest their time in your chapter. Offer workshops on developing resumes and soft skills or tackle the Five Star Competitive Edge challenge as a chapter. Offer a mentorship program or partner with campus resources and other organizations to connect members with some of the unique things your college has to offer.
  1. Use social media to stay connected. Work with your college and your advisor to create a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat to show your members what activities you’re doing and draw them in. Celebrate awards, scholarships, graduation, and other successes on social media so family and friends can also see the value of membership.

With these tips and your new members, you’re ready for success!

Liz Tabak is past president of Rose State College’s Alpha Eta Alpha chapter and currently serves as Vice President of the Oklahoma/Arkansas Region Alumni Association. She is a humanities/English major and 2018 Ronald E. McNair Scholar at the University of Central Oklahoma. Liz is excited to be in college with her two children, Christian and Kat, and her proudest Phi Theta Kappa moment was serving on the same officer team as her son.