Register Now for Honors Institute 2018!

Making your summer plans? Be sure to include Phi Theta Kappa’s 2018 Honors Institute, June 18-23 at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

Honors Institute is built around PTK’s Honors in Action Program, the 2018/2019 Honors Study Topic, Transformations: Acknowledging, Assessing, and Achieving Change, and — new this year — the Leadership Development Program. It’s four days of small-group discussions, collaborative learning exercises, and leadership skills development.

Dr. Seth Stephens-Davidowitz will open Honors Institute with his lecture, “Search and Discover: What the Internet and Big Data Reveal about Who We Are.” Stephens-Davidowitz is an author and researcher who uses Internet data to gain new insights into the human psyche.

His 2017 book, Everyone Lies, was a New York Times bestseller. Stephens-Davidowitz writes op-ed pieces for The New York Times and previously worked as a data scientist at Google.

Students attending Honors Institute will go through PTK’s Leadership Development Program curriculum, hailed by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as one of only eight exemplary leadership development programs in higher education. On Thursday, June 21, students will visit historic Philadelphia to view the Liberty Bell and tour Independence Hall.

Advisors will be certified (or re-certified) to teach the Leadership Development Program curriculum on their campuses. On Thursday, they will visit the new Museum of the American Revolution.

Honors Institute is limited to 500 attendees, 125 of whom may be advisors. Multiple registration options are available:

1. All-Inclusive Registration

Covers 4 days of programming; 4 nights lodging in college dorm with roommate; dinner Monday; 3 meals per day Tuesday-Thursday; and breakfast Friday

Cost is $905 per person until May 11; then, it increases to $1,005 per person through May 21

2. Explore More Day (Optional)

Honors Institute concludes with an optional Explore More! Day on Friday, June 22, giving attendees an opportunity to explore Philadelphia on their own.

There is no additional charge when added to All-Inclusive Registration.

3. Commuter Registration

This is an economical option for those able to commute to campus each day. No lodging or meals are included at this rate, but meals may be purchased in the campus dining hall.

Cost is $600 per person, and the deadline is May 21. No commuter registrations will be accepted on site.

Learn more about Honors Institute and register today!

Advisors: Apply Now for Honors Program Council

We are now accepting applications for the 2018-2022 Honors Program Council. This is a significant leadership opportunity for advisors, as this council develops the Honors Study Topic and assists in creating the Honors Program Guide.

Council members also serve on the editorial board for Civic Scholar: The Phi Theta Kappa Journal of Undergraduate Research, a new publication of select Honors in Action Projects to be published each April.

Four positions on the council are open:

  • Humanities Representative
  • STEM Representative
  • Leadership Development Representative
  • Collaborative Learning Representative

Applications are due Wednesday, May 15. All applicants will be notified by June 23.

Council members are selected for their broad knowledge of the Honors Study Topic and of Phi Theta Kappa’s integrated approach to the Hallmarks. We also seek to maintain an inclusive and diverse balance among academic disciplines and points of view of council members.

The Honors Program Council will visit the Center for Excellence in Jackson, Mississippi, to assess the Society’s honors programming and develop the 2020/2021 Honors Study Topic. They will also attend Honors Institutes and Faculty Scholar Conferences during their term of service. Phi Theta Kappa covers travel expenses.

For more information, contact Susan Edwards, Honors Program Council Chair and Associate Vice President of Honors Programming and Undergraduate Research.

New Transfer Scholarship: The University of New Orleans

The University of New Orleans (UNO) is now offering a new scholarship specifically for Phi Theta Kappa members: $1,000 per semester.

UNO’s main campus is located on the southern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, just minutes away from the world-class food, historic charm, and exciting nightlife of the French Quarter. UNO invites members to visit and find out why it’s Louisiana’s premier metropolitan university. People travel to New Orleans from all over the world to experience a culture that can’t be found elsewhere. UNO students see yet another side of the city — the savvy, entrepreneurial one that’s fueling a renaissance.

Since its founding, UNO has been committed to diversity and inclusion. In 1958, the University of New Orleans opened its doors as the first fully integrated public university in the South. The University has educated students from all 64 Louisiana parishes, all 50 states, and more than 130 countries, bringing together a variety of talented and motivated students so that they may learn, interact, and pursue their career goals.

UNO offers a wide array of undergraduate and graduate academic programs and world-class research opportunities. The university has been named one of the nation’s best colleges by The Princeton Review, Forbes, and one of the top 1,000 universities in the world by the Center for World University Rankings.

U.S. News & World Report has ranked UNO among the national universities whose students graduate with the lightest debt loads. Nearly 77 percent of students receive some form of financial assistance every year, totaling more than $41 million dollars in financial aid and scholarships.

Ninety percent of UNO students are employed two years after graduation, according to Niche.com. UNO was also ranked number one in Louisiana for highest early career salaries.

Learn more about the University of New Orleans and its PTK scholarship in this brief Q&A.

Tell us about your college’s new transfer scholarship for members of Phi Theta Kappa.

The Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship that UNO offers is a competitive two-year award that recognizes the hard work of transfer students who are PTK members. Recipients will be awarded $1,000 per semester, $2,000 annually.

Why does your college feel that it is important to offer a scholarship opportunity for members?

Here at the University of New Orleans, we have a diverse population of students. Whether they are first-time freshman, transfers students, or adult students, we confidently give them the same opportunities and take pride in their growth. For us to be able to offer Phi Theta Kappa members a scholarship designated specifically for them demonstrates that we want to recognize their ability and offer an environment that will give them the chance to continue their growth as well as further their abilities within our Privateer family.

In your opinion, what is one of the most impressive things about your college?

At the University of New Orleans, we have so many opportunities for our students to gain insight about themselves. College is not just for growing academically and preparing for your career. It’s also a chance to learn more about yourself and obtain a well-rounded outlook of the world. The University of New Orleans creates an atmosphere that enriches our students because it is established and maintained by our students. Knowing you are a part of what gives this university its character stays with you beyond your college career and gives you a sense of pride.

Are there important dates PTK members need to know?

See UNO’s admission deadlines and schedule a visit to learn more.

Find more transfer opportunities exclusively for Phi Theta Kappa members at CollegeFish.org.

Meet the New International Officers, Most Distinguished Chapter

Here’s the big news from the Hallmark Awards Gala at PTK Catalyst 2018, sponsored by Mississippi College!

2018-2019 International Officers

These students will serve in the highest leadership positions available to Phi Theta Kappa members. They are:

International President

Elda Pere
Alpha Epsilon Phi Chapter
Bergen Community College
New Jersey

Vice President, Division 1

Won Joon Kang
Alpha Epsilon Phi Chapter
Bergen Community College
New Jersey

Vice President, Division 2

David Parker
Alpha Mu Tau Chapter
Collin College
Texas

Vice President, Division 3

Carol Comer
Upsilon Kappa Chapter
Metropolitan Community College – Penn Valley
Missouri

Vice President, Division 4

Philippe Schicker
Beta Nu Eta Chapter
Citrus College
California

2018 Most Distinguished Chapter

The Omicron Psi Chapter from Grayson College in Texas has been named the 2018 Most Distinguished Chapter!

This is the highest honor given to a PTK chapter. Advisors are Mary Linder and Dr. Molly Harris. Congratulations!

Awards for College Project, Honors in Action Project, Honors in Action Theme, and Distinguished Chapter were also presented during the Hallmark Awards Gala. And, Beta Alpha Awards went to chapters that have received a Distinguished Chapter Award for three consecutive years.

View the 2018 Awards Program to see all 2018 Hallmark Award winners.

Thank you to everyone who attended our centennial celebration! We can’t wait to see you all again April 4-6 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, for PTK Catalyst 2019!

New Scholarships, Partnerships Announced

PTK Catalyst 2018 has been full of big moments and even bigger announcements. Here’s a quick look at some of the best news to come out of the event so far.

Cengage Scholarship Program

In the second general session on Friday morning, Cengage CEO Michael Hansen announced that the organization will be launching a scholarship program for Phi Theta Kappa members.

Cengage has teamed up with PTK to give away 1,000 free subscriptions to Cengage Unlimited, the first-of-its-kind digital subscription service that gives you access to more than 22,000 ebooks and digital learning products for one price. Cengage Unlimited will launch in August 2018 and scholarships can be used for the 2018/2019 academic year. Learn more and enter for your chance to win.

American Cancer Society Impact

In 2002, Phi Theta Kappa began a partnership with the American Cancer Society, and members have been raising money for the organization ever since — mostly through participation in Relay For Life events. During the second general session Friday morning, Phi Theta Kappa Foundation Executive Director Dr. Monica Marlowe announced that, since 2002, our members have raised more than $3.9 million for the ACS.

Kristen Solt, managing director of ACS’ Relay For Life, followed Monica’s news up with an even better announcement: PTK members have donated more than 750,000 volunteer hours since 2002. And, according to the Independent Sector, those hours are valued at $18 million.

So, the total investment from Phi Theta Kappa members to the American Cancer Society since 2002 is nearly $22 million — greater than any other membership organization in the ACS’ history!

TEK Productions Scholarship

TEK Productions is a full-service production company from Orlando, Florida, that provides creative, technical, and management support for live events throughout the world — including PTK Catalyst. They are fully committed to Phi Theta Kappa’s mission and its members; and because of that, the company was awarded the Alliance for Educational Excellence Award in the second general session Friday morning.

In their acceptance speech, TEK CEO Tom Kervitsky and President Michael Compton announced that they are donating $25,000 to establish a scholarship for PTK members going into the production field. Watch for more details coming soon.

Dell Foundation Partnership

In the fifth general session Saturday morning, Kevin Byrne, managing director of U.S. programs for the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, announced a new partnership with Phi Theta Kappa. The foundation has committed $500,000 to revamp and modernize CollegeFish.org, the online college transfer planning tool launched in 2007.

CollegeFish will be enabled with Scholar Snapp technology, which will automatically fill in students’ information on college applications. More info will be coming soon.

Meet the International Officer, ACA, and Board Candidates

PTK Catalyst attendees will decide elections in key leadership positions for the coming year: 2018-2019 International Officers and the Association of Chapter Advisors Secretary for Division 1. In addition, proposed revisions to the PTK Constitution will be up for a vote and advisors will choose a representative to the Board of Directors.

Get to know the candidates for each position, and then join us for PTK Catalyst 2018, April 19-21 in Kansas City, Missouri. Register today.

2018-2019 International Officers

Thirty-six PTK members are vying for the five International Officer positions. An International President and International Vice Presidents for each of the Society’s four divisions will be elected.

These are the highest positions of leadership for students in Phi Theta Kappa. Learn more about serving as an International Officer.

See the candidates:

During PTK Catalyst, candidates will participate in a Candidate Caucus on Thursday, April 19, at 1:30 p.m., and then in a Political Rally that evening at 9:30. Voting delegates — one member from each chapter in attendance — will then vote online in the primary election.

See full voting details and other opportunities to meet the candidates here.

The 10 Candidate Finalists — two for each position — will be announced live during the Second General Session on Friday, April 20, at 10 a.m. Each of the finalists will receive a $500 International Officer Finalists Award, provided by the Oberndorf Family Foundation, for making it to the final round.

Candidate finalists will return to the stage during the Third General Session on Friday afternoon to deliver speeches on the Honors Study Topic, “Transformations: Acknowledging, Assessing and Achieving Change.” After the General Session, chapters will have one final opportunity to meet the finalists at 4 p.m. in the Marketplace.

Voting delegates will again vote online, and the 2018-2019 International Officer Team will be named during the Hallmark Awards Gala on Saturday, April 21.

Delegates — we strongly encourage you to participate in an Educational Forum exclusively for you on Thursday, April 19, at 4 p.m. Phi Theta Kappa President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner and the 2017-2018 International Officers will present on the elections and the proposed constitutional amendments.

Association of Chapter Advisors Secretary

Advisors attending PTK Catalyst will elect a Secretary representing Division 1 to the Association of Chapter Advisors (ACA).

All PTK chapter advisors are members of the ACA. The ACA Board consists of four advisors — one from each of the Society’s four divisions — elected to serve as liaisons between advisors and Phi Theta Kappa headquarters staff. Officers begin in the position of Secretary and progress to Vice Chair, Chair, and Immediate Past Chair, serving four-year terms.

Nominations for this position were accepted earlier this year. The two candidates are:

  • Michelle Coach, from the Alpha Lambda Zeta Chapter at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, Connecticut.
  • Wendy Samuel, from the Alpha Eta Kappa Chapter at Midlands Technical College in Columbia, South Carolina

In addition, there are two candidates to fill the role of Advisor Representative to the Board of Directors:

  • Robin Lowe, from the Upsilon Sigma Chapter at Itawamba Community College-Fulton Campus, Mississippi
  • Dr. Michael Odu, from the Alpha Pi Epsilon Chapter at Southwestern College-Chula Vista Campus, California

Candidates will be available to answer questions before and after the Chapter Advisors Luncheon in Room 2103.

All advisors attending PTK Catalyst, regardless of their division, will vote for both of these positions. Polling will open at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18, and close at 10 p.m. April 20. Each attending advisor will receive an email from ptkvote@ptk.org containing a link to online voting. See full details.

Advisors at PTK Catalyst without email access may use one of the computers at the Voter Registration Booth near convention registration to access their email and cast their votes. The Voter Registration Booth hours are:

Wednesday, April 18
3 – 7 pm

Thursday, April 19
7 am – 10 pm

Friday, April 20
8 am – 6 pm

New Transfer Scholarship: Piedmont College

Piedmont College was founded in 1897 and has campuses in both Demorest and Athens, Georgia. The college is small, with an enrollment of just over 2,300 and an average class size of 12.

Piedmont College’s two campuses offer something for everyone: The Demorest campus is near state parks, lakes, waterfalls, and other natural adventures, and the Athens campus is in the center of an urban city.

The college has an experiential learning program called Compass, which takes students outside the classroom to promote interdisciplinary learning, career development, civic engagement, and more. And, it allows students to interact directly with their peers, college faculty and staff, and those in the wider community.

Learn more about Piedmont College and its scholarship in this brief Q&A.

Tell us about your college’s new transfer scholarship for members of Phi Theta Kappa.

Piedmont College wished to recognize PTK members for their hard work and academic success by offering a scholarship to PTK members who enroll full time at Piedmont. Recipients must maintain a 3.0 GPA to renew the scholarship each semester. The scholarship is $500 per qualifying semester (fall and spring) on the Demorest Campus and $250 per qualifying semester (fall and spring) on the Athens Campus.

Are there other transfer scholarships that could be stacked with your Phi Theta Kappa award?

Yes, transfer students are awarded an Academic Scholarship based on their college GPA at the point at which they are accepted to Piedmont College.

In your opinion, what is one of the most impressive things about your college?

Piedmont College offers a very intentional educational setting and provides many resources to help students succeed. In addition, a huge emphasis is placed on personalized attention and education, as evidenced by our 10:1 student/faculty ratio; a full-service Student Success Center that offers free tutoring, counseling, and career services; and a maximum class size of 40 students.

Find more transfer opportunities exclusively for Phi Theta Kappa members at CollegeFish.org. Attending a transfer fair soon (like at PTK Catalyst 2018)? Here are 6 ways to prepare.

6 Ways to Prepare for the Transfer Fair

At PTK Catalyst 2018, you’ll be able to feast on both lunch and college information during the Catalyst Luncheons and Senior College Transfer Fairs on Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21.

The transfer fairs provide a unique opportunity for you to visit with admission representatives from colleges and universities across the country all in one place. Think of it as a shopping trip for colleges, where you’ll learn more about individual institutions and sort through your transfer requirements.

However, just like a trip to the mall, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with so many choices available. Follow this advice to make the most of your experience.

1) It’s okay to start early.

Are you a college freshman who thinks it’s too early to explore your transfer options? Trust us, it’s not. The next year will go by quickly, and it’s better to start thinking about transfer now rather than later.

2) Do your homework.

Before you leave for PTK Catalyst 2018, scan the full list of colleges and universities exhibiting in Kansas City. Make a note of the schools that interest you the most, and plan to visit their booths at the fair.

Narrow the list by asking yourself these questions:
Are you looking for a college that’s close to home or in a different part of the country?
Are you interested in small, private schools or large, public universities?
Which colleges offer your major?
What’s the cost of tuition, and what types of scholarships/financial aid are offered?

This year PTK is implementing a visual color coding system at the Transfer Fair to help students navigate the fairs more easily and inform their research prior to arrival at PTK Catalyst 2018. Use the color coding to spark conversations with admission counselors about these special areas of focus:

• PTK Transfer Scholarship (green)
• Flexible Course Scheduling (red)
• International/DACA Student Friendly (yellow)
• Honors Courses (blue)

3) Keep an open mind.

Have a plan, but don’t be afraid to deviate from it if a college that wasn’t on your original list catches your eye.

Chatting with representatives from a variety of colleges can also help you figure out your own preferences. Sometimes it’s just as important to know what you don’t want as it is to make your transfer wish list.

Be polite but spend most of your time on schools that match your interests, not just humoring friendly admissions representatives.

4) Make your questions count.

Remember quality, not quantity defines a successful college fair experience. Instead of trying to collect a brochure from every booth, have in-depth conversations with representatives of the colleges you’re most interested in exploring.

Don’t bother asking generic questions like “Do you have a good engineering program?” Instead, ask what sets their program apart from other colleges. You might also want to see if PTK scholarships are stackable with other available financial aid.

5) Be engaged and make contacts for the future.

It’s tempting to casually wander through the college fair without realizing it’s a great networking opportunity. Pay attention to who you’re talking with at each booth and ask for their contact information at the end of your conversation. Keep in touch and reach out with thoughtful questions that demonstrate your interest.

Even if you successfully gather a lot of information, be sure to schedule a campus visit. It’s still the best way to find your ideal transfer fit. Remember, the transfer fair is only the beginning of your college search. You’ll need to do more research, make a choice, and follow through.

Create a profile on CollegeFish.org if you haven’t already. This will help you stay on top of deadlines for the application process.

6) Have fun!

Use the transfer fair to expand your horizons beyond what you’ve found so far on college search engines and by word of mouth.

Don’t be afraid to explore something new, but make sure you’re able to separate the schools with good sales pitches from those that should be strong contenders for your transfer choice.

Once you get back home be sure to communicate what you’ve learned from the Transfer Fair and entire PTK Catalyst experience. Not all PTK members are fortunate enough to attend PTK Catalyst, so share your materials and consider facilitating a presentation for fellow chapter members.

Check out the entire PTK Catalyst 2018 schedule and plan your convention experience with your chapter. Find more Transfer College Fair tips at The Reach.

For the latest news about PTK Catalyst 2018, follow PTK on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and subscribe to The Reach blog.