13 Ways to Reactivate Your Chapter

Although they’re nearly 500 miles apart, two years ago the Alpha Omicron Nu Chapter at Eastern Gateway Community College in Ohio and the Alpha Eta Psi Chapter at Suffolk County Community College in New York found themselves in similar positions: each chapter had a total of three members and no activities to speak of. But now, both have turned things around by reactivating their chapters.

Alpha Omicron Nu

Alpha Omicron Nu advisor Karen Spindler said her chapter had been dormant for eight months when she took over and confessed she didn’t even know where to begin.

Today the chapter boasts roughly 500 members and has increased participation exponentially. They’ve earned a Four-Star ranking and gone from nominating two All-State Academic Team members last year to eight this year. As the chapter prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary next year, they now have Five-Star status in their sight.

It all started with raising awareness and increasing membership, and Karen said along the way they discovered that success breeds success.

“Our administrators have been so supportive; two of them attended the regional convention with us,” she said. “Administrators and faculty have started a fund along with the college foundation to help eligible students pay membership fees.”

Chapter officers said they’ve also found one thing that doesn’t work — waiting for perfection.

“In our case, it seems that focus is more important than training,” said chapter president Jonathan Cobb. “A lot of our success has come with just saying ‘I think I can do this’ and jumping in.”

Online member Victor Billingsley believes their team’s strong connection also contributes to their achievement.

“We support each other,” he said. “We’re a tight-knit family.”

Karen, who’s also a PTK alumna, said she couldn’t be prouder of what the chapter has accomplished.

Alpha Eta Psi

Similarly, Alpha Eta Psi emerged from a decade of inactivity to be named New York’s Most Distinguished Chapter at the 2018 Regional Convention. The chapter also had a member elected to regional office, earned a Five-Star designation, and received 11 awards.

So, how did they do it? Alpha Eta Psi Chapter President Felicia Molzon reveals there’s no secret formula — just hard work and hitting the basics.

“We found our greatest successes came from continuing our efforts regardless of the outcome,” she said. “We started with programs attended by only a few students, but we continued to produce ideas and follow through until we created a synergy and built a larger PTK community.”

Their Tips for You:

  1. Make sure everyone is doing what they do best. There’s a role for everyone, and everyone’s share is pivotal to success, no matter how big or small.
  2. Personalize member experiences. “Inductee Introductions” provide a small bio of each new member that is read as their name is called. It sends the message that everyone is important.
  3. Remember what it means to be PTK. Be the change you want to see in the world and remind members they are part of this bigger picture as they make a difference on campus and in the community.
  4. Host meet and greets to grow the chapter. These often yield many new members.
  5. Develop a permanent campus presence with a chapter display that can serve as a conversation-starter.
  6. Schedule PTK Awareness events on campus by setting up tables, providing information, and following up with emails.
  7. Offer fellowship events to help fill open chapter officer positions.
  8. Consider shared officer positions, which allow leaders to understand their roles before being thrown in head first.
  9. Go through the Chapter Leaders Guide step by step. Start setting goals and assigning responsibilities.
  10. Build knowledge by attending international events like PTK Catalyst and Honors Institute.
  11. Use Zoom or a similar program to include as many members as possible, including online ones.
  12. Encourage members who can’t necessarily participate in traditional campus events to help from where they are.
  13. Invite alumni to participate and help the chapter grow.

Want more information on reactivating? Use these Advisor Tools, visit our webinars, reach out to your Regional Coordinator, and if possible, schedule a visit to the to receive personalized one-on-one training at PTK’s headquarters by contacting kierra.thomas@ptk.org.

I AM PTK: Jimmie “JW” Stafford

You may not know Jimmie Stafford’s face, but he hopes that one day soon you’ll know his voice.

Jimmie is a voiceover actor and Phi Theta Kappa alumnus who was recently tapped to voice a series of history videos that will debut during PTK Catalyst 2018. Known professionally as JW Stafford, he joined PTK in 2007 while attending Cuyahoga Community College’s Western Campus in Ohio and served as president of the Chi Omega Chapter.

“I loved the sense of community they created on campus, and the service leadership opportunities were inspiring,” he said. “(Becoming a member) was a proud moment. It was a second chance to shine and show the world I was capable of so much more than I put forth in high school.”

Today, Jimmie lives in Los Angeles. We caught up with him to talk about his career, his influencers, and how a PTK service project got him started.

How did you get into voice acting?

Around the time I decided to finally go to college, I’d been using my voice professionally screaming/singing in various upstart bands, as an announcer/commentator for Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby, Golden Gloves boxing, and hosting various live events. It wasn’t until I volunteered through Chi Omega to record children’s books for kids with extended stays at a local hospital that I reignited my joy for using my voice and taking on different roles and knew I wanted to be a voice actor.

Where might we have heard your work?

You might not have! Regional ad spots are short-lived campaigns that don’t always garner the attention of major national campaigns. I’ve also done a bit of industrial work that required non-disclosure agreements from clients, which prevent me from listing them. However, I’ve just acquired a manager and new voiceover agent, and we are all looking forward to getting my voice out there on a much broader scope.

What notable people have you been able to work with?

As far as notable, I’ve had the honor of being in one of Alan Arkin’s improv classes. He says it was his final, but hopefully he’ll do one more. He is such an emotionally honest and kind human being; I’m blessed to have briefly experienced his teaching process. I have to thank my friends Frankie and Lisa for that amazing opportunity.

What kind of training have you participated in?

Where to begin … Acting and improvisation training are the two most important types of classes I’ve taken. Acting must come first — people often think it’s just about having a great voice, but it’s not! Don’t get me wrong — having a great sound helps; but without the ability to act, you are going nowhere in this business.

Voice acting is different in the respect that all of the scenery, and even the lines you react to, come from within your mind. You often record solo without hearing another voice and don’t have the luxury of a set to inspire you. It’s quite challenging!

Who has influenced you and your work?

Overall, my parents have been the biggest influence. Growing up with their work ethic has prepared me for the hard work that needs to get done after the hard work is done. My mom has always been the biggest believer in me and has always encouraged me to pursue these dreams despite the odds.

As far as voices, I’m a big fan of unique and distinct voices that tell a story within themselves, like singer/songwriter/actor Tom Waits for instance. He is so distinct in his tone and delivery.

In the realm of cartoons, I have to go with the late Christopher Collins. He is most remembered for being the original Cobra Commander on “G.I. Joe” and Starscream on “Transformers.” Mike Bell — he was in so many different 80’s and 90’s cartoons from “Voltron” to “The Smurfs.”

And last but certainly not least, Mark Hamill. I grew up on “Star Wars” and am a huge “Batman” fan. Nobody voices the Joker better.

What is something you were surprised to learn about this field?

Every day is a school day — I learn something new daily! It’s a very fast-paced industry, and by fast-paced I mean I’ve had to make a mad dash home from the middle of grocery shopping to record an audition in time! This is not something you can do in your free time if you want to do it full time. It takes an incredible amount of sacrifice, patience, and persistence.

What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?

Any project with a friend or one where I make a new friend is a great project! Having worked a bit on a campaign for a PTK International Vice President and knowing how much time advisors and officers devote, I will say this project holds a very special place in my heart.

How did it feel to be selected for this special project for Phi Theta Kappa?

This one was big! If you’ve ever traveled and had to shuffle textbooks around between your luggage to make sure your GPA stays afloat and your bags don’t cost extra, lost sleep to make sure Hallmarks are done properly, and been in the main hall during a convention to see the impact your chapter efforts have made, then you know just how important Phi Theta Kappa is to so many people around the world. It’s just awesome to be a part of such a rich history.

What advice do you have for someone interested in pursuing voice acting?

The best advice so far was given to me by an incredibly kind and talented voice actor and animation teacher, Dino Andrade. He said, “Failure is an option, quitting is not.”