Phi Theta Kappa’s 2022-2023 officer team brought with it the plot-twist of a century, providing even more diversity to an already stellar team with the election of the first-ever International Co-Presidents! Representing over 340,000 active members, this stellar team is showing us that Dr. Moogega Cooper was right when she told our Catalyst audience: if you have a seat at the table, know you belong there, which they certainly do. We can’t wait to see what they do as they work together to impact the mission, strategic plan, and vision of the organization during the 2022-2023 academic year.
Serving as an International Officer is an experience like none other. Throughout the year the team will connect with members at local, regional, and international events, providing professional development. Individually, each officer benefits from personal and professional development opportunities to prepare them for success in their next steps in life — whether they will be transferring and continuing their education or entering directly into the workforce.
Get to know more about this year’s team here – you’ll be seeing a lot of them in the year to come!
Dayriana Sanders, International Co-President
After failing out of nursing school, Dayriana felt like the world was collapsing in on top of her. Faced with job insecurity, housing insecurity, and mental illness, she almost decided to never pursue her dreams of becoming a nurse again. Instead, with her sons’ wellbeing in the forefront of her mind, she persevered. Taking her experience with struggles that dragged her down, she enrolled in nursing school again, this time with a plan. She created a successful mentorship program to support the academic success of nursing students – which benefitted not just her, but many other students who might have found themselves in her position.
With newfound confidence, Dayriana vowed to take on additional challenges and grow as a leader. She advocated for understanding of the challenges faced by people of color seeking healthcare, working with the Colorado Council of Black Nurses to educate the public. She has since completed her nursing degree and made the decision to continue her education. While her career goal is nursing, Dayriana’s dreams are quite a bit bigger.
“My ultimate career goal is to bring awareness to disparities in the quality of care and health outcomes that patients face due to various personal identities,” she explained, “to stimulate conversation, and to implement actions from these discussions in order to break down implicit biases that create these barriers of care and close disparity gaps.” She is working towards these goals by taking on a philosophy degree and a Diversity and Global Learning certificate, which complement the passion for inclusivity and understanding she plans to take with her into the field. Dayriana has already worked to champion inclusivity in her campus community, serving as Inclusive Excellence Officer for her Student Government Association and coordinating events such as Art for Deaf Culture Awareness and the Deracinate to Defy Disparities Seminar series.
And, of course, along the way she found Phi Theta Kappa. In PTK, Dayriana found a community of like-minded peers, high achieving both in and out of the classroom. Through her roles as Chapter President and Colorado/Wyoming Regional President, Dayriana has been able to develop as a scholar-servant-leader and uplift other students throughout her chapter and region. When she first joined PTK, she was drawn in by the leadership development opportunities and the ability to make an impact within her school and community.
In her personal life, Dayriana is a mother, an avid sudoku player, and a huge fan of potatoes – no matter how they’re cooked.
Keziah Christie Ancheta, International Co-President
When she first heard about Phi Theta Kappa, Keziah was unsure of herself. As a dually enrolled high school student, she worried that she wasn’t far enough along in her education to take advantage of such an opportunity. But the more she saw, the more she knew she had to be a part of it. “This honor society is more than prestige,” she said. “It was a gateway of opportunities for students.”
A Business Management major, Keziah is inspired by her mother, who has built a successful business and shown Keziah how entrepreneurship can help her achieve her goals. Keziah aims to run a business that provides an essential service to her community. She has taken steps towards this goal by pursuing self-betterment, through education, faith, and civil service. Keziah recently joined the City and County of Honolulu Youth Commission to get a firsthand look at how government effects the youth of her island, and vice versa.
Keziah has a deep love for digital media and has worked to grow her skills since elementary school, where she was involved in a club called the Waikele Broadcasting Warriors. “Everyone sees what is happening in front of the camera, like the actors, the emotion, the setting,” she said. “I fell in love with the magic behind the camera. It is a great feeling that I get to do various roles, from being an editor, camera person, to director or producer. It teaches you how to be a leader, enhance your creativity, and experience what it is like in the media industry.”
Since joining PTK, Keziah has taken every opportunity she was presented with. Serving as the 2021-2022 Pacific Region President, Keziah led her region to Four Star status and prioritized empowering members – something she plans to continue to do as International Co-President. She is also serving as Student Council Chairperson, Student Representative of the Hawaii State Student Council, and has served as part of the Honolulu Youth Commission. Keziah is also a member of Waipahu High School’s National Technical Honor Society (NTHS), and she went with her team to represent Hawaii in the LifeSmarts National Competition.
Keziah loves being outdoors and hiking. As a child, she used to explore the island with her family and enjoys playing games with her siblings. “Everywhere we went, my siblings and I would play like we were monkeys. Our dad challenged us on who could be the craziest. We would climb trees, swing on branches, and yell like Tarzan. We always had a fun time.”
Andrew Schoppelrei, International Vice President – Division 1
When Andrew first discovered Phi Theta Kappa, he knew membership was an opportunity he could use to better himself. Through his leadership on the chapter and regional level, Andrew has not only grown as a scholar-servant-leader, but he has also found a family. “[PTK] means family,” he said, “because no matter what situation you are facing, someone always has your back.” Since joining, Andrew has completed all five PTK EDGE programs, participated in numerous conferences, and developed his public speaking skills through several officer elections.
An Electrical and Mechanical Engineering major, Andrew was inspired by his junior-high school robotics teacher, Jodi Adams. “Through her kindness and teachings,” he said, “she helped nurture my interest in engineering-based career fields.” After experiencing the benefits of her clear passion for teaching, Andrew discovered a passion for education within himself, and is considering following in her footsteps to become an instructor or professor at his local vocational school or community college. He wants to give back to the community and inspire students to fulfill their dreams, like Mrs. Adams did for him.
Keeping service at the center of his mind, Andrew has been involved in numerous projects to help better the community. Sharing his passion for robotics, he has served as volunteer robotics coach and mentor for community organizations including the Marion Public Library, the Tri-Rivers Career Center, and Cardington High School. He has also made a difference for the homeless population, working with Habitat for Humanity to build furniture and raise funds for housing and participating in the building of a homeless shelter through the Leapin’ Outreach Center. He also has served as a Council Member for the Vineyard Church of Morrow County.
Andrew keeps an optimistic perspective. He recently tried roller skating for the first time since he was a kid. “It was an interesting experience being thrown into a rink with kids who could skate circles,” he said. “It was a fun and humbling event – falling on my butt several times and having a good laugh. I hope to go and skate more often in the foreseeable future.” He dreams of someday visiting Japan, experiencing the rich heritage and incredible architecture. “Also,” he said, “they have world-renowned car cultures, a competitive drift scene, and roads that I would love to drive.”
Michael Rodriguez, International Vice President – Division 2
Choosing to spend a few years in the workforce after receiving his high school diploma, Michael focused on his leadership skills, working as a Shift Manager and Regional Training Manager at his workplace. He found himself to be a natural leader, a facet of himself he continues to improve.
A highly motivated entrepreneur with dreams of opening his own interior design studio, Michael is earning his AA in Architecture and AS in Entrepreneurship to set himself up for success. It is his goal to beautify the homes of many individuals, and eventually establish himself enough to do charity work, transforming the homes of the less fortunate and those affected by natural disasters.
As an honors student, he was invited to join Phi Theta Kappa during his second semester. Since joining, he has earned numerous accolades, being named the 2021 Hope Scholar, 2021 Robert J. Stanford Scholar, and the 2021 Alan Jay Scholar. While academics were a large part of why Michael joined PTK, they are far from the only reason. He was attracted by the personal development, networking, and leadership opportunities, as well as the chance to give back to society through PTK.
Service is a Hallmark that Michael holds especially dear. In addition to being a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, he has served as a volunteer for numerous projects, including Feeding Tampa Bay, Suicide Awareness Week, the Humane Society, and Habitat for Humanity. He also works to make a difference for his fellow students as an academic tutor, the VP of Communications for his chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, a Student Government Association senator, and the We Are People Club Vice President.
A proud big brother, family is foremost in Michael’s mind. Talking about his sisters, he said, “I am so proud of the women that they have become, and it is an honor to be their big brother. I absolutely LOVE my girls.” He also highly values his mother, who sadly passed several years ago. “I didn’t fulfill my college dreams when she was here,” he said, “so I am doing it in honor of her and for myself.”
In his free time, Michael enjoys anything to do with water. “Being a Florida native, I was practically raised around water. Fishing, kayaking, and paddle boarding, just to name a few.” He also recently got involved with an organization called Burn Boot Camp, an intensive workout session offered 5 days a week. But overall, leadership is the activity that Michael loves most. “If we can make a difference in a person’s life and show them some personal development,” he said, “then we are doing our job as leaders.”
Brooke Jankowsky, International Vice President – Division 3
An intellectually curious inclusivity champion, Brooke prioritizes trying new things and going outside of her comfort zone. “I want to personally challenge myself to go beyond my comfort zone each and every day,” she said. “I am wonderfully weird and that is great!” After realizing that changing herself to fit in wasn’t what it was cracked up to be, she instead focuses on finding spaces that embrace her and working to create inclusive spaces for everyone else. “I want to bring my experiences to help create a positive, inclusive atmosphere that welcomes differences as things that should be celebrated,” she continued. “I truly believe that everyone brings something special to the table.”
Brooke is a General Business Major and while her future plans are still taking shape, she is a passionate advocate for plus-size representation, particularly in the realms of literature, fashion, and modelling. She is also working to combat community college stigma and to teach students how to be #CCSmart. As part of a research project with her chapter, Brooke researched the false negative stigma surrounding community colleges and worked to combat it through presentations to local high schools and a marketing campaign utilizing TikTok. Her team has won numerous accolades, including 2022 Most Distinguished Officer Team in the Michigan Region, and their Honors in Action project was first runner up for Theme 2.
Brooke’s focus on inclusivity, kindness, and leadership earned her the Orlowski award in 2022 – an award voted on by International Officer candidates for the one candidate they feel most exemplifies the four Hallmarks of Leadership, Service, Fellowship, and Scholarship. Her goal is to push the Phi Theta Kappa community to be even more inclusive than it already is, foster new connections, and make sure everyone has a place where they belong.
A proud people person, Brooke loves activities that bring people together. Uno and Go-Fish were some of her favorite games as children because, in her words, “all it takes is a deck of cards to bring people together.” Among her favorite people are her two younger sisters, Megan and Eva Rose, who Brooke says are her best friends. In her spare time, she is learning to play the piano and spending time with her adorable golden retriever puppy, Cora.
Calvin Jay Emerson, International Vice President – Division 4
Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Calvin promised himself that he wouldn’t miss any big opportunities that come his way. Membership in Phi Theta Kappa was no exception. A communications major with a passion for journalism and writing in general, joining PTK seemed like a no-brainer. “Well, first of all, I found out about Phi Theta Kappa via a fancy acceptance letter, and if you ever invite me to your organization Hogwarts-style, there’s almost a guarantee that I’m on board,” he joked. “In all seriousness though, the invitation came at a time when I had just started college. I wanted nothing more than to expand the scope of my own world.” A reporter for his school newspaper, Calvin was no stranger to student engagement. Fairly quickly, however, he realized that PTK was the best place for him to grow as a person.
“If I ever get the career I want, I hope that I get to tell a lot of different stories from a lot of fascinating people,” Calvin said. He has a passion for writing and telling stories, which is why he is pursuing journalism. “I also wanted to discover and learn about the world, and that’s what works of nonfiction are all about,” he said. He has served three terms as a writer for his school’s student newspaper, and he has also worked as Social Media Manager for PSU’s “Healthy Transitions” grant, both of which have allowed him to explore his writing skills. While he knows he wants to write for a living, he said, “The exact ways in which that career pans out doesn’t matter to me, as long as I’m able to support myself and I always have my passion at the core of what I do.”
In addition to his time with his student newspaper and serving as a social media manager, Calvin has also served on the Youth Engaged 4 Change’s 2020-2021 Editorial Board, led a website-redesign project for his PTK chapter, and volunteered with various organizations including the Oregon Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House, and OMSI.
Calvin works to empower and support students who face various challenges. He is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ and neurodivergent communities and has a special place in his heart for supporting community colleges with less resources than some of the bigger name schools. He aims to encourage students to embark on bold, ambitious projects – especially those which benefit the public good.
Our return to in-person PTK Catalyst could not have been better. Our new officers and the Phi Theta Kappa community as a whole would like to thank everyone who participated! This event wouldn’t have been possible without our generous sponsors: University of Colorado Denver, Mississippi College, University of Florida Online, William Carey University, Lehigh University, Mississippi State University and Eastern Oregon University.