The Reach - Phi Theta Kappa's Blog

The Reach

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Hallmarks are the tip of the Phi Theta Kappa iceberg

Hallmarks are the tip of the Phi Theta Kappa iceberg

In a lot of ways, Phi Theta Kappa is like an iceberg. We only see the very tip of the good things happening in the lives of our members, chapters and regions. The Hallmark Awards process is a tool, providing us with insight into some of the activities that happen at the chapter and regional levels and into the leadership displayed by members, advisors and regional leaders.

Each year, we are privileged to read stories of chapters who are using research and collaboration to tackle big problems like college completion, food insecurity among their peers and climate change.

Individual award entries remind us of the dedication of our more than 3,000 volunteer advisors and regional coordinators, who carry the mission of Phi Theta Kappa into the lives of our members — and of supportive college administrators and presidents who recognize that Phi Theta Kappa makes a difference on the campuses of almost 1,300 community colleges.

Hallmark Awards also introduce us to the outstanding work of individual chapter members, chapter officers and regional officers, who are living examples of PTK’s Hallmarks of Leadership, Scholarship, Fellowship and Service.

Alumni awards recognize the commitment of dedicated alumni and alumni chapters, who continue to support the mission and vision of Phi Theta Kappa through their support of local chapters and regions.

Our scholarship awards process highlights that Phi Theta Kappa members are more than scholars — they are also hardworking, community-minded and committed to overcoming adversity. 

But, as I said, these awards provide only a snapshot of what I consider to be the full picture of Phi Theta Kappa. We know that, for every advisor who walks across the stage, there are dozens more who are making a difference in the lives of their chapter members. For every member who walks across stage in the Parade of Scholars, there are many more who are receiving Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Scholarships to colleges and universities. For every chapter who receives recognition for outstanding College Project Award entries, there are hundreds more doing great work on their campuses and in their communities.

Recognition is a big part of the Phi Theta Kappa mission, and we do our best to find ways to recognize chapters, advisors, college leaders and members — but we recognize that, just like icebergs, there is much, much more to Phi Theta Kappa than meets the eye.

Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner is the President and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.  If you want to get in touch with Lynn, please contact

Honors in Action and College Project Hallmark Award entries are due by 5 p.m. CT on Wednesday, January 25. Nominations for Alumni Awards are due by 5 p.m. CT on Wednesday, February 15.

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