International Officers

Find out more about campaigning for International Office.

Each year at Phi Theta Kappa’s Annual Convention, five students are elected to serve a one-year term as International Officers. This is the highest position of student leadership within the organization. The International Officer Team includes a president and four vice presidents, each representing one of the Society’s four geographic divisions.

View National/International Officer History

James Elliott

International President

Alpha Zeta Kappa Chapter
Delaware Technical Community College – Wilmington Campus
Delaware
james.elliott@ptk.org

Jenna Santacroce

International Vice President Division I

Alpha Epsilon Phi Chapter
Bergen Community College
New Jersey
jenna.santacroce@ptk.org

Neville Scott

International Vice President Division II

Omega Omega Chapter
Mountain View College
Texas
neville.scott@ptk.org

Tyler McKenzie

International Vice President Division III

Alpha Beta Upsilon Chapter
Redlands Community College
Oklahoma
tyler.mckenzie@ptk.org

Adrian Balaj

International Vice President Division IV

Beta Eta Psi Chapter
Sacramento City College
California
adrian.balaj@ptk.org

When James was 19 years old, he was incarcerated for his part in an armed robbery and spent the next six years behind bars. It was a wake-up call, and he began serving others in the prison through his work as a chaplain’s assistant, among other roles. He also took correspondence courses through Ohio University and completed 15 credits — something he’d been unable to accomplish before his incarceration.

Today, James is pursuing a double degree in Human Services and Drug & Alcohol Counseling and expects to graduate in May 2020. He hopes to attend an Ivy League school and one day become a civil rights attorney.

James is the first PTK International Officer to have been incarcerated. He is a passionate advocate for higher education in prison, and he shares his story whenever he can to help inspire and empower others to overcome the barriers created by negative labels and social stigmas.

“I have seen first-hand the individuals affected by mass incarceration,” he said. “I love to help others because I know that I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for those that helped me. I want to make the world a better place and spread more equity to individuals who are being locked out of society.”

With all that he has accomplished, he is most proud of his daughter, Vaeda, who was born January 8, 2018. He considers becoming a father to have been one of the most amazing experiences of his life.

Jenna grew up in a small town in New Jersey in a close-knit family of four. She is a passionate environmentalist and founded the A.V.E. (Animal Activist, Vegan Awareness, Environmental Conservation) Club at her college. She organizes food drives for the local homeless shelter, is a caretaker for cats at the county’s animal shelter, and is a member of the Community Courtyard Cleanup Crew.

She also has six pets — all rescue animals.

Jenna expects to graduate in May 2020. She plans to transfer to Barnard College and pursue a degree in Environmental Sustainability and Policy, and she hopes to be an Environmental Policy Analyst and a political activist for green legislation.

She was the 2018-2019 Honors Association President for the Judith K. Winn School of Honors at Bergen, a student-run group that assists the director in promoting honors courses and organizing any and all academic and community leadership activities, both on campus and in the community. An honors paper she wrote on how veganism can solve most environmental problems won best paper in her category at the 2018 Beacon Conference in June 2018, held once a year among 30 of the top community colleges in the northeast.

“PTK has the potential to change your life if you let it, and I want to encourage members to do just that,” Jenna said. “Phi Theta Kappa is a team. I am most looking forward to meeting and making friends with teammates from across the globe — those who I would not have been introduced to otherwise.”

Neville was born in a remote, poverty-stricken part of Kenya, but he had dreams larger than his neighborhood and did not let his birth circumstances determine his future. At 17, he established the nonprofit organization The Legendary Movement to provide essentials to the poor, feed children on the streets, and get youth in Kenya off drugs and away from crime.

From a young age, Neville’s parents ensured that he understood the importance of education. His father took him to more affluent neighborhoods, where he saw the power of infrastructure. This inspired him to become a civil engineer and architect. He expects to graduate in May 2020 and transfer to MIT, and his ultimate career goal is to connect the world through the strengthening of infrastructure.

A music lover, he founded the MVC Jam Club, which regularly entertains students on campus. He is the music director at Hope Dallas Church and a pianist at The Potter’s House Church, also in Dallas. He has also volunteered over 100 hours at the MVC food pantry, and he is a student ambassador at Mountain View College.

Neville believes everyone has a light, or a “shine,” inside them. He discovered his own “shine” after battling depression, low self-esteem, and mental health issues. He is passionate about the reconstruction of humanity, reconciliation, and love.

“This made me understand that most scholars go through the same but are often unable to handle them appropriately, so that led me to wanting to use my existence as a personal testimony, my voice as a voice of reason amongst my peers with nothing but a message of love, and my entire existence as activism for better mental health practices,” he said.

Tyler grew up in a large community in Mustang, Oklahoma. An introvert at heart, he chose community college after graduating from his large high school and says it was one of the best decisions he’s ever made.

His father’s diagnosis with diabetes at a young age inspired him to pursue a career as a physician — specifically, an endocrinologist. He is set to graduate with a degree in pre-professional sciences in May 2020 and plans to transfer to Baylor University for a pre-med/biology degree. Ultimately, he wants to help those struggling with illness.

Tyler received a grant from his college to intern at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in the summer of 2018, where he worked with notable scientists and gained experience with MRI technology and the fundamentals of biomedical research. He also has more than 160 hours of volunteer experience with a variety of organizations, including the Redlands Community College Academic Team, the college food pantry, the El Reno recycling project, and Manos Juntas Health Clinic in Oklahoma City.

This year, Tyler hopes to see a greater emphasis on resources and scholarships for workforce-bound members. He also wants to increase non-traditional student participation within Phi Theta Kappa.

“Phi Theta Kappa is for everyone; it is an organization that celebrates diversity in all aspects,” he said. “These students bring a new light with their life experiences and wisdom that should be appreciated across all standards.

Tyler is bilingual in Spanish as an interpreter, reader, and writer. He enjoys playing with his cat and binge-watching superhero movies with his boyfriend. And, fun fact: he survived once being inside a tornado.

Adrian is from a family of Romanian immigrants who always dreamed of attending a four-year university. He began his education at one but dropped out, feeling like he’d let himself and his family down. Upon enrolling at Sacramento City College, he saw first-hand just how untrue the stigma surrounding community college really is.

Adrian is a political science major, and he expects to graduate in May 2020. His goals are to attend the University of California – Berkeley to complete a bachelor’s degree and to one day run for public office. He has spoken at a Financial Aid Reform Hearing of the California State Assembly.

He is committed to increasing the visibility of community college students and eliminating the stigma associated with them. He also hopes to increase opportunities in Phi Theta Kappa for STEM majors, and he wants to make the opportunities that come with PTK membership available to more students.

“I want to advocate for upcoming college freshmen to not listen to the mainstream society that tells them they must attend a university right out of high school,” he said. “Through PTK, I want to show them that a two-year college offers much more for new college students.”

Adrian loves animals, and he was raised to serve others. He is active in the Student Senate, has spoken at PTK events to promote student success, and worked with fellow student leaders to bring a diverse mural painting from all clubs on campus to his college.