2016 Honors Institute Registration Opens Mar. 21

Registration for the 2016 Honors Institute opens on Monday, March 21! This year, we’ll be at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, June 20-25.

Register early for the lowest rate of $895 per person. This fee includes lodging on campus for a week, all meals beginning with Monday’s dinner (except R&R Day) and the Honors Institute program.

“Little did I know that my decision to accept my advisor’s invitation to attend the weeklong institute would be a transformational experience, as I would not be the same person when I returned home,” said Hannah Kiraly, an alumna of the Chi Omega Chapter at Cuyahoga Community College, who attended the 2014 Honors Institute and is now a student at Baldwin Wallace University.

“The dynamic and motivational speakers brought topics to my attention that were explored in engaging seminars and group discussions that taught me to begin to ask relevant questions and not accept everything at face value. I deeply wanted others to have what I had experienced. The experience spurred personal growth that would prove life changing.”

Honors Institute features a full lineup of renowned speakers who will address the 2016/2017 Honors Study Topic, How the World Works: Global Perspectives, in interesting and innovative ways. Speakers and their topics include:

  • Eman Mohammed, Photojournalist, How the World Works: Documenting Gaza
  • Dr. Carmenita Higginbotham, Art Historian, Look Hoos Talking: Why We Can’t Let Disney Go
  • Stephanie Coontz, Family Expert, Author and Researcher, How Love Conquered Marriage
  • Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman, Choir! Choir! Choir!, How the World Works: The Power of Leadership, Collaboration and Community
  • Helen Papagiannis, Augmented Reality Expert, Augmented Human: How Technology is Shaping the New Reality
  • David Kwong, Harvard graduate, Illusionist, Puzzle Creator and Problem Solver, Two Nerdy Obsessions Meet — And It’s Magic!

The lineup will also include a Reader’s Theatre Performance, written and directed by chapter advisor Steve Schroeder, introducing the eight themes of the Honors Study Topic, as well as a visit to Old Salem. View the schedule.

“The Honors Institute experience augments student understanding of learning as multidimensional and not restricted to the classroom,” said Rob Carey, advisor to the Alpha Beta Chi Chapter at Pima Community College in Arizona. “It helps them comprehend connections between their personal beliefs, values and actions.

“These opportunities are important because they break down isolationist barriers to intellectual exchange that may exist within their own communities and regions, even if those areas are culturally and ethnically diverse.”

Attendees will also get a day off — R&R Day — to explore Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the surrounding areas. See what there is to do.

Morning Yoga for Nerds

Start your mornings at NerdNation 2016 off right with yoga led by alumni Jessica Supinski and Cheryl Betten. The pair will lead a 45-minute yoga session on Friday and Saturday mornings, April 8 and 9, at 6:15 a.m. in room National Harbor 3.

You’ll learn simple yoga poses leaders can use to reduce stress and promote wellness. Come as you are — no prior experience or special attire is needed. All abilities — and all NerdNation attendees — are welcome!

Supinski is a former International Officer from the Alpha Lambda Nu Chapter at the Community College of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania. She is currently a chapter advisor of the Beta Phi Delta Chapter at Renton Technical College in Washington.

Betten is a former International Officer from the Chi Iota Chapter at Burlington County College in New Jersey.

The pair will also lead an Educational Forum on Thursday, April 7, at 1:30 p.m. on “Leadership Lessons from Yoga.” The workshop will explore the lessons of leadership yoga can teach us that can be used at school and throughout our lives. You’ll stretch your mind, your heart and maybe even your body!

A complete list of Educational Forums will be available soon. View the full NerdNation schedule.

Registration for NerdNation 2016 is still open, but hotel rooms are filling up fast! Reserve your room today!

We’re the Cover Story on Community College Week!

We’re thrilled to share this story about Phi Theta Kappa, the success of our members and our potential for growth that was featured this week on Community College Week. Some highlights:

“To glimpse at the numbers that define Phi Theta Kappa, the community college honor society, is to see an organization that is helping students thrive and prosper in a big way.”

” ‘We have great potential to grow,’ said George Boggs, the former president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges who recently was elected chair of PTK’s Board of Directors. ‘We want more students to be successful. That will be our focus going forward. If we could get half of the students who are eligible, we’d have a lot more students getting involved and being successful.’ “

“There is little doubt that PTK students are smart, but there are other reasons that account for the group’s success — particularly the emphasis on getting students deeply engaged in their own academic careers.”

” ‘I have wondered for a long time why colleges are not more proactive about PTK, given its track record,’ said John Roueche, who led the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas for 41 years. ‘It would make no sense for colleges not to promote and market Phi Theta Kappa.’ “

Read the full story.

Congratulations to the NerdNation T-Shirt Design Winner!

Kudos to Beverley York for submitting the winning design for the NerdNation 2016 T-Shirt Design Competition! Her design inspired the official NerdNation 2016 shirt, which will soon be available in the Phi Theta Kappa Store.

More than 75 designs were submitted for consideration. Headquarters staff members narrowed the field to the Top 10, and then we opened voting to you!

“I was quite aware of the amount of other awesome designs entered this year, and to be selected as first place is truly an honor,” York said. “To be inspired by the owl, a true representative of wisdom and intelligence for all ages, was undeniably my reason behind the creation of this particular design.”

York is a member of the Beta Zeta Epsilon Chapter at Scott Community College in Bettendorf, Iowa. She will receive a $500 scholarship and a complimentary 2016 NerdNation T-Shirt, and she will be recognized on stage during the Fourth General Session on Saturday, April 9, at 11:30 a.m.

Nolan Havig of the Beta Kappa Chi Chapter at Cerro Coso Community College in California received second place and a $250 scholarship for his design. Third place and a $50 Phi Theta Kappa Store gift card went to Carter Ruff of the Omicron Beta Chatper at Mesa Community College in Arizona. See their designs.

Thanks to everyone who submitted designs and voted! We can’t wait to see everyone wearing this shirt at NerdNation 2016!

Webinar on March 15: International Honors Certificates

Make plans to attend an informative webinar on our International Honors Certificates (IHC) program on Tuesday, March 15, at 2 p.m. CT.

The IHC program partners with four-year universities to offer community college honor students high-quality, online international curricula that will help develop a global mindset and better prepare students to work in and serve a growing global economy.

“The development of global awareness and global competencies in the workforce is more important to collaboration and other soft skills that employers are increasingly expecting,” said Monika Byrd, Phi Theta Kappa’s Dean of Leadership Development and Service Learning.

Read the full story about the program.

Students — the webinar will show you how you can take advantage of member-only discounts to obtain an International Honors Certificate.

Advisors — come see how you can advocate for your institution to offer this unique program to your student body.

Join the webinar.

Yanik Etan Named Mr. CF 2016

Congratulations to International President Yanik Etan for being named Mr. CF 2016!

Each year, the College of Central Florida (CF) hosts a scholarship program called “Mr. & Mrs. CF.” The event is sponsored by the CF Foundation and the Office of Student Life. Each student club or organization on campus is invited to nominate one male and one female candidate to participate.

Etan represented the Kappa Nu Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at the event, which was held February 19. He was awarded a $1,000 scholarship and was joined by Danielle White from the African American Student Union as Ms. CF 2016.

The Mr. & Mrs. CF Scholarship Program, now in its 19th year, seeks students who embody the spirit of CF. These students should have exceptional grades and be deeply involved on campus and in the community. Students should also exhibit direction, poise and the ability to relate well to other people.

On the morning of the event, each candidate participated in a panel interview with the four program judges. While some students were flustered, Etan was calm and confident.

“The experience gained from campaigning for International Office, along with my role as an International Officer in Phi Theta Kappa, fully prepared me for this event,” he said. “Now, as I reflect on this experience, I realize how much I’ve grown over the last year as a result of truly embracing membership in Phi Theta Kappa and particularly serving as an International Officer.”

One More Reason to Attend NerdNation 2016

Competitive Edge members — we have one more great reason for you to attend NerdNation 2016: a special event on building your personal brand led by LinkedIn mastermind and career coach Ron Nash.

Nash will lead an exclusive educational forum entitled “How to LinkedIn and Get Yourself Noticed” on Saturday, April 9, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. The event is sponsored by Pearson Higher Education Group.

Ninety-seven percent of human resources professionals and hiring managers use LinkedIn to recruit new talent; and if you’re not on the social networking site, you’re nearly invisible to them, Nash says. In this forum, he’ll show you how the site can get you noticed.

Nash has worked as a human resources business partner for more than 20 years providing talent acquisition and strategies to help organizations attract top talent. He has worked with Fortune 50 to 500 companies, including Microsoft, Belkin Wireless, Samsung, Cardinal Health and LinkedIn.

“We are thrilled to have Ron Nash joining us for this special opportunity for our Competitive Edge members,” said Jennifer Stanford, Phi Theta Kappa’s Chief Student Engagement Officer. “His presentation will be a great complement to the soft skills and personal and professional development Competitive Edge members have gained through their participation in the program.”

This event is only open to Competitive Edge members at any level, whether you’ve reached the Five Star Level or only just begun. For admission, you must have a Competitive Edge ribbon attached to your NerdNation name badge. Ribbons may be claimed at the Foundation Booth.

Nash will sign copies of his latest book, LinkedIn: The Power of Your Profile, at the Pearson Booth in the Marketplace from 10-11 a.m., immediately following his Competitive Edge presentation. The book signing is open to all NerdNation attendees, and books may be purchased in the NerdNation Marketplace.

Learn more about this exclusive event, and get started in Competitive Edge today!

NerdNation 2016 will be held April 7-9 in National Harbor, Maryland. The regular registration rate ends March 14. Register today!

Reminder: Refund Request Forms are due March 14, and Special Needs Forms are due March 23.

Oklahoma Advisor Saves Boy’s Life in Paris

Dr. Julie Flegal-Smallwood, advisor to the Alpha Beta Upsilon Chapter at Redlands Community College in Oklahoma, was honored last week for saving a child’s life in a Paris airport.

According to a news story posted on NewsOK, She was in France for a weekend training session to prepare to lead her students on a study abroad trip. While in the airport, Flegal-Smallwood saw a 5-year-old boy lifeless and not breathing. She administered CPR until he regained consciousness and stayed with him until paramedics and police arrived.

Read the full story here.

Enter Today for a Chance to #GoStudyAbroad

If you’ve ever dreamed of studying abroad, the #GoStudyAbroad Contest, sponsored by Go Overseas and the Institute for International Education (IIE), can help make it possible! Now through March 31, you can enter to win a $10,000 scholarship to fund your international study.

#GoStudyAbroad is part of Generation Study Abroad, an IIE-led initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade. With 1 in 5 jobs linked to international trade and employers looking for global talent, more U.S. students must study abroad to broaden their perspectives, understand and tolerate different ways of life and succeed in today’s global workforce.

IIE also calls on anyone who studied abroad to pay it forward by nominating U.S. college students to #GoStudyAbroad by the time they graduate. Nominees could win a $10,000 scholarship for study abroad, and nominators are eligible to win travel prizes.

Higher education institutions, study abroad organizations, government agencies and others are encouraged to participate in this nationwide campaign. Please join us in mobilizing study abroad alumni, faculty members and wider campus communities to nominate students to #GoStudyAbroad.

Enter directly to win a scholarship. Or, nominate a student. The contest runs through March 31.

CCID Conference Highlights: You Can Study Abroad

Monika Byrd, Phi Theta Kappa’s Dean of Leadership Development and Service Learning, recently attended the annual conference of the Community Colleges for International Development. Here, she shares some highlights.

Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) held their annual conference February 20-22. CCID is a network of community, technical and vocational institutions from 14 different nations that seeks to create and support globally engaged learning environments (ccidinc.org).

CCID is celebrating 40 years this year, so the conference was a great opportunity to learn more about its history. The international education researchers and practitioners who attended contributed to my knowledge of community college international initiatives, comprehensive internationalization, international community colleges, and the short- and long-term impact of study abroad on student and professional success.

I learned some practical things of interest to Phi Theta Kappa advisors and members too. The U.S. State Department is seeking to dispel the myths that its scholarships and funding in higher education are not for community college students, faculty, administrators and programs. In fact, in addition to the U.S. Department of State, the Departments of Agriculture, Education and Defense all have initiatives for which they seek greater participation from community colleges.

A single website is available to learn more about the opportunities related to study abroad: studyabroad.state.gov. Grant funding is available for things besides study abroad that are relevant to internationalization too, such as the Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence program, which funds the expenses of bringing a foreign lecturer to U.S. colleges.

Representatives of the Institute for International Education, which administers Fulbright programs for the U.S. Department of State, will be at NerdNation 2016, April 7-9 in National Harbor, Maryland, and available to answer questions.

Phi Theta Kappa works to connect its members with various international studies and study abroad opportunities:

Global Entrepreneurship — UCLA
Organizational Leadership — the University of Johannesburg
International Business Human Resources — the University of South Carolina
Contemporary Chinese Culture — Beijing Culture and Language University

  • Phi Theta Kappa members participating in the International Scholar Laureate Program (ISLP) — which allows students to study one of five career fields in four countries: Australia, China, New Zealand and South Africa — may apply for scholarships to help cover the cost of international travel. Applications are due March 11.
  • The Institute of International Education has launched the #GoStudyAbroad Campaign offering $30,000 in scholarships and travel prizes. The campaign is part of Generation Study Abroad, a five-year initiative to double the number of students who study abroad by the end of the decade.
  • The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. The number of awards and award amounts varies. The application is open March 31-October 11.