Rebecca (Becky) Allen and Stephen (Steve) Schroeder have each served as Phi Theta Kappa chapter advisors for 13 years. They have each engaged with the Society in numerous ways both regionally and internationally throughout their years as advisors. And both have been nominated to represent Division III as Secretary of the Association of Chapter Advisors.
All advisors attending NerdNation 2014, April 24-26 in Orlando, Florida, will vote for Secretary. The winner will be announced during the Hallmark Awards Gala Saturday, April 26.
For the first time, all votes will be cast online. When voting opens, each advisor attending NerdNation 2014 will receive an email from Phi Theta Kappa’s Chief of Staff Deidra Daws, email@example.com, containing a link to the online voting system. Emails will be sent to the advisor’s address on file with Headquarters. Polling opens at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, and closes at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 26.
Advisors without email access through a personal mobile device may use one of the iPad stations at the Voter Registration Booth near NerdNation Registration to access email and cast their votes.
The Voter Registration Booth will be open at the following times:
- Wednesday, April 23: 1:00 – 10:00 p.m.
- Thursday, April 24: 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
- Friday, April 25: 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Saturday, April 26: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Becky Allen is advisor of the Alpha Rho Tau Chapter at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. She served as a facilitator for the 2013 Phi Theta Kappa Academy and co-presented an Educational Forum. She will do the same at NerdNation 2014, and she is a 2014 Faculty Scholar.
“My involvement with Phi Theta Kappa has given me the opportunity to meet new people and develop lifelong friendships,” Allen said. “Professionally, I have developed stronger leadership skills as I work with the students and outside organizations. I am also more civic-minded and tend to volunteer more than I did before.”
Dr. Eugene Spiess, then-Indiana Regional Coordinator, asked Allen to serve as a Phi Theta Kappa advisor. As an administrator on campus, she had heard of the organization but had little knowledge about what it actually was. She attended a regional conference on Spiess’ invitation and was captivated.
“I was touched by the excitement of the students and the advisors and knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of the organization,” she said. “Phi Theta Kappa creates opportunities that allow students to grow beyond what they thought possible.”
Allen has seen both students and advisors benefit from Phi Theta Kappa involvement over the years. Membership in the Society gives students a sense of belonging – sometimes for the first time in their lives – and keeps them encouraged to do their best, she said.
And advisors are able to reach beyond their current roles with the college and work with students on campus while developing personal strengths and skills as leaders.
“Advisors serve as mentors, guides and sometimes the voice inside their head’ that members need to successfully complete goals,” Allen said. “When students succeed, we feel successful too.”
Steve Schroeder is co-advisor to the Phi Theta Chapter at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa’s Honors Program Council and has served as a Faculty Scholar.
Schroeder’s relationship with Phi Theta Kappa began when he was asked to cover for an advisor who was on maternity leave and take the chapter to a regional convention. He was immediately hooked.
“The positive energy and enthusiasm demonstrated by the students combined with the mission and purpose of the organization illustrated through their events were like nothing I’ve ever seen,” he said. When he was asked to replace a retiring advisor the following year, he leapt at the chance. “It was one of the best professional decisions I ever made.”
Engagement with the Society has afforded Schroeder a wealth of professional development opportunities. He has taken many of the activities, strategies and improvements learned at Phi Theta Kappa events and incorporated them into the classroom.
“In an age where college budget constraints put increased limits on the possibilities of exploring professional development, it is refreshing to see the emphasis that Phi Theta Kappa puts on enriching the experience of the advisor,” he said.
While Schroeder acknowledges that most students become Phi Theta Kappa members for the scholarship benefits, he urges them to become more involved with the Society to develop skills that will both benefit them in a variety of professional and personal situations and further qualify them for the scholarships.
“By giving academic achievers the opportunity to directly influence their campus and community, they can begin to see the tremendous impact they can have throughout their future professional and personal lives, leading to lasting, positive influences,” Schroeder said.