Jackson, Mississippi – Phi Theta Kappa has recently appointed three new members to its Alumni Advisory Council; Kevin Braden of Illinois, Sara Oswald of South Carolina, and Jeffrey Romeu of Florida.
The Alumni Advisory Council includes up to seven members who serve as advocates for Phi Theta Kappa members and alumni. The three new members join Chair Kenneth Ruemke of Texas and elected member Barbara Wolf Ebert of Virginia for a two-year term (July 2015 – July 2017).
This is the first year of the Board of Directors-approved structure expanding the Alumni Advisory Council to better serve Phi Theta Kappa and its members. Alumni interested in serving on the Council submitted applications prior to NerdNation. Per the approved guidelines, recommendations were made with feedback from a chapter advisor, an alumnus and staff. The selection committee reviewed applications from a record 15 alumni.
The three new members are:
A former international president and Athena Society Member, Braden is employed by his alma mater, Kishwaukee College, and owns a residential and commercial property maintenance management company. With other alumni in the region, he helped to reestablish the Illinois Regional Alumni Association with the intent to “pay forward” his Phi Theta Kappa experience to current and future members.
“From the day I received an invitation letter, right up to this very moment, my Phi Theta Kappa experience has been nothing short of amazing. As I look back at my years of involvement, I simply cannot imagine what my life would be like without this element in it,” Braden said. “Not a day of my life goes by that I am not, in one way or another, affected in a positive way by my involvement with Phi Theta Kappa.”
As a first-generation college student, Oswald has embodied excellence as a Phi Theta Kappa chapter officer and All-South Carolina Community College Academic Team scholar. She is currently serving as a chapter advisor at Midlands Technical College in South Carolina. An alumna of Harvard University, Oswald has just completed a Masters of Higher Education degree at Columbia College.
“Without Phi Theta Kappa, there is a great possibility that I would have left my undergraduate education incomplete. Phi Theta Kappa inspired a competitive drive to not compare myself with others, but to continually improve my own self,” Oswald said. “My motivation as an alumna is to see that all our current members are given the same opportunities and access that I had to improve myself, and I also hope to improve upon the already amazing programming that Phi Theta Kappa has to offer.”
While at Miami Dade College, Romeu served as president of the Beta Pi Theta Chapter and has co-facilitated educational forums at NerdNation. As one of 16 students chosen for a two-year United States Foreign Service paid fellowship, he spent the summer of 2014 working in the United States Department of State in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. This summer Romeu worked with the International Criminal Court Division in the Netherlands.
“Affordable education is hard to come by these days, but scholarships are there for students who are willing to work for them. As a student, I received multiple scholarships to pay for my tuition and textbooks,” Romeu said. “My continued involvement in these organizations as a student ambassador has provided me with the opportunity to introduce students to these scholarships and give them peace of mind financially in order for them to focus on their studies. I would like to continue to extend these opportunities for the hard working students of Phi Theta Kappa to make the only worry of a student the assignments that are given by the professors.”
Phi Theta Kappa, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, U.S. territorial possessions and eight sovereign nations. Nearly 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 134,000 students inducted annually.