WE ARE PTK: 2018-2019 International Officers

Five Phi Theta Kappa members face an especially exciting year ahead — they were named the 2018-2019 International Officers during PTK Catalyst 2018, held April 19-21 in Kansas City, Missouri.

We posed a few questions to each officer to help you get to know them a little better. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Elda Pere
International President

What’s the one thing you would want someone to know about Phi Theta Kappa?
I would love it if people knew that having this grand family is worth much more than the membership fee.

What led you to seek International Office?
After serving as a regional officer, I simply could not get enough. Guiding members throughout my region has brought me such a great sense of joy and belonging that I want to extend it to the rest of the country and beyond.

How do you encourage engagement and participation among your fellow members?
I mostly encourage engagement and participation with games and competitions. For example, our regional team made a video where members had to note each setting difference throughout the clips, earning the winners a free registration to our (regional) convention. On a daily basis, however, I speak to Phi Theta Kappans about my amazing experiences as an active member and how much they can gain, hoping that it will inspire them to participate.

Won Joon Kang
International Vice President, Division 1

Why did you become a Phi Theta Kappa member?
During my first week, I had a tough time finding my classrooms. I found myself wandering until I discovered the Honor’s office. Not only did the members help me map out my classrooms, but I found myself immersed in all the PTK posters around the room. After a quick information session, I found myself dedicating my first semester to getting into the Honor’s Program at Bergen Community College and applying for Phi Theta Kappa at the end of my first semester.

What do you see as the biggest benefit of Phi Theta Kappa membership and why?
The biggest benefit is being able to embrace the hallmarks that Phi Theta Kappa emulates. Working with others, spreading awareness, partnering with pre-existing campaigns on the same missions, and giving back to the community in some form is not only rewarding, but life changing. None of it would be possible without the guidance of Phi Theta Kappa’s support.

What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?
I’m looking forward to following through with the hallmarks of my own campaign and meeting members of Phi Theta Kappa from all over the world. For every chapter, regardless of achievements or location, I will make sure to spend all my efforts in following through with what I’ve offered. For every new face I meet along the way, I hope to impact them in any positive manner possible.

David Parker
International Vice President, Division 2

Why did you become a Phi Theta Kappa member?
After doing well my first semester of college, I looked into what opportunities opened. I saw Phi Theta Kappa on my college’s honor page, looked into it, and anxiously awaited my membership letter. After attending my induction, I was hooked and knew that I wanted to be involved as much as I could. Though I was looking for a way to be recognized, I think I found what I was really looking for — a community of scholars.

What led you to seek International Office?
Phi Theta Kappa has changed my life and gave me so much, I wanted to give back to the Society and serve it in any way I could. However, it was my advisor who first planted a seed in my mind to run for International Office. She had always believed in me as a leader, and it was with her support that I built up the courage to run for office.

Describe the moment you knew you’d been elected.
It was surreal. Realizing that all the work my team and I put into making this dream come true paid off felt so rewarding. I couldn’t have gotten here without all their help.

Carol Comer
International Vice President, Division 3

What led you to seek International Office?
I wanted to do more to help the students I meet. Almost every day, I hear from so many students who don’t feel they are on the right path in life and don’t know who they are meant to be. I want to empower them to find what inspires them and build on that inspiration and gift to fulfill their lives and enrich their communities.

How do you encourage engagement and participation among your fellow members?
I tell all members that you will get out of Phi Theta Kappa what you put into it. You reap what you sow. If you don’t like what is going on, step up and change it. It also feels amazing when you become engaged and connect with your community. It feels like you matter and that you are important in the world. Because, the truth is, you are.

What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?
I am most looking forward to working with the other International Officers, becoming a team member, and meeting more Phi Theta Kappans from all over the country. It excites me to know that I will be able to make a positive impact and encourage and empower all members of this prestigious honor society.

Philippe Schicker
International Vice President, Division 4

Why did you become a Phi Theta Kappa member?
Coming from Germany, I did not have a lot of friends when I started at my community college. I had heard about Phi Theta Kappa and joined to surround myself with like-minded students who desire to stand out, but also to make new friends.

What do you see as the biggest benefit of Phi Theta Kappa membership and why?
I think the biggest benefit of Phi Theta Kappa is the drive everyone brings to the table. We are all really good students who challenge themselves to do more while helping to make the community a better place. It is the kindness everyone is treated with no matter where one is from, as well as everyone’s will to work together that I find incredibly attractive about Phi Theta Kappa.

What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?
I am really excited to meet Phi Theta Kappa students from all over the country. I think one of the most exciting factors about Phi Theta Kappa is its diversity. Every student, whether traditional, non-traditional, or international, has a different story, and I cannot wait to hear them.

Read more about the 2018-2019 International Officers.

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