Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by Philippe Schicker, International Vice President for Division 4.
If you have attended Phi Theta Kappa’s biggest celebration before, describing it to someone who hasn’t is a challenge. With PTK Catalyst 2019 coming up so soon, I will try my best to outline some of the highlights that await you while giving some insights from someone who experienced last year’s event as an International Officer candidate — a truly special way to attend.
If I had to describe it in just a few words, I would use the comparison that was made to me when I first heard about the event: A long weekend that provides thought-provoking competitions, Educational Forums, and elections, coupled with a party with the excitement factor of a Beyoncé concert, all as a gathering of dedicated people from across the country that puts political rallies to shame.
With nearly 4,000 students, professors, advisors, college presidents, and industry partners in attendance, the annual event in April promises to not only allow chapters from throughout the nation to interact, share ideas, and have fun together, but it is also the celebration of the accomplishments of over 300,000 community college students.
This year, from April 4-6, America’s best and brightest will gather in Orlando, Florida. Here are some tips on how to make the most out of your PTK Catalyst 2019 experience.
Seek out chapters from a different part of the U.S.
Chapters all throughout the country have fun and innovative ideas on how to have chapter meetings (or parties, as they are sometimes referred to), work on Honors in Action and College Projects, and build strong chapter bonds. Interact and exchange your ideas with people you might not otherwise meet.
Attend an Educational Forum and watch the speech competitions and Scholar Bowl
Outside of the general sessions, there is an abundance of events going on throughout the weekend. Watch and cheer on your peers in the speech competitions or learn something exciting and new during one of the many Ed Forums.
Have a grand time at Disney World
Being in Orlando this year opens up the opportunity to adventure through the magical world of Disney with your chapter and newfound PTK friends. Just make sure you’re back for the General Sessions. 😉
Stop by the Transfer Fair & Career Exhibitors
Again this year, there will be countless four-year universities in attendance that all want you. Stop by their tables and talk to them, and there is a good chance you’ll find a college that has previously not been on your list. For the first time this year, we will also have career exhibitors for all of our workforce students. Get out there and make some connections with potential employers.
Get to know the International Officer Candidates
Every year, PTK Catalyst serves as the election for the new set of International Officers. While the candidates come from all across the United States and sometimes even from all over the world, they share one commonality: the desire to give back and serve this Society that has given so much to each and every one of us. Go talk to and get know them, as five of them will represent you the coming year. Hopefully, you will even get inspired to run the following year.
Whether you are a candidate, a host for an Ed Forum, a competitor, a helper, or just plain overwhelmed by the many events going on at the same time, PTK Catalyst is a time for celebration, and I am confident that it will be memorable. I remember campaigning a year ago and the stress that came with that, but I am glad that I also made sure to actively step back and cherish the moments I shared with fellow Phi Theta Kappans.
PTK Catalyst 2019 is a bittersweet event for me. On the one hand, I cannot wait to see my friends from all over the country, share stories, and watch everyone’s hard work pay off during the Hallmark Awards Gala. On the other hand, this means that my year as an International Officer is over, and serving has truly been an honor.
Nevertheless, I am excited and you should be too! Take advantage of all the opportunities that are there for you, meet new people, and most importantly have a fantastic time.
See you in Florida!