Things Change, but Catalyst Remains the Same

International Officers with Catalyst Logo

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Phi Theta Kappa’s President and CEO, Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner.

The definition of a “Catalyst” is something that creates a faster rate of change. But the “Catalyst” itself is unchanged. We have done our best to remain true to that definition. Despite the disruption and changes in everyone’s life, you continue to live the Hallmarks of Phi Theta Kappa. Over the past several weeks, life has looked different, but—instead of isolating—I have seen all of you find new ways to lead, learn, serve, and fellowship with one another.

We call our annual convention Catalyst for a reason—it gives us momentum individually and collectively. We come, we learn, and we take what we have learned back to our campuses and communities. In the past, Catalyst has been in a finite location; but for the first time ever, Catalyst will be wherever you are.

When you see virtual PTK Catalyst, things will look different, but we are committed to finding new ways to honor you and celebrate your hard work and accomplishments. And this year, in a lot of ways, what we do at Catalyst—the recognition—is in your hands. Individual, team, chapter, and advisor awards will be delivered to you. And I am asking you to find creative ways to celebrate yourselves and each other. This includes scholarship winners, distinguished advisors and Regional Coordinators, distinguished officers and officer teams, distinguished regional officers and officer teams, College Project and Honors in Action awards, and awards for college presidents and distinguished college administrators.

Whatever the recognition, celebrate it at home. Find fun and creative ways to bring Catalyst to your college community and then share them with us on PTK’s social media channels, so that everyone else can celebrate along with you.

Virtual Catalyst is not the way I would have wished for all of you to experience it, but we were committed to doing everything in our power to create a place where we could celebrate your accomplishments, hear from amazing keynote speakers, and elect our 2020-2021 International Officer Team. I encourage all of you to participate fully in the election of the International Officers by taking part in online campaigning, participating in the candidate caucus, and listening intently to campaign speeches. This is an important time for the members who have stepped up to run, and for you, as you choose the next International Officer team.

The planning for this year’s Catalyst began the day after last year’s Catalyst came to a close, and it has taken a great deal of effort to shift gears. I would like to thank the PTK staff and Board of Directors, our advisors and Regional Coordinators, and TEK Productions for being committed to the vision of Virtual Catalyst. But, most of all, thank you to the members for your support and for embracing this new way of doing things.

I am sad for those of you who have worked all year and will not get to experience Catalyst the way it was intended. But nothing will take away from the experiences you have had during this year—what you’ve learned and the friendships you’ve made. I am proud of all of you and looking forward to bringing you Catalyst 2020 in the only way possible. And I look forward to celebrating next year with you in person at PTK Catalyst 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland.

—Dr. Lynn

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