The Beta Lambda Delta Chapter from Jefferson State Community College’s Shelby-Hoover Campus in Alabama took the top prize — 2020 Most Distinguished Chapter — during Phi Theta Kappa’s annual convention, PTK Catalyst, held virtually April 16-17.
PTK’s content manager, Erin Cogswell, recently talked with chapter president Adam Patterson, vice president of scholarship Joci Smith, and chapter advisor Dr. Liesl Harris about their Honors in Action and College Projects.
The chapter chose its Honors in Action Project after a new member came out as non-binary and shared their struggled to feel included at the college. A survey of nearly 500 students on campus showed that many in the LGBTQ community did not feel physically or emotionally safe, leading the chapter to host safe-zone training for faculty and staff members. Safe-Zone Alabama drew 57 educators from 21 institutions across the state, resulting in a supportive faculty or staff member for 157,539 students who previously didn’t have an identifiable ally at their campus or college.
For its College Project, the chapter turned to a previous partner, Horizons School, which prepares young adults with developmental disabilities for independent living. Seeing a need to equip these students with a college-level workforce credential, the chapter partnered with its college’s culinary division to develop the first for-credit culinary certificate program for special-needs adults in the Southeastern United States.
They also shared the adjustments their chapter has made in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic and had three key pieces of advice for chapters hoping to complete award-winning projects this year:
1. Use the diversity in your chapter.
2. Find a project you’re passionate about.
3. Follow the process.
Watch the full interview: