MARIETTA, OH — Washington State Community College’s (WSCC) chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), Alpha Rho Gamma, recently received accolades, including two members who were nominated to the Ohio Association of Community Colleges All-Ohio Academic (OACC) Team and a Hallmark Award.
Taylor Lemasters and Christina Cantrell were among the 73 students from Ohio’s community college system who were named to the All-Ohio Community College Academic Team. This recognition works to promote academic excellence and intellectual rigor, leadership, service, and the extension of education beyond the classroom to benefit society. To be eligible for an All-Ohio Academic Team, students must be nominated by their chapter advisor; be eligible to graduate during the current academic year; and have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.25.
Lemasters was named to the All-Ohio Second Academic Team and Cantrell received All-Ohio Third Academic Team honors. They were both recognized at a virtual event in April. Lemasters received a $500 scholarship, and Cantrell received a $250 scholarship.
Also this spring, Alpha Rho Gamma was recognized for its college project at the PTK Catalyst 2021 International Convention Hallmark Awards ceremony. The chapter received the Hallmark Award for its College Project, Feeding the Hungry. Led by Lemasters, who is the chapter vice president, the group held a food drive last January to benefit the WSCC food pantry. Their original plan was to conduct a 90-day collection, however members opted to continue collecting throughout the entire year because of the increased demand experienced by the WSCC pantry directly related to the pandemic. Merritt credited the project’s success to the involvement of a variety of people that included members of campus, the surrounding community as well as help from the Newport Food Pantry. “The bottom line was to make sure that we were providing assistance to our students,” said Brad Merritt, WSCC’s PTK advisor and Business Management Professor.
These accolades complemented the Five Star Status Alpha Rho Gamma received earlier this year. This is the highest distinction awarded to a PTK Chapter and a status they’ve maintained for the last 10 years. In a letter from Pattie Van Atter, PTK Chapter Outreach and Development Coordinator, she congratulated the chapter, saying, “Achieving Five Star Status and earning a Distinguished College Project Hallmark Award any year is a major accomplishment and during a pandemic – stupendous!”
The international honor society PTK is one of the most prestigious of its kind amongst two-year colleges and academic programs. It is the official honor society for two-year colleges with more than 3.5 million members in the US and 10 sovereign nations. The organization recognizes the academic achievement of college students and provides opportunities for them to grow as scholars and leaders. Memberships are extended to students who complete at least 12 credit hours with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5.