MARIETTA, OHIO—Washington State Community College’s (WSCC) Alpha Rho Gamma chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society has achieved five-star status for the 10th consecutive year. PTK is the national honor society of community colleges with a mission to recognize academic achievement of college students and provide opportunities for them to grow as scholars and leaders.
“The most important reason we’ve been able to maintain this status for a decade is because of teamwork and an attitude of servant leadership,” said WSCC’s PTK Advisor and Business Management Professor Brad Merritt. “I couldn’t achieve the Five Star Chapter rating by myself. I had a lot of help. We have had fantastic chapter members and alumni who participate every year.” Merritt credits the longevity of earning the status to not only its members, but to several PTK alum who support the efforts of the chapter.
To earn the status, which is PTK’s highest designation awarded, the chapter completed two projects, both of which involved helping the community during the pandemic. For its first project, the group supported the college’s food pantry as well as other local food banks with canned and non-perishable food drives. The second project involved helping the local shelter for victims of family violence, Eve, Inc. WSCC’s PTK chapter, which has a 20-year association with Eve, was able to help the shelter when the pandemic forced the cancellation of its annual fundraiser. While members are currently making decisions about projects for this upcoming year, they have already kick-started a drive to help the Humane Society of the Mid-Ohio Valley.
“This is the tenth year in a row the chapter has reached the Five Star Level and is one of the most prolific chapters in the Ohio region,” congratulated PTK’s Ohio Region Coordinator David Sigmund. “Given the current pandemic, student participation in many chapters across the Ohio Region has been lukewarm at best. To achieve Five Star status in these given circumstances is quite an accomplishment,” he continued.
In addition to annual service projects, Merritt credits the Five-Star status to Alpha Rho Gamma’s consistent engagement at the regional and national levels of PTK. They have also hosted three regional conferences in the past 10 years and have had seven members serve in regional officer roles. He added that the chapter is slated to host the regional conference this summer, however, they are awaiting decisions on how COVID will impact the event.