MARIETTA, OHIO (May 30, 2019)–Washington State Community College’s (WSCC) chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), Alpha Rho Gamma, recently received several accolades. The international honor society PTK is one of the most prestigious of its kind amongst two-year colleges and academic programs. In late April, four members of the chapter, who were nominated to the Ohio Association of Community Colleges All-Ohio Academic (OACC) Team, were honored at the Statehouse in Columbus. Those recognized were Casey Higgins, Kimberly Wilson, Natalie Brooks, and Amanda Harvey.
A collaboration between the OACC, Phi Theta Kappa, and the event sponsor Honda of America, the All-Ohio Academic Team program serves as recognition for high achieving two-year college students. Those recognized must demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor as well as leadership and service that extends their education beyond the classroom to directly benefit the community.
To be eligible for the team, students must be nominated by their college president and be eligible to graduate during the current academic year. WSCC professor and PTK Chapter Advisor Brad Merritt said that the nomination process is the most competitive part of being named to the team. He explained that Washington State had 11 eligible students and narrowed the final selection based on grades, leadership, and community service.
In total, 70 students from Ohio’s community college system were selected and ranked in first, second, or third teams. Harvey, who serves as Alpha Rho Gamma’s Vice President of Service, was selected to the Second Team, Higgins, who serves as its Vice President of Communication, along with Wilson and Brooks were selected to the Third Team.
In addition to this recognition of members, the Alpha Rho Gamma chapter received several awards at the 2019 Ohio Regional Convention annual meeting held in Wheeling, WV this March. For the second year, the WSCC PTK chapter was recognized at the annual meeting where it ranked third out of 41 chapters in the Ohio region. Additional accolades included the Continued Excellence Award, a Shining Star Award for its membership growth, which increased by 186-percent from 2017 to 2018, second place for the chapter’s Honors In Action project on income inequality, and the nomination to host the Honors in Action Conference on the WSCC campus in summer 2020. Alpha Rho Gamma member Ronald Salazar was also elected the Southeast District Representative of the Regional Leadership Team at the annual meeting.
Phi Theta Kappa 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.