Phi Theta Kappa Wins Prestigious Award at National Convention

WCC’s Phi Theta Kappa, an international honors society, won the distinguished honors in action award this past spring at the National Convention in Nashville. Six officers of WCC’s Phi Theta Kappa travelled to Nashville where they encountered 5,000 other attendees that were competing for these prestigious awards.

There are over 1,250 chapters of Phi Theta Kappa across America and a few other countries. WCC has its very own chapter called the Alpha Iota Omicron.

Phi Theta Kappa was established in 1918. Their mission is to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and provide opportunities for growth and development through scholarship, leadership and fellowship, according to the WCC website.

In order to be eligible for membership, students must be enrolled at WCC with 12 completed credits and a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Once students are members of Phi Theta Kappa they are granted free access to, the Phi Theta Kappa Career Resource Center and Five Star Competitive Edge, which is an online portfolio where students can keep their development plans.

Students also get the chance to apply for over $87 million in scholarship opportunities, which partner with senior colleges, universities and foundations, according to the WCC website.

Ashleigh Riley, former Vice President of honors in action, was among the winners who was bestowed with the distinguished officer award.

“The distinguished officer awards are given to the top ranking people in Phi Theta Kappa,” Riley said. “Our adviser, Robin, won the distinguished advisor award which is a very big deal. We also won the distinguished honors in actions project.”

Despite not having a background in science, Riley and the other chapter officers of the WCC Phi Theta Kappa spent a year working on a research project to teach WCC students and other community members about the importance of renewable energy, a project that is responsible for college’s win at the International convention.

“We were proud of ourselves for winning at regionals but when we went to the international convention, we definitely weren’t expecting anything,” Riley said. “So when we got called up on stage to win the distinguished honors in actions project, we all started freaking out and […] just started hugging each other.”

According to Riley, students can benefits from becoming involved in the honors society and Phi Theta Kappa.

“Within Phi Theta Kappa, there are a series of different projects we have to do– community service projects. We work with the administration to do something to better the school,” Riley said. “We offer members lots of different transfer scholarships so if you are in Phi Theta Kappa, you have a  transfer scholarship that is available to you that is not available to anyone else, even with the same GPA. When you are a member, you get a lot more.”

Vice President of service in the Alpha Iota Omicron chapter, Brenda Hernandez highlighted her personal views on the award.

“I think the awards serve as an incentive to give our best, but also serve as an amazing recognition for those who do the right thing even when no one is looking,” Hernandez said. “[Phi Theta Kappa] has helped me gain so many skills, like communication, public speaking, time management, punctuality, and responsibility.”

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