March 4, 2020
Phi Theta Kappa at Cowley College held the Academic Team Celebration and Induction Ceremony for both its Alpha Gamma Upsilon and Beta Phi Upsilon chapters on Sunday, March 1. The ceremony welcomed 44 new members to PTK, with around 10 inductees plus family and friends in attendance. The ceremony was conducted in the Earle N. Wright Community Room by officers Priscilla Bianchini and Childress Rittle with advisors Deborah Layton, Jennifer Rupp, and Melinda Neal.
In addition, the chapters recognized the All-Kansas Academic Team of Priscilla Bianchini, Jeannie Qualls, and Hattie Staley for their achievements. A number of students applied for this honor in the fall, and through a series of essays demonstrating their leadership and volunteerism, these three were selected to represent Cowley College at the state level and received scholarship checks from Dr. Rittle and graduation stoles during the ceremony. The students will attend a luncheon in Topeka on March 12 honoring their accomplishments.
Honors were also given to those who completed the Five Star Competitive Edge and Five Star Advisor programs, self-paced courses available through ptk.org focusing on soft-skills, critical thinking, and Phi Theta Kappa administration. One student, Priscilla Bianchini, and one advisor, Melinda Neal, received commemorative pins.
Dr. Rittle, an honorary Phi Theta Kappa member himself, was asked by students to serve as the guest speaker. He presented ideas regarding the four pillars of the organization: leadership, scholarship, fellowship and service. To become a strong leader, he said, it is important to listen and to extend yourself to others. He urged students to keep striving for success and said he hoped Cowley could serve as the catalyst to propel them toward their goals.
Lastly, the officers presented Humanities Department Chair, Marlys Cervantes, with a gift for her support of PTK over the years. Priscilla Bianchini said Mrs. Cervantes “has been present for our events, made purchases for our fundraisers and donated for our collections, but the greatest gift -- she believes in the students.” The program was followed by cake and refreshments.
Phi Theta Kappa students will soon be attending the Kansas/Nebraska Regional Convention March 6-8 in Lawrence, Kansas, and the International Convention April 2-4 outside Dallas, Texas. The Alpha Gamma Upsilon chapter is excited about its new and ongoing projects for the year, including the growing student pantry that provides free food, toiletries and cleaning supplies to students in need and a weekly shuttle to Walmart for students without reliable transportation. The Beta Upsilon chapter recently held a canned food drive to help their local community and is currently working on fundraising efforts that will afford them the opportunity to participate in more regional and national events.
New Inductees to the Alpha Gamma Upsilon chapter:
Aline Miranda de Almeida
New inductees to the Beta Phi Upsilon chapter: