Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) held its 95th Annual Convention in San Jose, California, April 4-6, 2013. More than 3,450 Phi Theta Kappa members from 501 chapters around the world gathered in San Jose to hear world-class speakers address the current honors study topic, The Culture of Competition, and to honor and recognize excellence in chapters, members, advisors and more. Speakers highlighting the conference included PTK International President Ryan Austin Palmore, a student at Ivey Tech in Indiana, renowned FORTUNE editor Geoff Colvin, sports revolutionary Billie Jean King and Phi Theta Kappa CEO and Executive Director Dr. Rod Risley.
Representing Kentucky were 56 members, advisors, alumni and college administrators from 10 Kentucky two-year colleges. Patrick Holland of Alpha Delta, Hopkinsville Community College, served as a campaign manager for a candidate for Division II International Vice-President. During the conference Kentucky received 13 international awards including:
• Distinguished Regional Officer Awards are presented for distinguished service, based on nominations submitted by regional coordinators. Only 10 Distinguished Regional Officer Awards are given out annually. David Theis, Beta Upsilon Alpha, Southcentral Community and Technical College, was named a Distinguished Regional Officer.
• A Kentucky chapter received the Beta Alpha Continued Excellence Award for the first time in the history of our region. This award was named for the Beta Alpha Chapter at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. If a chapter is named a Distinguished Chapter three years consecutively, the chapter will be presented the Beta Alpha Continued Excellence Award. Alpha Xi Gamma, Owensboro Community and Technical College, earned this top honor under the direction of Chapter Advisor Dr. Timothy Dick.
• Distinguished Honors in Action Project Awards are given to 40 chapters. The Honors in Action Project Award recognizes the top chapters whose Honors in Action Project entries demonstrated excellence in academic research into the Honors Study Topic, leadership roles and leadership development activities, service learning and collaboration. Alpha Xi Gamma, Owensboro Community and Technical College, received this award.
• Distinguished Theme Awards - Honors in Action are given to top three chapters competing in each issue area. The Honors in Action Theme Award recognizes chapters whose Honors in Action Project Award entries scored highest in each of the 10 Themes related to the 2012/2013Honors Study Topic, The Culture of Competition. Theme 7 - One Small Step, One Giant Leap: Competition and Science, Math and Technology. Alpha Xi Gamma, Owensboro Community and Technical College, received this award.
• The Distinguished College Administrator Awards are given to community college vice presidents, deans, or leaders other than college presidents/CEOs serving a community college in an administrative capacity. Dr. Katy Varner of Jefferson Community and Technical College received this honor.
• The Distinguished Advisor Award recognizes distinguished service by advisors who have served at least five years. Cindy Baker from Alpha Phi Kappa, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, received a Distinguished Advisor Award.
• Kentucky received two Continued Excellence Awards for Advisors who have previously received the Distinguished Advisor Award. Dr. William Loftus, Alpha Nu Theta, Big Sandy Community and Technical College, and Dr. Timothy Dick, Alpha Xi Gamma, Owensboro Community and Technical College, received this award.
• The Distinguished Members are selected based on a student’s embodiment of the Hallmarks of the Society through Honors in Action and other chapter activities. These award recipients must not have held a chapter, regional or international officer position during the 2012 calendar year. Mark Simonds, Alpha Phi Kappa, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, was named a Distinguished Member.
• Two Kentucky Chapters were named Top 100 Chapters: Alpha Xi Gamma, Owensboro Community and Technical College, and Omicron Zeta, Somerset Community College.
• The Alumni Award of Appreciation recognizes Phi Theta Kappa alumni who support the current and future members of the Society. Cynthia Mason was nominated by the 2012 Kentucky Regional Officer Team. Mason is a graduate of Hopkinsville Community College where she was an active member of the Alpha Delta chapter. She now serves as the President of the Kentucky Alumni Association. Mason received the Alumni Award of Appreciation.
• Josh Yancey, Omicron Zeta, Somerset Community College, was named a Guistwhite Scholar. The purpose of the Guistwhite merit-based program is to recognize the scholarly achievements of Phi Theta Kappa members and enhance members' attainment of baccalaureate degrees. Selection is based on academic achievement, leadership accomplishment and engagement in Phi Theta Kappa programs. Only 20 members were selected to receive this scholarships of $5,000 each, for completion of baccalaureate degrees, awards totaling $100,000. The awards are named in honor of Dr. Jack Guistwhite and his wife, Margaret. Dr. Guistwhite developed the first transfer scholarship designated exclusively for Phi Theta Kappa members.
Kentucky Chapter earning a 5 Star Level for 2012 included:
Alpha Delta Chapter, Hopkinsville Community College
Alpha Nu Zeta Chapter, Big Sandy Community and Technical College
Alpha Omega Gamma Chapter, Ashland Community and Technical College
Alpha Xi Gamma Chapter, Owensboro Community and Technical College
Alpha Phi Kappa Chapter, Bluegrass Community and Technical College
Omicron Zeta Chapter, Somerset Community College