On Sunday, February 24, Alpha Gamma Upsilon, the Ark City chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, had its annual Induction Ceremony and All-Academic Team Celebration, officially welcoming 21 new members to the nationally recognized honors organization. The ceremony was conducted in the Earle N. Wright Community Room by officers Brianne Hutto, Bethany Wolff, Symantha Shelton, Emily Harris, Thais Gomes, Allison Wolfe, and Chandra Alford with advisors Deborah Layton and Scott Layton.
Guest speaker Ruy Vaz, a former member of PTK and currently the Cowley men’s soccer coach, presented the members with an inspirational speech on getting involved to reap the benefits the organization has to offer, discussing the opportunities he had to build upon leadership and service while at Cowley.
Vaz said that it was good to make promises but to keep them was “sublime.” His message went along well with the quote the officers chose for this year’s inductees: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing” by Walt Disney. Vaz talked about the Honors in Action project he and his fellow Phi Theta Kappans worked on, which was to raise awareness for the amount of food wasted on campus. Vaz created a public service announcement which was displayed in the cafeteria in order to discourage students from taking more than they planned to eat. He also mentioned that it was important for him to display the qualities of leadership, scholarship, fellowship and service (the four pillars of the honors organization), but that it was even more important for him to instill those traits in his student athletes.
In addition, the All -Kansas Academic Team, Symantha Shelton and Megan Roth, were recognized for their achievements as well. A number of students applied for this honor in the fall, and through a series of essays demonstrating their leadership and volunteerism, these two were selected from Ark City to represent Cowley College at the state level. The students will attend a luncheon in Topeka in March honoring their accomplishments, and their pictures will be displayed in Galle Johnson through next year. An exciting addition to the hall’s display this year is a plaque featuring the names of the honorees since 1993 when the program began.
Eight students, Allison Wolfe, Emily Harris, Brianne Hutto, Thais Gomes, Symantha Shelton, Bethany Wolff, Megan Roth and Chandra Alford, were also awarded commemorative pins for completing the Five Star Competitive Edge, a self-paced program available through ptk.org focusing on soft-skills and critical thinking. A reception followed.
Furthermore, all chapter officers were provided graduation stoles for their contribution to this year’s success.
Currently there are 71 new members, and the chapter is still growing! The chapter is excited about the next big events for the year: the opening of a student pantry for those in need and a Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction, featuring student talents, scheduled for March 26 and the international convention in Orlando, Florida, in April.