MCCC honors the newest Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society inductees

By Diane VanDyke
During a special induction ceremony, Montgomery County Community College's Blue Bell Campus chapter, Alpha Kappa Zeta, welcomed its newest members to the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society for two-year colleges. Photos by Linda Johnson

During a special induction ceremony, Montgomery County Community College's Blue Bell Campus chapter, Alpha Kappa Zeta, welcomed its newest members to the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society for two-year colleges. Photos by Linda Johnson

Montgomery County Community College recently celebrated the induction of 59 students into the Alpha Kappa Zeta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) international honor society for two-year colleges for the spring 2024 semester during a ceremony on the Blue Bell Campus.

inductees receive symbolic white rosesTo be eligible for this elite honor, students must earn a minimum of 12 credits, maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and be of good moral character. PTK members exemplify the values of scholarship, leadership, fellowship and service.

Every academic year, PTK performs at least two community service projects. This year, PTK worked with the Community College Completion Corps initiative to promote community college completion to degree and completed MCCC’s Safe Space diversity training.

Dr. Catherine Parzynski, co-advisorMCCC has two PTK chapters – Alpha Kappa Zeta at the Blue Bell Campus and Beta Tau Lambda at the Pottstown Campus. Both chapters have attained five-star status, the highest rank a chapter can earn. Dr. Catherine Parzynski, History Assistant Professor, and Dr. Cathy Hoult Shewring, History Professor, are the advisers for Alpha Kappa Zeta, and Douglas Powell, History Assistant Professor, and Meredith Frank, Communications Studies Instructor, are the advisers for Beta Tau Lambda.

Dr. Chae SweetThe induction ceremony started with an introduction by Dr. Parzynski followed by a welcome message from Dr. Chae Sweet, MCCC Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. The keynote speaker, Mamata Tharima, a former Alpha Kappa Zeta Chapter president from 2014-2016, gave an inspiring speech, describing her experience and encouraging the new inductees to make the most of this opportunity.

Mamata Tharima “There are opportunities within an opportunity. To create opportunities, you need to share with others in the right platform of what you are capable of doing,” Tharima said. “As I said earlier, there is a season for everything. This is your season to build. Build your resume, build your portfolio. Do what you what is necessary and what you can to make yourself ready for your career job right after graduation. Even if it is an entry position for your dream job.”

induction ceremonyThe inductees are joining a scholarly fellowship that embraces not only community college students in the United States but also nationally and internationally. Phi Theta Kappa was founded in 1918 and officially recognized in 1929 by the Association of American Community Colleges. Today, it has grown from the original eight chapters to more than 1,300 and it encompasses more than 3.5 million members worldwide. PTK membership enables students to enter into an intellectual fellowship that extends beyond MCCC to regional, national and international networks.

family and friends watch ceremonyThe Alpha Kappa Zeta inductees for spring 2024 are Sulhee Antal, Laurel Bailey, Joanna Barr, Dara Becker, Shelly Bell, Christopher Bonsignore, Jacob Bruno, Pearl Budner, Jose Bueno, Ron Carter, Lucas Challes, Tina Cobb, Daniel Cole, Kyle Cox, Cat Crutchfield, Brandon De Oliveira, Paul Debbaudt, Sarah Dermovsesian, Lance Desantis, Isabella Drab, Stephen Eckert, Matthew Frankl, Rebekah Garcia, Dagny Hahn, Charlie Ann Haldeman, Abigail Hall, Jake Hamburg, Erin Hastings, Tyler Himes, Jenna Korchma, Megan Krol, Gabriel Levy, Reagan Lisius, Erin Lyons, Sarah McNaughton, Julia Miccoli, Alvin Munoz Cervantes, Rovena Nako, David Nguyen, Delaney Niper, Hyewon Park, Caskey Parke, Angelina Peale, Ben Peled, My Ngoc Tra Pham, Joshu’Wa Reid, Annatalia Rookstool, Wed Saad, Anina Salvucci, Shubham Sharma, Randi Shea, Matthew Signorelli, Christina Smith, Julia Starr, Leah Synnestvedt, Lucas Synnestvedt, Chloe Thomas, Madison Walsh and Jeehae Young.

This year’s officers are Grace Ifiegbu, President; Katharine Boyle, Vice President of Fellowship; Dani Arcos Narvaez, Vice President of Scholarship; Alayna Berkebile, Vice President of Leadership; Kit Schlaak, Vice President of Service; and Christina Smith, Vice President of Public Relations.

For the fall 2023 semester, the Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter welcomed the following inductees during a virtual ceremony: Francelie Mae Arguelles, Andrew Bailon, Joanna Barr, Alayna Berkebile, Richard Blowes, Stephanie Chavez, Tiara Clay, Lianna Cody, Hanna Cox, Drew Dearden, Baylen Detweiler, James Diamicis, Breanna Dimaria, Joseph Fredericks, Davis Guthrie, Jasmine Ho, Ruby Iskandarani, Jaylene Johnsons, Shannon Jordan, Lawrencia Laryea, Andrew Lawlor, Jennifer Lennon, Remy Lloyd, Richard Loveless, Randy Nava, Emory Neukum, Megan Nuneviller, Thy Pham, Samuel Portock, Angelique Quiles, Marc Regen, Minda Sam, Bernard Schaffer, Anthony Schultz, Christina Smith, Kiera Tavolaro, Audrey Thompson, Jessica Tomovcsik, Mariami Turiashvili, Alexa Werner, Nicholas Whaling, Jacob Wisnoff and Sarah Woodhouse.

There are numerous benefits to being inducted as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, including special recognition during the induction ceremony and at commencement, scholarships, career training opportunities, transfer success, leadership development, and member discounts.