Faculty member recognized as honor society five-star advisor

By Eric Devlin
Communication Studies Assistant Professor Meredith Frank was recently named a five-star advisor by Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges. Photos by Eric Devlin

Communication Studies Assistant Professor Meredith Frank was recently named a five-star advisor by Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges. Photos by Eric Devlin

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society for two-year colleges, recently recognized a Montgomery County Community College faculty member as a five-star advisor of the Beta Tau Lambda chapter at Pottstown Campus. 

Communications Studies Assistant Professor Meredith FrankCommunication Studies Assistant Professor Meredith Frank was presented with the award upon completion of an online course. She received a certificate and pin in her honor and was recognized at the organization’s annual convention, Catalyst, in April.

“It was good. It really helped me,” said Frank of the course. “What also really helped me was Catalyst and a lot of the stuff I could answer from attending the sessions and learning during previous years’ conventions. I think it was great to refresh. It showed how important Catalyst was.”

The Lansdale native, who lives in Havertown, has been a co-advisor with Dr. Douglas Powell, History Assistant Professor, for the Beta Tau Lambda Chapter since 2020. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and communication, with a minor in psychology from Thiel College in Greenville, Pa., and holds a master’s degree in professional communication from La Salle University.

Frank began teaching at MCCC in 2002 as an adjunct faculty member. She was hired as a full-time instructor in 2019 and named an assistant professor in May 2023. She began co-advising PTK during the early days of the pandemic.

“They said ‘We need you to take PTK,’ because at the time, we had zero members, because of COVID,” she remembered. “They wanted to bring it back. They said, ‘Who do you want your assistant to be?’ I said ‘Doug Powell.’ We work amazingly well together, he’s good with emails and I’m good at getting students to join. We just got the PTK REACH award for membership.”

Over the last four years, Frank said the Beta Tau Lambda Chapter has grown to more than 50 members.

Frank said PTK is an important group on campus because it helps students achieve their goals.

“I think it’s important to spread the word about money and scholarship opportunities,” she said. “I’m a believer people will stay at school for other people. They meet people and have fun, and they are more likely to sign up for more classes.”

Meredith FrankSome of the memorable community service projects the group has organized or supported include working with Mission First in Pottstown to support the food insecure and working with faculty to cook trays of lasagna for Lasagna Love, a nonprofit organization that provides meals to the food insecure.

This semester the group made 60 greeting cards for seniors and 11 spring baskets for children in foster homes in Pottstown.

Powell praised Frank for their work in continuing to grow the chapter and help the community.

“It has been my great pleasure to serve as co-advisor with Professor Frank of the Beta Tau Lambda chapter of Phi Theta Kappa over the last three years,” said Powell. “We have grown the chapter and participated in some significant service efforts, including an annual clean-up and providing food assistance to the Pottstown community.  These efforts, many of which were spearheaded by Professor Frank, made a real difference in the community, and were personally enriching to the PTK students who participated. Professor Frank is a devoted advocate for PTK, and her efforts have been invaluable to the success of our chapter.  I am delighted to see that she is being recognized for her contributions.”

Frank praised the work of Beta Tau Lambda student President Georgia Horosky and Cameron Gross.

“The students keep me around. Our amazing president Georgia Horosky is 17 years old. She’s been here since she was 14. She’s going to the Catalyst convention with me. She’s really good at communication.”

“Cameron Gross, I love that she’s a go getter. She’s going to go far,” said Frank. Both she and Horosky extended the offer to Gross to become next semester’s PTK president. “She could have gone to a prestigious four-year-institution, but Montco is more affordable. She came here and applied to the honors program and has really made the most of it. She’s someone I can rely on.”

Gross, 18, of Pottstown, is a Business Administration major, who said she was honored by the invitation to become the president. Frank is one of the most welcoming faculty members she knows at the College.

“If you’re having a bad day, or there’s something going wrong, just talking to her helps,” she said. “It’s crazy how welcoming she is.”

The five-star advisor award is wholly deserved, said Gross.

“It’s absolutely not surprising she’s being named a five-star advisor,” she said, adding Frank has a deep level of empathy for students. “She understands people are busy and have a lot going on. I think it’s a really nice quality to have in an advisor. And she’s very supportive. To have someone like that running such a prestigious club is really important.”

Horosky similarly had glowing reviews of Frank.

“She was one of my first in-person professors. She’s a very big reason I enjoyed Montco. She’s very welcoming and definitely someone who is always willing to help take on another project. I love her classes are so engaging and she’s really good at what she teaches about. 

“She says she’ll talk to anyone. If there’s someone to teach communication, it’s her. She’s never not willing to reach out to get people engaged. She’s not afraid. There’s nobody better to get an advisor award than her.”

MCCC 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 and Dr. Cathy Hoult Shewring, History Professor, are the advisors for Alpha Kappa Zeta, and Powell, History Assistant Professor, and Frank are the advisors for Beta Tau Lambda.

To be eligible for the elite honor of being a PTK member, students must earn a minimum of 12 credits, maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and be of good moral character.