By Richard Stone
If you have been looking for a way to succeed in your college career, look into Phi Theta Kappa.
“This is the recognized honor society for community colleges, and you have to be an A student to join,” Professor Jim Lucchelli, the Phi Theta Kappa adviser, said.
To join, students need to have completed at least 12 college credits with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5, and be enrolled for 6 or more hours here the next semester.
“I joined Phi Theta Kappa for the prestige and honor of having it on my transcript, and for the scholarship opportunities,” Sarah Ramirez, vice president of leadership, said.
Ramirez is a sophomore and is working on an Associate of Science.
Phi Theta Kappa’s chapter has an induction ceremony and a service awards ceremony every semester.
The induction ceremony is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 19 in McAllister Fine Arts Center’s auditorium.
The awards ceremony for credit service hours is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 30 in Loftin Student Center’s Fiesta Room.
Credit service hours are awarded to Phi Theta Kappa members for community service.
“Each Phi Theta Kappa chapter has to do one honor and action project every school year,” Ramirez added.
This year’s honor and action project, led by Ramirez, is to help low income students by campaigning to lower rents at Tobin Lofts.
Since Tobin Lofts are owned by the Alamo Colleges District, Ramirez and her colleagues must research the problem so they can present a proposal to Dr. Robert Vela, Jr., college president.
Once their plan is approved by Dr. Vela, the students will present it to the board of trustees at the district level.
“If anyone is interested in coming forward and assisting our Phi Theta Kappa chapter in making a difference for students who are financially and housing insecure, please contact Sarah Ramirez at firstname.lastname@example.org,” Ramirez said.
Phi Theta Kappa gives students a chance to better understand their community.
“Learning how there were families out there that had to uproot their entire lives to get medical treatment for their children was an eye opener. I’m glad that Phi Theta Kappa gave me the opportunity to bring a small piece of happiness into their difficult lives,” Ramirez said.
Phi Theta Kappa experience can also improve leadership skills.
“I’ve learned that leading from the front is really important, and that others are more willing to join when they see officers just as involved,” Ramirez added.
“Dr. (Jim) Lucchelli was my professor for the Learning Framework class. He promoted Phi Theta Kappa. There were officer positions opening up. No one was running for president, so I did. I did not know what I was getting into, but it has been great, and I have loved every second of it,” Samantha Grimaldi, chapter president, said.
Grimaldi is a sophomore and is working on an Associate of Arts.
“The leadership opportunites that Phi Theta Kappa has offered me will allow me to pursue a career that I may not have been ready for before I learned those leadership skills,” Grimaldi added.
Phi Theta Kappa teaches skills which students can use in their academic careers and beyond.
“Phi Theta Kappa has helped me with time management. At Phi Theta Kappa, we have multiple projects going on at the same time. If you don’t manage your time properly, you will fall behind,” Grimaldi said.
“Communication is key for everything, whether it is through email, phone, or text. Without it, Phi Theta Kappa members would not know about group events,” Grimaldi added.
Students are encouraged to check out Phi Theta Kappa.
“Students should join Phi Theta Kappa because it’s not just about what’s on campus. There are so many opportunities for them to grow as leaders and make a difference in their community,” Grimaldi said.
“Phi Theta Kappa is more than just an organization. We’re a family,” Grimaldi added.
Some colleges award automatic scholarships to students for their Phi Theta Kappa membership. The amount varies by college.
Phi Theta Kappa directly awards competitive scholarships of varying amounts through www.ptk.org.
Anyone interested in Phi Theta Kappa can email Grimaldi at email@example.com or call 361-446-2295.
The Phi Theta Kappa office is in Room 607 of Moody Learning Center.