The Phi Theta Kappa Kansas-Nebraska regional convention and international Catalyst convention were both held virtually April 8-10. For the first time, Cowley College was able to provide access to the conference sessions to all chapter members, an option that was not available when the conferences were in person. Consequently, hundreds of students had the ability to attend this year.
Cowley College’s Alpha Gamma Upsilon PTK chapter was recognized at the Regional Awards Ceremony on Saturday afternoon. Out of 43 chapters in the Kansas/Nebraska region, Cowley College won several distinguished awards.
Awards for Cowley College:
- Five Star Level
- Service Project for the Student Pantry – 3rd place
- Distinguished Officer Team for Trevor McDowell, Shelby White, Brianna Dutton, Allie Wright, Adrienne Norris, and Aimee Kozushko – 5th place
- Achievement in Literature (Creative) for Anisa Layton – 5th place
- College Project for the Walmart Shuttle – Honorable mention
In addition, the chapter was recognized for recruitment efforts as a Reach Rewards chapter this year.
Conference attendees could also participate in a nationwide college fair with hundreds of transfer schools, attend educational forums, and listen to inspirational speeches.
One of the keynote speakers, Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, Phi Theta Kappa President and CEO, presented on the conference theme of being “different together.” She emphasized the importance of recognizing and owning students’ individual differences and using them to their advantage. They can bring those unique perspectives to the groups they work with to create more well-rounded initiatives. Dr. Tincher-Ladner also discussed the future advantages of being a PTK member and participating in research projects. She said that scholarly research experience with PTK will help students with distinguishing fact from fiction in both college and life. Those critical thinking skills are prized by future employers and make PTK students stand out from their peers.
Another notable keynote speaker was the award-winning photographer Platon, who has taken portraits of many distinguished world leaders and celebrities and produced 20 Time magazine covers. Platon showed how photos can capture not just people, but moments in history. His captivating stories included advice from the influential people he has photographed as well. He encouraged students to be true to themselves and have empathy for others.
“We all have extraordinary power, and it’s what we do with it that matters,” Platon said. “The secret to being a great leader is in a little word, service.”
He ended by asking students to step up and lead: “We need you now. We need you to think very carefully about your legacy because this is the moment when we can reshape it.”
Cowley College’s PTK members are ready to apply these lessons to their current activities. PTK continues to run several projects supporting the Cowley College community. Members coordinate and volunteer for the student pantry to provide free food, toiletries, and cleaning supplies to students as well as the pilot program for a Walmart shuttle that takes students to Walmart to shop for supplies a couple of times a month. This semester, PTK students are working on a new project to clean up the courtyard area between Galle-Johnson and Kerr-Tech on Earth Day.