Representatives from Ozarks Technical Community College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year college students, have returned from the organization’s 94th international convention with seven awards in hand. Held this year in Nashville, Tenn., the annual convention draws delegates from nearly 1,300 Phi Theta Kappa chapters each year, and is attended by nearly 4,000 students and chapter advisors.
As a whole, the College’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter received awards for Distinguished College Project and Distinguished Honors in Action Project. The chapter also received its second Beta Alpha Continued Excellence award, which is presented to chapters that place in the top 25 for 3 or more years. The leadership team of students Dana Johnston of Walnut Grove, Stephanie Ashley of Willard, Alan Roberts of Nixa, Fran Ferguson of Ozark, Keith Crisman of Ozark, and Amanda Issa of Springfield earned an award for Distinguished Chapter Officer Team. The honors for OTC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter also included an individual student award for Bree Pierfelice of Springfield, who was recognized as Distinguished Chapter Member. Additionally, Chapter Advisor Steve Fritts, OTC’s coordinator of Advisor Training and Development, received an award for Continued Excellence in Advising and was elected Chair of the Association of Chapter Advisors.
In addition to being a part of a winning chapter officer team, Fran Ferguson ran for international president of Phi Theta Kappa. Though she was not successful in her bid, Ferguson’s leadership experience has not gone unnoticed: Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., has awarded her a $25,000 Excellence in Education scholarship and a $2,000 Phi Theta Kappa transfer scholarship. Ferguson will transfer this fall to Gonzaga, where she plans to major in psychology and work toward her master’s and doctorate in Leadership Studies.
Also during the convention, Dr. Hal Higdon, chancellor of Ozarks Technical Community College, received the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction. Only 10 presidents or chancellors are chosen for this award each year. Recipients of the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction are nominated by their colleges, and chosen by the Phi Theta Kappa Board of Directors. The presidents and chancellors who receive the award have provided extensive support and a variety of resources for their colleges’ Phi Theta Kappa chapters, including faculty advisor release time, a line-item budget for the chapters, financial support for chapters to participate in regional and international events, and scholarships for Phi Theta Kappa members.
Phi Theta Kappa honors students who have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, and places its emphasis on leadership, service, scholarship and fellowship. Ozarks Technical Community College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa inducts new members twice each year.
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