PTK Brings Home Awards

Left to Right: PTK co-advisor Heather Leasure, Mike Harrison, Ziyad El-Amrani, Fennic Tatum, Natalie Perdun, Mary Harter, PTK co-advisor Darci Feider.

Leadership from Clark’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) student honor society traveled to the national PTK Catalyst conference April 4-6 in Orlando, Florida, and brought home a trophy. Clark’s chapter was among 34 chapters selected to receive the Hallmark Award for Distinguished College Project. There are 1,247 PTK chapters nationwide.

PTK Co-advisor Heather Leasure said, “We also were honored as a top 100 chapter out of 1,247 chapters, so that is exciting as well.”

Catalyst National Conference

A slide from the conference announcing their standing in the top 100 of 1,247 chapters.

PTK Catalyst is Phi Theta Kappa’s annual event that brings together members, advisors, and their supporters for professional development and to celebrate the accomplishments of the PTK community. The event includes opportunities for personal and professional development, college transfer guidance, inspiring speakers, and opportunities to network and learn from other members of the PTK community.

Clark College PTK leadership who attended the conference are Ziyad El-Amrani, president; Natalie Perdun, vice president of scholarship; Mike Harrison, vice president of service; Fennic Tatum, vice president of fellowship and Mary Harter, director of history and records. Additionally, both PTK advisors, Heather Leasure and Darci Feider attended the conference with the students.

“Catalyst is not just the culmination and celebration of the whole year and being awarded for your hard work,” said Heather Leasure. “It is also a time to connect with other chapters and pull ideas from their success. This reinvigorates the officer team to come back with energy to train their successors for the next academic year.”

College Project Award

The purpose of the PTK’s college project is to establish or strengthen a supportive relationship between the chapter and the college administration. Clark’s PTK chapter president met with President Edwards to discuss needs at Clark College and to determine a project that supports Clark’s mission. Then the PTK members discussed the project and how they would implement it.

This academic year, PTK’s project was two-fold:

  • Supporting and assisting with Penguin Pantry, and,
  • Backpacks and school supplies for Clark students

Both projects support the college’s strategic plan tenet of Equitable Student Experience through priority two which is to remove barriers and provide inclusive support to increase student success.

Project 1: Supporting Penguin Pantry

PTK leaders advertised volunteer opportunities with the Penguin Pantry—including packing boxes with food, distributing food boxes to students in a drive-through format, scheduling volunteers, and volunteering at pantry events.

  • 32 volunteers
  • 196 volunteer hours
  • 31,890 pounds of food packaged and distributed
  • 3,775 people served

Project 2: Fall term backpack and school supply giveaway

PTK members worked with Monica Knowles, Clark College Bookstore manager, who provided ideas for backpacks and school supplies and provided the products at cost. Then PTK asked Dr. Edwards for permission to hold a school supplies fundraiser on Opening Day, she made their request to Executive Cabinet and they approved it. PTK created advertising. Dr. Edwards published it in her weekly newsletter to the college and in her Opening Day invitation.

On Opening Day, PTK placed multiple donation barrels. Clark College Foundation set up a way for people to donate funds for the project. The Clark community was generous.

  • 116 backpacks filled with school supplies and Clark College water bottles
  • Distributed to 116 Clark students in need

Each chapter’s project entries were scored at the international PTK headquarters. Winners were announced at the Catalyst national conference.

Clark’s PTK chapter attends the national conference every year. The trip was funded by services and activities fees through the Associated Students of Clark College (ASCC).

In March, Clark’s PTK chapter received three awards at the Great Northwest Spring Conference on March 23 at Bates Technical College in Tacoma:

  • Honors in Action project, 2nd place
  • Honors in Action theme, 2nd place
  • College project, 3rd place

Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society for two-year colleges. PTK recognizes the academic achievement of college students and provides opportunities for its members to grow as scholars and leaders. Clark’s PTK chapter is Alpha Sigma Phi. Students are invited to join PTK when enrolled in at least 12 credits per term and achieve a minimum 3.25 grade point average.

Photos courtesy of Heather Leasure.