JCJC’s PTK officers earn regional awards

Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: teresa.mccreery@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2016-04-08 16:17:12

ELLISVILLE – Jones County Junior College’s Rho Sigma chapter of the academic international Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa have earned six awards at the regional conference held recently. With more than 200 members of the organization working to complete various projects and fundraisers, the group was recognized for their efforts as a Top 10 Distinguished Chapter and the officer team was recognized as the runner up, Distinguished Chapter Officer Team. The student chapter officer team includes: Luke Tucker: Vice President of Fellowship-Ellisville; Jonathan Jones: Director of Website-Purvis; Ethan Davis: President-Laurel; Wes Herring: Vice President of Scholarship-Laurel; Adam Wigley: Director of Social Media-Richton; Chase Roberts: Historian, Mize; Kiana McFadden: Vice President of Leadership-Waynesboro; Hannah Boyte: Director of Campus Activities-Sumrall; Geneva Catlett: Director of College Project- Lucedale; Natalie Beth Seales: Vice President of Service-Hattiesburg; Virginia-Leigh Donohue: Director of Honors in Action-Vicksburg; Jenna Smith: Director of Publications and Marketing-Columbia; Annie Price: Director of Fundraising-Tupelo and Morgan Lewis, Laurel, Southern District Representative for MS/LA Region, Ellisville.
“Our chapter officers and advisors take the mission of Phi Theta Kappa, to give students a global perspective and help them achieve excellence, very seriously. We want to do our best to honor the time our members give us, from ensuring meetings are effective to communicating through Canvas, and winning some awards doesn't hurt either,” said the sophomore, PTK president, Ethan Davis. “You may join other clubs for your present enjoyment or benefit because you want something fun to do in college, but joining Phi Theta Kappa benefits your future.”
Davis, a Soso native majoring in English was also recognized individually for his efforts by receiving the Order of the Golden Key Award.  He was chosen by his fellow officers for his exceptional work as PTK president and involvement in the Honors in Action project, among other projects. Davis was also selected by the college as a JCJC finalist for the Academic All-American/New Century Scholars program and was included in the JCJC Hall of Fame and “Who’s Who.”
“I could not be more honored to have been given this PTK award; I'm taking it as a sign that hard work does pay off. I have genuinely enjoyed working with the entire team this year and firmly believe that nothing would have happened without their help,” said Davis.
As a chapter, JCJC’s PTK students earned first place for its, “Honors in Action” theme, “Ideas and Ideologies.”  The group worked on improving the community through several initiatives, like a voter registration drive and the Informed Citizens Endeavor campaign. Davis explained the chapter worked hard to develop a topic that had both academic merit and could cause meaningful change, not only at Jones, but everywhere.  He believes they created something unique with the Informed Citizens Endeavor. 
“We can say we registered hundreds of students to vote, but that was not the goal.  Our mission was to show people that they have a voice and that a better world can only exist if they work for it.  I honestly believe we did that for many people, even if only one person becomes politically active because of ICE, our efforts were well spent,” said Davis.
The College Project included a campus beautification component, utilizing two, student-designed sculptures to be placed on campus. That project, which included community sponsors and JCJC welding students, earned fifth place in the region. The student development newsletter for JCJC’s students was recognized with a runner-up award.
One of the four advisors of the organization, Julie Atwood also found herself in the spotlight.  She received the Bennie Warren Outstanding Advisor Award at the regional conference. She was one of 15 advisors selected by a panel of judges from 48 nominees internationally. 
“I was stunned but very pleased to receive the Bennie Warren Outstanding Advisor Award. I greatly enjoy working with students from year to year and it is nice to be recognized for my efforts."
The Ellisville resident has been advising the group for the last seven years. She will be honored at the annual convention in Maryland in April. The chapter may be awarded more honors at that convention, but she is already very proud of the chapter’s accomplishments and recognition bestowed this year.
“Our officer team and chapter members have worked diligently to assure that our College Project came to fruition with two student-designed sculptures being unveiled on campus as well as our Honors in Action project reminding our student body and community of the importance of civic involvement and, particularly, exercising the right to vote. In a very active and competitive region, being recognized as one of the Top 10 Distinguished Chapters is a very significant accomplishment,” said Atwood.  

The chapter is positioned to earn more awards and honors at the annual international convention in April.  


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