JCJC’s PTK Honor Society Chapter take home International & Regional honors

Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: teresa.mccreery@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2018-05-08 16:42:11

ELLISVILLE- Jones County Junior College’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Rho Sigma chapter were proud to take home the first place prize at the Regional competition for a distinctive project. The Honors in Action theme JCJC students chose for the year was, “Nostalgia and Pathos.”  Co-Advisor for the JCJC PTK Chapter, Dr. David Lowery explained how this first place theme inspired students to produce an Honors In Action Project which took 7th place overall in the Regional competition. 
“I think the (Honors In Action) project received recognition because it was unique. One thing we noticed that kept coming up in the research on nostalgia was the necessity of recording oral histories. One author suggested that not all oral histories had to be written--some worked best if they were in video format. This is why we decided to do a documentary-style video as our oral history project,” explained Dr. Lowery.
Five Vietnam veterans from the Collins Veteran’s Home were interviewed for the oral history documentary. However, the final version of the student-led documentary about the Vietnam soldier’s experiences focused on the stories of three men from Jones County.
“I was so impressed with this year’s Honors in Action team. The team’s oral history documentary provided an inside look at the effects of military service on young men throughout the course of their lives. It is great to see college students show an interest in the history of their country and to find a way to honor those people who sacrificed so much for us to enjoy the freedoms we have in America,” Dr. Lowery said.

For JCJC sophomore from Diamondhead, Jonathan Taylor, being the Director of the Honors in Action Project was thrilling as he heard the untold stories of war veterans. Creating a video to document their experiences is vital to the community Taylor believes.

“Oftentimes, we fail to realize that we walk past heroes every day, and in doing so, we miss both the opportunity to thank them for their service as well as learn from their experiences,” Taylor shared. “Creating the documentary primarily taught us the importance of oral history, especially in the bounds of our own surroundings, and it also taught us how to properly preserve it for future generations.”

The JCJC students’ Vietnam video was viewed by 500 students and dozens of local veterans at Northeast Jones High School. Taylor and his group think the oral history project received PTK International and Regional recognition for a couple of reasons.

“Primarily, it showed a solitary initiative by the members of Rho Sigma Chapter (at JCJC) to come together in the preservation of Jones County’s local history, and secondly, the achievement hinged on a paradoxical thought that differentiated it from other projects in the competition, laying a foundation for the future by preserving the past,” Taylor explained.

President of the JCJC PTK Rho Sigma chapter, Cheyenne Fraun of Pearl explained the team put in a lot of hours on this project. She is proud the documentary was recognized despite the competition with hundreds of submissions.

“It only validated our belief our work meant something to others which is most important to us. Honestly, if we didn’t win anything for the project we still would have been proud of the project because we knew that we were doing something important because of the lives that we not only impacted through this project but also the lives that impacted us,” said Fraun.

Internationally, JCJC received awards for Distinguished Honors in Action Project and Distinguished Chapter in addition to being named a top 100 chapter. PTK Co-Advisor, Julie Atwood explained why the PTK judges were especially impressed with the oral history project.
“Distinguished Chapter awards are determined based on the combined score for the Honors in Action and College Projects. Although we didn’t ‘place’ on the College Project, our scores were apparently very good in order for us to be recognized as a Distinguished Chapter, which only 35 total are chosen from more than 1,300 chapters,” Atwood said.
Other Regional awards for JCJC’s PTK Rho Sigma chapter include third place honors for the scrapbook, ninth place overall for the College Project which involved assisting students with technology, and the chapter was named a five-star chapter as well as the 5th most distinguished chapter in the region.
(Here is a link to the finished oral history project: JCJC’s Vietnam War Oral History Project) 


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