Venango College of Clarion University Alpha Kappa Delta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society held its 37th Annual Induction Ceremony on Friday, March 7, at the Quality Inn in Franklin. Guest speaker for the evening was Dr. Ellen Foster, Associate Professor of English at Clarion University.
Professor Beth Jackson, long-time advisor of Phi Theta Kappa, welcomed the audience, comprised of members, their families, and Venango College faculty and staff. Dr. Chris Reber, executive dean of Venango College, congratulated the students for their excellent academic and service achievements.
"We are proud of our students that are inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. These students should take great pride in their achievement as they are often balancing jobs, family, education, and civic activities and do so with excellence and commitment," stated Reber.
Jo Donaldson provided the invocation for the ceremony and Carl Olson provided background music for the event.
Dr. Ellen Foster encouraged the inductees "to say yes when opportunity knocks. Phi Theta Kappa and Venango College will nurture you, and if you accept those gifts, you will grow and excel into strong leaders."
Inducted into the honor society were Autumn Aites, Christine Balatine, Jaryn Beatty, Kody Beer, Alyssa Broad, Erin Causey, Ashleigh Eggers, Kassondra Ferry, Robert Guy, Amy Hawk, April Iseler, Brittany Klingensmith, Brandi McHerny, Regina Miller, Amanda Polonchak, Jendiss Robinson, Denise Seidle, Jason Shade, Catherine Shank, Christie Stewart, Kellie Strahl, Daniel Weaver, Dave Wilson, and Heather Yeany.
Newly-elected Phi Theta Kappa officers are Kellie Strahl, president; Jason Shade, vice president of leadership; Erin Causey, vice president of community events; Catherine Shank and Kody Beer, co-vice presidents of public relations; Jendiss Robinson, vice president of fundraising; Ashleigh Eggers, vice president of honors in action; Alyssa Broad, vice president of hallmarks; Lucy Wagner, secretary; and Amanda Dunlap, treasurer.
The Alpha Kappa Delta chapter is active at Venango College and in the community. It co-sponsors the Venango College Criminal Justice Club Easter Egg Hunt and an annual Halloween event for the community, coordinates and hosts an annual blood drive, is active in the Adopt-a-Highway program and the Totes-for-Tots program, which encourages reading for children in area Head Start programs and pre-schools. The chapter facilitates Honors in Action, a project entitled "Catapult to the Frontline"aimed at improving all students' academic experiences at Venango College through several workshops taught by peers. The chapter was awarded 4-star status level of achievement by Phi Theta Kappa International in 2012 and continues to maintain this exemplary status.
Established by Missouri two-year college presidents in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society serves to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and provide opportunities for individual growth and development through honors, leadership and service programming. Today, Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 2 million members and 1,200 chapters located in all 50 states, U.S. territories, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Germany, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, United Arab Emirates, and Palau. In 1929, the American Association of Community Colleges recognized Phi Theta Kappa as the official honor society for two-year colleges.