Phi Theta Kappa Chapter Receives Prestigious Awards

It was a night of celebration for members of the Alpha Gamma Omega chapter (AGO) of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) on Saturday, March 3, 2018, when the group accepted two top awards at the PTK Regional Conference Banquet in Tampa. Six chapter officers, along with Amanda Ellis, coordinator, transfer program advisor, and Stacey Johnson, president, East and Winter Park Campuses, were on hand to accept the awards.

The AGO chapter received the “Second Place Distinguished Chapter Award,” out of 86 chapters. This award is based on the creation and implementation of the “Honors in Action” (HIA) project, designed to engage students in action, foster student success and help fulfill PTK’s mission to provide college students numerous opportunities to grow as scholars and leaders.

This year, the AGO chapter’s project focused on mental health, with an emphasis on veterans. Chapter members developed a research symposium to inform students about the reality of peace, war, child soldiers and mental illness. The National Association for Mental Illness, Student Veterans Affairs at Valencia, Central Florida Cares, Beneath the Skin, Valencia’s Wellness Ambassadors, the University of Central Florida college counselors, BayCare and Aspire Health all participated in the event and shared information with students.

In addition, PTK members attended a two-hour workshop with a career service worker and a cognitive processing therapy specialist. These participants learned about the risk factors associated with suicide and where to go for help. In addition, they learned that cognitive therapy is effective, and most importantly, that a “crisis” is defined by the person going through it.

Students also participated in Cards for Vets (CFV), a nonprofit organization that assembles holiday care packages to soldiers currently stationed overseas. One member of PTK used his connections as a Delta Airline employee to extend the project globally, resulting in the success of the CFV program and packages being shipped overseas.

The final phase of the HIA is to host a walk/run called Step for Vets in late spring 2018. One student said, “This HIA journey will impact people for years to come.”

The chapter was also awarded one of “The Five Star Chapter” awards, the highest level of recognition a chapter can receive from PTK. The chapters have five levels of engagement that advance from local, campus and regional involvement and to international involvement.

Additionally, Stacey also won the Distinguished Service Award. This award is presented to a two-year college president or campus chief executive officer who shows the most support for PTK within the local college and/or nation.

PTK chapters from West and Osceola Campuses were also in attendance.

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