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PTK brings home multiple awards

Each year Jones College’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) officers and advisors hit the road for their annual Mississippi/Louisiana Regional PTK Spring Award Gala where they compete against 50 PTK chapters from Louisiana and Mississippi. While they have been successful at this event in the past, this year has been one of the best yet.

 “Yearly, our chapter goes to these events, and usually we win some awards, but this year was exceptional,” Dr. Caleb Smith, a history teacher at Jones College and one of the PTK advisors, said. “Just the amount of awards we received was higher than it has been in a long time.”

This year Jones’ PTK chapter, Rho Sigma, won five awards, four of which were for the overall chapter. These awards included a top 10 award for their Honors in Action (HIA) project, a top 10 award for their theme, a top 10 award for the most distinguished chapter and the highest award for their college project. Also, PTK officer Maria Terry won the Golden Key Award.

“We had put up another officer for another award, so I was gearing up to record her reaction to getting her name called,” Maria Terry, PTK vice president of service, said. “And then they say my name, and it didn’t register that it was me. I was like ‘Who in here has my name?’”

The Golden Key Award is an annual award given to one officer from each chapter. The award goes to the officer who is the best model of the four pillars of PTK: Service, Leadership, Scholarship and Fellowship. The officers who are in the running for the award are nominated by their PTK advisors.

“Maria was chosen because she is the embodiment of service. Every time we need someone to sell tickets, sit at an information booth, or create a video for our chapter, Maria volunteers,” Dr. Smith said. “She is a wonderful student and a great team player.”

Each year the Honors in Action team is tasked to construct a project based on a theme. This year’s theme was “The Systems of Play.” The HIA team used this project to answer the research question, “What are the limitations to and effects of play in children of poverty?” By partnering with a preschool in the community that lacked the resources to provide outdoor activities, the HIA team was able to collect data for their research question. The data collected showed that rewards and new play equipment increased the children’s imagination and morale.

Each year, the current PTK officers meet with Jones College administration and are given a few projects they would like to see on campus. This year Jones PTK officers chose to build a garden as their college project. They plan to use it as a teaching tool and a way to help people in the community. Recently, they started planting spring crops and flowers to help pollinate and added a second bed to the garden.

The PTK chapter’s successful projects and numerous awards have allowed them the chance to go further. Now Jones’ PTK officers and advisors will travel to Orlando, Florida, and get a chance to place in the national competition.

“We couldn’t be where we are at unless we all could see eye to eye, agree and move forward into the project with more and more success,” Kadin Johnston, Jones College’s PTK Chapter President, said. “I’m just really proud of the team and the comradery we’ve had all year.”

Haley “Kat” Shepherd

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