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Phi Theta Kappa: Leaders of the Future

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By Jessica Langowski

The Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) organization at Grand Rapids Community College is a growing society of currently 65 GRCC students. These students are striving for academic excellence to become the future leaders and active participants in their community as a whole.

“Phi Theta Kappa will not only make you feel a part of something bigger than yourself now, but it also will help you in the future…Employers look to see what kind of clubs you are a part of, and PTK is one that has an excellent reputation,” said PTK member, Clare Kolenda, 19, when asked why GRCC students should join this club over other campus organizations. Consisting of pledged GRCC honors students of whom maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher, have earned over 12 college credits while attending, and have paid the one time $75 membership fee, the Phi Theta Kappa club is an international honors society. The club was founded in 1918 by two Missouri college presidents and has branches extended to popular colleges around the world.

“You get to meet great people, reach out to the community, and break out of your comfort zone to cultivate leadership skills inside of you,” Kolenda said about what it entails to be a part of the club.

Throughout the academic year, the PTK club will be doing community outreach projects and attending several leadership conferences. In the spring, they will have an induction ceremony where they will be celebrating new members. “Being a newer organization, we really let the students decide what direction we want to take the chapter in. It builds on a lot of leadership,” said Jason Schueller, PTK advisor. “The students can start to create what traditions and activities the chapter will be moving in. It’s nice that they have all the say in what direction they want to take it in.”

Newly inducted members get the Gold Key membership pin, a certificate, identification card, PTK transcript stamp, and official seal on their diplomas. They also get to wear the gold monogrammed honors stole at commencement as a sign of their academic achievements. Based on research, the greatest benefit of joining the PTK organization is access to over 440 institutions and over 32 million dollars in scholarship opportunities to its members. To join this club, students can apply in the Student Life office in the Student Center or contact the co-advisers, Lynnae Selberg and Jason Schueller, for more information about the PTK organization and how it can benefit their education. Elections for the role of PTK President and other leadership positions will be happening soon. Schueller also confirmed that Phi Theta Kappa and the Student Advisory Board will be collaborating over the school year on projects and events.

“Being a part of PTK isn’t just joining a club, but investing in yourself as a leader,” said Kolenda. “You can make a conscious decision to inspire, and make a difference on your college campus, and in your community.”