Wayne Community College’s Upsilon Chi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges, inducted 33 members in a virtual ceremony Thursday evening (April 30).
Phi Theta Kappa members represent the top 10 percent of students enrolled in two-year schools. To be invited into the society, WCC students must show academic achievement with a minimum grade point average of 3.5 and have completed at least 16 hours of associate degree course work. They also must demonstrate good citizenship characteristics.
Choosing to join PTK means the inductees have “chosen scholarship, leadership, service, and fellowship as their hallmarks,” said Chapter President Sabrina Blackmon.
The induction ceremony was held via a video conferencing application to conform with current restrictions and measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.
As Chapter Advisor Katie Mullins announced the new members’ names and majors, they could be seen following the tradition of lighting a candle symbolic of the torch of knowledge. The inductees unmuted their microphones in order to follow Mullins in the Oath of Membership to uphold the standards of the society.
The guest speaker for the ceremony was Peyton Overbee, a WCC achievement coach and PTK alumna. Overbee joined the honor society as a student at Johnston Community College. She continued her education at East Carolina University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Science and a Certified Family Life Educator credential.
In her talk, Overbee said that “The biggest takeaway from my Phi Theta Kappa experience was that it helped spark a fire for me, the desire to want to make a difference and it flamed the interest of leadership in me.”
She spoke about the three things that shape a leader. They are to be a learner and to be able to take advice, to be willing to take the first step and to move out of your comfort zone, and lead by example and with passion for others.
“Power and authority are not what it means to be a good leader. It is not the position that they hold,” Overbee said. “Know that leading means serving because it is not about you.”
WCC President Thomas A. Walker Jr. weighed in that the end of the ceremony to tell the inductees how proud he is of them and to agree with Overbee’s words, advising them that leaders are always willing to listen and willing to learn.
The inductees and their majors, listed by hometown, are
Shana Avalos, Associate in General Education – Nursing
Robert Dillon, Aviation Systems
Breeanna Horne, Associate in Arts
Amil Alriyashi, Associate in Arts;
Destiney Anderson, Associate in Arts;
Julia Bentley, Applied Animal Science;
JingXin Chen, Associate in Arts;
Taylor Gregorovic, Associate in Arts;
Hana Hadwan, Associate in Arts;
Derek Hill, Associate in Arts;
Victoria Hines, Associate in Science;
Feifei Kaglic, Associate in Arts;
Lauren Kennedy, Associate in Arts;
William Mercer, Associate in Arts;
Janelle Murchison, Business Administration;
Charles Perkins, Turfgrass Management ;
Austin Ruiz, Associate in Science;
Isabella Sardina, Associate in Arts; and
Zachary Smith, Associate in Arts
Eddie Bostic, Criminal Justice
Justin Gosvener, Computer Integrated Machining; and
Donte Sumlin, Network Management
Rebecca Edwards, Office Administration;
John Norton, Industrial Systems;
Elizabeth Reynolds, Associate in Engineering; and
Caitlin Smith, Medical Office Administration
Ariel Sundheimer, Agribusiness Technology
Mattingly Churakos, Associate in Arts;
Amanda Heath, Associate Degree Nursing;
Kimberly Hughes, Human Services;
Cheryle Melton, Office Administration;
Dalia Nagi, Associate in Science; and
Sydney Schmeltzer, Dental Hygiene
About Phi Theta Kappa
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society recognizes the academic achievement of college students and provides opportunities for its members to grow as scholars and leaders. Established in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa has a presence on almost 1,300 community college campuses in 11 nations. The American Association of Community Colleges recognized Phi Theta Kappa as the official honor society for two-year colleges in 1929. More than 3.5 million students have been inducted since 1918, with approximately 250,000 active members in the nation’s community colleges.
A full 91 percent of Phi Theta Kappa members will complete an associate degree or transfer to a four-year college, compared to just 38 percent of students nationally. Members have access to $46 million in scholarships, can gain leadership experience, and can learn essential workplace skills employers seek.