RCC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter inducts new members, celebrates 20th anniversary

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Sixty new members were inducted into Beta Theta Rho, Randolph Community College’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, on Saturday, Nov. 23.

ASHEBORO (Dec. 2, 2019)

On Nov. 23, Beta Theta Rho, Randolph Community College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, inducted 60 new members and celebrated its 20th Anniversary as a student organization at the College during its fall induction ceremony. Nearly 200 family members, friends, faculty, administrators, and Board of Trustee members filled the R. Alton Cox Learning Resources Center Auditorium to celebrate the academic achievements of both past and present students.

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RCC PTK alums joined President Dr. Robert S. Shackleford Jr. to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the RCC chapter.
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PTK advisor and English/Communications Instructor W. Clark Adams (at the podium) presided over the ceremony in the R. Alton Cox Learning Resources Center Auditorium.

The ceremony was led by PTK advisor and RCC English/Communication Instructor W. Clark Adams, who greeted the guests and inductees: “This is a day of recognition, remembrance, and reunion.” He acknowledged the special occasion of the chapter’s 20th anniversary and the success of the new inductees.

Following Adams’ welcome, PTK Secretary Dashanese Carpio-Ventura led the Pledge of Allegiance, and PTK Vice President Gabriela Vazquez led the invocation for the ceremony.

Adams then explained the mission and purpose of Phi Theta Kappa, and noted that, since receiving its charter Nov. 1, 1999, nearly 4,000 students have joined RCC’s chapter. He provided a review of a few world events and references to pop culture from 1999.

“While many of us were preparing for Y2K and the end of the world, several people on this stage were working at RCC and preparing for the future,” Adams said, acknowledging RCC President Dr. Robert S. Shackleford Jr., who was working at the college as Department Head of Early Childhood Education, and English Department Head Dacia Murphy, who was an instructor at the College, in 1999.

Adams then shared a brief history of the chapter and paid tribute to past chapter advisors over the last 20 years.

“Our current faculty advisors stand on the shoulders of these advisors who provided the leadership, time, and commitment that it takes to have a successful chapter,” he said. “I am grateful for them all and their unique contributions to this chapter.”

Murphy provided the audience with her memories of establishing the chapter in 1999 with fellow English Instructor Amanda Fields, who led PTK with Murphy until 2002.

“My true passion is teaching and helping students succeed and achieve their goals, so it was very exciting to have the opportunity to help found the Beta Theta Rho chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at RCC 20 years ago,” Murphy said. “Looking back, what I remember most is working with the enthusiastic and dedicated students, the heart of the organization, as our chapter was starting to grow. It has been wonderful to watch Beta Theta Rho continue to flourish over the past 20 years. PTK provides amazing opportunities for our students to become more engaged and grow as they become servant leaders and give back to the community. It has been a delight to have been a part of Phi Theta Kappa at RCC.”

Adams also acknowledged the work of Sociology Instructor Carol Savchak, who served as advisor from 2001-2008, and retired Business Administration Department Head Waymon C. Martin, who served as advisor from 2002-2017. Martin and Savchak began the work to establish a PTK Scholarship with the RCC Foundation in 2006.

Martin shared his memories of being an advisor for 15 years and the work that was done to raise the chapter to its Five Star level. Martin spoke of the many projects and activities the chapter participated in through the years, the many conferences and conventions, and the contacts that were established in the community.

“In 2017, Mr. Adams had the scholarship’s name changed to the Waymon C. Martin Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship,” Martin said, “so I have many reasons to return to celebrate today. We have provided four scholarships to members since 2018, and hope to for infinity.”

Other PTK faculty advisors include: Adams (Instructor, English/Communication, 2010-present), Melissa Earliwine (Developmental Mathematics Instructor, 2010-2017), Dorothy Hans (Instructor, English, 2013-2017), Scotty Duyck (Department Head, Social/Behavioral Sciences, 2017-2018), Ellen Adams (Instructor, Mathematics, 2017-present), Dolores DeHaro (Instructor, Spanish, 2017-present), and Gabby Nall (Instructor, Spanish, 2017-present).

Adams then introduced a number of PTK alumni members who attended the ceremony. Ten past presidents of the chapter sat onstage, and five shared their memories of PTK and the impact that both the chapter and RCC had on their lives. Those who spoke were: Dianne R. Steed (President, 2002-2003), Barbara Robinson (Interim President, 2010), Briana Gullett (President, 2013), Donna Burleson (President, 2015), and Jahmina Ollison (President, 2016). Other past presidents at the ceremony were Carolyn Herron (2003-2004), Charleen “Sherry” Holt (2008), Shawn Vuncannon (2011), and Luke Alderman (2018).

PTK member Dr. Brenda Lopez served as the Alumni Spotlight speaker. Lopez graduated from RCC with an Associate in Arts degree in 2009, and then enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she completed her bachelor’s degree. She was then admitted into the UNC School of Dentistry, where she graduated with a Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 2015. Lopez, currently a dentist in Gastonia, described the impact that RCC and PTK had on her life and how her experience helped pave the way for other family members to attend college. Lopez was the ninth of 11 children and was born in Mexico, the daughter of a migrant farmworker. She told the new inductees that she did not know how to get into college when she was in high school, but asked everyone questions and had the strong desire to be a trailblazer for her younger siblings.

“I encourage you to go out and attend a four-year college if you desire, apply for that job position you have been dreaming of, and maybe afraid to try; and most of all, share the gifts and talents you have been given to serve others,” she said. “You are all very special students at this campus, and I am so proud of each of you. Go out there and conquer your dreams.”

At the conclusion of her speech, Adams presented Lopez with a certificate from PTK headquarters in recognition of her service and leadership.

Shackleford shared a brief message to the new inductees about overcoming limitations and not letting the opinions of others dictate or derail their success. Through several anecdotes, Shackleford illustrated how obstacles in life can be overcome and that the new inductees should not let those obstacles define them.

Following Shackleford’s speech, Adams presented Honorary Membership status (certificates and medallions) to Murphy, Martin, Earliwine, Duyck, Shackleford, and Vice President for Student Services Chad Williams. Adams also presented PTK certificates of recognition to all past presidents and chapter officers in attendance.

PTK President Tyler Bohlen led the new inductees in the society’s pledge, explaining the significance of the carnation as the symbol of PTK, and Williams announced the names of the inductees. The new members signed the membership roster, while Bohlen, and Secretary Dashanese Carpio-Ventura handed the new members a carnation. Adams presented each new member with a certificate.

The ushers for the ceremony were Maria Jose Cruz Rivera and Maria Fernanda Cruz Rivera, who are both PTK members and RCC graduates.

Following the ceremony, there was a reception in the Armadillo Café for the new members, alumni, and their family and friends. The reception was hosted by DeHaro, Nall, and Adams.

Established in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa is the only international honor society serving two-year institutions. It recognizes the academic achievement and integrity of students enrolled in curriculum programs. Students who are invited to join PTK must have completed 12 credit hours and must possess a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher. Beta Theta Rho has maintained a Five Star status for 17 consecutive years. The Five Star status recognizes chapters that have completed every requirement set by PTK and for chapters that go above and beyond to make sure their projects and service to the College and community are the very best they can be.

Students (identified by hometowns) who were inducted include the following:
Archdale: Jessica Anguiano, Jackson Davis McCroskey
Asheboro: Aeman Raji Alazzam, Lizette Analia Tornero Ascencio, Mariah Ashanti Brown, Brittney Janelle Bunting, Kyla Elizabeth Carter, Rose Lynn Catherwood, Joseph Madison Coats, Jessica Elaine Cox, Anna Abigail Diaz, Jonathan Estrada-Herrera, Crystal Lynn Farrington, Emma Marie Fowler, Tyece Lashai Henry, Elena Alexandra Hernandez, Rachel Ann Hogan, Nallely Sarahi Jaimes, Crystal C. Kinney, Anna Sophia Morgan, Brandi Sue Owens, Mayra Perez-Cortez, Kelly Burns Robertson, William Anthony Stallings, Cherilyn Marthea Standfield, Joshua Lucas Timberlake, Jacob Jefferson Williams
Franklinville: Daisy Beiza-Maya, Bethany Michelle Walker
Greensboro: Crystal Crews Price
High Point: Courtney Ann Roach
Lexington: Taylor Nicole Doub
Liberty: Erika Alejo Pacheco, Rhonda Simpson Hargis
Pleasant Garden: Jennifer Anne Tallant
Ramseur: Braden Isaac Greene, Camden Elisha Greene, Hannah Grace Proper, Jackson Kyle Richardson
Randleman: Brandi Anne Darnold, Catherine Michelle Davis, Allison Michelle Freitas, Branson Barnes Hodgin, Hannah Johnnie Hook, Robin Michelle Lockamy, Christin Punturi Page, Teressa Price Pollard, Mendy Nichole Swaney
Seagrove: Taylor Mackenzie Greeson, Zachariah Lane Mabe, Sabrina Renee Snider
Siler City: Giselle Montiel Aguilar
Sophia: Cameron Christopher Jackson
Staley: Sabrina Vanessa Rau
Star: Carolina Gonzalez
Thomasville: Andrew Wilton Garrett, Phuc Kien Luu Pham, Whitney Leigh Williams
Trinity: Courtney Elizabeth Orr
West End: Bradley Scott Taylor