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RCC PTK Chapter welcomes 77 new members at Spring Induction

Photo of a large group of people.
The newest Randolph Community College Phi Theta Kappa students were inducted Saturday, April 20.

Seventy-seven students were inducted into Randolph Community College’s Five-Star Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Chapter, Beta Theta Rho, in a ceremony held Saturday, April 20, in the R. Alton Cox Learning Resources Center Auditorium on the Asheboro Campus. The ceremony marked the start of the honor society’s 25th year at the College.

“I couldn't be prouder of our college community as we celebrate these outstanding students,” said RCC President/CEO Dr. Shah Ardalan, who was the keynote speaker. “This achievement not only showcases the academic excellence of these students but also their commitment to service and leadership. It’s a testament to their hard work and dedication and the support and guidance provided by our faculty and staff. I congratulate every one of these students on this well-deserved honor and look forward to witnessing their continued success and contributions to our college community and beyond.”


Campbell University graduate student Emily Ramirez gave the first alumni address. Ramirez was PTK President in 2021 and received her bachelor’s from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

PTK Lead Advisor Clark Adams welcomed the guests to the ceremony.

“Our chapter advisors and student officers have worked very hard for the past 25 years to establish and maintain a successful Phi Theta Kappa chapter on RCC’s campus,” he said. “I am extremely proud of the contributions that our chapter has made to our college and our community over these years, and I hope that our chapter will continue to offer leadership, fellowship, scholarship, and service opportunities for our students for years to come.”

PTK Vice President Cathy Turpin led the Pledge of Allegiance, while PTK Secretary Kayden Bean led the invocation. Alexius Flowers, PTK President, led the students in the PTK membership pledge. Student Government Association President and PTK member Paulina Escobar and fellow SGA and PTK members Sarah Wright and Sophia Wright provided music during the program. Vice President for Student Success Chad Williams led the induction process.

Emily Ramirez, the 2021 PTK Chapter Vice President and a Campbell University graduate student, was the first alumni speaker. She encouraged the new members to truly commit to the four hallmarks of PTK — scholarship, leadership, fellowship, and service.

 “I’d like for all of you to be proud of being here at RCC,” Ramirez said. “You'll meet people that will ask you, ‘Why start a community college? Why not just go straight to a big university?’ That’s not the point. You can start your journey anywhere. The point is starting. You’ve decided to study harder than your fellow students. You’ve decided to reach for more, and you’ve decided to be the best versions of yourselves. You’ve made it further than most. I encourage you all to enjoy your time here, as I did, and take this time to discover who you all are.”


Education Program Administrator for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction James Popp, who was the PTK President from 2004-2005 at RCC, not only gave an alumni address, but also celebrated his daughter Allie being one of the new inductees. At left is RCC Vice President for Student Success Chad Williams and RCC President/CEO Dr. Shah Ardalan.

James Popp, 2004-2005 PTK Chapter President and an Education Program Administrator for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, was the second alumni speaker. He also was celebrating his daughter Allie being one of the inductees.

“I remember standing on the sidewalk, just on the other side of this building, thinking to myself, ‘What am I doing? This is going to take forever and am I really going to finish?’ he said. “How many times have you asked yourself, ‘Am I really ready for my next step? How am I going to balance life? What if I find out that I’m not smart enough? What if I cannot make new friends?’ These are normal thoughts. You will be successful. You will find your path. Phi Theta Kappa is not just an honor society, it’s a community of scholars, leaders, and changemakers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The smartest people in the world, the most successful people in the world, ask the questions. Continue to find joy in learning. And, most importantly, surround yourself with others who find joy in learning as well.”

Established by junior college presidents and students in Missouri in 1918, PTK is the only international honor society named by the American Association of Community Colleges as an official honor society for two-year institutions. It recognizes the academic achievement and integrity of students enrolled in curriculum programs. The organization is based on four hallmarks, leadership, fellowship, scholarship, and service. Students invited to join PTK must have completed 12 credit hours and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher.

Beta Theta Rho, RCC’s Chapter, was chartered Nov. 1, 1999, and has maintained a Five Star status for 21 consecutive years. Five Star status is the highest level that chapters can receive and 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 best they can be. In addition to Adams, RCC chapter advisors are Ellen Adams (Mathematics Instructor), Alma Nall (Spanish Instructor), and Dolores Vargas Benavides (Spanish Instructor).

Randolph Community College (RCC), under the leadership of President/CEO Dr. Shah Ardalan, is committed to providing relevant career training and educational opportunities. Affordable degrees and short-term certificate programs start throughout the year, both in person and online. For more information, call 336-633-0200 or visit and expect to engage with the most competent and compassionate team of faculty and staff.

(All cities are in N.C. unless otherwise indicated.)

Archdale: Ahd Ahmed, Landon Thad Allmon, Sophia Ashraf, Malaeka Amjad Awan, Benjamin Isaac Harrison, Ajlal Sudes Khan, Natalie Danielle Norman, Kendall Montgomery Reynolds, Benjamin Carl Rietschel.

Asheboro: Jesus Aguilar Sosa, Lacey Diane Allen, Lesley Paola Arellano Covarrubias, Azlan Petra Berbaum, Kathleena Elizabeth Casey, Lillian Sheen Charlesworth, Joshua Derek Collins, Kayla Lorraine Connelly, Reagan Nicole Edwards, Dameian Xzavier Elliott, Paola Garcia, Aida Elianna Gonzalez, Ashley Leann Hadfield, Meredith Madeline Hargett, Jacob Walter Hayes, Jason Marc Kroeger, Bryce Thomas Leach, Jacob Steven Link, Jade Marie McNeill, Luke Branston Ches Owens, Allie Elizabeth Popp, David Samuel Reeder, Vanessa Maria Rodriguez, Ingrid Rosaldo-Castro, Elizabeth Ruiz-Flores, Sarah Belle Sawyer, William Michael Smith, Alexandria Britton Tolar, Melissa Jamillette Vazquez, Gracie Lynn Ward.

Climax: Austin Perry Crabtree.

Denton: Jordana November Randlett.

Franklinville: Jace Corbin Corey, Lydia Dawn Johnson.

Greensboro: Jennifer Ashley Morgan.

Liberty: Alysha Lash’e Brown, Jayde Lynne Carrasquillo, Delaney Jane Greene, Daphne Elylah Melton, Emily Jacobo Pacheco, Raven Amani Steverson, Jasmine Vera-Raya.

Ramseur: Lakiya Monique Cephas, Mariana Contreras Villagomez.

Randleman: Elizabeth Ann Clark, Orlando Eduardo Corona, Michael Ray Davis, Jonathan Jacob Dean, Allison Julianne Gutierrez, Taylor Lauren Stout.

Seagrove: Ellie Jayne Hussey, Stephanie Hope Snider.

Siler City: Anna MacKenzie Gee.

Sophia: Nancy Contreras Gonzalez, Lucero Ruby Flores Centeno, Naomi Joyce Rhoads.

Staley: Crimson Willow-Wolfe Drake, Taylor Elizabeth McLeod.

Star: Lauren Elizabeth Morris.

Thomasville: Trinity Elizabeth Anderson.

Trinity: Jada Paige Beck, Austin Brian Duncan, Sophia Huerta Rangel, Darlene Li, Kaitlyn Lauren Miller, Rachel Lynn Moore, Catelyn Leigh Vernon.

Troy: Victoria Pauline Clare.

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