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Honor society inducts members

March 27, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

College student Aja Moore has made the most of her Saturday nights. She does school work.

The 21-year-old, who likes to create "sequential art" - in the form of graphic novels - in her spare time, said she spends parts of her weekends pulling all-nighters.

"Yeah, I don't go out. I have no social life," Moore admitted.

She was among dozens of Hagerstown Community College students who officially joined Phi Theta Kappa, the international honorary society for two-year colleges, during an induction ceremony Sunday.

As their names and majors were announced, students walked from their seats at Kepler Theater to the stage, where they put on yellow stoles. Faculty members designated by each student lit candles for the inductees.

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"Isn't that a great group of students? We're so proud of them," Loretta J. Thornhill, an assistant professor of paralegal studies, said after the new members had taken their places onstage.

In her eighth year as the local society's faculty advisor, Thornhill said Sunday the induction class of 89 new members was her largest. HCC's Pi Theta chapter, which before Sunday included about 200 active and inactive members, inducts new members each spring and fall semester, she said.

According to the society's Web society, Phi Theta Kappa is open to students who have a grade-point average of 3.5 or better.

More than 150 people, including about 25 faculty members, watched the ceremony.

"You, the Phi Theta Kappa students, are among our best learners," HCC President Guy Altieri said before the ceremony.

Students from across the Tri-State area and as far as California participated in the induction. Their majors included education, foreign languages, nursing, business administration, graphic design, radiography and psychology. Biographies announced as each student reached the stage revealed one student is involved in an Eagle Scout troop, while another wants to a successful nurse. Some thanked their parents, and many acknowledged their spouses and children for their support.

For Moore, of Hagerstown, the hard work has been worth it. She's studying Japanese and plans to pursue art or Asian studies at a four-year school in the fall.

"I've always liked the Asian culture. It's always appealed to me," said Moore, who plans to travel to Japan in May.

Jon Heller of Boonsboro, who plans to teach math at the college level, said he was excited about the induction. At 17, he attends HCC as part of the Early Support for Students to Enter College Education (ESSENCE) program, which allows high school and homeschooled students to earn college credit early.

"I've enjoyed every class I've had here. I've had a blast with every class," he said after the ceremony.

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