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HCC honor society gains regional recognition

May 19, 2013
  • First row, from left, students Allen Calvert of Rohrersville and Rick Howe of Hagerstown. Second row, advisers Sherry Donovan and Jennifer Szczesniak, and students Tony Holweck of Hagerstown, Elainena Filion of Williamsport and Gladys Cudjoe of Hagerstown. Third row, students Allie Villatoro of Myersville, Md., Heather Geary of Boonsboro and Leann Tomlin and Eric Wiles, both of Hagerstown. Back row, students Carolyn Hixon, Ted Kaiser and Michael Ecton, all of Hagerstown.
Submitted photo

The Pi Theta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at Hagerstown Community College recently received several awards at the Phi Theta Kappa Regional Convention.

The HCC Pi Theta Chapter was awarded the Five Star Chapter Development Award; the 2013 Middle States Region Hallmark Award for its 2013 project, “College Completion Symposium,” which was held at HCC on Oct. 12; and the Distinguished Officer Team Award.

Five-star status is awarded to chapters that complete a variety of service-learning projects intended to aid the college community and  the  community.

Several HCC students and one HCC staff member also won awards.

HCC students Leann Tomlin of Hagerstown and Heather Geary of Boonsboro won Middle States Region’s Hall of Honors Chapter Officer Awards, and Pi Theta President and HCC student Rick Howe of Boonsboro won the Middle States Region’s Distinguished Regional Officer Team Award. Howe was elected Maryland state president for the 2012-13 academic year.

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“As Maryland state president, I was part of a great team serving our members across the middle states region and was honored to be invited to participate and speak at numerous events,” Howe said. “While helping Maryland attain an 85 percent participation rate in the Five-Star Chapter Development Program, I hope I was successful in serving as an inspiration and role model to students. As we Kappans continue to grow as leaders, I look forward to remaining a resource for those that follow.”

HCC student and chapter officer Allen Calvert of Rohrersville was elected to the position of PTK Maryland/Delaware Middle States president for the 2013-14 academic year.

“I have been constantly inspired by Phi Theta Kappa, and their dedication to the collective pursuit of knowledge and service to the college and community in general,” Calvert said. “I wanted to be a part of the organization’s leadership and believe that I can contribute to the greater good. Being a nontraditional student, there has been a symbiotic growth between the traditional students and myself, where I’m able to share my life experiences and they’re able to educate me about the ever-changing diversity within the academic community.”

HCC Dean of Students Donna Rudy, who retired in 2013 after a decade of service, was selected as a recipient of the Distinguished College Administrator Award. According to the organization’s website, only 25 college administrators are selected for the international distinction.

Administrators are chosen who display outstanding support to their college’s chapter over a number of years.

“Dean Rudy epitomizes the letter and spirit of the Distinguished Administrator Award,” Calvert said.

“Her continuous and dedicated support of students at HCC, and the Pi Theta chapter in particular, was inspirational and will be a hard model to follow for the next dean of students.”

The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,270 chapters on college campuses across the U.S. and in various other countries around the world. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 125,000 students inducted annually.

To learn more about Phi Theta Kappa, go to www.ptk.org.

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