SCC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter is expanding exponentially | SCC


SCC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter is expanding exponentially

Published on Mar 17, 2023

SCC’s Omicron Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa inducted 13 students in a formal ceremony at Somerset Campus.SCC’s Omicron Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa inducted 13 students in a formal ceremony at Somerset Campus. They are [back row, left to right] Issiah Brittian (Williamsburg), Ethan Meggs (Somerset), Kenneth Chadwell (Barbourville), Scott R Maynard (Brodhead), Savannah Stapleton (London), Gavin Slone (Corbin), Tyler Robertson (Louisville); [front row, left to right] Haley McAlpin (Somerset), Maria Fuentes (Russell Springs), MacKenzie Sizemore (London), Allyson Holman (London), Alyssa Rodefer (Rockcastle), and Anna M Wilson (Somerset).

Somerset Community College (SCC) has experiences something of a “brain gain” early in its spring semester, with the emergence of a number of top scholars.

SCC’s Omicron Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international academic honor society for two-year colleges, welcomed 13 new inductees during a candlelight ceremony. An additional 24 students have attained PTK membership so far in the spring semester but did not participate in the induction.

To become eligible for membership in Phi Theta Kappa, students must have a 3.5 GPA – an “A” average – after completing twelve or more credit hours of college-level courses.

During the week following the induction ceremony, Omicron Zeta was named one of the Top 5 PTK chapters in the nation for its partnership with “Be the Match,” the world's largest hematopoietic cell registry, in a campaign to screen potential stem-cell donors in the hopes of finding a match for 22-year-old SCC student Kendra Wethington, who was battling leukemia. In the campaign, which began in mid-November, Omicron Zeta helped gather more than 150 donor swabs.

The growth and success of SCC’s PTK chapter comes on the heels of SCC student Kaylee Fitzgerald receiving the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy’s Outstanding PTA Student for 2023 award in February and The Bridge, SCC’s student newspaper, being named the top small college newspaper in the state by the Kentucky Press Association in January. 

SCC also has a thriving Honors program and a growing scholarship program for STEM students. “Our students are doing big things,” said Dr. Clint Hayes, Senior Vice President of Academic affairs at SCC, who spoke at the recent PTK induction ceremony. “We’re proud of their accomplishments.”

The new PTK members who participated in induction are:  Allyson Holman (London), Alyssa Rodefer (Rockcastle), Anna M Wilson (Somerset), Scott R Maynard (Brodhead), Savannah Stapleton (London), Gavin Slone (Corbin), Tyler Robertson (Louisville), Issiah Brittian (Williamsburg), Ethan Meggs (Somerset), Kenneth Chadwell (Barbourville), Maria Fuentes (Russell Springs), Haley McAlpin (Somerset), and MacKenzie Sizemore (London).

“Our recent induction ceremony was a testament to the hard work and dedication of our members,” said Omicron Zeta chapter co-president Nicole Flannery. “It is an honor to welcome these outstanding students into our community of scholars, and we look forward to supporting them in their academic pursuits.” Josette Pitman, vice president of leadership for Omicron Zeta agreed.

“The Spring Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony was a beautiful night full of joy and pride in the accomplishments of all our new members,” Pitman said. “I am so proud to call our new inductees fellow Kappans. They are a group of intelligent, focused, and high-achieving individuals who deserve recognition for all their hard work at SCC.”

In addition to the new members who took part in the induction ceremony, the following students have also joined PTK this spring: Tatyanna Blake (Albany), Dawn Boswell (Corbin), Macy Brown (London), Lukus Chaney (Russell Springs), Peyton Coots (Somerset), Jesse Cravens (Liberty), Ruth Dismuke (Richmond), Natalie Elam (Monticello), Shaylin Estes (Somerset), Israel Flores (Eubank), Gavin Fowler Ramsey (Hustonville), Sydney Gumm (Somerset), Bengail Hammons (London), Christopher Henderson (Ferguson), Nancy Jones (Science Hill), Richard Land (Waynesburg), Jentry McGarrah (Somerset), Kenlea Norton (Richmond), Aubrie Popplewell (Russell Springs), Hannah Ritchey (Eubank), Destini Wesley (Science Hill), Bryan Whitson (Somerset), Ryan York (Eubank), and Heather Zimmerman (Richmond).

A total of 96 students have joined the Omicron Zeta chapter of PTK in the 2022-2023 academic year which began last August, and a total of 170 since February 2022. 

“The chapter is definitely growing,” said Dr. Amanda Waterstrat, a PTK faculty co-advisor. “It’s exciting to see.”

Founded in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa is the oldest and largest honor society of its kind. It recognizes outstanding student scholars and provides them with opportunities to develop their academic potential, gain leadership experience, and connect with fellow community college scholars around the region, country, and world. PTK members also become eligible to apply each year for a wide range of valuable scholarships.

“Being in PTK has opened up so many doors for me, and I don’t only mean academically – though I must brag about being up for a full-ride scholarship,” said Lakyn Taylor, Omicron Zeta’s vice president for scholarship. “The relationships that this chapter has opened for me are ones that I will always be grateful for. Being surrounded by like-minded people who not only want to succeed but truly want to see the world around them succeed is such a blessing.”

The Omicron Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa is heavily involved in community service projects.

“Our chapter has been actively engaged in fundraising efforts to support our mission of promoting academic excellence and service,” Flannery said. “On April 1, we will be holding a drawing for three different Easter Baskets. The funds raised will go to providing an Easter Dinner to a Mommy and Me Rehabilitation center, with any extra funding being put into the PTK savings for future endeavors.

“We are grateful for the support of our campus and local community, and we are excited to continue making a positive impact through our initiatives.”

For more information about Phi Theta Kappa, students can contact any of the Omicron Zeta chapter advisors: Dr. Amanda Waterstrat, Johnna Atkinson-BigelowKimberly Land, Dr. Melissa Adams, or Jeff Harris