Meridian Star


May 14, 2014

EMCC Phi Theta Kappa closes strong year with awards

MERIDIAN — Special to The Star

    Phi Theta Kappa honor society at East Mississippi Community College closed the 2013-14 school year with a number of awards and recognitions at regional and international conferences.

    The highest honors went to EMCC Golden Triangle campus sophomore Rebecca Sepaugh of Mathiston and EMCC President Dr. Rick Young. Sepaugh became the first student from the Golden Triangle campus to win the $5,000 Guistwhite Scholarship, awarded annually to just 20 PTK students nationwide, and earned Coca-Cola Gold Team and All-Academic honors for the year.

    Dr. Young received the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction at the PTK International Conference April 25 in Orlando, Fla., after being nominated by the Scooba chapter of PTK. The award is presented to community college presidents based on their outstanding support of Phi Theta Kappa.

    “I was glad to have the opportunity to see all the young people from all the different community colleges. It gives you a renewed sense of hope. With these sharp, energetic young minds, I feel our future is in good hands,” Young said.

    The EMCC president was modest about his award: “It was an honor I didn’t feel I deserved, but I wouldn’t trade anything for the experience of going and receiving it. It was humbling.”

    Scooba campus PTK advisor Derrick Conner also received his Five-Year Pin for service to PTK at the International Conference.

    Student delegates to the PTK International Conference were: from the Scooba campus, Tori Clearman, Lauren Stephens, Dane Guadagno and Deanna Burt, accompanied by faculty advisors Janet Briggs and Derrick Conner. From the Golden Triangle campus, the student delegates were Rebecca Sepaugh, Samantha Ellzey and Brittany Thomas, accompanied by faculty advisors Kelly Cantrell and Gina Thompson.

In addition to the individual recognitions, both the Scooba and Golden Triangle PTK chapters were recognized for multiple accomplishments.

    The Scooba chapter was recognized as a Four-Star Chapter at the Mississippi/Louisiana Regional Conference March 21 at Jones County Junior College. It also won first place in Theme 3 Economics and placed Top 10 of 43 total chapters among the Most Distinguished Chapters.

    Its members participated in multiple facets of PTK’s Hallmark Program, including the College Project and the Honors in Action Project.

    For the College Project, the Scooba chapter spearheaded a PTK awareness campaign to make students and the community more aware of PTK. For the Honors in Action Project, the chapter initiated a research and service project about fund-raising for non-profit organizations which culminated in a fund-raiser that raised $1,000 for East Mississippi Animal Rescue and led to the purchase of a new washer and dryer for the animal rescue operation.

    In the spring, the Scooba chapter inducted 37 new members and saw two members, Rachel Clay and Laura Beth Hull, both of DeKalb, compete in the USA Today All-USA Academic Team Competition, where both earned second team honors.

    The Scooba chapter’s awards for the year included: Most Distinguished Chapter Finalist, College Project Award, Honors in Action: Theme 3 Award, Regional Project Participant Award and Four-Star Level Chapter Award.

    The Golden Triangle PTK chapter advanced from Two-Star to Three-Star status this year by increasing its presence on campus and in the community. It also participated in the Honors in Action Project and competed in the PTK’s Scrapbook Competition.

For Honors in Action, the Golden Triangle chapter teamed with EMCC Job Placement and Work-based Learning coordinator Linda Gates to host a seminar on resume building and job search skills at the Golden Triangle campus.

    More than 75 students have accepted membership invitations to join the Golden Triangle chapter of PTK for the 2014-15 school year.

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