SCOOBA — East Mississippi Community College President Scott Alsobrooks is among a select group who will receive Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s “Paragon Award.”

“These awards are given to new college presidents who have shown strong support of student success by recognizing academic achievement, leadership and service among high-achieving students at their college,” a Phi Theta Kappa press release states.

Each year, Paragon Award recipients are recognized at PTK’s annual convention, which will take place this year April 2-4 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine Texas near Dallas.

“Phi Theta Kappa is a phenomenal organization dedicated to developing the nation’s leaders of tomorrow,” Alsobrooks said. “To be nominated by one of our chapters and to be recognized by an outstanding organization like Phi Theta Kappa is an honor.”

Phi Theta Kappa is the world’s largest honor society for students enrolled in two-year-colleges. Students invited to join must generally have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.

Student members of the Eta Upsilon chapter of PTK on EMCC’s Scooba campus filled out the nomination form that resulted in Alsobrooks’ selection for the Paragon President award.

“It was the students’ idea to nominate Dr. Alsobrooks,” said Janet Briggs, who, along with Derrick Conner, is a faculty advisor for the Eta Upsilon chapter of PTK. “We seconded the nomination as soon as it was made. Within weeks after he was hired as EMCC’s president, Dr. Alsobrooks called a meeting of the Phi Theta Kappa advisors on the Scooba and Golden Triangle campuses to find out what we were doing and see what we needed.”

In the nomination form, the PTK members cited Alsobrooks’ willingness to work with the group.

“Dr. Alsobrooks was hired at the beginning of 2019, which meant he actually began working in the middle of the school year,” the students wrote. “Even before meeting with advisors or members, and within days of becoming president, he attended a scholarship launching at Phi Theta Kappa headquarters to represent EMCC. This indirectly told our advisors and us how much he valued PTK.”

The students also wrote that, among other things, Alsobrooks is receptive to the chapter’s ideas, that he includes the members in projects he believes will benefit the chapter, and that he provides regular updates on PTK projects to the EMCC Board of Trustees.

“Dr. Alsobrooks has been really good about making sure we have what we need,” Eta Upsilon President Nathanail Shelton said. “Every time I have gone over there to ask him about something, he has been right on top of it.”

EMCC has two PTK chapters: the Eta Upsilon chapter on the Scooba campus and the Beta Iota Zeta chapter on the Golden Triangle campus. Last year, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society named both chapters Five Star Chapters, which marks the highest level of achievement by a PTK chapter.

In addition, both chapters were named REACH chapters last year for excelling in membership development. The Eta Upsilon chapter was also named a Most Distinguished Top 10 regional chapter and a Top 100 international chapter.

Briggs and Conner earned Five Star Advisor designations for completing extensive online curriculum study materials provided by Phi Theta Kappa. Eric Ford is the PTK advisor for the Golden Triangle campus.

“I am proud of the accomplishments of the Phi Theta Kappa students and faculty advisors on our campuses,” Alsobrooks said.

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