The Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society at Wilkes Community College held an induction ceremony for new members on Thursday, March 22. During the 2017-2018 academic year, so far 76 students became members of this prestigious honor society for two-year colleges. Thirty-one of these students attended the ceremony Tuesday night to recite the oath of membership and sign the chapter record book as friends and families looked on.

An invitation to membership in Phi Theta Kappa requires a student to have earned a minimum grade point average of 3.5 out of 4.0 in courses that can be applied to an associate degree. Phi Theta Kappa members are entitled to wear a gold stole and tassel at graduation.

Dr. Nolan Belk, WCC’s faculty advisor for Phi Theta Kappa, welcomed the inductees and their families to the ceremony. He explained the value of Phi Theta Kappa as a provider of scholarships, peer networking and leadership training. He pointed out that 91 percent of Phi Theta Kappa members complete their two-year degrees. Dr. Belk is also the director of the WCC Honors Program and the lead instructor of English. He has been a member of the WCC faculty since 2000.

As part of the Phi Theta Kappa’s focus on Transformations, Tiffany Wiglar, member of the English Department at Appalachian State University, provided a presentation about the way culture adapts to risk communication as focused on nuclear testing near Las Vegas, Nevada. Wiglar spoke of the way the language and images we use around events such as accidents at a nuclear testing site transform the stories we tell ourselves about such events. One telling image from the presentation shows Miss Atomic Bomb, a beauty queen who radiated “loveliness instead of deadly atomic particles.” The transformation of the atomic bomb from something horrendous into something celebrated as beautiful certainly intrigued the PTK audience.

Phi Theta Kappa’s mission is to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and provide opportunities for their individual growth and development through participation in honors, leadership, service and fellowship programming. Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses around the world. Benefits of membership in Phi Theta Kappa include honors study, service activities, leadership opportunities and scholarships.

2017-2018 Phi Theta Kappa Inductees

Laura Adams, Hays; Barry Adams, Deep Gap; Yuliana Alfaro, Wilkesboro; James Alkema, Statesville; Logan Anderson, North Wilkesboro; Scott Anderson, Wilkesboro; Taylor Baker, Wilkesboro; Oliver Bentley, Wilkesboro; Joy Billings, Ronda; Leksa Billings, McGrady; Lenna Billings, Sparta; Allison Bowers, North Wilkesboro; Racheal Brionez, Wilkesboro; Derek Brown, Glade Valley; Hannah Brown, State Road; Ashley Butler, Hudson; Caleb Byrd, North Wilkesboro; Jacob Carlton, Jefferson; Kristen Carlton, North Wilkesboro; Presley Church, North Wilkesboro; Aaron Clark, Millers Creek; Abigale Collins, Wilkesboro; Leila Crane, Purlear; Caroline Daughtry, Roaring River; Tonya Duncan, Sparta; Allison Elliott, North Wilkesboro; Benjamin Faw, Millers Creek; Kendall Faw, Wilkesboro; Lauren Gaines, Wilkesboro; Eliza Gravely, Dobson; Alex Greer, North Wilkesboro; Kaitlyn Hancock, Roaring River; Mary Hannewald, Grassy Creek; Ryan Hudler, Taylorsville; Sarah Inscore, North Wilkesboro; Jesse Johnson, Hays; Allison Keppel, Jefferson; Bryson Key, Ararat; Robin Kinnaird, Laurel Springs; Dustin Lovelace, Elkin; Jayme Martin, Purlear; Cassie Marvel, Lansing; Jennifer McCallister, Sparta; Lola McDaniels, Roaring River; Jason McQuinn, Wilkesboro; Macy Murphy, Moravian Falls; Timothy Oliver, Creston; Olivia Palmer, Hays; Brandi Parrish, West Jefferson; Jacqueline Parsons, Crumpler; Fabiola Perez, Sparta; Haley Perez, Wilkesboro; Rachel Prevette, North Wilkesboro; Ciara Rash, West Jefferson; Delaney Richards, North Wilkesboro; Paiton Roberts, North Wilkesboro; Haley Rogers, Wilkesboro; Gregorio Rosales-Navarro, North Wilkesboro; Ashley Sanchez, Wilkesboro; Darbie Segraves, Jefferson; Willard Sheets, Jefferson; Parker Shelton, West Jefferson; Amber Shumate, Wilkesboro; Victoria Smith, Millers Creek; Lisa Staley, Millers Creek; Alexis Stout, Harmony; Courtney Stroud, Harmony; Chantavia Taylor, Purlear; Meagan Thibodeau, Moravian Falls; Jessica Tritt, Ronda; Mary Jane Vawter, McGrady; Chloe Wagoner, North Wilkesboro; Marissa Walker, Sparta; Laken Whitley, Millers Creek; Emily Wilson, Fleetwood; Lisa Wingler, Hamptonville.

WCC Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony: Jessica Tritt, Ciara Rash, Sarah Inscor, Cassie Marvel, Laura Adams, Lisa Staley, Chloe Wagoner, Mary Jane Vawter, Jacqueline Parsons, Jennifer McCallister, Bryson Key, Hunter Transeau, Eric Kohlmeier, Paiton Roberts, Chantavia Lynn Taylor, Logan Anderson, Lindsey Miller, Allison Bowers, Barry Adams, Abigale Collins, Lauren Gaines, Jason McQuinn, Alexis Stout, Lenna Billings, Yuliana Alfaro, Gregorio Rosales-Navarro, Leila Michell Crane, Laken Whitley, Nynika Brown, Chelsea Roop, Willard Sheets.