The Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society at Wilkes Community College held an induction ceremony for new members on Tuesday, March 28. Several new members 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 a diploma or degree. Phi Theta Kappa members are entitled to wear a gold stole and tassel at graduation.

WCC’s faculty advisors for Phi Theta Kappa, Laura Shumate, Melissa Holloway, and Tori Johnson welcomed the inductees and their families to the ceremony. Laura Shumate, English instructor, Melissa Holloway, instructor for the dental assisting program, and Tori Johnson, clinical coordinator/instructor for respiratory therapy, recently took on the PTK advisor role after Dr. Nolan Belk’s retirement last year. During the ceremony, Shumate explained the value of Phi Theta Kappa as a provider of scholarships, peer networking, and leadership training.

Dr. Nolan Belk, recently retired advisor for Phi Theta Kappa, director of the WCC Honors Program, and lead instructor of English also spoke to the inductees. He shared some of his own experiences with PTK as an advisor and focused on the critical thinking skills PTK offers students. Dr. Belk also emphasized the many opportunities offered to PTK’s members as well as the dedication required to attain membership.

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 nearly 1300 chapters on college campuses around the world. Benefits of membership in Phi Theta Kappa include honors study, service activities, leadership opportunities, and scholarships.

l-r: Ryleigh Gilreath, Kristen Kilby, Lizbeth Arana-Orozco, Courtney Adkins, Deanna Ruggiero, Patricia Ruggiero, Alea Mitchell, Presley Barker, Nicole Roberts, Sally Denny, and Mitchell Hayes