RAYMOND – Hinds Community College’s Gamma Lambda Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa was named third finalist among 1,300 chapters worldwide for Most Distinguished Chapter at the PTK International Convention April 15-19 in San Antonio.
The honor marked a jump from eighth finalist at the 2014 international competition and was among eight accolades the Raymond Campus chapter won at the annual gathering.
“The International Hallmark Awards recognize individual and chapter devotion to the ideals of PTK — leadership scholarship, and service. Our chapter officers, members, and advisors met weekly through the school year, gave up time in the summer, and simply lived, ate, and breathed Phi Theta Kappa. The tension at the international convention was palpable as we waited in a screaming audience of 3,900 to see how we might do this year. When our named was called for that very first award, we had students who jumped, screamed, and cried as we walked on stage. We are so proud of our students and their achievements,” said Debbie McCollum, Gamma Lambda advisor.
Awarded individually at the international convention were History Instructor Ben Cloyd, winner of the Paragon Award for new advisors, Darrell Jones, named Distinguished Chapter Member, and Computer Science Instructor Dr. Johannah Williams, winner of the Distinguished Advisor Award.
Gamma Lambda Chapter also won Distinguished Honors in Action and Distinguished Theme Awards at both the regional and international competitions. The theme for their research and study projects was based on the PTK Honors Study Topic, “Frontiers and the Spirit of Exploration: Quests for Human Expression.” The chapter’s research focused on the negative effects of excessive cellphone usage. Also, the chapter duplicated its Distinguished College Project Award for a Student Health Fest in October.
Honors won last week followed honors won March 6-7 at the organization’s Mississippi/Louisiana Regional Conference in Baton Rouge, where Gamma Lambda was named Most Distinguished Chapter. In all, 15 individual and chapter awards carried the chapter’s name. Additionally, four PTK chapters at Hinds campuses earned Five Star Chapter distinctions — Gamma Lambda, Alpha Beta Xi Chapter, at Utica; Alpha Omega Chi, at Vicksburg; and Alpha Omicron Omega Chapter, at Rankin. Alpha Beta Xi also picked up an award at regionals, for its project in the Exploring the Natural Environment category that focused on the effects of nuclear waste on the environment.
Honored at the regional competition were:
- Joshua J. Everett, of Alpha Beta Xi at the Utica Campus, Order of the Golden Key Award for students.
- Sharon Horn, of Alpha Zeta Omega at the Jackson Academic/Technical Center, Order of the Golden Key Award for students.
- Haylee Jones, of Alpha Omicron Omega at the Rankin Campus, Order of the Golden Key Award for students.
- Natalie Minton, of Gamma Lambda at the Raymond Campus, Order of the Golden Key Award for students and the Distinguished Chapter Officer Award.
- Joy Rhoads, of Alpha Omicron Omega at the Rankin Campus, Horizon Award for Advisors.
- Hilda Wells, of Alpha Zeta Omega at the Jackson Academic/Technical Center, Horizon Award for Advisors.
- Ben Cloyd, of Gamma Lambda Chapter at the Raymond Campus, runner-up for Paragon Award for Advisors.
- Darrell Jones, of Gamma Lambda Chapter at the Raymond Campus, Distinguished Chapter Member Award.
- Mary Harvey, of Gamma Lambda Chapter at the Raymond Campus, runner-up for Distinguished Chapter Officer Award.