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Eta Gamma Chapter Participates in International Convention

April 29, 2014

Pictured are candidate for International President Eric Mueller and Keynote Speaker Inge Auerbacher.  Auerbacher was a keynote speaker at the Phi Theta Kappa International Convention speaking about her experience as a Holocaust survivor.

Pictured are candidate for International President Eric Mueller and Keynote Speaker Inge Auerbacher. Auerbacher was a keynote speaker at the Phi Theta Kappa International Convention speaking about her experience as a Holocaust survivor.

Eric Mueller, president of the Eta Gamma Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Coffeyville Community College, was selected as one of the two finalists for the Society’s office of international president during the international convention in Orlando April 23-27.  Society president is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a member by the world’s largest honor society with chapters in all fifty states plus Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates, and U.S. territorial possessions. 

In reaching the finals, Eric out balloted eight fellow candidates including Lee’s Summit, Missouri; Lansing, Michigan; Tyler, Texas; Orlando, Florida; Aurora, Colorado; Fort Worth, Texas; Lacrosse, Wisconsin; and Louisville, Kentucky.  In reaching the finals, Eric presented his speech on the Honors Study Topic to the 4,200 convention attendees. 

Ebonce Carpenter of Tampa, Florida, was elected president in a close race.  Serving as Eric’s campaign manager was Eta Gamma’s 2012-2013 president, Aaron Neely, while Paige Porter was assistant manager and Jessika Hamrick was in charge of scheduling campaign workers.  The theme for this year’s convention was Nerdnation which was held at the Dolphin and Swan Convention Center in Orlando. Three chapter members, Danika Burton, Dezirae Hamrick, and Sarah Lumm, were selected to attend the convention’s Nerdnation Academy on Thursday, April 24. 
Keynote speakers included Justin Jones-Fosu who addressed “Hug an Elephant, Kiss a Giraffe:  Redefining Diversity in Everyday Life” and Inge Auerbacher whose topic was “Child of the Holocaust.”  Auerbacher was born in Germany and from 1942-1945, starting at the age of seven, spent three years in the Nazi Terezin Concentration Camp in Czechoslovakia.

During the awards gala, the Eta Gamma Chapter was honored with the following international awards:  Distinguished Chapter; Distinguished Theme Award-Honors in Action; Distinguished Honors in Action Project Award; Continued Excellence Awards for Advisors, Linda McFate; Distinguished Chapter Member Award, Hernan Diaz; Distinguished Chapter Officer Awards, Eric Mueller and Jessika Hamrick; Distinguished Chapter Officer Team Award for the Eta Gamma Team including Eric Mueller, Jessika Hamrick, Brianna Spence, Beth Acridge, Miranda Akers, Bethany Walrod, Darah Sherwood, Karen Stoehr, Shelby Howard, Hernan Diaz, and Paige Porter. 

Karen Stoehr attended a special Scholars Reception where she was honored as a Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver Scholar and was presented her award by Mark Davis, Coca Cola Foundation President.  Aaron Neely was presented an Alumni Appreciation Award being nominated by the Kansas Region.

Highlights of the convention included keynote addresses by Dr. Robert Ballard and Allison Levine.  Dr. Ballard, is an oceanographer, explorer, and professor.  He is most noted for his work in maritime archaeology and archaeology of shipwrecks.  His discoveries include the wrecks of the RMS Titanic in 1985, the battleship Bismarck in 1989 and the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown in 1989. 

Allison Levine was a history maker as the team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition. Levine has climbed the highest peak on each continent and skied to the North and South Poles.  She recently authored a book, On the Edge: the Art of High Impact Leadership.

Attending the international convention from the Eta Gamma Chapter were:  Karen Stoehr, Jessika Hamrick, Dezirae Hamrick, Bethany Walrod, Danika Burton, Darah Sherwood, Brianna Spence, Beth Acridge, Sarah Lumm, Miranda Akers, Shelby Howard, Paige Porter, Abby Hanigan, Eric Mueller, Aaron Neely, Steven Frazier, Sang Pierre Gomez, and advisor Linda McFate. 

The chapter’s next event will be their stoling and recognition celebration Sunday, May 4, at 2:00 p.m. in the Spencer-Rounds Theatre.  All chapter members including graduates and inductees are invited to attend as well as friends and family.