Eta Gamma Members Attend International Honors Institute
June 26, 2012
Four Eta Gamma Chapter Officers at Coffeyville Community College attended the 45th Annual Honors Institute held June 18-23, at the University of Denver, Denver, Colorado. The institute featured the 2012/2013 Honors Study Topic which is The Culture of Competition. Since 1968, Phi Theta Kappa’s Honors Institutes have provided a forum for scholarly presentations, challenging debate and intellectual growth. The week-long event was devoted to learning and knowledge. Students learned about the Honors Study Topic and its relevance to the world and their own lives as well as how to examine and research an issue of interest, develop a plan of action, and coordinate service projects to make a difference. Attendees had the opportunity to see how the entire Phi Theta Kappa Experience could make them grow as a scholar and servant leader. Honors Institute has been described as the ultimate honors experience and the crown jewel of honors programming as it promotes the discovery of new ideas, exposure to differing perspectives, lively discussion and scholarly fellowship. An Honors Study Topic is selected every two years and is based upon its timeliness, global significance and interdisciplinary application. The Honors Institute was created to celebrate Phi Theta Kappa’s 50th anniversary and the form is based on a program used at Oxford University.
Attendance is generally limited to 450 to create an engaged scholarly community of faculty and students from across the nation and around the world. In daily sessions, internationally and regionally recognized scholars address the Honors Study Topic from selected interdisciplinary perspectives. Following each presentation, participants met in small groups for seminar discussions led by Phi Theta Kappa Faculty Scholars, chosen for their knowledge of the Topic and their experience as communicators and facilitators. In the seminar discussions, the students are encouraged to apply critical thinking to the concepts introduced by the speakers and explore new ideas through productive discussions and exchanges of viewpoints. The seminar group participants became “families” who competed in the Culture of Competition Honors Institute Feud. The team including Eta Gamma’s Vice President of Fellowship Mecades Price reached the quarter-finals in the competition. Thursday of the institute is designated as “R&R” day to give the participants an opportunity to visit local museums, historic sites, and other points of interest. The Coffeyville Community College participants visited the Golden Gate Canyon State Park and had lunch at the beautiful Dushanbe Teahouse, a gift given to Boulder, Colorado, by the people of Tajikistan, a country in Central Asia and a former member of the Soviet Republic. The afternoon was spent at the Unsinkable Molly Brown House in Denver where the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic was recognized by the many commemorative items in the gift shop. Tour guide for the Coffeyville group was local resident Jim McGinnis. General sessions included the following: Harold Lloyd’s “The Freshman” (1925) with live piano score by Ethan Uslan presenting “Music, Film, and The Culture of Competition”; reporter Laura Ling sharing “Journey of Hope: A Story about the Culture of Competition and Cooperation”; historian Dr. H. William Brands whose topic was “American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900”; American author and public speaker Taylor Branch who presented “The Cartel: Inside the Rise and Imminent Fall of the NCAA”; football Hall of Famer Willie Lanier who addressed “The Culture of Competition in the World of Football and Beyond”; and concluding the institute was King Peggy, the ruler of Otuam of has brought modern medicine and education to the 7,000 people in her fishing village in Ghana. Her topic was “From Secretary to King: Transforming a Culture of Competition and Cooperation.”
Representing the Phi Theta Kappa Program at Coffeyville Community College was chapter president Aaron Neely, Vice President of Scholarship Caitlin Shepard, Vice President of Service Kacie Serrault, and Vice President of Fellowship Mecades Price accompanied by Chapter Advisor Linda McFate.