Eighteen members of the Eta Gamma Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Coffeyville Community College returned April 9 from the 99th annual convention of the world's largest Honor Society with four individual awards and four chapter awards.
Receiving the Distinguished Chapter Member Award was Wesley Merritt of Havana; Distinguished Chapter Officer Award, Courtney Crane of Wichita; Distinguished Officer Team were Tomecca Andrews, Russell Cashman, Courtney Crane, Ray Darbro, Kenneth Dodson, Michael Galvan, Courtney Hambleton, Lisha Lamb, Karen Sue McKenzie, Wendy Neri, Andres Mora, Timothy Munday, Meaghan Rettele, and Cristin Shepard. Adviser Linda McFate was one of 18 advisers presented with the Continued Excellence Award.
The Eta Gamma Chapter received international awards for its College Project and Honors in Action Project on pilgrimages. The chapter also received the Distinguished Chapter recognition and was named a top 199 chapter of the 1,300 chapters internationally.
In route to Nashville and the Gaylord Convention Center, Kansas community college students enjoyed a picnic lunch at Fort Defiance at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. A second stop was Paducah, Kentucky, where the students participated in a city tour with guide Fowler Black of the Paducah Tourism Department.
CCC student and Kansas Region Vice President Kenneth Dodson and Eta Gamma Adviser Linda McFate attended the convention pre-conference, the Catalyst PTK Academy. The event featured an investigation of the keys to leading change effectively. The academy presented such skills as critical thinking, articulating ideas, and communicating persuasively.
Members had the opportunity to tour four historic Tennessee venues. Belle Meade, Queen of Tennessee plantations was built in 1807 and the thoroughbred business began there in 1816. Belmont Mansion was built in 1850 by one of the wealthiest women in America, and Carnton Plantation in Franklin provided civil war history having served as a civil war field hospital and confederate cemetery site. The final tour was the Parthenon, an exact replica of the original Greek Temple which houses statuary and permanent art collections.
Keynote speakers for the convention included neonatologist and television personality Dr. Jennifer Arnold, world acclaimed photographer Platon, and mythbuster and special effects guru, Jamie Hyneman. CCC students also attended educational forums and assisted with the international campaign of Obinna Muoh from Highland Community College.
The convention was held April 5-9 at the Nashville Gaylord Convention Center. Students attending from CCC were: Lisha Lamb, Courtney Crane, Cristin Shepard, Wendy Neri, Ray Darbro, Elia Sacedo, Adrianna Jensen, Brylee Brashler, Kenny Dodson, Tim Munday, Andres Mora, Mitchell Reitz, Mondrel Andrews, and Isiah Evensvold.