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Ellsworth’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society continues to achieve success

IOWA FALLS – Phi Theta Kappa is an international honors society for two-year colleges, and Ellsworth Community College’s Alpha Iota Omega chapter, which began in 1984, has had a very successful run over the last two years, beginning with achieving a 5-star ranking, the highest rank possible, in the 2019-20 school year and again in the current 2020-21 school year.

ECC’s PTK success didn’t stop there, however.  Last year, ECC student and PTK Chapter president, Shane Gast, was elected as the president of the PTK Iowa Region, an honor given to one student from all 21 active PTK chapters in Iowa.  While Gast’s one-year term ended this march, two new ECC PTK students, Pietro Vannini and Katelyn Ryherd were elected to fill two of the four possible Regional Officer roles for the state.  Prior to Gast’s term as Regional President, Ellsworth students had not filled any regional officer role.

ECC’s students weren’t the only representatives of the College whose leadership was recognized.  Joerg Rochlitzer, social sciences faculty and PTK sponsor, was asked to serve on the Executive PTK Regional Board for the next three years.  Rochlitzer’s responsibilities will include helping to organize the Regional Conferences and All Iowa Academic Honor’s ceremonies, providing guidance and motivation to other PTK chapters across the state to help them achieve a 5-star rating, and represent the Iowa PTK Region at both national and international meetings or events.

ECC’s Alpha Iota Omega chapter received accolades through the Horizon’s Award and the Honors in Action: Craftsman, Trades, & Industry Project Award.  The Horizon’s Award is given to chapters when 15% of the eligible students on campus join PTK.  The Honors in Action award was given to the Chapter thanks to the efforts of members Sofia Sanchez, Sharie Bruflodt, and Shane Gast for creating a research project which resulted in the concept of a snack shop for students which should open once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

There is much to be proud of in regards to PTK at Ellsworth, and many people are instrumental to the Chapter’s success.  Dr. Michael Le and Andrew Wells, faculty sponsors; Dr. Martin Reimer, ECC Provost; Dr. Amanda Estey, ECC Dean of Academic Affairs, just to name a few.   Iowa Valley Chancellor, Dr. Kristie Fisher, in particular, has contributed to Ellsworth’s PTK success.  So much so that students nominated her for the Paragon Award for New Presidents.  Dr. Fisher will be recognized during the 2021 PTK Catalyst event in April. All the work of students, faculty, and staff has opened doors for students while at ECC and as they look to their future in the workforce or as they transfer to a four-year university.

Learn more about Phi Theta Kappa HERE.

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