Honor society provides valuable experience and scholarships
By Jaime Garibay
Phi Theta Kappa is the largest international honor society among two year community colleges, and Chemeketa houses its Alpha Kappa Omicron chapter. Alpha Kappa Omicron currently boasts more than 500 members and has inducted 120 new members this year.
Phi Theta Kappa is growing, and students are proud to be a part of it. “Having that PTK emblem on your degree or transcript shows schools you’re looking at or the scholarships that you’re applying for that you have the intuition and drive to be a successful student,” Lindsey Caudle, PTK’s vice president of community service, said. “It shows that you care and that you will give that extra 110 percent. We’re not just an honor society. We are a group of like-minded students trying to achieve our goals together. We’re a team.”
The Alpha Kappa Omicron team provides its members with a variety of service opportunities in the community that provide valuable lessons for both the classroom and the wider world. “In addition to the academic scholarship opportunities, Phi Theta Kappa provides the ability to work in a group and practice collaboration, leadership opportunities, and organizational skills,” Kay Bunnenberg Boehmer, one of the organization’s faculty advisers, said. “We get out in the community and get things done. Those skills are so valuable right now.”
This school year alone, the Alpha Kappa Omicron chapter has already been a part of two notable projects: putting together the Phi Theta Kappa Rocky Mountain Cascade regional conference, and sending a bus of volunteers to the Portland Night Strike, an event that takes place under the Burnside Bridge in Portland to provide service to the homeless community.
Phi Theta Kappa has become more than Caudle could’ve hoped for. “When I got that invitation I was inspired to join for those scholarships,” she said, “but when I actually began coming to the meetings, getting involved and meeting the leaders, I found myself surrounded by fantastic people. It began feeling like a family to me.”
Caudle offered words of advice for those students unsure of accepting their invites or wary of the $90 membership fee.“This is worth every penny. Not only for the scholarship opportunities but, for the knowledge, the skill development and the connections you can make through it. All of our members have come from different walks of life, and being able to come together to share what has made us successful students is amazing. There’s a lot more than just scholarships to be gained from being a Phi Theta Kappa member.”