MHCC Honor Society Named 2nd Most Distinguished Chapter – Internationally!
Posted: April 12, 2011
|It was almost like Oscar night for several Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) students, complete with flashbulbs, thank you speeches, tense moments, happy tears and more trophies than any one person could carry. The awards were the highlight of the Phi Theta Kappa international convention, April 7 – 10 in Seattle, Wash.
Nine MHCC students and their adviser, Beth Sammons, represented Rho Theta, the College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society that promotes academic achievement among community college students. The convention attracted more than 3,500 students and faculty advisers, from more than 500 colleges from across the U.S.
Although the convention did not include “walking the red carpet,” these high-achieving students were treated like celebrities nonetheless for having won an amazing seven awards:
- Distinguished Chapter Officer Team
- Distinguished Chapter Adviser
- Distinguished College Project
- Distinguished Honors in Action Project
- Distinguished Honors in Action Issue
- Distinguished Chapter
- Most Distinguished Chapter Finalist
Front row: Jackie Vitron, president and Rae Nichelle-Peres, membership coordinator. Back row: Toyoko Akiyama-Becker, membership coordinator; Vanessa Bishop, administrative assistant; Max Seiler, public relations; Brian Arrell, vice president of fellowship; Katie O’Donnell, vice president of service and Beth Sammons, adviser. Not pictured: Onjalai Flake, Rho Theta vice president of scholarship and Phi Theta Kappa division IV vice president.
In addition, Angela Nguyen, a second year student in MHCC’s nursing program, was named a recipient of a $1,000 Lanza scholarship.
MHCC Chapter Receives Stellar Recognition
“The best moment of the convention occurred during the announcement of finalists for Most Distinguished Chapter,” recalls Sammons. “MHCC student Onjalai Flake, in her role as a Phi Theta Kappa international officer, opened the envelope to reveal — to her surprise, excitement and delight —that our chapter was the first runner-up for Most Distinguished Chapter.”
Flake will graduate from MHCC this June and study communications at George Fox University. She attributes MHCC’s many accolades for Rho Theta to “the endless efforts of our officers and the most driven, passionate and loyal members this organization has ever had.” She also lauded Sammons for her “countless dedication and motivation” and said the awards “would not have been possible without her leadership as the chapter’s faculty adviser.”
Other MHCC Rho Theta officers attending the convention included Toyoka Akiyama-Becker, Brian Arrell, Vanessa Bishop, Rae Nichelle-Peres, Katie O’Donnell, Max Seiler and Jackie Vitron.
Flake said Rho Theta members have produced several meaningful projects this year, including a campaign to raise awareness about where clothing comes from, and “the social implications of our purchases so that consumers can make informed choices.”
Rho Theta members also focused on ways to increase the number of completions at MHCC – meaning the number of students who achieve a degree or certificate.
Membership in Rho Theta is by invitation only, for students who meet several requirements including a 3.5 or higher grade point average (gpa). At MHCC, 280 students joined Rho Theta in 2010. Orientation sessions for prospective members will be held April 28, noon to 12:50 p.m. in AC 1553 and 4 - 5 p.m. in AC 1251.