Labette Community College’s Tau Theta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa has received the honor of being named the 2021 Most Distinguished Chapter at the International Convention and Region Convention.
“It means we are the top chapter, basically internationally,” advisor Tammy Fuentez said. “No. 1 out of basically 1,285 chapters, so it’s a big honor.”
To clarify, LCC President Mark Watkins said the honor includes all of the United States and its territories and nine foreign countries.
“It’s kind of like winning a national championship is what I related it to. Kind of exciting. It’s based on our two projects we did. We had our Honor In Action project, where we partnered with the Tulsa Zoo and then broadcast virtual zoo field trip to elementary classrooms. And here was our college project, where we basically shared information on the resources for students, including our Cardinal Kindness Award, which is a small stipend students can apply for to help them with unexpected expenses.”
Phi Theta Kappa is the national honor society of the two-year college. The purpose of Phi Theta Kappa at LCC is the promotion of scholarship, the development of leadership and service and the cultivation of fellowship among qualified students.
“I want to thank the members of PTK for their work on their projects,” Watkins said. “I actually received a letter from the head of the PTK in Mississippi who said of all the years she’s been involved with PTK this was one of her favorite activities she has overseen for PTK. That’s really pretty cool.”
Tau Theta’s chapter is 54 years old, having been started in 1969.
“This is the first time we have received this award,” Fuentez said. “Four years ago, we were second finalists, which means we were third place.”
Fuentez took over the advisor position in 2002, and every year since, the LCC Tau Thea chapter has been a five-star chapter and has annually brought home top awards.
Having such an active chapter gives students more opportunity for service projects and leadership opportunities, things that help build their resume and scholarship applications.
“And just the opportunity to become engaged with other people,” Fuentez said.
LCC freshman Ashley Horton said she thinks the chapter did an outstanding job.
“It’s really hard to get where we got, but we did put a lot of time into researching and into our projects,” Horton said. “I think this shows we are putting in the work.”
“I think it’s really amazing, especially since it’s my first year here,” freshman Fiona Bartelli said. “It’s incredible. I think we’re extremely active, a great chapter and it’s a great thing to be a part of. We’re just kind of like a little family.
“I think it’s helped me get more involved with my college, make more friends, get more involved with the student experience and be more involved with the community and kind of be able to give back.”
To be eligible for membership in the Tau Theta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, one must have completed 12 hours of credit at LCC with a 3.5 grade-point average.