2008 has been a banner year for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) students and chapters. PTK, the official honor society for two-year colleges, has three Gulf Coast chapters at each of the college’s main campuses.
Recently the PTK Gamma Nu Chapter at the College’s Perkinston Campus earned the “5 Star Chapter” distinction at the Mississippi-Louisiana Regional Convention.
“This commendation recognizes your chapter’s successful attainment of goals as presented in the Society’s Five Star Chapter Development Program,” said Rod Risley, PTK Executive Director. “We express appreciation for efforts given toward providing rewarding educational experiences inside and outside the classroom.”
Gulf Coast’s PTK chapter at the Jackson County Campus (Phi Epsilon) is also a Five Star Chapter in 2008. Three JC Campus PTK students walked away with prestigious awards this year.
Rachelle Cooley earned a $5,000 Guistwhite Scholarship, which is named in honor of Dr. Jack Guistwhite, who established the first designated transfer scholarship for Phi Theta Kappa members, and his wife, Margaret Guistwhite. Cooley is one of ten national winners of this scholarship, which goes to students based on their academic achievement and participation in PTK, as well as their ability to maintain a GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 grading scale for all college credit course work completed.
Ryan Knopf was one of four national winners in the USA Today Case Study Challenge, where students are required to develop a summary statement, discussion questions, and suggested additional resources and to provide their perspective on future implications about their chosen topic. Winning entries were selected based on content, writing and presentation. Knopf’s award-winning piece, titled “The Distorted Line between Patriotism and Faith,” centers on the confusion between religion and national pride in the United States.
Deeneaus Polk is one of 46 high-achieving students to receive a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The program was designed to help community college students with exceptional promise and demonstrated financial need make the transition to four-year colleges and universities. Polk was also recently selected as a 2008 Institute for International Public Policy (IIPP) Fellow. The 21-year-old Jackson County Campus student will join other 24 other college students as they address an identified national need for increased numbers of underrepresented minorities in international service careers.
Gulf Coast’s Jefferson Davis Campus PTK chapter (Omicron Alpha) was recognized as a 2008 Top 100 Chapter for its individual, chapter and region accomplishments in the disciplines of the Society's four Hallmarks: Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Fellowship.