Ivy Tech Kokomo, Logansport students honored at Catalyst 2018

KOKOMO, Ind. – A group of Ivy Tech Community College students and faculty members from Ivy Tech’s Kokomo and Logansport campuses brought home several international awards from Catalyst 2018, the annual conference of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the international academic honor society for community college students.

The students were honored during the April 19-21 conference in Kansas City, Mo., which celebrated the honor society’s 100th anniversary. More than 5,000 members, officers, alumni, and advisors representing hundreds of chapters from around the world, including 21 from Indiana, participated in the convention.

During the gala awards celebration, Kokomo’s Alpha Phi Pi Chapter was recognized as a top 100 chapter internationally and Logansport’s Beta Gamma Zeta Chapter was honored with an International Award for Distinguished College Project. Beta Gamma Zeta engaged in a semester-long project of attending Ivy Tech hosted recruitment events helping to give the student perspective at Ivy Tech. They also assisted in three events in Fulton County, promoting the 529 college savings program.

The Kokomo and Logansport campus students were also honored as members of Phi Theta Kappa’s Indiana Region, which was recognized as a 5-star region, the pinnacle recognition in the society for a region. The Indiana Region also was honored with a Regional Award for Excellence for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and a Regional Award for Excellence in Service.

The Indiana Region’s officer team, which included Carrie Sherer and Elizabeth Humphrey of Ivy Tech Logansport, also was recognized during the opening ceremony as a distinguished regional officer team. Only three regional officer teams out of 29 received that honor recognizing their ability to work cohesively to identify and implement the region’s goals, to act as leaders for chapters and members within the region, and to support the mission of Phi Theta Kappa. Sherer served as Indiana regional president and Humphrey as the regional secretary/treasurer.

Professor Leo Studach, chair of the science program for Ivy Tech Kokomo and advisor to the Beta Gamma Zeta chapter, serves as Indiana regional coordinator for Phi Theta Kappa.

“I am amazingly proud of my region tonight because these awards recognize a devotion to social progress, thinking about the big picture and giving back,” Studach said after the awards presentation. “As Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai states, ‘When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.’”

Kim King, vice chancellor of Academic Affairs at Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo, was among 27 administrators who were honored with Phi Theta Kappa’s Distinguished College Administrator Award. The Distinguished College Administrator Awards are presented to college vice presidents, deans, or directors serving at postsecondary institutions who have demonstrated a strong level of support for the PTK chapters on their campuses.

Two Ivy Tech Kokomo Service Area students were among 35 students who sought international offices for 2018-19. Jim Montgomery, president of Kokomo’s Alpha Pi Phi Chapter, ran for the position of international president. Carrie Sherer, who has served as the president of Logansport’s Beta Gamma Zeta chapter as well as the Indiana Region president, was one of 11 nominees for the position of international vice president for PTK’s Division III, which has 308 chapters in nine regional organizations encompassing 15 states in the mid-section of the United States. While they were not among the five students elected as officers, the experience of running was interesting and valuable, they said.

Studach; Criminal Justice Professor Robb Haywood; and Dani McQuaide, director of Student Life for Ivy Tech Kokomo, accompanied the students at the conference. Participants included Jim Montgomery and Ally Olson from the Kokomo chapter, and India Frances, Elizabeth Humphrey, Olivia Iles, Rachel Iles, Taylor Justice, Carrie Sherer, Myat Su and Kyaw Thu from the Logansport chapter.

Phi Theta Kappa is the oldest, largest and most prestigious honor society recognizing students pursuing two-year degrees. Phi Theta Kappa is made up of more than 3 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in nine nations.

SOURCE: News release from Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Service Area