HCC honor society wins numerous awards


(Release: May 6, 2013) The Pi Theta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at Hagerstown Community College recently received several awards at the Phi Theta Kappa Regional Convention.

The HCC Pi Theta Chapter was awarded the Five Star Chapter Development Award; the 2013 Middle States Region Hallmark Award for its 2013 project, “College Completion Symposium,” which was held at HCC on Oct. 12; and the Distinguished Officer Team Award. Five-star status is awarded to PTK chapters that complete a variety of service learning projects intended to aid both its college community, as well as community members in the surrounding area.

Several HCC students and one HCC staff member also won awards. HCC students Leann Tomlin, of Hagerstown, and Heather Geary, of Boonsboro, won Middle States Region’s Hall of Honors Chapter Officer Awards, and Pi Theta President and HCC student Rick Howe, of Boonsboro, won the Middle States Region’s Distinguished Regional Officer Team Award. Howe was elected Maryland state president for the 2012 to 2013 academic year.

“As Maryland State President, I was part of a great team serving our members across the Middle States region and was honored to be invited to participate and speak at numerous events,” said Howe. “While helping Maryland attain an 85 percent participation rate in the Five-Star Chapter Development Program, I hope I was successful in serving as an inspiration and role model to students. As we Kappans continue to grow as leaders, I look forward to remaining a resource for those that follow.”

HCC student and PTK officer Allen Calvert, of Rohrersville, was elected to the position of PTK Maryland/Delaware Middle States President for the 2013-2014 academic year.

“I have been constantly inspired by Phi Theta Kappa and their dedication to the collective pursuit of knowledge and service to the college and community in general,” said Calvert. “I wanted to be a part of the organization’s leadership and believe that I can contribute to the greater good.  Being a non-traditional student, there has been a symbiotic growth between the traditional students and myself, where I’m able share my life experiences, and they’re able to educate me about the ever-changing diversity within the academic community.”

HCC Dean of Students Donna Rudy, who retired in 2013 after a decade of service, was selected as a recipient of the Distinguished College Administrator Award. According to the organization’s website, only 25 college administrators are selected for this international distinction. Administrators are chosen who display outstanding support to their college’s PTK chapter over a number of years.

“Dean Rudy epitomizes the letter and spirit of the Distinguished Administrator Award,” said Calvert. “Her continuous and dedicated support of students at HCC, and the Pi Theta chapter in particular, was inspirational and will be a hard model to follow for the next Dean of Students.”

The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,270 chapters on college campuses across the United States and in various other countries around the world. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 125,000 students inducted annually. To learn more about Phi Theta Kappa, go to www.ptk.org.

Photo Caption
First row, from left: HCC students Allen Calvert, of Rohersville, and Rick Howe, of Hagerstown.

Second row, from left: PTK advisors Sherry Donovan and Jennifer Szczesniak and HCC students Tony Holweck, of Hagerstown; Elainena Filion, of Williamsport; and Gladys Cudjoe, of Hagerstown.
Third row, from left: HCC students Allie Villatoro, of Myersville; Heather Geary, of Boonsboro; and Leann Tomlin and Eric Wiles, both of Hagerstown.

Back row, from left: HCC students Carolyn Hixon, Ted Kaiser, and Michael Ecton, all of Hagerstown.