Tag Archives: Phi Theta Kappa

Phi Theta Kappa: Exploring Innovation in the Local Community

Below, Phi Theta Kappa honor society invites anyone interested in entrepreneurship to attend next week’s FREE innovation events. LaTianna Dumas, a 2015 Urbana High School graduate and president of Parkland’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, extends the invitation.


Are you interested in learning how local innovators developed unique and successful business ventures? Do you dream of a nontraditional career path that will allow you to go where your passion and creativity can take you? Phi Theta Kappa can help you explore these concepts of innovation, to help you turn your dreams into reality and success!

Phi Theta Kappa, the official international honor society of two-year colleges, recognizes the academic success of community college students and builds the leadership and professional skills of its members. In addition, Phi Theta Kappa builds camaraderie and compassion within community colleges. Parkland’s local chapter, Alpha Psi Eta, features a student-run officer team overseen by their advisor, Professor Lori Garrett. Their current focuses are engaging Parkland students from different backgrounds, contributing to the local community, and exploring their current Honors Study Topic, “Global Perspectives: How the World Works.”

Parkland’s chapter is researching the roles of individualism and collectivism in fostering business innovation. There are numerous facets to innovation, and the innovative process varies greatly depending on the creators and the corporate and societal structure around them. As a culmination of their research process—a model called “Honors in Action”—Phi Theta Kappa is hosting a series of three presentations featuring local business innovators from right here in Champaign-Urbana!

The series, “How to Build a Business,” runs from Monday, December 5 through Wednesday, December 7 at noon each day in Room D244. Attendees will hear local entrepreneurs discuss their businesses, their inspiration, how they got started, and how they turned their ideas into success. Everyone is invited to attend these one-hour talks and perhaps gain some inspiration of your own.

Here is the lineup:
Monday, December 5 PandaMonium Doughnuts: fueling Champaign-Urbana’s doughnut cravings (free doughnuts to the first dozen attendees!)
Tuesday, December 6 CU Community Fab Lab: creativity through collaboration
Wednesday, December 7 Cracked Food Truck: created for students, by students

To learn more about Phi Theta Kappa or this series, contact chapter president LaTi Dumas at latianna.dumas@yahoo.com. You may also contact chapter advisor Lori Garrett at lgarrett @parkland.edu.


[Hilary Valentine is associate director for Parkland College Marketing and Public Relations.]



Get Into Stress-LESS Week at Parkland!

This week, Phi Theta Kappa is hosting “Stress-Less Week.” We’ve scheduled a variety of events at the campus to help you take the stress off these last few weeks of the fall semester. Please join us if you can for the following events:

Tough-It-Out Tuesday
Tuesday, December 8

  • Martial Arts Demonstration, 12:30 to 1pm,  U-Wing cafeteria stage
  • Tug of War*,  1pm, P-Wing gym
    *Gloves and tennis shoes are required to participate in tug of war. We will try to provide a certain number of gloves, but bring your own, just in case.

We’re-Here-for-You Wednesday
Wednesday, December 9

  • Mental Health Awareness Fair, noon to 2pm, Student Union (U Wing)

Throwback Thursday
Thursday, December 10

  • Jigsaw Puzzles and Coloring Books, 10am to noon, Flag Lounge (X Wing)
  • Storytelling,  noon to 1pm , U-Wing cafeteria stage
  • Finals Survival Kit Distribution and C4 Signing, 4:30 to 5:30pm, Student Union (U Wing)

Feeling Good Friday
Friday, December 11

  • Therapy Dogs Visit, 9 to 11am, Flag Lounge (X Wing)
  • Massages (free), 11am to 1pm, Gallery Lounge (X Wing)
  • Lunch and Learn: Stress Management Workshop, noon to 1pm, U140 (Free lunches for attendees. They will be given on a first come, first serve basis.)
  • Finals Survival Kit Distribution and C4 Signing, 1:30 to 2:30pm in the Student Union (U Wing)

We are also conducting a donation drive for the Cunningham Children’s Home. Due to their limited storage space, they will only accept NEW donations. (No USED donations please.) A full list of accepted donations can be found at their website: http://www.cunninghamhome.org/giving. We have the full wish list posted in the College Center (X Wing by the library stairs) in the far left display case. We will be collecting monetary and physical donations at our events and physical donations ONLY at the donation collection points around campus.

The donation collection points can be found at the following locations:

  • Student Union (U Wing)
  • College Center (X Wing)
  • Natural Sciences department office (L Wing)
  • Fine & Applied Arts department office (C Wing), Social Sciences department office (D Wing)
  • Business & Agri-Business department office (B Wing)
  • Mathematics department office (M Wing)

We would really appreciate your help and support for this donation drive!

Parkland Rocks It at Phi Theta Kappa Regionals!

A dozen Parkland students and I hopped into a Parkland bus and headed south to Frontier College and Mt. Vernon this past weekend. It was Phi Theta Kappa’s 2015 Illinois Regional Convention. This was the largest Parkland group ever to attend a regional or international meeting!  Phi Theta Kappa is the official honor society for two-year colleges. Membership is by invitation only, and to be eligible, students must complete at least 12 hours of 100-level coursework and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.50 (on a 4.00 scale).

Proudly displaying our 2015 Regional Awards. Front row: Victoria Price, Kalista Lutes, Danielle Segerstrom, and Jenny Olmsted. Back row: Jordan Bidner, Megan Counter, Sarah Pawlicki, Danielle Carter, Courtney Davis, Ashley Eisenmenger, Lori Garrett, Erin Kristovich, Kyle Harriger.
Proudly displaying our 2015 Regional Awards. Front row: Victoria Price, Kalista Lutes, Danielle Segerstrom, and Jenny Olmsted. Back row: Jordan Bidner, Megan Counter, Sarah Pawlicki, Danielle Carter, Courtney Davis, Ashley Eisenmenger, Lori Garrett, Erin Kristovich, Kyle Harriger.

Along for the ride were our chapter’s four outgoing chapter officers: Jenny Olmsted (President), Kyle Harriger (Executive Vice President), Kalista Lutes (Vice President of Leadership), and Sarah Pawlicki (Vice President of Communications). We also had eight new members along for the road trip: Jordan Bidner, Danielle Carter, Megan Counter, Courtney Davis, Ashely Eisenmenger, Erin Kristovich, Victoria Price, and Danielle Segerstrom. Jenny and I each presented educational forums at the convention, some of us tried pork burgers (a southern Illinois staple), and on Saturday, we attended the regional banquet and award ceremony.

Alpha Psi Eta chapter had a really big night!  We received the following recognitions:

  • Five Star Chapter (this was announced at International, but we received the certificate at Regional);
  • Hall of Honor Chapter Officer Award for Kyle Harriger;
  • Outstanding Chapter Officer Award for Jenny Olmsted;
  • Regional Spirit Award for Jenny Olmsted;
  • Regional Leader of Distinction Award for Kalista Lutes;
  • Mary Anne Player Award for co-hosting, with Kankakee Community College, last year’s Illinois Region Honors Institute and Leadership Conference;
  • Illinois Advisor Continued Excellence Award for yours truly (I was the only Illinois advisor to receive this);
  • First place in the Regional Yearbook Competition (our yearbook was designed and constructed by Kalista Lutes, and the award gives us three free registrations to next October’s Regional Honors Institute and Leadership Conference);
  • Honors in Action Project Award;
  • College Project Award; and
  • Outstanding Chapter Award.

We have never received this many regional awards. The awards represent a year’s worth of complex programming and activities—a lot of hard work by the chapter officers and members. To add some perspective, there are 57 total chapters in Illinois (we include a few private and tech schools). Many chapters in Illinois receive no awards. Those that do are most likely to receive individual awards. Only 8-10 chapters receive regional chapter awards (Honors in Action, College Project, or Outstanding Chapter). Only five Illinois chapters—including us—received all three of these. The Outstanding Chapter award is based on a chapter’s combined scores for both Honors in Action and College Project awards.

All of our chapter officers but one graduated and are moving on, so the new school year will find us with an all-new officer team.  Phi Theta Kappa offers so many opportunities for personal growth, leadership development, and fun for its active members—who wouldn’t want to stay involved?  We will have some meetings and social events over the summer, including a summer sport social, and we are hosting a region-wide Leadership Development and Officer Training Academy at Parkland on July 17.  Even though I am off campus for the summer, Phi Theta Kappans keep me hopping!

I want to extend a special thank you to this amazing outgoing officer team and former chapter president, Amber Simmons, for all their hard work and for keeping me going during some extraordinarily trying times on the home front.  You guys ROCK—but I’ve told you that often and you each know how proud I am of you.

It’s been a great year!  If you want to see pictures from our experiences or follow us, you can find us on Facebook (Phi Theta Kappa ~ Alpha Psi Eta).  And if you are a Parkland student and you meet the eligibility requirements, why not embrace your inner nerd and join us?


[Top image: Copyright © 2015 by Phi Theta Kappa. All rights reserved. None of the official Phi Theta Kappa logos and emblems may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Phi Theta Kappa. Phi Theta Kappa has registered the name, logo, and various titles herein with the U.S. Patent Office.]

PTK Helps with Hunger

[Jenny Olmsted, regional president of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, invites you out to the Student Union this week to give back to your community.]

Did you know that 1 in 5 children in eastern Illinois struggles with hunger? Did you also know that currently 28% of the land slated for agriculture is used yearly to produce food that will be wasted or lost?

This is food, free food, that could be going to hungry mouths.

An even scarier fact is that our global population is predicted to rise to roughly nine billion people by 2050 from our current seven billion, and we can’t even feed all the people we have now with our current agricultural practices.

Yet we can surely try, and we are!

Phi Theta Kappa food drive boxes.
Phi Theta Kappa food drive boxes.

Parkland’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa —the largest and most prestigious honor society of two-year colleges—is hosting a Food Drive and an Environmental Awareness Table this week, November 17–21, in the Student Union. Please come out and donate some food or funds, or just stop by to learn something new about the environment and what you personally can do to help. The table times are listed below:

MONDAY: 8:30 a.m.–2 p.m. (Green-out day)

TUESDAY: 3– 5 p.m. (Ecosystem day)

WEDNESDAY: 8:30 a.m.–2 p.m. (Skip a meal)

THURSDAY: 11 a.m.–2 p.m. (Trash day)

FRIDAY: 10 a.m.–1 p.m. (Farmer day)

All food will be donated to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank on December 2, the “Day of Giving.” This means that the food you donate will stay in our community and be directly donated to those who need it in our area. Since Parkland’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter will not be donating the food until December 2, please feel free to make donations up until then. A donation box will be placed in Parkland’s Student Life office in the Student Union after this event. Food items needed most are beans, canned fruit, canned veggies, cereal, jelly, macaroni and cheese, pasta, pasta sauce, peanut butter, soup, and rice.

Also have you heard of kiva.org? This is where 100% of your monetary donations will go. Kiva.org is a nonprofit organization “with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.” Check it out for yourself. (Here is Phi Theta Kappa’s team link.)

Parkland’s PTK chapter is also spreading awareness about food production and how it has impacted our environment over the years during this time. Each day of the week will present a new theme with new action items that we all could do to help out. So if you can’t donate, still stop by to learn something new!

Monday’s theme was Green-out day. People came to campus dressed in green to show their support for our environment. Tuesday’s theme highlighted our ecosystem and how the species within our environment have been impacted both positively and negatively by agricultural practices.

Wednesday is Skip a Meal Day! Parkland’s chapter is not encouraging people to skip a meal but rather to raise awareness in regards to how a lot of people have no choice but to skip a meal or two. After your lunch purchase, you have the option of donating your leftover change!

Thursday’s theme is Trash Day. Do you know how much trash is generated by the food you purchase? Stop by to find out! And lastly, Friday’s theme is Farmers Day. With the increasing global population, more food has to be produced somehow and somewhere. Stop by to learn more. Our farmers work hard to ensure that the production of our food is efficient and sustainable, so don’t forget to thank a farmer this Friday!

Parkland’s Phi Theta Kappa Chapter hopes to see you there!