Phi Theta Kappa Chapter Wins International and Regional Awards

May 9, 2018

The Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNYPhi Theta Kappa Honor Society Chapter has won five awards this spring at both the regional and international level.

Four Phi Theta Kappan officers from BMCC—Halyna Shvets, Lotty Nunez, Pierce Hunter and Jessica Rosenthal—along with English Professor Michael Odom and History Professor Alex d’Erizans, traveled to Kansas City, Missouri, to participate in the Catalyst 2018 PTK International Conference on April 19 through 21.

At that conference, the BMCC Phi Theta Kappa chapter was awarded the Distinguished College Project Award and the Top 35 Overall Distinguished Chapter Award.


Three of the same Phi Theta Kappans; Shvets, Hunter and Rosenthal, along with Professor d’Erizans and History Professor Nicole Lopez-Jantzen attended the New York Regional Convention on Long Island, New York, from March 2 to 4.

From the regional conference, the group brought home the following awards: First Place for an Honors in Action website and video which the team created; Third Place for College Project, and Second Place for Most Distinguished Chapter. 

“The conferences are a great opportunity for our students to have their hard work recognized, and for fellowship opportunities with other PTK honors students from around the region, or at International, around the world,” said Professor Lopez-Jantzen.

An award-winning student video

“The Honors in Action Project video takes an academic research position on themes provided by Phi Theta Kappa,” says Jessica Rosenthal, student PTK officer. “The theme we chose was ‘Individualism and Collectivism’, and we related this to the impact of social media and technology.”

This short video serves as a summary of essays and other materials presented on the students’ website, Civilization Now. The video’s narrative explains that the Alpha Kappa Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at BMCC divided into six teams to analyze the impact of social media on business, psychology, language, education, politics and religion.

In the video, students take turns expressing views on this topic. “The internet has promised to unite us all,” one student says, and another adds, “Yet despite this virtually infinite potential of this medium, we are still divided into groups and factions.” 

Benefits of joining Phi Theta Kappa

“Leadership, scholarship, fellowship and service are the four pillars of Phi Theta Kappa and I oversee the scholarship aspect of the students’ involvement,” says Professor Odom. “The Honors in Action projects are pretty rigorous. We tackle a theme issued by the Phi Theta Kappa national office and our chapter officers lead discussions on those themes.” 

The level of those discussions, he says, has been impressive. “It is definitely a student-led experience. The students take charge of the direction of their project. It’s an excellent opportunity for community college students and this chapter is a particularly strong group of leaders. We’re all very happy to see their hard work recognized.”

Looking back on her time with Phi Theta Kappa, Rosenthal says, “I have learned that leading a group, although hard work, can be a lot of fun if you are working with the right people. It involves a lot of planning, but I’ve been able to hone these skills and work on my public speaking skills too.”

Rosenthal encourages other BMCC students to get involved in the Honor Society. “You will have the chance to meet so many kind and intelligent people, to research topics that are interesting to you, and to help your fellow college students who are not members of PTK,” she says. 

Visit the BMCC website, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, for more information on the college’s PTK chapter.





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  • BMCC Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society chapter sent officers to the Catalyst 2018 PTK International Conference in Kansas City and the New York Regional Convention on Long Island
  • BMCC’s chapter brings home five awards
  • Awards include First Place for an Honors in Action website and video the team created

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