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News Release

Honor Society Chapters Receive Recognition as New Inductees Welcomed

Primary Media Contact:
Holly Walker
Public Relations Manager

Secondary Media Contact:
Heather Busch
Creative Services Manager

Released on April 14, 2011

News Release Highlights

  • JTCC’s honor society chapters receive recognition
  • 89 new members inducted into Phi Theta Kappa

CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – A commitment to community, to their college and to other students – that’s what motivates the members of John Tyler Community College’s two Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society chapters. That commitment earned the Beta Omicron Omicron and Tau Rho chapters numerous accolades during the honor society’s recent regional conference.

Five Star Award
This is one of the highest honors bestowed upon a Phi Theta Kappa chapter. Out of the 50 chapters in the region, only five received the Five Star Award – two of those went to John Tyler Community College. This award reflects the level of a chapter’s involvement. Chapters that earn a five have participated in activities impacting its members, school and community.

Distinguished Chapter Award
Both chapters also earned a Distinguished Chapter Award. This award recognizes the best chapters based on scores from award submissions to the international headquarters. Chapters are scored on how well they uphold Phi Theta Kappa’s four hallmarks: academics, service, leadership and fellowship.

Distinguished Issue Award
Both chapters were recognized with Distinguished Issue Awards. Each year, Phi Theta Kappa international has all members focus on creating activities that fall under a broad topic known as the “Honors in Action Topic.” This year’s topic was “The Democratization of Information: Power, Peril, and Promise.” From this, the Beta Omicron Omicron Chapter developed a project focused on education. It promoted Pennies for Peace, a Central Asia Institute that builds schools for children, mostly girls, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Tau Rho Chapter’s project focused on government and public policy. The chapter collected, organized and assembled care packages for U.S. troops serving overseas during the holidays.

Most Improved Chapter Award 2010-2011
Beta Omicron Omicron was recognized as the Most Improved Chapter. This award is given to the chapter that increases its level of activity more than any other chapter in a two year period. The Chapter recruited more members and increased its activities and impact.

Distinguished College Project Award
Beta Omicron Omicron received this award in recognition of its work on a college project that was developed by the chapter and John Tyler administrators. This year, the chapter’s college project included assisting with the Salvation Army Angel Tree project and raising money for the Student Emergency Fund.

Distinguished Chapter Officer
Dustin East, president of the Beta Omicron Omicron Chapter, was recognized as a distinguished chapter officer. “Having the chance to be a member (and officer) of Phi Theta Kappa has been a wonderful experience. Not only have I had the chance to develop real-world leadership and organizational skills, but I have also been given the chance to give back to my community in a huge way. Every week has been filled with homeless shelters, blood drives and attempts to raise money for those in need. The night of our regional awards ceremony, where our hard work was recognized, was truly humbling. To be honored with the number of awards that our chapter received was a great validation of all the work we've done all year,” said East.

Virginia Region Hall of Honor
Hall of Honor awards recognize chapter members for their contributions and leadership. Beta Omicron Omicron’s Dustin East was awarded this honor, as was Ashley White and Maggie Cobb from the Tau Rho Chapter. “Simply being an active participant in the activities that helped the Tau Rho chapter gain recognition on the regional level is rewarding for me. It has been a true honor to be such an integral part of the Tau Rho chapter. Being honored on an individual level is a personal accomplishment for me because it truly reflects the extent as well as the appreciation for my efforts within the chapter as well as the campus community. My experience with Phi Theta Kappa Tau Rho has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” said White. “I was thrilled to be a part of the banquet and after serving two years as an officer it was so nice to be recognized for the efforts we have done. It's also wonderful as an individual to be recognized as my children see my efforts and are very proud of mom,” said Cobb.

Additional Honors
The Beta Omicon Omicron Chapter also received a certificate for participation in the regional Pennies for Peace project, and one of its co-advisors, Dr. Jaime Mergliano, received the Horizon Award for Chapter Advisors. The Tau Rho Chapter received certificates of appreciation for its participating in Operation Green and Pennies for Peace. “I cannot be more proud of what our JTCC Phi Theta Kappa members have achieved. These awards reflect the large impact that only a few students can make on their school, community, and the world if given the opportunity. Phi Theta Kappa gives them this opportunity,” said Mergliano. “Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society of the two year colleges. Fewer than one percent of John Tyler’s student population are members. The accomplishments recognized reflect tireless effort, particularly on the part of the officers,” said Dr. Gena Britt, co-advisor of the Tau Rho Chapter.

Both chapters also recently welcomed new members. Tau Rho held its induction ceremony on April 6. Beta Omicron Omicron’s ceremony was held on April 7. The new inductees are as follows:

Tau Rho Inductees (Chester Campus Chapter)

Ranaa Ahmed (23838)
Timothy Joseph Alexander Belsches (23832)
Kelly Maureen Blankenship (23885)
Robert A. Book (23139)
Stephanie A. Carter (23832)
Sheralee L. Copeland (23234)
Melissa Creasey (23831)
Tyrone Flowers, Jr. (23803)
Rebecca Jean Frye (23838)
Ashley Marie Hall (23237)
Kimberly Jones (23805)
Tanya C. H. Joyner (23832)
Christina Leigh Lancaster (23832)
Tan R. Lin (23113)
Morgan Lowe (23860)
Bradley Ryan Mallinger (23220)
Kathie Ann Marshall (23238)
Margarita M. Martinez (23834)
Nicholas Bradley Mathews (23834)
Carlos Noyes (23834)
Aneta Maria Omiotek (23803)
Gerald Kevin Paxton (23831)
Melissa Jerria Perrine (23834)
Shakhnoza Rodriguez (23831)
Konni Mechelle Small (23860)
Elizabeth June Smiarowksi (23831)
Melissa W. Smith (23803)
Tierraney D. Truss (23836)
Gimmie Jardin Vallangca (23803)
Charles Walden, Jr. (23834)
Jonathan A. Wheeler (23223)
Evone A. Woodley (23234)
Teresa L. Workman (23237)

Beta Omicron Omicron Inductees (Midlothian Campus Chapter)

Lu Bowman (23112)
Navjot Brar (23838)
Zachary Burkholder (23112)
Katherine Butler (23832)
Casey Byers (23229)
Kimberly Chumney (23002)
Arnice Cobbs (23832)
Anne Coiner (23236)
Melissa Collins (23112)
Dustin Cooper (23236)
Jessica Cooper (23236)
Paul Croston (23838)
Barbara DeLeon (23139)
Mary Farrell (23112)
Richard Fitzke (23237)
Marcus Frick (23139)
Amy Garcia (23224)
Anna Giotta (23112)
Nancy Goodman (23236)
Jessie Gorham (23236)
Geoffrey Hamilton (23112)
Fredrick Herold (23831)
Jason Higley (23114)
Nyesha James (23225)
Bryan Kessel (23112)
Jacqueline Kislow (23112)
Carl Loser (23139)
Jill Mathieu (23114)
Laura Matthews (23139)
Lydia McCormick (23236)
Curtis McCreight (23139)
Joshua McDaniel (23838)
Agnes Morris (23238)
Sara Neihouse (23112)
Gaea Nickerson (23139)
Zachary Ochoa (23838)
William Phillips (23114)
Melissa Pratt (23236)
Krystin Reece (23237)
Joseph Reese (23139)
Nicole Ridgway (23112)
Krystal Saint James (23002)
Jackie Shore (23235)
Bryan Shupe (23234)
Ashley Siegel (23139)
Tatum Stargardt (23832)
Farshad Taghizadeh (23235)
Nathan Tanner (23235)
Emmanuel Tapia (23838)
Jocelyn Tomsic (23112)
Malyna Weedon (23113)
Jai Welch (23139)
Matthew Whipple (23236)
Bianca Whited (23832)
Benjamin Winans (23236)
Elizabeth Wolfe (23229)

To be eligible for membership in John Tyler Community College’s Phi Theta Kappa chapters, a student must have completed at least 15 hours of coursework and must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 (3.75 if the student has completed less than 30 credits).

John Tyler Community College is a two-year, public institution of higher education and is the fifth largest of the 23 community colleges in Virginia. With campuses in Chester and Midlothian and off-campus classrooms throughout the area, John Tyler offers quality and economical opportunities for students who want to earn a degree or certificate, transfer to a four-year college or university, train for the workforce, or switch careers. The College, which served more than 13,690 students during the 2009 – 10 academic year, offers 17 associate degrees, seven certificates and 35 career studies certificates. The institution also serves 20,000 non-credit students and more than 1,000 companies and government agencies annually through the Community College Workforce Alliance. The College also is committed to sustainability. In July 2010, it received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification for its Midlothian Campus Science Building, becoming the first in the Virginia Community College System to receive such recognition. John Tyler Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

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