LTC Phi Theta Kappa Chapter Earns Four Awards

Awards won by Lincoln Trail College Phi Theta Kappa in 2022
Jun 22, 2022

Lincoln Trail College’s Alpha Iota Epsilon chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society was recognized at the Illinois Regional Convention and Honors Institute. Lincoln Trail College won awards for its College Project, Honors in Action Project, Outstanding Officer Team, and Outstanding Chapter.
“It is thrilling,” said chapter co-advisor Kim Shucker. “Winning the four awards was such a great testament to the scholarship and service mindedness our students in Phi Theta Kappa! It also awarded them for their abilities to work as a team and support each other.”
“Winning these four awards just shows the culmination of hard work that our PTK students have done over the year,” said chapter co-advisor Carrie Brown. “These students go above and beyond to work together and collaborate on our projects.”
The Outstanding Chapter Award is one of the highest honors a chapter can receive. LTC’s chapter had already been recognized as a Top 100 Chapter in the Phi Theta Kappa organization. It is based on combined scores of the college project and the honors project.
“Being an outstanding chapter gives us gold star to wear,” said Schucker. “ It is a great way to let our members know that we do really good things in our chapter! Hopefully it will encourage more of our members to become active in our chapter and learn more about PTK and how PTK can enhance their personal growth in leadership, scholarship, fellowship, and service.”
Phi Theta Kappa worked with Student Senate on the College Project, which was the LTCares Food Pantry. It provides food and personal care items to LTC students with no questions asked.
The Honors in Action project researched the topic of mental health and college athletes. In addition to research, the organization surveyed student-athletes at LTC and helped develop a wellness policy for athletes. The project was also recognized nationally and Schucker says she hopes the policy or a version of it will be enacted across Illinois Eastern Community Colleges.
“Our chapter decided to research Mental Health in Student Athletes and from that research came a policy change for our campus; whereby student athletes would have two mental health days per semester that allowed for no contact from coaching staff, no work-out sessions unless athlete wanted, no practice sessions,” said Brown. “Since we had the majority of our PTK officers as student athletes, this honors in action research lead to a much-needed policy; especially in the wake of several high profile athletes and college athletes needing to step away from their sport or committing suicide: Simon Biles and the Olympics, Katie Meyer Stanford soccer, Lauren Bernett James Madison softball just to name a few.  Plus, not only did we win a regional award for this Honors in Action project, but we also won an International Award as well.”
LTC Phi Theta Kappa President Mallory Mundy (’22) said she was especially proud of the honor for the officer team. “The most important award to me personally was the 2021-2022 outstanding officer team. We had the most hardworking and driven officer team who worked so well together. The whole team had a common goal of leaving a permanent impact on the chapter while still giving the next team ideas to grow from and I think we did just that.”
She says she’s very proud of the chapter’s accomplishments. “It’s truly been an honor to be a part of such a special organization. A special thank you to Kim Schucker and Carrie Brown for being motivating and present advisors through my two years in PTK. They work so hard behind the scenes, and it truly shows through in how members respond to not only opportunities but challenges as well.”
Meanwhile, the chapter is already preparing for the next year and the work ahead. Newly elected Alpha Iota Epsilon president Hannah Meese says she took away a lot from the conference. 
“This conference gave me a lot of insight to this year’s honor topic ‘play’ which will help me lead the chapter in research. This event covered three days which was full of engaging and fun learning. It was great to see how successful our chapter has been in the past and it really motivates me moving forward. We also got to see our own chapter member and officer Ethan [Zakowski] get elected to the president position of the Illinois region! Were all so proud of him and know he’s going to lead us in a great direction.”