Phi Theta Kappa inducts new members


TORRINGTON – The Alpha Omicron Lambda Chapter welcomed the newest members of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society last week in the Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) Auditorium in Torrington. 

PTK recognizes and encourages scholarships among two-year colleges and according to their mission statement, PTK provides and opportunity for leadership development, an intellectual climate for exchanging ideas and ideals, a love of education and stimulation of interests in academic excellence. 

“Welcome everyone to our Spring 2024 PTK induction at EWC. Thank you so much for coming today. We greatly appreciate you coming here today to honor our students,” Dr. Debbie Ochsner, Interim Executive Dean of Academics and PTK Chapter Advisor said as she greeted the auditorium. “First off, a special thanks to our EWC Board Chairman, Jackie Van Mark. Thank you for being our guest speaker today.”

Ochsner thanked the group of assistants she had to help orchestrate the event.  

“I want to thank some other people for making this happen because this doesn’t just magically appear before you,” Ochsner said. 

Ochsner thanked Aaron Bahmer, Kate Smith, Lynn Wamboldt, John Hansen, and Xi Feng. Ochsner also gave thanks for the cookies and refreshments for the induction as well as the EWC foundation board members which were present. 

“With that, I’ll tell you a little bit about Phi Theta Kappa and then we’ll get on to our induction ceremony,” Ochsner said. “It was established by junior college presidents in Missouri in 1918 and it was recognized to encourage academic achievement, even adults, very simple very grand in its philosophy and this vision has grown over the years over the decades. Today, PTK is the largest Honor Society in American higher education. It has over 3.5 million members and it awards $1.5 million in scholarships to students and in addition it has grown to provide $250 million in transfer scholarships at partnering four-year institutions,” Ochsner said. 

“I’d also like to with the talk of many I’d like to thank the Eastern Wyoming College Foundation. Through the leadership of Lisa Johnson, we applied for a grant and were awarded the grant. There’s a $65 membership to join PTK and so students couldn’t pull that off financially, which is totally understandable because they’re poor college kids, they can apply for a grant that will pay for their membership. We felt very proud and we’re very honored to have that grant because we don’t want to disclude anybody because of financial reasons or any reasons at all,” Ochsner said. “I congratulate you on your academic endeavors.”

Alpha Omicron Lambda Chapter President Destiny Hanson, vice president Abigail Flesvig, secretary Roberta Cordingly and treasurer Juliana Russell along with advisor Ochsner and guest Van Mark welcomed and congratulated the 31 EWC students into the international honor society of two-year colleges with a short candle lighting ceremony. 

“Learn all that you can,” Van Mark told the inductees. “Learn lots of different subjects. Be good at what you do, doesn’t mean you have to love it. You still have to feed your family. But you are now part of an organization that can help you on that journey. Part of these fraternal organizations, their goal is to say to you, you may be a vet tech person, you may be involved in business agriculture, you may want to go on to law school. You may want to go on and be a doctor. But you have to know things from all over to be a will rounded individual who’s a thinker. Thinkers survive in this world,” Van Mark said.

“You have to be a thinker and by being inducted into this group, participating with these lovely young ladies (chapter officers), it keeps your feet on the ground. It keeps you focused in the direction you should be going. Here is another thing this world so desperately needs, desperately needs, not just thinkers but listeners,” Van Mark conduced. “Learn from each other, learn from your officers and get involved in this group. You will go far.”

Students Riley Arnold, Megan Biggs, Hagen Campbell, Ally Conroy, Frank Crimmins, Gabrielle David, Adria Derby, Laura Dockery, Braxton Green, Jadyn Hall, Brittany Hickman, Tierra Hunt, Destre Kaisler, Weston Klaft, Kasey Krenzer, Hailey Lien, Boden Liljedahl, Alexander McIntyre, McKealy Mickelson, Emily Nelson, Richard Noyce, Cooper Phillipps, Dawnele (Benji) Powell, Khayree Rashed, Taiki Sugawara, Elle Tapia, Makhiah Tarver, Jules Teboul, Aliya Tripp, Jessica Woodward, and Siale Unufe were inducted into the honor society.