quinebaug valley community college

QVCC’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Earns Five Star Distinction

Quinebaug Valley Community College is proud to announce that the Beta Beta Pi Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK) at QVCC is now recognized as a Five Star Chapter, rising from its previous distinction as a One Star Chapter. This rise to a Five Star Chapter makes QVCC the most improved institution regionally for 2019.

PTK operates on a calendar year basis rather than a school year basis, therefore two sets of officers (spring 2019 and fall 2019) participated in the completion of the Five Star requirements: Krystyna Andrews (Co-President, spring 2019, President, fall 2019), Isabella Notarantonio (Co-President, spring 2019), Abigail Newman (Vice-President of Scholarship & Leadership, spring 2019), Amanda Champagne (Vice-President of Scholarship & Leadership, fall 2019), Sara Watson (Vice-President of Scholarship & Leadership, spring 2019), Kevin Champagne (Vice President of Service & Fellowship, fall 2019), Lynzie Hancock (Treasurer, spring 2019 and fall 2019), Stephen Jacobsen (Recording Officer, spring 2019), Breana Weidele (Recording Officer, fall 2019), Rebecca Ledoux (Public Relations Officer, spring 2019), and Austin Grimshaw (Public Relations Officer, fall 2019).

Within the requirements for Five Star Chapter status, the Beta Beta Pi Chapter at QVCC attended two New England Region events and completed a College Project. As part of the College Project, the Co-Presidents met with past QVCC President, Dr. Carlee Drummer in the spring of 2019 and decided to support QVCC’s Food Insecurity project. Member Kevin Champagne organized a community meal for the food insecure in Woodstock, CT and solicited the assistance of PTK in raising money for Stop & Shop gift cards to give away at the community meal. Champagne continued to support the College Project by assisting each week with the unpacking and organization of food donations to the on-campus QVCC food pantry.

Also, within the requirements for Five Star Chapter status, the Beta Beta Pi Chapter at QVCC completed an Honors in Action project. The students picked a theme that interested them, developed an action plan that employed what they learned through research, and applied it to a need at the college and community. The QVCC team decided to assuage the hardships that cause involuntary part-time employment. Based on their research, the biggest factor that bogs down workers’ ability to attain better jobs is a deficit in marketable skills or education.  The QVCC team sought to tackle issues that prevent people from seeking higher education, focusing on childcare and transportation. The team met with the American Job Center (AJC), QVCC’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) coordinator, and QVCC’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) professors to address these issues and find viable solutions to implement on campus and in the community. With the assistance of the AJC, they planned an on-campus orientation to increase students’ job networks and opportunities. They also spread awareness for SNAP, emphasizing its transportation benefits both on campus and around the community. Lastly, they ran a fundraiser for ECE to assist in the certification necessary to establish a daycare on campus. The project began in April 2019, continued through the summer, and culminated in late November/early December 2019. The team consisted of Rowan Coleman (Chepachet, RI), Genie Johnson (Woodstock, CT), and Emily Rosaci (Woodstock, CT); Mark Lowe, Chapter Co-Advisor, mentored the team on the project.

Several QVCC students, in addition to QVCC’s Chapter Co-Advisors, received New England Region Awards. Rowan Coleman of Chepachet, RI won third place for the Distinguished Chapter Member Award due to her significant contributions to the Honors in Action Project. Completion of this project was the final requirement QVCC’s chapter needed to become a Five Star Chapter. QVCC’s chapter officers also won third place for the Distinguished Chapter Officer Team Award, which recognizes their leadership in achieving Five Star Chapter status. Notably, QVCC won first place in Theme 8: Worlds of Work for their work in identifying an issue and providing a solution based on thorough research. Finally, QVCC Chapter Co-Advisors Debora Rimkus and Mark Lowe won the Horizon Advisor Awards for supporting their students in completing the requirements to move QVCC from One Star Status to Five Star Status.

Two QVCC students, Kevin Champagne and Kristina Dyba, were also nominated to the All-Connecticut Academic Team. Both students were chosen to represent QVCC on the basis of their excellent academic achievement, dedicated service to the community and QVCC, and their ability to overcome significant challenges in their lives. These students would have been honored at a ceremony at the State Capitol on April 17, however the event was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Finally, QVCC would like to recognize the new PTK members for the 2019-2020 school year: Amanda Abbott, Caitlin Barclay, Kaylea Bessios, Aaron Blanchflower, Ashley Bonnette, Willard Brin, Julia Christensen, Joshua Cruz, Isabella Donaldson, Ashley Finley, Bryna Ford, Lisa Gardner, Kim Garrity, Rebecca Gervais, Jared Green, William Hamill, Sylwia Helwig, Samantha Hindle, Elijah John, Emily Keeling, Ismail Kiani, Adam Klesser, Candice Koolhaas, Kristen Lafleche, Mark Lamountain, Jordan Lawrence, Kris Levesque, Sherry Lowe, Jordan Mahon, Lillian Mandeville, Michaela Marshall, Jocelyn Matulis, Tatiana Oliveras, Jarrica Rainville, Shelby Pendleton, Anjuli Pickett, Ashley Sackschewsky, Naomi Sargent, Robert Siwko, Ruth Soderburg, Aislin Tracey, Kathryne Vegiard, and Brianna Worden.