Phi Theta Kappa Members Inducted

For many of the students who attend SMC, their goals are to build up their credits and hopefully transfer to a university of their choice when the chance arises. Having records like participation in extracurricular activities or ranking high in academic competitions often help students stand out or appeal more to the administrators reviewing their applications and thus possibly choose them out of hundreds of other applicants.

Among the many actions or accomplishments that truly shine on a student's transcript is the mention of gaining membership to the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society of the Two Year College. The Phi Theta Kappa academic society began nearly a hundred years ago though has been active on SMC for six years. PTK requires students to complete 12 units per semester at the community college level and maintain a 3.0 grade point average. With 1,200 chapters throughout the United States and in nations the world over, PTK is the largest group of its kind. PTK differs from SMC's second honor society, Alpha Gamma Sigma, which is statewide and requires a mandatory 20 hours of community service.

According to Mark Mayfield, Phi Theta Kappa president, becoming part of this academic society is more of a gift than anything else.

"We are actually rewarding your success" said Mayfield. "All success this year has been combined to support a great team."

The Induction Ceremony kicked off a little after 3 p.m. on a fiercely bright and sunny Friday afternoon. Well over two dozen friends and family came to watch their proud loved ones be inducted into the prestigious PTK society in its formal official welcome ceremony held in the Music Concert Hall on May 6. As the students composed themselves for their big moments outside, a long table was erected on stage and was draped with the PTK insignia and flanked by a pile of lush, white roses and a collection of artificial candles.

Although not all new members were present for the event due to prior engagements, 140 of them were present, the most a PTK induction ceremony had seen. Once preparations were complete, Mayfield officially announced the start of the ceremony, taking time to thank all who contributed to making the event possible. Shortly thereafter, all 140 students of all ages filed into the hall, welcomed by a constant stream of cheers and applause. Among the first to speak was Dr. Thomas Donner, interim superintendent and President of SMC. In his formal speech, he emphasized the importance of gaining good grades in school. "You sacrifice in order to get those grades, and have probably worked hard for most of your lives," he said. "I'm very proud of the inductees, and probably that pride is based upon their willingness to sacrifice in order to advance their education."

Once the speakers finished their time on stage, the honored inductees took to the stage as their names were called out. They each received a certificate, a candle and a rose. Mayfield also awarded certificates to Donner, Cecile Hanrahan, Associated Students Advisor, and Professor Darrel Goode.

After all students were on stage, they took a unanimous oath to obey and abide by PTK's rules.

Masahito Kawahata, freshman and Theater Arts Major, said the induction was a very proud moment, "I feel great, it makes me want to work harder."

His sentiments were shared by Sean Kumar, senior and business major. "I'm the first person in my family to graduate from college, and I'm setting an example for all my brothers," he said. "I was nervous, but I knew that I earned it."

Sophomore Claudia Defeo said, "I'm really honored, I feel very satisfied that someone has recognized my achievement."

For outgoing President Mayfield, who will be leaving after this semester to pursue his goals of becoming a teacher, his feelings towards the students in Phi Theta Kappa are optimistic, "I just hope I was a positive influence."