Phi Theta Kappa Chapter Nets Awards at Regional Convention

men and women holding awards
Student Abbye Millsap (L) was elected as elected as district president. Bobbi Yarbrough and Matt Herrman (R) each won awards for their roles as chapter advisors. Photos courtesy of the Beta Eta Sigma Chapter. 
Before social distancing began, members of the UACCM Phi Theta Kappa, Beta Eta Sigma Chapter attended the PTK Oklahoma-Arkansas Regional Convention in Fayetteville. They were among community college students from across the region, who gathered at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville for competitions and award ceremonies. 

The convention, held over the March 7-8 weekend, led to multiple individual and chapter awards for UACCM. It was an opportunity for students to network with their peers, celebrate community service, and develop leadership skills. 

“It’s always encouraging and refreshing to attend these events,” said Sarah Anne Fulmer, a UACCM student. “I love meeting members of other chapters and hearing what they’re doing on their campuses.”

Individual Achievements

Among the accolades, student Abbye Millsap won an election for the honor society’s district president. According to chapter advisor Mathew Herrman, also a UACCM speech instructor, she is the first student from UACCM to ever run for the office.  

“We are so proud of her outstanding campaign and speech, and we couldn't be more elated with her election,” Herrman said. 

As a commuter campus, UACCM’s student organizations strive to offer students opportunities to be active in the campus community elsewhere. That includes the society’s regional level. UACCM’s chapter, which earned the organization’s highest ranking for its robust activity in 2019, has a history of recognitions for its commitment to excellence. The honor society noted several students and chapter advisors for their work.

Haley Stewart, won the Most Distinguished Chapter Officer award due to her active participation in the chapter; Bobbi Yarbrough, a chapter advisor and director of academic advising and career services, won the first-place Paragon Advisor award; and Herrman won second place in the distinguished advisor category. Herrman also succeeded as president of a regional board made up of chapter advisors. 

Two students, Sarah Anne Fulmer and Michael Gant, accepted first-place awards for public speaking categories at earlier competitions. Although they didn’t compete in Fayetteville, they read their speeches to the gathering. Like every convention, they believed that they benefit from attending.   

“It helped me build connections to people I see on campus who strive for the same learning and achievement as I do,” Gant said. “It showed me the bigger picture and gave more importance to studying and doing well, because it will matter in the real world.”

Among the group activities, community college students took part in seminars, including one on global sustainability that encourages them to expand their global mindsets. 

“In a breakout seminar, I learned more in depth how everyone views the world through a different lens. When one looks at another person, what they see on the outside says nothing about what is on the inside or of the experiences and groups that person is a part of,” Gant said. 

Group Nets Awards for Food Insecurity, College Completion, and More

The chapter also won awards for its group activities, including a first-place award for a poster presenting a research project on food insecurity. 

Some of the chapter’s work is in collaboration with the honor society that’s aiming to commit students to complete their degrees. Launched in 2010, the Community College Completion Corps (C4) campaign emphasizes the importance of degree and certificate attainment among community college students. Chapter results from last year netted a top-five ranking.

The chapter also gained acknowledgement for its work in the honor society’s REACH program.
“It is an acknowledgment of successful membership campaigns, run at least twice each calendar year, coupled with degree completion of those who do accept membership,” Herrman said. 

To be eligible for this achievement, chapters must recruit at least 15% of eligible students from the college in a calendar year. As recently in as the spring semester, the chapter has met that goal.


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