During Piedmont Community College’s (PCC) Fall 2020 induction ceremony for its new Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) members, PCC President, Dr. Pamela G. Senegal, challenged the current and new members to strive to reach Five-Star Status. These students accepted the challenge and achieved the goal within three months.

To strengthen the College’s local chapter further, PCC now has a Five Star Advisor to continue to build its success. Dr. Don Miller, PCC’s Dean of the Learning Commons and PTK Advisor, accomplished this achievement through PTK’s comprehensive online course, which provides training on subjects such as recruitment, holding meetings, engaging members, developing leaders, and building administrative support. Those who complete the five levels of training are recognized as five star advisors.

“The Five Star Advisor Plan is an example of a clear goal that is created for advisors,” Miller said. “Being named a Five Star Advisor means that I took the time to take the advantage of the resources provided to me by Phi Theta Kappa to become the best advisor I could be.”

Miller said, while it is optional for the advisors, earning five-star status is beneficial for new PTK advisors, and PTK reinforces this thought, by setting clear guidelines for students and advisors to meet. Now, saddled with a Five Star Advisor and its own Five-Star Status, PCC’s local chapter has big plans for the future.

“PCC’s chapter is blessed with a strong leadership team, who got involved almost immediately after joining,” Miller said. “The leaders have been meeting this summer to plan for the Honors in Action project, which is a requirement for Five-Star Status.  The chapter will participate in ‘Food Lion Feeds’ again, which was a successful service project right before the pandemic.”

The last time the project was held, PCC’s PTK chapter collected 340 canned goods for Second Harvest Food Bank. The college then received a $1,000 stipend, which was used to give students $25 Food Lion gift cards at the beginning of the pandemic.

Honors in Action (HIA) combines academic research, problem solving, and action-oriented service to address real-world challenges in our communities. Students gain job-related experience while creating lasting impacts in their communities as they engage in HIA.

Miller further explained the opportunities that being part of PTK provides. It enables members to grow outside of the classroom by serving others and giving leadership experience they may not have gotten otherwise.

“I have been incredibly blessed to be an advisor for PCC’s PTK chapter the last two years. I am able to work with a great group of students, who are willing to get involved and do the work necessary to be a Five-Star Chapter.”

The next class of inductees will be recognized in November during a ceremony led by current members. To join Phi Theta Kappa, a student must be invited based on their college grade point average. A one-time membership fee is required and the PCC Foundation assists with paying a portion. For those interested in contributing to the PTK fund to support these devoted students, contact Beth Townsend at (336) 322-2104 or  beth.townsend@piedmontcc.edu.

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