Onondaga Community College's chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) has been named Most Distinguished in New York for the third consecutive year. "This recognition reflects your dedication and determination during a truly unprecedented year. The Most Distinguished Chapter designation represents the highest commitment to learning and student success," said Lynn Tincher-Ladner, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. "This award reflects the College Project and Honors In Action Project for 2020. Our leadership team, with the help of many campus and community partners, worked on projects this past year that really made a difference," said Annie Tuttle, Ph.D., Faculty Advisor for OCC's PTK Chapter and New York Regional Coordinator for PTK.
OCC's PTK chapter's accomplishments which led to the award included:
- An Honors In Action project which focused on research aimed at better understanding racial inequality in our community. The research revealed the continued legacy of racism and racial inequality, particularly in Syracuse. Students put their research into action by creating initiatives to combat poverty, support Black-owned businesses, and educate the community about microaggressions and racial inequality to move beyond the perception of progress and build a better community through actions.
- The goal of the annual College Project was to help students prepare for life after OCC. The chapter created several virtual events which included two mock interview contests which were organized with the assistance of Michele Carey in Career Services, a virtual seminar led by AmeriCU's CEO which focused on planning for financial success after college, as well as a panel discussion with OCC alumni who discussed their experience transitioning from to life after OCC and advice on making the transition easier. As part of the College Project students created a "Life After OCC" web page which includes various resources to help students including Adulting 101, Finances, and Work and Transfer. One element of Adulting 101 included a virtual tutorial on cooking with OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill.
Students who were on the Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 PTK Leadership Team include Gina Segreti, MacKenzi Maxwell, Ryan Merrow, Hadassah Johnson, Tamara Ayala Diaz, Eaint Win, Hope Spencer, Eleanor Petrucco, Caitlin Wiltsey, Noah Singh, Trevor Scott, Maddie Bohrer, Grace Norton, Mayada Abedrabbah, Lily Woughter, Nidaa Aljabbarin, Jalyn Handford, Autumn Orts, Meghan Wilmot, Alison Cox, and Emily Bushbasher.
PTK project partners include AmeriCU, Blend Theory Yoga, Champions Martial Arts, Dr. Weeks Elementary School, Rise ABove The Streets, OCC's Institutional Review Board, OCC's Market & New Media Team, Calvin Bohrer, Mary Cope, Alena Cerro, Michaela Grainger, Eli Feathers, Michele Carey, Dr. Casey Crabill. Chef James Taylor, Dr. David Van Arsdale, Julie Hart, Kelly Larrivey, and Keith Edwards.
Also, at PTK's recent New York regional convention OCC's chapter won several awards including:
- Most Distinguished Chapter
- Distinguished College Project
- Distinguished Honors In Action
- Theme 6: Perceptions of Progress
- PTK officer Eleanor Petrucco, who also serves as the Student Trustee on the College's Board of Trustees, was named 4th Runner Up for the Distinguished Chapter Officer Award.
- New York's Edgiest Chapter
- Programming Awareness Award
- Leadership Award
- Community Service Award
- OCC Student Veteran Tom Barrack was runner-up for the Academic Achievement for a Non-Traditional Student Award.
Congratulations to everyone involved with OCC's PTK chapter, voted top five in the world in 2019 and 2020! The 2021 international award winners will be announced in April.