May 1, 2014

BY TERI CAMPBELL
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE - Six members of John A. Logan College’s Upsilon Pi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community colleges, recently attended the organization’s 96th annual convention in Orlando, Fla., where they were recognized for their accomplishments, including earning a Distinguished Chapter Award and being named a Top 100 Chapter. 

 Adrienne Barkley Giffin, director of student activities and cultural events at JALC, is the advisor for the college’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter.  She accompanied the students to the conference and was thrilled with the accolades.

“Being named a Top 100 Chapter is a huge accomplishment,” Giffin said.  “There are nearly 1,300 Phi Theta Kappa chapters, and this puts us in the top eight percent of chapters worldwide.  The students worked really hard this year on their College Project and Honors in Action Project, and both were extremely successful.  Our chapter also completed all the requirements to earn a Five Star designation, the highest rating a chapter can achieve.”

Anna Buetow of Du Quoin serves as the chapter’s president and she was also happy with the honors.

“For our College Project we created a video to inform students about the services provided by our college’s Student Success Center, and our Honors in Action Project focused on promoting nutrition and healthy eating habits to grade school students,” Buetow said.  “We spent a great deal of time and effort on both so we were immensely grateful to receive the chapter awards.”   

In addition to the Top 100 Chapter selection and Distinguished Chapter Award, Giffin garnered a Paragon Award, which recognizes outstanding new Phi Theta Kappa advisors who have served four years or less.

“I was humbled and honored when I found out I had been chosen,” Giffin said.  “I’m still in my first year as an advisor so getting this honor is pretty incredible and the fact that the students initiated it was so gratifying.  It was also very validating to know that someone at the international level thinks I’m on the right track.”       

Buetow said Giffin is deserving of the recognition.

“Adrienne does a lot for us as our advisor,” Buetow said.  “She allows us as members to take charge in our meetings to help develop leadership skills, and she is always supportive of our ideas and the projects we work on.  We wrote a nomination letter for her and we were really glad she won the award.  At the convention, we found out that over 100 advisors had been nominated for the Paragon Award, and Adrienne was one of just 30 to receive it.”   

JALC President Dr. Michael Dreith is an honorary member of Phi Theta Kappa and he praised the chapter’s efforts and achievements. 

“The honors showered on our chapter are unprecedented in the college's history,” Dreith said.  “This is the combination of talented students with inspired leadership.  I am very proud of Adrienne and the members of our team of students.  Their efforts have once again made the name of John A. Logan College synonymous with excellence.”