July 7, 2015

BY TERI CAMPBELL
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Upsilon Pi, John A. Logan College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community colleges, was named the Most Distinguished Chapter in Illinois at the annual Illinois Regional Convention hosted recently by Frontier Community College. Logan was chosen for the award out of 57 chapters in the state. 

Adrienne Barkley Giffin, director of student activities and cultural events at JALC, is the advisor for Upsilon Pi and was thrilled with the designation.

“This is the first time our chapter has been chosen Most Distinguished and it’s a true honor,” Giffin said. “There are about three other chapters in the state that we’ve looked up to for a long time as being the top chapters, and it’s amazing that now we’re up there with them. It’s a credit to the hardworking, big-hearted students in our chapter who put so much time and energy into our projects. We also get tremendous support from throughout the entire college, and that’s an important component of our success.”       

Along with being selected Most Distinguished Chapter, Logan won awards for its Honors in Action Project and its College Project, took third place for its yearbook, and earned a Five Star designation, the highest rating a chapter can achieve.

“The officers and students worked really hard this year, and I’m glad to see their efforts recognized,” Giffin said.  “The four hallmarks of Phi Theta Kappa are scholarship, leadership, service, and fellowship.  Our students engage in each of these on campus and in the community.”

In addition to the chapter awards, several individuals garnered accolades at the convention.  Europe Doan of Marion and Brandi Husch from Johnston City both won Hall of Honor Officer Awards, and Doan was also named a Leader of Distinction.

“I’m so proud of the awards our chapter won, and this individual honor was completely unexpected,” said Husch, who served as vice president of membership for Upsilon Pi.  “I didn’t even know I’d been nominated so it was a wonderful surprise.  I had nominated Europe for the award, and I’m happy she won as well.  She did a great job as president of our chapter this year.” 

Other individual honors included Tori Ladd of Thompsonville winning the Spirit Award and Lauren DeRossett from Du Quoin receiving the Outstanding Member Award.  Ladd was also elected by her peers throughout the state to serve as the 2015-2016 president of the Illinois Region. 

“I’m so thankful to my chapter for nominating me for the Spirit Award,” said Ladd, who was the secretary of Upsilon Pi this year.  “I'm blessed to have found all these amazing people who have helped me change my life for the better, and I’m looking forward to working with Phi Theta Kappa on a state level.”

Giffin’s efforts as an advisor were also rewarded.  For the second straight year she won the Horizon Award, which is selected by the society’s regional coordinator for Illinois and given to chapter advisors who have made significant contributions to the region. Additionally, she was elected to be a representative on the society’s Illinois Advisory Council for the Southern District.

Husch said Giffin deserved the awards.

“Adrienne is a great advisor,” Husch said.  “She allows us the freedom to explore projects that interest us and that we’re passionate about.  She encourages us as individuals and also pulls us together to work as a team.  I don’t think we would have been able to accomplish all that we have without her.”    

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

“One of the best parts of my job is being able to work with student leaders and this group was extraordinary,” Dreith said.  “They took direction well and paid attention to detail.  They did projects that were of real value to the college.  I’m proud of the success they’ve had this year, especially being chosen the best chapter in the state.  I also believe their accomplishments are a byproduct of the excellent leadership of Adrienne Barkley Giffin.  Her advocacy and support of this group are a key factor in getting things done.” 

For more information about Phi Theta Kappa, contact Giffin at 618-985-2828 or 618-457-7676, Ext. 8287 or by email at adriennebarkleygiffin@jalc.edu.

    

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Dr. Steve O’Keefe at 618-985-2828 ext. 8569 or email at steveokeefe@jalc.edu.