PARIS – A steady stream of extra chairs was needed in the Paris Junior College Student Center Ballroom to accommodate an overflow crowd of friends and family present at a student induction ceremony into the Beta Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the two-year college honor society.
Vice President of Academic Studies Dwight Chaney drew laughs as he welcomed the crowd. “There has been a chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Paris Junior College since 1932,” he said. “I was not here at the time. Most people assume that I was, but I assure you that was not the case.”
Chaney explained the history of PTK since 1918, its worldwide recognition, and how a gold PTK seal is placed on the student’s diploma to demonstrate their academic accomplishments.
PJC English instructor and PTK advisor Marsha Dennis and fellow advisors Allen Williams, history instructor, and Jay Strickland, off-campus librarian, explained symbols of the society.
Featured speaker was Susan Gossett, a 2005 PJC alumna and PTK member. After working 29 years in retail sales and management positions, she came to PJC at age 47. She explained such challenges as being unfamiliar with modern software programs and academic and scientific advancements.
“I found a sense of belonging and a sense of community at PJC,” Gossett said. “The skills I took from Paris Junior College were an advantage. It took me far above many of my classmates, both in my master’s and bachelor’s degrees.”
Having subsequently obtained her bachelor of science and master of education, Gossett is now an adjunct instructor at Paris Junior College and Texas A&M University-Commerce.
- Students inducted and their hometowns include:
- Brashear: Stephanie Rutledge
- Brookston: Lucy Enns, Mason Morrow
- Cumby: Mitchell Wheat
- Emory: Dallas Kip, Jessie Shearer
- Pickton: Kaitlyn Hankins
- Sulphur Springs: Cristian Bacio, Malisa Beck, Allissa Figueroa, Brady Fisher, Kathy Froneberger, Devyn Ibarra, Sy Lucas, Meleeta Morris, Joy Nichols and Josephine Reed.
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