GCC’s Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Honors Academic Success

High-achieving Greenfield Community College students get more than good grades – they get honored. Each semester over 200 GCC students meet the strict eligibility requirements for GCC’s Alpha Sigma Omicron chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Phi, the international honor society for two-year colleges. Students eligible this semester will be invited by GCC President Bob Pura in March to apply for PTK membership. Requirements include completing 12 semester hours with a GPA of 3.5 or better and maintaining a GPA of 3.25 or better.

Membership in PTK is valuable for students while at GCC and in the future. PTK focuses on scholarship, fellowship, service and leadership. PTK members can compete for scholarships offered by four-year colleges seeking transfer students.

GCC’s President Pura said, “It is my privilege to extend an invitation to students who qualify for membership in PTK and recognize their commitment to hard work and academic excellence. Our students often balance working and raising families with the rigorous program of study needed to meet PTK eligibility criteria. We applaud and honor their efforts. Their focus on scholarship and community service at GCC today are indicators of the leadership and positive impact they will bring to workplaces and communities tomorrow.”

Bob LaPalme, GCC instructor, academic advisor, and Coordinator GCC’s Fitness Center   advises GCC’s chapter of PTK. He said, “Many four-year colleges recruit PTK members as transfer students because they know PTK members are highly motivated and maintained a high level of scholastic success throughout college. PTK membership listed on a resumé definitely gets the attention of employers seeking bright, capable employees.”

Monthly chapter meetings bring together PTK members for fellowship and to plan service projects and the induction ceremony. PTK service projects have included food drives to benefit local food pantries and volunteering at area animal shelters.

Erik Risinger, President of GCC’s PTK chapter, is studying computer and electrical engineering. After graduating with a Liberal Arts degree and possibly an Engineering degree,  Erik will complete his engineering studies at a four-year college. He hopes to work with robots.

Erik said, “Phi Theta Kappa has brought me great friendships and working relationships with people at GCC with whom I would likely have never interacted. The ongoing service project has provided a great outlet for my creative energies. I’m looking forward to the scholarship money schools offer PTK members upon transfer. College is expensive and scholarships matter. PTK has given me a lot of room (and reason) to grow during my time at GCC. Being a member of an honor society has focused me, reminded me that my hard work is noticed, and motivated me to put forth my best effort. PTK can be as much or as little as you want it to be. Active participation is never required, but is always available for those motivated to make a difference in the world.”

For information about GCC’s Alpha Sigma Omicron chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, contact Bob LaPalme at LaPalme@gcc.mass.edu or 413-775-1143.