Photo Caption: New North Country Community College chapter members of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges, are all smiles after being inducted in a ceremony on April 14 at the First Presbyterian Church in Saranac Lake: from left, Lindsay Reeve, Dawn Aubin, Angela Schue, Bonna Jose, Tarah Schlueter, Karlee Martin, Jeremy Patnode, Windy DeRushia, Joletta Yates, Kelley Drollette, Jonathan Farah, Jordan Niles, Kelsey Webster and Michelle Straight.
Saranac Lake – Fifty of the best and brightest North Country Community College students were welcomed Saturday, April 14 into the college’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges.
As their families watched from the audience in Saranac Lake’s First Presbyterian Church, the candidates recited a pledge to uphold the standards of Phi Theta Kappa: scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship.
One by one, the inductees walked across the front of the sanctuary and lit individual candles from a torch, symbolizing the passage of knowledge. They were each given a white rose, a symbol of newly formed intellectual friendship.
“It is my pleasure to welcome you into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the lively fellowship of scholars it affords,” said Lynne Fisher Kemp, a PTK advisor, NCCC professor and chair of the college’s Business Programs. “I salute you for your accomplishment; I charge you to explore always for truth and to dedicate yourselves to the cultivation of the well-reasoned life, a prelude to service and honor.”
The purpose of Phi Theta Kappa is to recognize and encourage scholarship among associate degree students. Each semester, invitation to membership in the college’s chapter, Beta Theta Pi, is extended to currently returning students who have completed at least 15 hours of course work leading to an associate degree in which they have a GPA of at least 3.5.
NCCC Professor Emeritus Jack Drury, founder of the college’s Wilderness Recreation Program, delivered a keynote message to the inductees at Saturday’s ceremony. He encouraged them to continue their education.
“I urge you to become a student of leadership, decision making, and critical thinking,” he said. “Learn what they are, what they look like when seen in action, and model them and teach them. I’m convinced that doing so will bring you personal and professional success and make our world a better place to live.”
Photo caption: Jack Drury, North Country Community College Professor Emeritus, shakes hands with NCCC student Michelle Straight of Jay as she is inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges on April 14 at the First Presbyterian Church in Saranac Lake.
For students like Joletta Yates, a married mother of two who lives in Lake Placid, induction into PTK is a recognition of all the hard work and sacrifices she’s made to reach this point.
“Going back to school has been a toll on my family, so it’s great to be honored for my accomplishments,” she said. “I’m very lucky because I have great support. I have a mother-in-law who’s been tremendously helpful, and my husband. It’s been hard, but you just keep your head up and go forward.”
A nursing student, Joletta was a Health Sciences major in her first year at the college. She will graduate in May with a certificate in Practical Nursing and plans to pursue her Registered Nurse degree next year at NCCC.
PTK induction was also a reason to celebrate for Jonathan Farah, an Environmental Science student from Columbia, South America. He said he was drawn to NCCC by a friend who lives here.
“At the time I wasn’t doing much at home, so he told me to come up here and go to college, so I did,” Farah said. “I played soccer for North Country and I absolutely love it here. I want to be here for the rest of my life.”
Jonathan plans to continue his education at Paul Smith’s College after graduating from NCCC next month. He said hard work and dedication have paved the way for his success.
“You really need to put your heart into it,” he said. “Education is really important to me. I want to ensure a good future for myself, and the hard work has paid off. It’s definitely an honor to be part of this important society.”
Since it was founded in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa has chartered over 1,300 chapters worldwide and has inducted more than 3 million members, who range in age from 18 to 80 and come from a variety of backgrounds. Some were in the top ranks of their high school graduating classes; others were once dropouts and are getting a second chance at education.
Membership in PTK creates opportunities for students, including scholarships to a variety of four-year colleges and universities.
Photo caption: North Country Community College student Dominique Pickering of Tupper Lake is congratulated by college President Dr. Steve Tyrell after being inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges on April 14 at the First Presbyterian Church in Saranac Lake.
North Country Community College Phi Theta Kappa Inductees
Dawn N. Aubin, Saranac Lake
Angela M. Axelband, Malone
Bridget J. Bradley, Bloomingdale
Kirstin M. Colon, Saranac Lake
Alicia R. Cook, Chateaugay
Danielle M. Cook, Burke
Aileen Cote, Tupper Lake
Dillon M. Crowe, Ticonderoga
Cortney A. Davis, LaFargeville
Julie M. Derouchie, Malone
Windy K. DeRushia, Massena
Kelley Drollette, Cadyville
Jonathan F. Farah, Saranac Lake
Samantha N. Fefee, Malone
Barbara A. Gohlke, Plattsburgh
Jaclyn S. Gregory, Mineville
Meghan S. Hickman, St. Regis Falls
Alissa J. Hood, Schroon Lake
Bonna M. Jose, Ticonderoga
Makayla S. Kerley, North Bangor
Aleesha E. LaBounty, Dickinson Center
Morgan E. Lamica, Chateaugay
Kristin L. LaShomb, Norfolk
Jaclyn A. Latourelle, Saranac Lake
Dennis L. LeClair, Ticonderoga
Joseph S. Marhatta, Fairport
Karlee M. Martin, Chateaugay
Jordan M. Niles, Moira
Bianca M. Orem, Plattsburgh
Courtney J. Paquin, North Bangor
Tameka Patch, Saranac Lake
Jeremy J. Patnode, Chateaugay
Dominique S. Pickering, Tupper Lake
Breyan L. Poirier, Malone
Kathleen A. Recore, Malone
Lindsay Reeve, Vermontville
Nicole L. Roberts, Whitehall
Jessica L. Rylant, Ticonderoga
Tarah L. Schlueter, Rainbow Lake
Angela M. Schue, Saranac Lake
Kawisohkwas T. Sharrow, Akwesasne
Bethany Snell, Norwood
Nicole M. Snyder, North Bangor
Marissa N. Sours, Crown Point
Andrew M. Straight, Jay
Michelle L. Straight, Jay
Nichole Thompson-Black, Winthrop
Tiffany L. Touchette, Whitehall
Kelsey K. Webster, Massena
Joletta Yates, Lake Placid
About North Country Community College: As the only public college located in the Adirondack Park, North Country Community College provides educational, cultural and recreational programming to a 3,500 square mile service area with a population of 90,000. The college maintains three campuses in Saranac Lake, Malone and Ticonderoga, New York; an extensive high school-based academic partnership; and online course offerings. North Country Community College is part of the SUNY (State University of New York) system. With 64 unique colleges and universities, SUNY provides learning environments for every type of student, every stage of life, and every kind of passion. For more information, visit www.nccc.edu.