Middlesex Community College Honor Society Inducts New Members and Receives Awards

Screenshot of virtual induction ceremony

April 29, 2021 (Middletown, Conn.) — The Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society chapter at Middlesex Community College inducted 42 new members during a virtual ceremony on Friday, April 23, 2021. In addition, the chapter announced recent regional and national awards, and highlighted two high-achieving members who were named to the All-Connecticut Academic Team on April 19. Also this year, the MxCC PTK chapter was named one of the top 100 chapters nationwide. Only two chapters in Connecticut are on this list.

“Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society for two-year colleges, and we hold highly the tenets of scholarship, leadership, service, and fellowship,” said John “Jack” Howell, PTK chapter president, in his remarks to the inductees. “Induction into Phi Theta Kappa is a testament to your hard work, dedication, perseverance and resilience.”

College CEO Steven Minkler congratulated the new inductees and stated that Phi Theta Kappa represents the most distinguished honor for community college students. “It is a launching pad for further success in higher education and in your careers,” he said.

On April 19, Howell and Eva-LaRue Barber, the chapter’s public relations secretary, were named to the All-Connecticut Academic Team, in an announcement by the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU).

Jack Howell and Eva BarberHowell, a liberal arts and sciences major, led a team of fellow members and organized an online library guide for the chapter’s PTK Honors in Action Project, applying the theme “Expressions of Truth.” With a focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, they researched how accurate and understandable health information can improve public health.

Howell worked as a biology, chemistry and English tutor at the Academic Success Center and as a classroom assistant for remedial English classes. He plans to study psychology and eventually attend medical school.

Barber, a liberal arts and sciences major, has been a tutor, classroom assistant and teaching assistant for the Academic Success Center and for remedial English and acting classes. She has volunteered at a hospice clinic while studying palliative care psychology and antipsychotic medications in the end-of-life setting. Barber also finished training for an EMT license to assist in basic life support, trauma, medical and emergency transport at Yale New Haven Hospital Center for EMS. She plans to transfer to a four-year college to study psychology with a minor in theater studies.

“These students are the top scholars among Connecticut’s 12 community colleges, and have excelled in the classroom and beyond,” said CSCU Interim President Jane Gates in an announcement. “This recognition is an outstanding achievement and the result of their hard work, leadership skills and commitment. We take immense pride in these students — some who have overcome tremendous challenges to attend college — as they continue their education or begin careers in their chosen professions.”

In early March, the chapter participated in the virtual New England Regional Convention and earned the second place award for the Honors in Action project. They also received the Distinguished Chapter Officer Team Award for excellence in collaboration and leadership. The other PTK officers are Christopher Currie, vice president; Thomas Laskowski, recording secretary; Gary Lambert, Student Senate representative; and Lynn Stanwood, treasurer.

The chapter was also recognized as a Five Star Level chapter for their participation in different levels of engagement and as well as a REACH chapter for their recruitment and membership development efforts.

Carletta Reyes earned the PTK Golden Opportunity Scholarship award, which helps students pay for their PTK membership fee.

By maintaining a 3.65 GPA with a minimum of 12 credits, the following students were inducted on April 23:

Mahalakshmi Babu
Jessica Banning
Megan Barraco
Matthew Borelli
Helen Cavanagh
Madisyn Clark
Frances Cruz-Bruno
Gavin Duhamel
Tavish Ernst
Joshua Foley
Jacob Goodman
Katlynn Guibord
Abigail Harper
Julia Harris
Russell Holdredge
Thomas Kashuba
Joseph Kisling
Magdalena Kuna
Marta Kurczab
Jeffrey Kutneski
Daquan Long
Sarah Makowicki
Riley McConnell
Evelyn McNamee
Isabella Merlini
Danielle Minicucci
Sofia Moreno-Sanchez
Jeffrey Muzio Jr
Kendyl Ortiz
Alyssa Pardo
Hailey Presley
Jordyn Randlov
Andrew Renehan
Carletta Reyes
Joshua Riel
Ileana Rivera
Reshma Shaila
Lynn Stanwood
Juliana Sterling
Celeste Suarez
Adele Veilleux
Vincent Warren

Also during the induction ceremony, Pamela Frost, mathematics professor, and Wei Cen, librarian, received the Stole of Gratitude award for helping the PTK chapter succeed during the past year.

MxCC PTK advisers are professors Donna Bontatibus, Ph.D., and Lin Lin, Ph.D., and computer support specialist Landi Hou.

For more information about Phi Theta Kappa at MxCC, please visit mxcc.edu/PTK.

Since 1966, Middlesex Community College has provided high-quality, affordable, and accessible education to a diverse population, enhancing the strengths of individuals through degree, certificate, and lifelong learning programs that lead to university transfer, employment, and an enriched awareness of our shared responsibilities as global citizens. A part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, MxCC offers more than 70 degree or certificate programs at the main 35-acre campus in Middletown, MxCC@Platt in Meriden, and online.