South Georgia State College

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South Georgia State College Phi Theta Kappa Students Attend Annual International Convention

PTK NerdNation
SGSC students Danielle Sumner, Kaitlin Spivey, and Ronesea Styles attended the 2015 international Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society Convention in San Antonio, Texas

South Georgia State College (SGSC) students attended NerdNation, Phi Theta Kappa’s Annual Convention held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, along with approximately four thousand students, advisors, and administrators from all over the world. 518 chapters were represented during the three-day event. Amy Hancock, Phi Theta Kappa advisor, accompanied SGSC students Danielle Sumner, Ronesea Styles, and Kaitlin Spivey from the Kappa Sigma chapter of the Douglas Campus and the Alpha Rho Omega of the Waycross Campus.

SGSC’s Alpha Rho Omega Chapter president and Georgia Regional Secretary, Ronesea Styles, represented the Georgia Region by joining the other Georgia regional officers on stage during the opening ceremony.

Students participated in educational forums and spent time with chapter members from all parts of the world as they learned leadership skills and ways to engage students on campus as part of the Phi Theta Kappa mission. During the general sessions, speakers such as Grammy Award-winning musician John Legend and theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku encouraged and challenged the students to find their voice and give back to the community and also look to the future in science to find answers for everyday life.

“NerdNation was by far the best experience I've ever had. John Legend taught us how to love the world with all of our heart. He told us that we have to be the change we want to see in the world,” incoming Kappa Sigma Chapter president Danielle Sumner expressed. “Dr. Michio Kaku showed us his vision of the future. He really opened up my eyes. I have never thought about how much the future will actually change until now. The future can change as much as we want it to, and as much as our imaginations will allow.”

Kaitlin Spivey Silver Scholar
Kaitlin Spivey points to her name on the list of 2015 Silver Scholar recipients

Kaitlin Spivey, outgoing Kappa Sigma president, had also been given the title of All-Georgia Academic Team member and Silver Scholar as part of the 2015 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team earlier in the semester. She was recognized at a Celebration of Scholars Networking Social as part of the convention. This event was hosted exclusively for exceptional Phi Theta Kappa Scholars and outstanding scholarship donors who made the scholarships, including the Silver Scholar, possible. She was able to celebrate her accomplishment as a scholar and engage with fellow scholars and donors alike to share her story. Spivey says, “NerdNation was an enlightening experience. The collection of speakers was exciting and insightful. The central theme of the event was exploring boundaries. From John Legend to Dr. Michio Kaku, we were enriched by their ideas and their lives’ work. Ultimately I feel like we were all inspired to chase our dreams despite the obstacles that may face us, because the further we push through the obstacles, the further we push our boundaries.”

According to South Georgia State College President Virginia Carson, past recipient of the prestigious PTK Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction, the Phi Theta Kappa members make a difference as leaders on campus and are valuable representatives of the College. She says, “We are excited that chapter members from our campuses are able to attend the International Convention. I have seen firsthand that it provides valuable resources and instruction for advisors and students to learn about engagement opportunities that result in long-term chapter and student success.”

PTK Conference Dinner
Ronesea Styles, Kailtin Spivey, and Danielle Sumner at the PTK Conference

Students had the opportunity to visit local San Antonio historic sites such as the Alamo and enjoy the famous River Walk. Ronesea Styles summarized her thoughts on the convention by saying, “Out of all the great events and opportunities I've gotten to be a part of from just being a Phi Theta Kappan, NerdNation by far has been the greatest of all! I had the pleasure of meeting other Kappans from across the United States, which leads to long-life friendships and partnerships. The opportunity to witness and learn about the many prestigious universities and colleges , scholarships, internships, and more that are available to me as a Phi Theta Kappan was astounding and mind-blowing. This convention was not only fun, but it taught me the value of networking and gave me inspiration in my life and career goals too. It was another push for me to continue to grow as an individual and leader, enhance and increase my work ethic, and explore and take advantage of every opportunity presented to me. But most of all, I learned the beauty and benefits of knowledge: by embracing it and putting in the hard work, I have the tools to make a difference in the world!”

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates, and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 134,000 students inducted annually.