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Ivy Tech Kokomo inducts 15 students into Phi Theta Kappa

KOKOMO, Ind. — Fifteen students from Ivy Tech Community College’s Kokomo Service Area were recently honored for their academic achievement with induction into the Alpha Pi Phi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa international academic honor society.

New members inducted during the virtual ceremony, by hometown, include:

Denver: Teresa Shilling

Kokomo: Steven Cottingham, Ashley Fagel, Shanda Fowler, Carmen Meza, Rebekah Price, and Shawn Taylor

Logansport: Elizabeth Bilvin and Christie Williams

Marion: Zachary Schmidt and Darneda Wise

Peru: Brian Arwood and Erica Mummert

Wabash: Jared Boone

Winamac: Patricia Webb

The keynote speaker was Nicholas Weshinskey, Ph.D., who now serves as director of the Lincoln Scholars Program at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, an initiative that prepares physicians to meet the urgent medical needs in rural communities. A former high school teacher, psychotherapist, and university faculty member and administrator, he has focused on curricular initiatives to improve undergraduate students’ academic and psychosocial success. He congratulated the Phi Theta Kappa students for their academic achievements and brought a message of encouragement and inspiration.

“For some of you, going to college was a giant risk,” Weshinskey said. “You weren’t sure you could afford it. Some of you still aren’t sure you can afford it, by the way. You weren’t sure you’ve had the smarts to do it. You thought maybe you were too old or too different to start something new, like this, at this time in your life.

“But to design a life that matters, you should exercise courage,” he continued. “You should take risks, put yourself out there, chase the higher and better things. At worst, you might fail. At best, you might just get to live the life you’ve always wanted.”

Ivy Tech professors and chapter co-sponsors Gauri Pitale, Ph.D., and Nicholas Bianco, Ph.D., were joined by Chloe Prince, chapter president, and Desmon Williams, general vice president, in inducting the new members. Dean McCurdy, Ivy Tech Kokomo chancellor; Theresa Murphy, vice chancellor for student success; Ethan Heicher, vice chancellor for academic affairs; Sally Vyain, dean; David Scheblo, executive director of human resources; and Dani McQuaide, director of student life, joined in honoring the students.

Currently enrolled students are invited to join the international academic honor society when they have completed at least 12 program-level or college-level credit hours with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5. Phi Theta Kappa has a two-fold mission – to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and to provide opportunities for individual growth and development through participation in scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship programming.