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MCCC Inducts 113 Students to PTK Honor Society; Membership Numbers Soar Over Past Year


Advisor Kenneth Howarth, Associate Professor of Philosophy, with current PTK officers preparing to pass the baton to the next class.

From left, Vice President for Academic Affairs David Edwards, Honorary Inductees Professor Ronald Smith, and President Jianping Wang, new PTK President Johnathan Cohen, and outgoing Vice President of Communication Khanyisile Baloyi.


Advisor Jingrong Huang was awarded the chapter’s first ever “Stole of Gratitude” for her outstanding service.

Former Chapter President Fabiola Pincay returned to speak to current students. Pincay continued her studies at Rutgers University, where she earmed her bachelor's degree in Biochemistry.

West Windsor, N.J. -- It has been a banner year for Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC's) Alpha Theta Gamma chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society. On April 21, the chapter held its Spring Induction Ceremony, adding 113 students to its rolls. PTK membership soared over the past two years, from 133 in 2015 to 256 in 2016.

This semester’s ceremony, which was sponsored by Rider University, drew more than 200 attendees to the MCCC Conference Center, including inductees, their friends and families, alumni, faculty and staff members, and administrators.
Several speakers delivered words of congratulations and inspiration. MCCC President Jianping Wang and long-time faculty member Bob Pugh, the recipient of the college’s 2016 Distinguished Teaching Award, encouraged students to continue to strive for excellence as they pursue their college and career goals.

Alumna Fabiola Pincay (’14, Biology/Chemistry), former chapter president, also spoke. Pincay continued her studies at Rutgers University after Mercer, where she majored in Biochemistry. During her final semester, Pincay was selected to represent the college on the 2014 PTK All-State Academic Team.

She offered sage advice to current students. "Jump in and do not be afraid to get involved. Take advantage of all of the opportunities offered here at Mercer," she said.

During the ceremony, PTK members recognized Dr. Wang and Dr. Ronald Smith, Professor of Biology, as the chapter’s Spring 2017 Honorary Inductees for their commitment to student success and the embodiment of the four hallmarks of Phi Theta Kappa: Scholarship, Fellowship, Leadership, and Service. Dr. Jingrong Huang, Professor of Physics, was awarded the chapter’s first ever “Stole of Gratitude” for her outstanding service as an advisor. The students cited Huang’s enthusiasm and dedication for helping Mercer advance from a three-star chapter in 2015 to a five-star chapter in 2016 and 2017. (Five-star chapters must fulfill exacting requirements including carrying out Honors in Action projects and attending regional and national meetings.)
The chapter inducted a new set of officers who will serve in leadership positions in tihe coming year: Jonathan Cohen (President), Alexander Varshavsky (VP of Leadership), Naykis Arias (VP of Communication), Justin Ellis and Tania Numeyer (Co-VPs of Fellowship), Tamaryn Auld and Jasmina Biller (Co-VPs of Scholarship), Austin Chee (VP of Service), Cassie Pullen (Treasurer), and Daniela Figeuroa (Secretary).

Says PTK Advisor Jennifer Cook, Counselor Specialist in the Office of Transfer Services, “Thanks to the support of the college administration and the Student Government Association, our members have been able to participate in a number of exciting activities, including the Honors Institute last summer, the Regional Convention in March, and the International Convention in Tennessee this past month, where two students did a presentation with their advisors to members from around the country.“ Also serving as a PTK advisor is Associate Professor of Philosophy Kenneth Howarth.

Phi Theta Kappa membership is by invitation only for students who have earned at least 12 college level credits with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. 

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