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IVG Phi Theta Kappa inducts 5 new members

IVG Spring PTK 2016

MaryAnne Nickle, Dean of Iowa Valley Grinnell, and Barbara Hall, PTK chapter advisor, pose with Spring 2016 Phi Theta Kappa inductees. Shown left to right: Barbara Hall, Cassandra Dudley, Yuri Laguna, Mayra Hernandez, Harold Murray, and MaryAnne Nickle.

Cassandra Dudley, Shane Gibson, Mayra Hernandez, Yuri Laguna, and Harold Murray, were each inducted into the Beta Sigma Chi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa on March 23, at Iowa Valley Community College Grinnell.

Gunnar Bucklin, PTK Chapter President, welcomed guests and conducted the ceremony. The guest speaker was Laura Armstrong, English Professor at Iowa Valley Grinnell. Armstrong gave a brief history of community colleges in the United States, highlighting how much they have evolved and grown in our country. She then went on to read a paraphrased version of Tom Hanks’ New York Times Op-Ed piece, “I Owe it All to Community College”.

The piece talks about the actor’s time at Chabot Community College (Hayward, CA) and how those experiences have defined him as an actor and as a person. Armstrong found a common theme in Hanks’ story and the story of others who have gone through the community college system. “It’s about the people,” says Armstrong. “Students, staff, faculty. It’s the people that create the environment and the experience.”

Armstrong continued, “People come from different backgrounds and ultimately have different goals, but one thing is always the same—they are here to learn. These students are the best and brightest of our institution and represent what we admire and strive to be. You are the reasons that we have chosen to teach; you are the reminders of why teaching matters…its influence and importance. And when we, as faculty and staff, encounter students like Yuri, Mayra, Shane, Harold, and Casey, we thank them immensely.”


Cassandra Dudley

Mayra Hernandez

Mayra Hernandez

MaryAnne Nickle, Dean of Iowa Valley Grinnell, administered the oath of membership. Current Beta Sigma Chi members Skyler Small, Katherine Neeson, Jodi Blackford, and Terry Burnell welcomed the new inductees.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,275 chapters on college campuses. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918. Phi Theta Kappa is recognized by the American Association of Community Colleges as the official honor society of two-year colleges.

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