Students who participate in Alpha Lambda Xi, the LSC-Kingwood chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), International Honor Society for the Two-Year College, have a lot to be proud of.
The students recently returned from the 2009 Texas Regional Convention in Waco, Texas with several awards tucked securely in their arms. Chapters from eighty-six community colleges in Texas compete for awards by writing essays about their officers, members, and the projects they have undertaken as a chapter. The essays were focused on the Hallmarks of the Society: Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Fellowship.
The LSC-Kingwood chapter received awards for: one of the Top Texas Chapters, the Five Star Chapter Award, the Pinnacle Award, the Communication Award, and the Chapter of Service Award. Chapter president, Katelyn Monk was the only president to receive the Distinguished Chapter President Award and Cyndi Aughinbaugh won an award for Hall of Honor for Members.
All of the awards reflect the group's efforts to become a stronger and more effective vehicle for student development. The Five Star Chapter award is based on the chapter's efforts to build a strong foundation for a lasting legacy. Using the Five Star System as a guide to success, chapters work to build strong relationships with administrators, become more active on campus and in the community as well as learn important life skills, such as organization and time management. The Pinnacle Award recognizes chapters who have enhanced their recruitment and orientation strategies, as measured by the number of new members each year.
Advisor to Alpha Lambda Xi, Debbie Esparza, was inducted into the Hall of Honor for Advisors and Ashley Myres received the Tejas Award, for an alumna who routinely supports their past chapter and the Texas Region.
Currently, students are working on a project that could have a beneficial impact on child farm workers across the nation. As part of Phi Theta Kappa's 2008-2010 Honors Study Topic: The Paradox of Affluence: Choices, Challenges & Consequences, students with Alpha Lambda Xi have joined an effort entitled "Children in the Fields." This effort is working to change the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which currently allows child farm workers, some as young as 12 years old to work at younger ages, for longer hours, and under more hazardous conditions than children in non-agriculture jobs. These laws were made more than fifty years ago, when family farming was the norm, but now because of mechanization, these exemptions are no longer appropriate and should be changed to give children working in agriculture the same protection as children working in other jobs. The Honors Study Topic creates opportunities for chapters and individuals to integrate the hallmarks of the society into initiatives that contribute to academic stimulation and development.
The LSC-Kingwood chapter recruited faculty and administration from LSC-Kingwood to serve on an academic panel to explore issues related to the Honors Study Topic as they relate to "Children in the Fields." The first panel was presented in November at the District IV Conference for eighteen community colleges in southeast Texas, on the LSC-Kingwood campus. At the 2009 Texas Regional Convention, the chapter had an unprecedented opportunity to showcase its project and recruited David Strauss, Executive Director of the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP), and Frailan Sendejo, Workforce Development Manager, from Motivation Education & Training, Inc., to join the faculty panel of Professors Noel Bezette, Dean Wolfe, Mike Clark, and Franklin Emeka. The discussion, moderated by Dr. Bill Coppola, Vice President of Instruction at LSC-Kingwood, was presented to an audience of over four-hundred students and faculty from community colleges across Texas.
"The chapter encouraged participants to urge support from senators and representatives for amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act to ensure that children are protected equally," said Debbie Esparza, Alpha Lambda Xi faculty advisor.
In April, members will attend the 91st International Convention in Grapevine, Texas where they will compete with chapters from colleges across the United States, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Germany, Republic of Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the United Arab Emirates. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is scheduled to speak.
Phi Theta Kappa is the official honor society for two-year colleges and the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 2 million members and 1,200 chapters.
For additional information about Alpha Lambda Xi, contact Debbie Esparza at 281-312-1569.
Register today for May Mini-term (May 11-29), Summer Term I (June 1-July 7) and Summer Term II (July 9-Aug. 13). Students can register in one of three ways: phone, online or on campus. Classes are offered days, evenings, or weekends in traditional, Internet, video, TV and independent study formats. Current students can register by telephone at 281-519-6625. Former and current students can register online at Kingwood.LoneStar.edu/registration.
For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281-312-1600 or visit our Web site at Kingwood.LoneStar.edu.
Lone Star College System consists of five colleges, including Cy-Fair, Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris, and Tomball, six centers and the Lone Star College-University Center. With over 50,000 students, it is the largest college system in the Houston area, and third largest community college district in Texas.