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Phi Theta Kappa Members Recognized Regionally and Nationally; MTC Administrators Receive Accolades

Apr 09, 2024

PTK member group photo on staircase

Phi Theta Kappa members celebrate their accomplishments and award during the regional convention hosted in Lexington, N.C.


Students in Midlands Technical College’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society took home more than a dozen awards at the 2024 Carolinas Regional Convention. Hosted in Lexington, North Carolina, the annual event honors students within Phi Theta Kappa throughout the Carolinas.  

Awards earned for MTC’s Alpha Eta Kappa Chapter of PTK included the Five-Star Chapter Award, the Carolinas Region Service Project Award with a project focused on "Invisible Conditions," the Honors in Action Project Award for Theme Seven “Play It Forward: The Transformative Power of Play", and the Carolinas Region SuperStars Award. Additionally, there were several individual awards, including the Competitive Edge Award, Employment Edge Award, Healthcare Edge Award, Research Edge Award, and Transfer Edge Award. The recipients of these awards included Cederick Gibbs, Kenia Rodriguez Lexiur, Kimberly Humes, Megan Schaub, Kaley Barklage, Sylvia Hayes, Emilee Listemann, and Ciara Wallace.

Special recognition was given to Megan Schaub, who received the Carolinas Region Hall of Honor Award and Distinguished Chapter Member. Sylvia Hayes with the Five Star Advisor Award and Advisor of the Year. Melissa Wyndham with the Paragon Award for New Advisors. Other notable awards include the Distinguished College Administrator Award presented to Mary Holloway and the Micheal Bennett Lifetime Achievement Award received by Ronald Rhames.

Additionally, there were awards given for the College Project Poster Award, Honors in Action Project Poster Award, Distinguished Chapter Award, and Yearbook Award, with the chapter receiving honorable mentions.

“I’m so incredibly proud of our students and thankful for all the opportunities PTK has afforded them,” said MTC Chapter Advisor Sylvia Hayes. “Through PTK, they are serving, leading, and building strong academic and professional foundations they will carry for the rest of their lives.”

National Awards

Not only did our students win a lot at the regional convention, but five students were selected as national scholars.

Three students were selected as Coca-Cola Academic Team Scholars. These scholars were selected based on the scores they earned in the All-USA Academic Team competition, where there were more than 2,200 applications. This year, 50 Gold, 50 Silver, and 50 Bronze Scholars were recognized nationally. Listed below are students of MTC that received scholarships: 

  • Emilee Listemann – Gold Scholar

  • Ciara Wallace – Bronze Scholar

  • Kezia Gibson – Bronze Scholar

Coca-Cola Academic Gold Scholars received a $1,500 scholarship, whereas Bronze Scholars received a $1,000 scholarship. 

“The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges,” said Jane Hale Hopkins, president of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa to make it possible for more deserving students to achieve their educational goals and support tomorrow’s global community leaders.”

The Christopher A. Calhoun Transfer Scholarship is presented to a Phi Theta Kappa member with a high-ranking score in the All-USA Academic Team Competition. This year, Emilee Listemann is the recipient, in addition to her Coca-Cola Academic Team Scholars achievement. She will receive an additional $1,000 scholarship.

Over 2,200 applications were received for the New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar, which was evaluated on academic achievement, leadership service, and significant endeavors. James Liles was selected as one of the scholars, receiving a $1,500 scholarship while also receiving the highest score in the state.

Cederick Gibbs competed in the Scholar Bowl, co-sponsored by Dr. Willis Lott and David and Gail Elder, where eight five-person teams compete against each other in a bracket-style quiz tournament. Cederick was on the championship-winning team, named the D1-Honor Rollers, who will receive a $250 scholarship prize.

Administration Awards

MTC Vice President of Student Development Services Dr. Mary Holloway received Phi Theta Kappa’s Distinguished College Administrator Award. The award recognizes college leaders for their outstanding support of student success.

“Working with our Phi Theta Kappa chapter is one of my favorite parts of my job,” said Dr. Holloway. “The students are academically gifted and are going to accomplish amazing goals in their personal and professional pursuits.” 

MTC President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames was presented with Phi Theta Kappa’s Michael Bennett Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is presented to retiring college presidents, campus chief executive officers, and state community college directors. Dr. Rhames was nominated for the award by MTC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter for his many years of service to the college and his unwavering dedication to student success and mentorship of student leaders. 

“I cannot thank our students in Phi Theta Kappa enough for nominating me for this award,” said Dr. Rhames. “Under the leadership of Sylvia Hayes, MTC’s Alpha Eta Kappa chapter of Phi Theta Kappa has been able to flourish and continue to show the organization all of the good work our students are doing here in the Midlands.” Dr. Rhames went on to add, “I would also like to congratulate the other eight community college presidents on their recognition of the award and the contributions they have made to student success within Phi Theta Kappa.”

Dr. Holloway and Dr. Rhames were presented their awards at Phi Theta Kappa’s national convention in Orlando, Florida, hosted on April 4-6th, 2024.