After winning “Most Distinguished Chapter in Alabama” during the state-wide Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Convention, Jefferson State’s award-winning chapter traveled to Nashville to compete in the International Convention April 5 – 8 and placed 7th out of more than 1200 chapters.
In addition to placing seventh overall, the Beta Lambda Delta chapter at the Shelby-Hoover Campus received the following awards:
- Honors in Action Project Award
- College Project Award
- Beta Alpha Continued Excellence Award – Only ten out of nearly 1300 chapters won this one. It means that the chapter is a top chapter for three years in a row!
- Dr. Liesl Harris, the advisor to the chapter, was awarded the Marshall Award, named after Dr. Jo Marshall. Harris received a $5,000 grant to travel to Israel next year for intensive study.
“Chapter members and officers spent most of the year working on Digscovery, an interactive archeology project that took place with the help of elementary school children from Cornerstone and Hilltop Schools,” said Jefferson State Phi Theta Kappa Advisor Dr. Liesl Harris. “After visiting the Birmingham Museum of Art together, each school dreamed up a culture, complete with rules and values, and then made artifacts representing their cultures.”
Phi Theta Kappa students then buried the artifacts and created an archaeological grid at each dig site. The Cornerstone and Hilltop students excavated the other school’s artifacts and interpreted the culture they “Digscovered.” Findings were presented at grand finale celebration at Jefferson State in November and artifacts were displayed museum style for students and parents to view.
In addition to learning about myths and cultures, the students at Cornerstone and Hilltop learned invaluable lessons about teamwork, and they made great friends with each other in the process. In fact, curious third-grade students at Cornerstone have already declared that they cannot wait to create their own Digscovery when they are in the fifth grade!
Phi Theta Kappa students benefited from Digscovery as well. They grew as scholars and leaders, and they learned important lessons about giving back to their community.
“Digscovery was the most amazing and unforgettable project I have ever done,” said Hoang Phan, an international student from Vietnam. “It has helped enhance my leadership and teamwork skills, and the children’s creations are treasures!”
“With Digscovery, our college students learned and practiced important skills like research, project management and public speaking,” said Jefferson State Advisor Libby Holmes. “But I believe the real lifetime lessons they learned were about serving their community and the joy of mentoring energetic young spirits.”
During the Alabama competition, the chapter won the state’s “Most Distinguished Chapter.” The chapter also received numerous other awards including:
- Outstanding Officer Team
- Outstanding College Project
- Outstanding Honors in Action Theme Award
- Outstanding Honors in Action Award
- Outstanding Officer (Lisabeth Barton)
- Outstanding Advisor Team (Liesl Harris and Libby Holmes)
Phi Theta Kappa, the official honor society of two-year schools, is the largest and most active honor society in the world. Jefferson State Community College sponsors two Phi Theta Kappa chapters and invites students for membership from its Shelby-Hoover Campus, Jefferson Campus, St. Clair-Pell City Campus and Chilton-Clanton Campus.
For more information, contact chapter advisor Liesl Harris at [email protected].