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Press Release



May 6, 2013

Cowley students attend PTK convention in California


PTKThis year’s annual Phi Theta Kappa Convention in San Jose, California, was attended by Cowley College PTK vice president of correspondence, Jaci Hall and PTK vice president of leadership, Maria Hernandez, as well as fellow member Arleta Colvin; Deborah and Scott Layton, Ark City advisors; and Chad Killblane, Mulvane sponsor. All were proud to represent Alpha Gamma Upsilon, which maintained the five-star status, the highest level of achievement, for several consecutive years in a row.

Students and sponsors were able to attend meetings on chapter management, service projects, engagement and success, along with award ceremonies and a farewell dance. They were also able to “see the sights”: They took a tour of the Winchester House in San Jose, visited the Beach and Boardwalk of Santa Cruz, traveled to San Francisco to view the Golden Gate Bridge and the famous Pier 39 with its sea lions basking in the sun, and walked through parts of the Red Wood Forest and Muir Woods National Monument. 

Two incredibly inspirational sessions on leadership and success were held which featured famous keynote speakers.

Geoff Colvin, award-winning author of Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else and editor and columnist for Fortune magazine, discussed what it takes to be truly great. His notion is that many are misled regarding talent. Often people think that talent comes from hard work or an inborn ability, but Colvin asserts through a plethora of research that great success derives from deliberate practice, which is designed specifically to improve performance, can be repeated a lot and must include continual feedback.

The highlight of the convention was the presentation of world-renowned tennis player and social justice pioneer, Billie Jean King. King presented ideas from her book Pressure is a Privilege and her thoughts on being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and being named one of Life magazine’s “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century.” She says that diversity is strength, and her rules for success are “never stop learning,” “be a problem solver” and “relationships are everything.” She proposes that individuals have to “see it to be it” but that failure is sometimes part of the process, so people have to look at failure as feedback and learn from mistakes.

For King, in college we enter to learn and go forth to serve. She was excited to be a part of the convention and advised that students understand every second is a new opportunity:

“The choices you make and the opportunities you take define you.” King said.

She concluded her session by serving autographed tennis balls out into the packed convention center.

Next year’s convention moves across the country to Florida, and chapter members are excited about what the new year may bring.