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Press Release



March 9, 2015

Phi Theta Kappa students receive numerous awards at Kansas Regional Convention


PTK making a differenceThis semester the Phi Theta Kappa Kansas Regional Convention was held in Wichita at the Holiday Inn East March 6-8 with the following individuals from Cowley College in attendance: advisors, Deborah Layton, Scott Layton and Melinda Neal; and students, Amanda Krook, Kathryn McIntosh, Hunter DeWald and Kayla Crane.

The students were able to participate in the regional officer political rally, a college fair and breakout sessions including scholarship writing, PTK 101, Five Star Chapter and Member Programs, International events information, a College Project presentation and an alumni association meeting. Cowley College PTK students also contributed to the Alumni Association’s Service project: Travel Size Hygiene Project to give to the soldiers at McConnell Air Force Base.

The convention had several key note speakers on aspects of leadership and service, and the region members were able to take part in a meal packing event where they packaged meals for 5,000 in less than two hours.

The first general session contained a presentation by a professional impersonator as Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of the game of basketball, who stressed finding success in working with people. Next was keynote speaker Chris Engel-Tjaden, a former PTK regional officer who is now a crime scene investigator for the Wichita Police Department. He discussed the honors in action theme, Frontiers in Exploration, and how technology is contributing to his line of work.

Following was a speaker for the international organization Stop Hunger Now. Baylee DeLaurier shared “one in three people in developing countries are adversely affected by vitamin and mineral deficiencies.” 

The last speaker of the conference was James Robilotta, whose inspiring speech “More Action, Less Title: Empowering,” had the students thinking and laughing about life lessons and leadership. He charged the students and advisors to challenge, motivate and appreciate in order to be empowered and to empower those around us.

The students also attended a banquet, awards ceremony and dance on Saturday night.

Cowley proudly swept the Kansas region hallmark awards with 16 different honors.

A gift of paid membership  into the Alumni Association along with an organization shirt was awarded to Tori Anstine for her involvement and contributions to fellowship and service projects this year. Anstine was also recognized for being a Competitive Edge Five Star Member for her completion of the online program to develop soft skills such as interpersonal communication skills.

The Paragon Award for New Advisors was given to Deborah Layton.


PTK honoredAnd, last, but not least, Cowley College’s chapter was selected as first place winners for both the College Project on the Commit To Complete Campaign and the Honors in Action project on cell phone use in the classroom.  The Cowley College chapter was celebrated for once again reaching the Five Star Level, which is the top status of achievement at the international organization.

Three members will travel to the National Convention in San Antonio, Texas, on April 15-19.

Meanwhile, Phi Theta Kappa is sponsoring a Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction on Thursday, April 2 at 6 p.m. in the Earle N. Wright Community Room to help raise funds for leadership conferences like the ones mentioned here. Tickets for the dinner, sponsored by Great Western Dining, are available for $15 in the Humanities office.

Other Cowley Awards:

  • Honorable Mention for Distinguished Member Award: Laura Petersburg
  • Distinguished Recognition for Achievement in Art – Ceramics/Sculpture: Tori Anstine “Cross”
  • Distinguished Recognition for Achievement in Art – Drawing/Painting: Amanda Krook “The Feeling of Home”
  • Honorable Mention for Achievement in Art – Drawing/Painting: Tori Anstine “Boy Blue”
  • Distinguished Recognition for Achievement in Literature Award: Alecia Henson “What Causes Self-Immolation” a Research Paper
  • Honorable Mention for Achievement in Literature Award: Tori Anstine “Her Devotion” a story
  • Honorable Mention for the Yearbook Award
  • Honorable Mention for Great Idea Award: Alpha Gamma Upsilon focused on a different pillar of the national organization every month in the fall semester.
  • Distinguished Recognition as Outstanding Chapter Award
  • Distinguished Recognition as the Most Improved Chapter Award
  • The Life Happens Scholarship for $250 was awarded to Taylor Swarts.