Our 2014 Honors in Action Project is Coming Together...

With Honors in Action project in full swing, I am so happy to see everyone in our chapter working hard! The four groups, History, Pros, Cons, Future, seem to be getting along well from what I observed. From my own place in the History group, it couldn't be truer. Everyone seems to be eager to do their work and in helping out with the project as a whole.

This project is more than just fun banter, though it’s been great getting to know everyone. The research we are doing is bringing to light the fact that there is so much happening and that has happened in the world of technology and surveillance. I have gotten to witness the shock and the curiosity on the faces of the other members of the History group as they learn of about how technology has been used for and against humanity. Here we are, coming together as groups, friends, and colleagues, while also learning…it is such an amazing situation!

Many people in my group have already come forward to offer ideas while also throwing in ideas, thoughts, and words of encouragement as we research even more information. I can only hope and imagine it is the same for the other groups!


Our Honors in Action Topic for this year is Frontiers and the Spirit of Exploration and the theme we chose as a group was Exploring Political Economy
According to our guide:
“Political economy explores the ways in which
government affects the allocation of scarce resources
in society through laws and policies, as well as the ways
in which economic interests affect the form of
government a nation has. Political economy also involves
the use of game theory, since groups competing for finite
resources and power must determine which courses of action
will give the most beneficial results and what the probability
of those results being reached are…”
“Understanding political economy better prepares us to recognize new
frontiers and to determine how to explore them in meaningful ways.”
- Frontiers and the Spirit of Exploration: Honors Program Guide

The Honors in Action Project is used to help Phi Theta Kappa Members excel beyond the classroom by engaging us in a challenge of research and discussion that will increase our knowledge of the world, and our knowledge of each other. The project allows members to become leaders by becoming advocates and taking action on global issues through service.

For general information on Honors in Action click here.

For more information on our Honors in Action Topic and Theme click here.

Upcoming Honors In Action Project Presentation by New York Region Vice President

On Wednesday February 13 New York Region Vise President of Division I, Vitor Granja, will come to our general meeting to discuss the Honors in Action project with the chapter and introduce the study topic, The Culture of Competition. Vitor has prepared a workshop to give us some of his insight on what the project entails, why it is important, and how to decide on a topic.

If you will attend our next meeting, feel free to have question prepared for him in order to broaden our knowledge.

Click on the picture to download the Honors in Action Program Guide for our current study topic

Also check out this video on the 2012/ 2013 Study Topic, The Culture of Competition

PTK Photo Contest

Phi Theta Kappa is holding a photo contest. Chapters were invited to submit a photo with a short caption of the best reason to join Phi Theta Kappa.

Alpha Kappa Board Members Amanda Chan, Sofi Papadopoulou, Officer Romina Moyano, and Active Member Carlo Fervil entered Alpha Kappa in the photo contest. Most of the credit goes to Carlo, as he was the most enthused and put in most of the work. Thanks Carlo!


Our entry is up on the PTK best reason to join photo contest Facebook page. Please got to the page (here) and vote for our chapter!

Here is our entry:

Title: Alpha Kappa – Commit to Complete

Photo Description: Alpha Kappa members expressing joy and pride of the amount of signature shown on their Commit to Complete poster.

Our best reason to join Phi Theta Kappa is that the organization has many opportunities to transform its student members into worldly scholars and community activists. It has continued to help us grow as individuals and has helped us become true leaders. The lessons we have learned as well as the support we have gained from the conventions, the scholarships, and performing the honor-in-action projects, have transcend us to a level where only true leaders can reach. Along this path to leadership, we have formed life-lasting friendships with other members who share the same passion to succeed. We have inspired each other to work harder and to become better than we could have ever imagined. Phi Theta Kappa has opened the door to a better future – to a better us.

Upcoming Workshop Announcement

Phi Theta Kappa New York Regional Officer Yosep Lee will be presenting a Scholarship and Transferring Workshop on Wednesday, November 28th in Room N771 (where we usually hold our meetings). The workshop will take place between 2:45-4:00pm.

This will be a great opportunity for us all to get useful scholarship tips and good transfer advice from one of our own Regional Officers.

What the workshop will be about: 

  • How to use Collegefish.com and other scholarship websites.
  • How to negotiate with colleges you are interested in attending.
  • What you can do to make you stand out and how you can be competitive among other high GPA students in the nation in order get in to your dream university or receive better scholarships. 
  • and much more! 

Bring a your notepad, laptop, or even a recording device to take notes. This workshop will be filled with useful information!

Note to international students

International students who struggle in looking for scholarships – this can be a particularly beneficial workshop for you, as Yosep is an international student himself and has a lot of insight to offer. 

Thanks to our Board Member Amanda Chan for setting up this workshop.

Hope to see you all there!

Leading By Example

*This story is a re-post of a write up we got on the BMCC website.

BMCC is such a popular college that even non-students want to come here—well, at least for a weekend.

For the second consecutive year, BMCC hosted the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) New York Region Leadership Conference. PTK students and regional members from all over New York State attended. 

Participants met with guest speakers and engaged in workshops designed to teach and refine leadership skills.

Phi Theta Kappa is the official honor society for two-year colleges, as recognized by the American Association of Community Colleges. BMCC's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa is called Alpha Kappa.
The conference was sponsored by St. Bonaventure University, which provided PTK students with tote bags, brochures, and pens, encouraging them to consider transferring to St. Bonaventure after graduating from their respective 2-year colleges.

“The best”

Dr. Sadie Bragg, BMCC’s Vice President of Academic Affairs, spoke at the Leadership Panel. She was introduced to the students and guests by Alex d’Erizans, Senior Faculty Advisor for Phi Theta Kappa at BMCC. 

d’Erizans oversees the organization with assistance from advisors Acte Maldonado, John T. Means, and Zhanna Yablokova.

“I’m also here on behalf of BMCC’s President Antonio Pérez—we fully support PTK because you make things happen,” said Bragg. “All of you are leaders; we are delighted to have you here at our college. You are among the best.”

After officers from the New York Regional Team spoke about the perks of Phi Theta Kappa memberships, the first panel of the weekend got underway.

Leaders are “self-aware”

The opening panelists were Louis Oberndorf, Phi Theta Kappa Foundation member; Luke M. Davis, Associate Director, Regional and Chapter Development – Div. 1, Phi Theta Kappa; Dr. Alex d’Erizans, PTK Senior Advisor and Assistant Professor of History, and Victoria Dombroski (’12), Alumni Coordinator for PTK.

“My friend Antonio Pérez taught me about the importance of community colleges,” said Oberndorf, founder of METI, a world leader in medical technology used for educational purposes.
Oberndorf shared his advice about leadership and control.

“I think the real question is, how do you deal with failure? Because you’re going to have failure—none of us are perfect,” he said. “Knowing how to deal with failure is another step in becoming a leader. You don’t set out to be a leader, you become one.”

Oberndorf  also reminded students that every leader needs to be self-aware.
“And remember—arrogance is a pitfall of being a leader,” he said.

“Be humble”

Panelist Luke M. Davis, Associate Director, Regional and Chapter Development, Div. 1, Phi Theta Kappa, advised students to listen—carefully—when others speak, especially in a group forum.
“It takes a strong leader to listen; we don’t engage as much with others if we say, ‘Everything’s OK,’ or ‘I’m fine.’ Focus on others; people need to know others care about them. We all have to help each other succeed.”

D’Erizans agreed.

“One loses sight of the little things. Say ‘thank you, how are you?’ Building relationships is part of being a leader,” he said, adding, “a leader makes things happen in a profound and visable way. Learn about others—their strengths and weaknesses—and acknowledge your own strengths and weaknesses, which can be humbling.”

According to d’Erizans, being a leader also means, “having a vision and the confidence to make ahead with an action plan. But also realize you just can’t do it all.”

BMCC graduate Victoria Dombroski is a former PTK board member.

“I liked the public speaking tips I picked up from PTK,” she said. "Today, I’m much better at interviews and taking charge of tasks while remaining poised.”

More than grades

The panel moderator was Liberal Arts major Michael Guttentag, a PTK board member.

“Joining PTK was one of the best decisions I ever made—honestly,” said Guttentag. “PTK taught me how to multi-task. For me, time management is crucial, especially since I want to attend law school, where multi-tasking is key."

Part of the whole BMCC experience is "enhancing your social skills," added Guttentag.

“College isn’t just about grades, it’s also about meeting diverse people, and understanding how much the whole college experience matures you,” he said. "Being an active PTK member has taught me the importance of networking and how to bring leadership skills into the job market."

Business Administration major Romina Moyano agrees.

“Being active with PTK is great way to meet standout students while putting yourself in a better, stronger mindset to complete your academic goals,” she said. “I came back to school later in life, so I wanted to take advantage of everything PTK offered. I joined to better myself, to push myself, and I thought today’s panel was inspiring.”