CCM Honor Society Chapter Golden Again

Phi Theta Kappa Recognizes College at Middle States Convention – Posted 3/30/15

Alpha Kappa Kappa (AKK), the County College of Morris (CCM) chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) national honor society, has once again been recognized at the Middle States Regional Convention.

AKK for the second consecutive year was honored with the Middle Sates Gold Award at the convention, held this year in CCM’s home county at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel. The chapter was also honored again with a certificate for five-star chapter development achievement. In addition, AKK received Honors in Action recognition.

”Our chapter was honored to both represent CCM at the Middle States Regional Convention and to again receive Gold Award distinction,” said Angelique Onorati, of Mendham, AKK’s president. “Believing in Phi Theta Kappa’s mission was just the beginning; it was the careful project execution, teamwork and hard work that led us to our success.”

The Gold Award took into account a number of criteria, including AKK’s successful completion of its Honors in Action project, a Cultural Diversity Month event held in November. Also taken into consideration was the chapter’s college project, titled “Let’s Be Honest,” which AKK co-presented with the CCM Department of Counseling and Student Success, and Project Success. “Let’s Be Honest” is a holistic type of peer mentoring designed to help students feel empowered to discover their intrinsic motivation and academic skills to succeed while infusing the hallmarks of PTK.

“I continue to be proud of our chapter’s leadership,” said Dr. Bette Simmons, vice president of Student Development and Enrollment Management at CCM. “These latest awards are an outgrowth of their dedication and the hard work they put into everything they do at the college.”

The five-star chapter development achievement was awarded based on AKK’s successful completion of its Competitive Edge Profile. Competitive Edge is a professional development plan that includes instructional leadership education, activities to strengthen teamwork within a chapter, an online portfolio and a professional resume.

The achievement was also based on the chapter’s work with the New Jersey Community College Completion Challenge (NJC4). NJC4 is the state component of a national education initiative to increase the number of community college students completing their associate degrees and certificates so they can successfully transfer to four-year colleges and universities to earn their bachelor’s degrees and enter careers that provide family-sustaining wages. Statistics show that while 65 percent of students who drop out plan to return, only about 38 percent come back.

These are just the latest accolades for the chapter. Last academic year, AKK was recognized with the PTK Distinguished Chapter Award, handed out to only 50 chapters internationally. The chapter also received the Distinguished Honors in Action Project Award and was named one of the top 100 PTK chapters internationally.

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Photo: Officers of the County College of Morris chapter of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, Alpha Kappa Kappa. Top, from left to right, Mariyam Chaudhry, secretary, of Budd Lake; Julia O’Shea, public relations, of Oak Ridge; Liezel Engelbrecht, vice president of scholarship, of Morristown; Angelique Onorati, president, of Mendham; and Renata Mauriz, vice president of leadership, Succasunna. Bottom, from left to right, Walter Yurcik, vice president of service, of Wharton; and Paul Caravaglia, vice president of fellowship, of Morristown./