Honor society wins at regionals


Image Courtesy of Omega Sigma

Omega Sigma Chapter advisors and student officers poise with awards won at the Texas Regional Convention. From left to right: Advisor for Northwest and Coleman Colleges Nicolas Rangel; Advisor for Central and Southeast Colleges Gisela Ables; Advisor for Southwest and Northeast Colleges Nichole Boutte-Heiniluoma; Vice President of Service Nhu Le; Public Relations Officer Rebecca De La Cruz; VP of Administrative Service Tazeen Fatima; VP of Leadership Furqan Khan; President Josue Rodriguez; VP of Scholarship Jamie Manaay; not present VP of Membership Thao Nguyen.

Alyssa Foley, News Editor

Houston Community College’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society chapter won multiple regional distinctions.

Competing against nearly 50 other chapters, HCC’s Omega Sigma Chapter took home an Honors in Action Award of Distinction, a College Project Award of Merit and the Texas Top Chapter award. The Phi Theta Kappa Texas Region convention was held March 9-12 in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society for two-year college students. The organization boasts $90 million in scholarships for its members. Students with at least a 3.5 GPA and 12 or more hours of college-level credit are invited to join every spring and fall. Eligible students were sent invitations earlier in this semester, and the spring induction ceremony will be held Thursday April 13 at 6:30pm at the West Loop Campus Auditorium.

Honors in Action:

The Honors in Action project is an academic research project paired with action and is centered around one of eight global perspective themes.

Omega Sigma Chapter President Josue Rodriguez explained the long path the officers took before deciding on their research topic. It started with their concern about how the City of Houston bans feeding the homeless without prior permission from the city or a private property owner. That led to them to start researching food waste, and ultimately they focused their research on how people’s beliefs shape their food consumption habits.

“You do research for your classes, but I’ve never really done so much in-depth research as we did for our HIA,” said Rodriguez. The Kappians also had to conduct a lot of community outreach to and networking to make their project a success.

For the ‘action’ part of their Honors in Action project, the chapter hosted an event with a nutritionist and a local chief and to raise awareness about food waste. Omega Sigma’s Honors in Action project won most distinguished in the category ‘myth and reality’.

College Project:

Phi Theta Kappa chapters conduct a community service project every year at their home college to help further their college’s mission.

Omega Sigma developed a peer-to-peer mentoring program for at-risk students called Students 4 Students. Working with the Vice Chancellor of Student Services Athos Brewer, the project was able to receive $10 thousand in funding from the HCC administration, part of which will be used to fund stipends for student mentors.

“We really learned leadership skills,” said Rodriguez about the College Project. “It definitely pushed us outside our comfort zones…We had to work with the college administration to coordinate.” The Kappians also created all the material for the project and developed the presentations.

HCC’s College Project won an Award of Merit at Texas Regionals.

Top Chapter:

There are 47 Phi Theta Kappa chapters at Texas two-year colleges, and HCC’s Omega Sigma Chapter ranks at the top. Both the research and community service projects are judged by a rubric established by the international organization. HCC’s chapter had one of the highest scores adding both projects together and Omega Sigma received a top chapter award at the Texas regional level.

Last year, HCC’s chapter ranked as the seventh most distinguished chapter in the world out of 1,285 chapters, taking home four Hallmark Awards from the international Nerd Nation convention. At the regional level last year, Omega Sigma won Awards of Merit for both their research and service projects, as well as Chapter of Merit. Two Omega Sigma members were also named to the Texas Region Hall of Honor, while one was given an Honorable Mention.

Upcoming Events:

Omega Sigma’s next general meeting is on Friday March 24 at 6:30pm at the West Loop campus room C108. Phi Theta Kappa orientations are being hosted at various campuses; March 21 from 2-3pm at Northline campus room 206; March 23 from 2-3pm at West Loop campus Room C106; March 31 from 10-11am at the Alief-Hays Campus room C101; March 31 from 1-2pm at the Central Campus San Jac building room R159; April 4 from 6:30-8pm at Coleman campus room 363; and April 5 from 4-5pm at the Southeast Campus workforce room 101. The new member induction ceremony will be held on Thursday April 13 at 6:30pm at the West Loop Campus Auditorium.

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Editor’s Note:
The author of this article is a Phi Theta Kappa member and was inducted into Texas Region Member Hall of Honor last year.