December 13, 2019

Jackson, Mississippi — Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK) has selected 30 of its chapter advisors and alumni to serve as Faculty Scholars and lead discussion groups during the organization’s 2020 summer conference.

Faculty Scholars are key figures at Honors Institute, PTK’s annual weeklong honors conference, as they lead small groups of the attendees in discussions about presentations by keynote speakers. Each speaker is an expert on an idea related to PTK’s Honors Study Topic, the focus of the organization’s honors program.

“Honors Institute sets the stage for many of our chapters to begin their honors projects, which is where some of the deepest benefits of PTK membership come into play,” said Dr. Blake Ellis, PTK’s Vice President of Student Engagement. “The guidance Faculty Scholars give can be the first step in igniting a student’s passion, getting them involved, and setting them on a course to gain leadership experience and develop soft skills.”

Phi Theta Kappa’s honors program guides chapters in a research-based, action-oriented project on their campuses and in their communities. The timely, interdisciplinary topic is developed biannually by a group of volunteer chapter advisors known as the Honors Program Council.

Eight Honors Program Council members also serve as Faculty Scholars. PTK chapter advisors, most of whom are college faculty and staff members, and PTK alumni, or former members, were eligible to apply for the 22 remaining spots.

“The training that Faculty Scholars receive is a professional development experience like no other,” said Susan Edwards, PTK’s Associate Vice President of Honors Programming and Undergraduate Research. “Faculty Scholars come away with new skills and a completely new way to engage with and learn from a diverse group of individuals.”

The 2020 Faculty Scholars are (*indicates Honors Program Council):

  • Steve Fritts, Ozarks Technical Community College, Missouri*
  • Jennifer Grindstaff, John Wood Community College, Illinois
  • Dr. Patty Hall, Cañada College, California*
  • Kendra Haney, Porterville College, California
  • Anna Lauren Heavener, Alumna, Mississippi
  • Mathew Herrman, University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton, Arkansas
  • Alicia Hodge, Brazosport College, Texas
  • Dr. Mary James, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Florida
  • Dr. Kari Kahler, Northwestern Michigan Community College, Michigan
  • Rahul Kane, Century College, Minnesota*
  • Dr. Kelly Kennedy-Everett, Miami Dade College, Hialeah Campus, Florida
  • Dr. Kismet Loftin Bell, Forsyth Tech Community College, North Carolina
  • Dr. Robin Lowe, Itawamba Community College, Mississippi
  • Myriam Moody, Southwestern College, California
  • Dr. Inhye Peterson, Rio Salado College, Arizona
  • Martha Petry, Jackson College, Michigan
  • Jackie Pierce, Lake-Sumter State College, Florida
  • Cassandra Powell, Richard J. Daley College, Illinois*
  • Lara Roemer, Carl Sandburg College, Illinois*
  • Dr. Ryan Ruckel, Pearl River Community College, Mississippi
  • Dr. Terri Ruckel, Pearl River Community College, Mississippi*
  • Dr. Mitch Stimers, Cloud County Community College, Kansas*
  • Diego Tibaquira, Miami Dade College, Padrón Campus, Florida
  • Dr. Kevin Windham, Shelton State Community College, Alabama
  • Amy Winters, Western Nebraska Community College, Nebraska
  • Denise Woolsey, Yavapai College, Arizona
  • Dr. Rosie Banks, Harold Washington College, Illinois
  • Michelle Coach, Asnuntuck Community College, Connecticut
  • Barbara Ebert, Alumna, Virginia
  • Dr. Kathleen Fowler, Surry Community College, North Carolina

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 nations, with approximately 250,000 active members in the nation’s colleges. Learn more at