MARSHALLTOWN - Fifteen new members were inducted into Marshalltown Community College's Alpha Iota Rho Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society of the two-year college on Oct. 29.
The Phi Theta Kappa organization recognizes academic achievement at the community college level. The MCC Chapter requires members to have completed at least 12 semester hours in a two-year degree program, be currently enrolled, attended the previous semester, and have a 3.5 GPA or higher.
Dr. Chris Russell, Dean of Students and Academic Affairs, welcomed guests and congratulated students for their accomplishments. MCC Provost Robin Lilienthal then took the podium and congratulated the inductees on behalf of the MCC administration. Chapter President Lindsey Yanecek introduced the night's special guest, Mia Gabrielle Ramos, Associate Director Regional and Chapter Development in Division III.
Ramos shared a personal story of her trials and tribulations growing up as a student at New York University in the late 90s. The freshman at NYU took a part-time job at Foot Locker. One evening a man came in to the store with a gun assaulted her. Ramos wasn't the same after that, dropping out of school and even going as far as attempting to take her own life. She then received a grant to attend a local community college. "I got an A in my first class I took and eventually was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society," said Ramos. Ten years later she enrolled in Columbia University and in 2008 graduated with a Bachelor's in Sociology. "Phi Theta Kappa helped me regain my self-esteem, and find my talents again."
The second guest speaker of the night was Valerie Ruiz, Student Success Specialist at MCC. She talked about perseverance and the importance of fighting through adversity in life. "Failure is just a temporary setback, from which you will rebound," said Ruiz. "Setbacks are just opportunities in disguise." Ruiz graduated from MCC in 2007 and attributed her success to hard work and helpful staff and faculty she met along the way.
Lindsey Yanecek received an award for "Outstanding Chapter President" for the MCC Chapter. She conducted the ceremony with the assistance of chapter advisors Pele Waddilove, PJ Colbert and Renaie Hutzel. Waddilove, Colbert and Hutzel met and congratulated each inductee on stage as they signed their name, received their PTK sash and lit their candle. Students who accepted membership were acknowledged at the fall induction ceremony on Oct. 29. Inductees, listed by hometown, are:
Gladbrook - Vanessa L. Smock, Accounting.