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PJC students attend PTK international meeting

Published or Revised January 11, 2017


Shown standing in front of the historic gatehouse for the White House are the four PJC students who recently attended the international meeting of Phi Theta Kappa held in Washington, DC, are (from left) Lesli Johnson, Joel Mutchler, Rebecca Graham, and Erick Gaytan Fernandez. Honoree Joel Mutchler, one of 30 students nationwide named a PTK Gold Scholar, as he walked across the stage in Washington, DC, during the Hallmark Awards Gala.

A rare trip was in store for Paris Junior College Phi Theta Kappa students when they attended the PTK International Meeting, “NerdNation,” in Washington, DC, recently. Part of the event was recognition of the 30 Coca-Cola Gold scholars, including Joel Mutchler of Paris.

Also attending were Lesli Johnson, Rebecca Graham and Erick Gaytan Fernandez, accompanied by PTK Advisor and English Instructor Diann Mason.

“The students were very excited to be there and they understood this was a unique trip and their hard work got them there. They were in awe the whole time they were there, from looking at the monuments to just being in Washington, DC - none of them had ever been there before, to being in a room with 4,000 other nerds and seeing students like them, kids who care about their grades, other people and the world.

“They couldn’t stop talking about it, even when we went to dinner they could not stop talking about something at the conference. They saw a different way to live life.”

Students also heard from keynote speakers Lord John Eatwell, global economist and President of Queens’ College Cambridge, Katty Kay,lead anchor for BBC World News America, and Dr. Paul Stoltz, author of “GRIT - The New Science of What it Takes to Perservere, Flourish, Succeed.”

The meeting offered session on community college transfer trends and professional networking, a scholar bowl, state meetings, educational forums, and concluded with the Hallmark Awards Gala and a farewell dance.

PTK fundraisers done earlier in the semester made the trip possible.

“Our students appreciated the community’s support so much in making that trip happen for them,” said Mason.

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