As if landing spots on the President’s List for their 4.0 grade point averages wasn’t enough, two Rend Lake College Student Ambassadors have gone above and beyond to be selected as the college’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-USA nominees.
Drake Carter of Enfield and Wade Hutchens of Ewing will represent RLC’s Rho Xi chapter at the Illinois PTK banquet on April 4 in Springfield where, among all nominees from across the state, finalists will receive a scholarship and spot on the All-USA Community College Academic Team.
Carter, a sophomore chemistry major, said he’s honored to be one of RLC’s two All-USA students – something he didn’t see coming. He credited his involvement with the college’s Student Ambassadors organization and volunteer efforts through the program for his nomination.
“I’m really excited. I didn’t know I was nominated at all,” said Carter. “This last year, we’ve been really involved in Warrior Days, helping with tours, and we had some blood drives. We’ve also helped at Fun Fest for the last two years.”
Hutchens echoed Carter’s thoughts about Student Ambassadors, a program that encourages students to serve as tour guides and recruitment role models to other current and future students.
“My work as a Student Ambassador really fulfilled those volunteer requirements. I like being with new students at Rend Lake and helping them find their way around the college,” said Hutchens.
Also a sophomore, Hutchens is an agriculture business major working to complete three degrees at RLC. He spends his spare time working at his church, Ina Freewill Baptist, and helping with Vacation Bible School.
Hutchens said the scholarship will definitely be useful as he transfers to Illinois State University to work on two bachelor’s degrees in animal science and agriculture business, not to mention his future plans to complete a master’s degree as well. Carter agreed, stating the scholarship will be helpful as he prepares to attend medical school.
Every year, two outstanding PTK students from RLC are selected for the nomination, based on a number of factors, which can include participation in PTK and other on-campus activities, grade point average, volunteerism, leadership qualities, and much more. They will receive a medallion at the banquet in recognition for serving as an outstanding two-year college student.
Jena Jensik, Director of Academic Advisement and PTK Advisor, said both Carter and Hutchens exemplify what it means to be a PTK representative and Student Ambassador at RLC.
“It is with great pleasure that Rend Lake College nominates Mr. Drake Carter and Mr. Wade Hutchens as PTK All-USA candidates,” said Jensik. “I have worked with both gentlemen as their Academic Advisor and through their involvement as Student Ambassadors. Both are very intelligent, driven, hard-working individuals and I look forward to learning about their future accomplishments.”
PTK Honor Society serves to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and provide opportunities for individual growth and development through honors, leadership and service programming, according to its website. It is estimated that 150,000 students participate in PTK programs each year.
To learn more about Phi Theta Kappa, contact Jensik at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1293 or [email protected].