INA, -- The international honor society Phi Theta Kappa welcomed 64 new members from Rend Lake College during a recent ceremony on the college campus in Ina.
New members to the Rho Xi chapter at RLC were greeted and congratulated by college President Charley D. Holstein, who told them to continue their commitment to excellence.
"For those being inducted today, good enough just isn't good enough," said Holstein. "They have put in the extra work and have something to show for it." He challenged them to maintain that level of hard work and continue to set high standards for themselves beyond RLC.
Students with a 3.50 GPA or higher are invited to become members of Phi Theta Kappa - a society founded in 1918 by a group of Missouri community college presidents 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. It has been recognized as the official honor society for two-year colleges since 1929. The Rho Xi Chapter was founded at RLC on April 10, 1968.
RLC Sociology Instructor Sarah Draper, last year's Rho Xi Honorary Member, talked about the importance of awareness. She told the inductees it is important for each of them to know their skills and abilities and focus on them, and advised them not to let mistakes bring them down.
"We're all human," she said. "Instead of beating ourselves up, we just need to become more aware." She said if people are not aware of the many things which make each of them unique, they will have a difficult time finding their path in life.
This year's honorary member was Dr. Jeannie Mitchell, Psychology Associate Professor at RLC. She was introduced by Rho Xi chapter member Cheleste Baney, who said Mitchell's classes are "always a student favorite." Baney said word of mouth had her impressed with Mitchell "before I even knew what she looked like."
Mitchell told the inductees that they are now part of an elite society, and that like herself, they were there because they had purpose. "Teaching is just my job. My purpose is you," she said. She also had a few words of advice for the group. She suggested that each of them surround themselves with people who support and believe in them, seek out people they would like to emulate, take the time to enjoy and reflect on their journey, and embrace their mistakes as lessons in life.
Nathan Brouwer, campus advisor to the Rho Xi chapter at RLC, closed by saluting the inductees' accomplishments and challenging them to continue. Brouwer is a History Associate Professor at RLC.
This year's inductees are:
Kendyl Ahrens (Poseyville, Ind.), Dominic Babbitt (Carterville), Cheleste Baney (Thompsonville), Samantha Bays (Christopher), Brenda Beel (Mt. Vernon), Ryan Boner (Benton), Paige Brocaille (Tamaroa), Victoria Brown (Pinckneyville), Opal Buffington (Mt. Vernon), Elijah Burk (Belle Rive), Cari Carlton (Centralia), Esmeraldo Carmona (Carbondale), Sarah Carter (Bonnie), Stacey Chobanian (Bluford), Vincent Compton (Waltonville), Elecia Crider (Woodlawn), Emily Cripps (Herrin), Jennie Daniels (Mt. Vernon), Taylor Davie (West Frankfort), Billee Davis (Dahlgren), Henry Dykstra (McLeansboro), William Edelman (Orient), Tessa England (Mt. Vernon), Levi Gage (Dahlgren), Jeannie Gibbs (Johnston City), Christine Hagene (Pinckneyville), Joshua Harp (Benton), McKenzie Haeuber (Woodlawn), Alexander Heathcoat (Benton), Anthony Heathcoat (Benton), Andrea Hernandez (Venezuela), Donovan Holle (Hoyleton), Charles Guffey Jr. (Pinckneyville), Emmalee Jones (Mt. Vernon), Lori Kenniker (Christopher), Shelby Kemp (Sesser), Travis Kovach (Benton), Kelsi Krajniak (McLeansboro), Michael Kreher (McLeansboro), Joshua Kuberski (Tamaroa), Aaron Leuty (Mt. Vernon), Lillian May (Mt. Vernon), Nicole Meeks (Mt. Vernon), Sara Miles (Benton), Stephanie Moore (Dix), Thomas Murphy (Mt. Vernon), Kylie Pickel (Mt. Vernon), Jess Pope (Mt. Vernon), Chelbie Pyszka (Waltonville), Sarah Robinson (Mt. Vernon), Kelly Schwaner (Mt. Vernon), Tiffanie Seidel (Bonnie), Tonya Stutts (Mt. Vernon), Patrick Surgeon (Marion), Shelby Taylor (Pinckneyville), Cynthia Travis (Mt. Vernon), Jenni Vosburgh (Mt. Vernon), Tammy Walters (Benton), Corinne Wildeman (Evansville, Ind.), Kelly Williams (Mt. Vernon), Alysha Wilkerson (Dahlgren), Taylor Wilkinson (Valier), Erica Wilson (O'Fallon) and Shelby Wininger (Mt. Vernon).