This is the blog of Beta Zeta Nu. We are a chapter of Phi Theta Kappa from Cañada College, in Redwood City, California. Phi Theta Kappa is the International Honor Society of two year colleges.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

First Garfiled Presentation: Science Behind Magic.

On October 26, a group of Phi Theta Kappa students and SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) helped develop a presentation for some Garfield students.This great presentation was held for Garfield Middle School and The Youth Adelante program. During the presentation Edgar De Loa, Matthew Palomar, Violeta Crow, Aldo and Rene Rivera introduced themselves and at the end of each introduction had a positive message for the children. After introductions, Edgar performed some magic tricks. His tricks including card tricks and an explanation of the science behind what he was doing. The children were very curious about this performance and participated in it. They were enjoying it so much that they did want Edgar to stop the tricks.

Our involvement in this project, allowed us to be role models for children that maybe in a bad environment or neighborhood, like gangs or drugs. We were given an opportunity to make a difference in their lives by exciting them with science and college. We may not be able to change the world, but we understand that if we can make a change in the world, that’s a plus.

Redwood Symphony Concert

The Redwood City Symphony offered a Halloween Concert. Four members of our chapter and an alumni volunteered for this event. The chapter members helped with the organization of the event and with the sale of snacks that will help the Symphony pay for the expenses of the concert.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bridge2Peace Art Supplies Donation

Thursday, October 23rd an Advisor, Loretta Farris, and Vice President of Fellowship, Ryan Calic, picked up some art supplies. The chapter will donate the art supplies for the Bridge2Peace project. The art supplies are scheduled to be received by Irvine Community College Advisor, Kurt Meyer. Bridge2Peace will send all supplies to a school in Lunugamvehera, Sri Lanka. This project meets both Chapters United and Make A Difference Day Regional Projects criteria.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Garfield Update

After the chapter decided to go ahead and say no our VPs of Service notified Claudia. She sent the VPs an e-mail replying that she had already told the children. The children were already excited about the presentations. Since she didn’t want to disappoint the children she said that she would be willing to work with us on the amount of presentations, topics, as well as, time. Soon after Rene,our Co-VP received the email he reported back to the chapter’s presidents and advisors. It was then decided to present a total amount of four presentations with our choice of topics. The chapter would also present a presentation to the kids about once every two months. The first presentation will be Science behind magic. The second presentation will teach Garfield how to Live Green and the last two presentations are still to be planned.

Regional List Serve Ettiquette

In order to remind people of the reason for the PTK List Serve, our Vice President of Fellowship, Ryan Calic, sent an e-mail to end the much too long argument a few people were having through the whole list serve. Ryan kindly reminded people, "It has always been my understanding the list serv was designed purely for sharing information about chapter, regional projects, and or networking purposes. In the past we had some 'spam' and partison positions taken that led the region to create a myspace as well as a yahoo group where more lively discussions of that nature could take place." Ryan was able to respectfully express his opinions of his anger of the people's unnecessary list serve e-mails. "While, I may regard the list serve as strictly business, it is not my place to impose that as a value judgment on anyone. I leave that up to the regional authorities to assess what conforms or not to list serve nettiquette." In order to be even more helpful Ryan suggested some advice and reading materials for the people involved. "Anyone interested in being more objective at recognizing when they are unintentionally placing value judgments or being reactionary to other values, might consider reading 'Existentialism & Human Emotion' by Jean Paul Satre. It was recommended to me by a regional alumni, which I found very helpful in these kind of situations." The chapter was glad to see how one of their members step up in to stop things and do so in a very polite and respectful way.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Breast Cancer Walk

Beta Zeta Nu did an exceptional job this year of fund raising for the American Cancer Societyʼs annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. A team member web page was formed on the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer website so that other members of our chapter could join and solicit donations to friends and family. Our team began raising money at the end of August and continued to solicit donations past the event date, October 18, 2008. Overall we had 14 members join our online team who altogether raised a total of $1,465, almost $500 above our anticipated goal of $1000! On Saturday October 18, we had five Beta Zeta Nu members and four friends and family members volunteer to walk five miles through Golden Gate Park for the actual breast cancer walk. Kudos to everyone who spent the time fund raising for this event and those who volunteered to walk with us on this chilly Saturday morning!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Redwood City's Project Read Trivia Bee

The Project Read Trivia Bee has been going on for nineteen years and is a trivia contest that involves around thirty teams of three. The Bee consists of three separate rounds, first round with all the team, second with the best ten and the last round with the final two teams. Trivia Bee is a fundraiser for Project Read, which is a literacy program that helps to teach people to read. Project Read is setting a goal to have 100% literacy by the year 2020. In order to help the cause, the Chapter formed a team of three people. The team was composed of two members and an Advisor: VP of Fellowship Ryan Calic, VP of Fundraising Jonathan Werden, and Advisor Anthony Swanson. The team sadly did not made it past round one but put up a good fight by receiving 21 points.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Nevada/California Regional Leadership Conference 2008

Beta Zeta Nu chapter left on Friday, October 11th with Ryan, Kayla, Yvette, Jeremy, and an Advisor, Paul Roscelli for Las Vegas. They were going to attend the regional leadership conference. Regional staff members such as Christopher Hagermann, Crist Antolin, Shane Mason, Helen Hagler, & Elizabeth Lewandowski were all in attendance. The new Regional Coordinator, Charlie Klein and his predecessor, Judy Ryan, who recently announced retirement. During the conference chapters went up to a podium to announce their respective projects to their fellow regional chapters. It was during this time that Ryan was able to talk about our work with Kiva. The conference was a lot of fun for everyone. For Jeremy, Kayla, & Ryan it was both new and old in terms of the novelty of the conference and type events going on. For Yvette, it was an entirely new experience since she’d never been to a PTK conference before. Everyone was really relaxed the whole time. The members that attend to utilize their knowledge and experiences gained at the Regional Leadership Conference in order to better arm themselves with knowledge. This will hopefully fulfill our chapter's roles as Phi Theta Kappa’s aspiring leaders of tomorrow.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Kiva Update

Bifotima Kimsanova, the entrepreneur the chapter funded started paying back on October 2008. From the $375 dollars lent, she has returned $62.62 (16.70% of the total loan) She will keep repaying in the course of the next 4 months.

As requested by the chapter, we entered a comment on the KIVA website requesting information and pictures of any improvement on Bifotima's business.
To see the comment go to


We are also proud to announce that we have funded two new entrepreneurs:

One is Karomat Umarkulova from Tajikistan. We lent her $75 dollars that will be repaid in three months

The second is Bahodir Toshmatov from Tajikistan. We lent him $225 dollars that will be repaid in 4 months

Once the money has been repaid the chapter will have to evaluate results and take a decision in terms of re-using the money to keep funding entrepreneurs or use the resources for something else.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Voter Registration Drive

This event occurred on October 2 and 3, 2008. The drive was done in hopes of registering voters for this very important upcoming election. We had a table outside with the appropriate paperwork to register people and give them a little more information on the propositions and party affiliations. We received all the voter registration forms from the library. In order to get as many people registered as possible we hung flyers around campus and letters in the teachers' boxes to get them to motivate their students to register. This was a service event because we were serving our fellow students. It was also a leadership event because we constructed the event. The event was also scholarly because we educated the students on the importance of their votes and the propositions. This event taught our chapter to be proactive and take initiative to instruct fellow students on the importance of voting. We hope that by registering students we will hopefully make a difference in the election and to make the voices of students' heard.


Rene, a Co-VP of service, made an appointment with a prospective elementary school to pitch the chapter's ideas about an educational presentation and possible projects. Our VPs of service, Astrid and Rene, attended a meeting at a Charter Elementary School named Garfield located in Redwood City with another active member, Alex. They met with Claudia the Program coordinator for Garfield’s after school program,called Youth Adelante. Youth Adelante is sponsored by Chicana Latina Foundation and is the after school program for 7th and 8th graders. The group pitched their ideas concerning pennies for peace, educational presentations, and a possible volunteer raffle contest for PTK members. Claudia accepted the chapter's ideas, but were warned that a volunteer raffle contest would not be possible because the organization did not want strangers coming and going from the school. In addition, Claudia told the group that they had to choose between a one-time presentation or 8 presentations to be spread out through the school year. Aside from these presentations, the volunteers who decided to present would need to have get a background check, apply as a volunteer, and commit to presenting on Wednesdays only. The group was also told that after the first presentation the children would choose the topic for the remaining presentations. Feeling overwhelmed with the commitments, the group graciously thanked Claudia for her time and told her that they would need talk to the chapter before any decisions could be made. The next meeting, the group talked to the chapter and laid out the conditions Claudia presented to them. The chapter found the amount of commitments frustrating and agreed that it was too much of a commitment and that we should terminate the deal with Garfield. A Co-VP of service, Rene, decided to e-mail Claudia apologizing for the termination of the deal and further explaining that her conditions, schedule, and rules would not work for the chapter. Not long after the email Claudia responded asking the chapter to reconsider since the children of Garfield were excited about the presentations. The chapter was then able to find a compromise on the number of presentations and requirements for the presentations. The benefits of this project would be to reach out and educate young children about the environment, prospective careers, and hands on activities relating to engineering. The chapter is hoping to introduce and open up important subjects that are not readily available to the the children's daily lives.