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

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Check out our website at http://www.ptkcanadacollege.org/

Monday, March 30, 2009

Chapter President Recognized

Chapter Co-President, Ashley Cohen, was named All California Academic FIRST TEAM! She was one of the few to have a 4.0 GPA. We are so proud!!!!!!!!!!!!
She was also written up in the school's Olive Press. To see the article go to http://canadacollege.net/inside/newsletter/0809/current.html

BZN Awards

Regional Awards
· We won many awards for our great chapter.
· We were recognized as a 5 star chapter
· Named the 2nd Most Outstanding Chapter in the CA/NV region
· Paul Roscelli won the 2nd Outstanding Chapter Advisor
· We also won the Regional Leadership Award
· Our Co-Vice President of Service, Rene. was recognized as an Outstanding Chapter Officer
· Our Vice President of Fundraising, Jonathan, won the Literary Award Fiction for his screenplay
· An Alumni, David, also received an award for a video he made of our chapter last year.
· One of our members, Courtney, also won an award for her art.

Officer Awards
· We also had two officers noticed for their achievements.
· Our Historian, Sofia, was given The Ralston Presidential Scholarship to Notre Dame De Namur University. This allows her to now go to Notre De Namur University on a full ride.
· One of our Presidents, Ashley, was named a 2009 Coca-Cola National Finalist in addition to being in the 2009 All California Academic Team.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Honors in Action Breakout Session

By Courtney Caldwell

*Note* A PTK student in this meeting mentioned that Harvard, having lost $6B with Madoff, is no longer accepting transfer students.

• A 10 page Honors in Action Essay to replace the Hallmarks individually-they’re all being combined into one essay.
• Bring materials back to your chapter to help train officers, members
• Hallmarks = academic excellence recognized. What’s the #1 reason students don’t accept membership? They don’t know what PTK is, so try to spread the word to students and teachers.
• PTK about building servant leaders through Honors in Action.
• 1) Set goals down on paper—name of who’s in charge of it, the project details and the timeline (steps to get it done). You can also do this to teach.
• Make sure you set SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic, Timely.
• If you’re not a 5 star chapter, set 5 star development goals
• Figure out what issue from the Honors Guide you’ll address
• Comprehensive HIA projects should be clear about which level they’re applied to (can be more than one) – chapter level, college, community, outer community, region, international, etc.
• The scholarship hallmark—1) Honors Topic 2) Recognize academic excellence in students & faculty
• Service Hallmark – you’ll see needs pop up as you do research on a topic, maybe your projects should deal with these needs.
• If you choose to work with an organization, which organizations fit with your passions?
• “Operation Green”—International Service Program
• Leadership Roles –break down projects & delegate
• Teaching leadership roles—in chapter meetings, at campus level (through speaker series, workshops, etc) in community (girl scouts, other orgs) regional and international level
• Fellowship Hallmark is incorporated into other hallmarks
• HIA-- start with honors topic, use it as a lens to look at other things then RESEARCH a lot
• Ask around to see if any of your students are already studying a topic for the project, book special speakers on the topic, plan field trips to related places.
• KEEP DETAILED RECORDS! Journaling is recommended. Write down the steps, hours, #s (people, money, facts, lots of detailed records, and also anecdotal things like responses you got. This can also go on your blog.
• Talk to leader members to see how it affected them (Butte) after every meeting we delegate a member to post to our blog.
• Fill out the project form to help you track your progress
• Ch. Officers tab, then link to Project Planning, model, sheet to plan projects & track affects
• Hallmark Awards – HIA Project, but can be multi-dimensional (could take a day, could take a year)
• College Project – 3 pages max – project you do for the college, you can write an entry about this (responding to AOAE in writing)
• To be considered an excellent chapter you have to have an entry in both categories.
• Why should we spend time writing about this? These are the same skills that you need to apply for grad schools, writing grant proposals, scholarship entries
• HIA at International Convention – right now, top 25 chapters get called up on stage and recognized, and we find that the same chapters are there accepting awards.
• The new HIA will have up to 5 awards in each of the issues, 10 issues so a total of 50 awards given (therefore awards for 50 chapters)
• Some issues are more “sexy” than others- ie the environment, but not many about rise in civilizations, so you could go with a less sexy topic to be more competitive.
• 25 awards in College Project Category
• Jan –Dec = academic year, so that is the timetable in which projects will be considered
• Questions to make you think about the projects will be up on the website in a few weeks. Look at these questions when you’re dealing with your projects. It will help you write responses to your project.
• Don’t do so many projects that you spread yourself too thin, b/c you can’t do it all. Find out what your chapter members are passionate about b/c those projects are more likely to get done.
• Good entries  Advice
• 1) READ! Instructions and rules and FOLLOW the rules (mind your deadlines or you will be disqualified)! Example: most entries didn’t address the first question in the Hallmark so they were docked points.
• 2) GIVE SPECIFIC DETAILS – quantifiable amounts – 15 members walked 4 miles raised $4K, or whatever. Your choice of language matters  “supported relay 4 life” = fundraising = not strong enough, doesn’t suggest that you took enough initiative, or that you did any original work to help the project/organization. Versus “spearheaded a relay 4 life event, where we rallied volunteers to….”= this word choice actually conveys the qualities that are important, not just that you participated.
• 3) Impact—what difference did it make? In chapter members lives? In community? In region/world?
• 4) Well written—do lots and lots of editing b/c you will have errors and notes you leave to yourself, etc. Treat it as you would a cover letter or a resume, where you have lots of eyes look it over for different angles (grammar and spelling and form, etc) With cover letters and resumes, spelling errors and lack of clarity would get your resume thrown in the trash, so be mindful.
• How many essays were submitted? This year 421 chapters entered different essays, out of about 1280 chapters. This is part of why they’re trying to simplify the entry process, to get more participation from chapters.
• There is no such thing as luck—just hard work.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Club Day

On March 10th the Associated Students of Canada College, or ASCC, organized and sponsored Club Day. Students belonging to different clubs gathered in the cafeteria to promote their students clubs and encourage students to join. Beta Zeta Nu had a booth in the event to represent Phi Theta Kappa. Members of the chapter talked to eligible students encouraging them to join and be active in campus. Through our involvement in this activity we were able to not only encourage membership, but also reach out to our community.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

PTK Regional notes

PTK Regional notes – General Session I
• State of the region – everything is fine! Financially healthy, chapters are growing, Heald college now has a chapter, Hayward, Stockton, more chapters. But we’re coming close to the limits of our capacity. 87 chapters now in CA
• Involvement is growing too, lots of awards have been given (Shirley B Gordon award has gone to Tom Moore @ Canada College) also new faces at events, like today.

PTK Regional Notes – General Session II
• Awards for Bridge to Peace Project in Sri Lanka, regional projects recognition
• Palamar College, Skyline, Butte to name a few. Accomplishments - $5500 was raised for the village to build a water pipeline, and to establish a teaching program.
• A few PTK members (some from Skyline) traveled to Sri Lanka to teach children there.

PTK Regional Notes – General Session III --Saturday

• International conference is in Grapevine, Texas April 16-18 2009, get 4 people to a room if you’re in the same region. Robert Kennedy Jr will speak. Bring seeds to beautify the area—there is a list on the website of seeds that are acceptable.
• Scholarships - collegefish.org
• Economic downturn – still need recruits, rewards chapters for membership increases. 1 int’l member scholarship for every 5% increase all the way up to 25%
• CA/NV region is now the largest region w/ 87 chapters, but only 31 5 star chapters participating, not high.
• Always report new advisors, new contacts and contact info, new officers
• Better World Books—power point presentation available if we contact them.
• 11.4 mill lbs of books saved from landfill, CA/NV was 4th in the nation for this drive.
• Scanners for BWB – use it and $ back per book goes up to $1/book rather than $.50/bk, and every book over a 1000 is $1.25/book
• Contact BWB to get a free scanner –Roselle campus@betterworldbooks.com
• You get $ for your chapter by sending books, scanner will tell you if book is acceptable or not and all unacceptable books you can have a book sale on campus and sell at $1/bk.
• Regional Honors Institute – July 24th – 26th at University of Redlands in Redlands,CA

Mezes Park Build

Both Co-VPs of Service were first contacted via-email by a woman named Keli Amann. She emailed Beta Zeta Nu asking if we could gather as many volunteers for an event her husband, David Amann, a financial advisor for Edward Jones had put together. Mr. Amann had just found sponsors that donated money to build Mezes Park in Redwood City. After a Co-VP of Service, Astrid, contacted her by phone she told her that they needed 200 volunteers to build a park in one day! Mrs. Amann was contacting every school and college to gather up as many volunteers as possible. The jobs were: laying down mulch, registering volunteers, painting bathrooms, putting together park equipment, cement mixing, laying cement, putting together benches, painting a mural that was designed by children of the community, and serving food. There was a job for anyone! The event was held on Saturday March 7th 2009 and both VPs of Service participated in the event along with, Edgar, Elmira, Arturo, Steve, Concepcion, Alfredo, Francisco, Jeremy, Aldo, Violeta and other students from MESA. Many of our group members were separated from each other, but still played a part in the event. Rene, one of our Co-VPs of Service, and a few others helped put together the equipment for the park and Astrid was also separated with others to lay down mulch in the park. First Rene and many other volunteers had to read instructions on the grass aside from the build site in order to put the equipment together such as the slide, swings, crossing bridge, ladder, rock climbing wall, etc. together. After the parts were put together they were carried individually from the grass to the build site. This project took a lot of man power. After the pieces were put together the playground structure was screwed together. In the meantime, there were piles of mulch on the sidewalk next to the build site. Many volunteers, including Astrid, were assigned to shovel up the mulch onto pieces of tarp. After a nice load of mulch was piled up on the tarp four volunteers had to carry it to the build site and lay it around the playground. Volunteers had to fill the entire playground with mulch! Although it was a back breaking job, all the volunteers were so determined to build the park on time that we finished building the park by 11, which was an hour before the deadline. Many volunteers from the Redwood City community turned out that day to make the build possible and it was by far a success.

Friday, March 6, 2009


PTK-Opedia—Overview of PTK and general advice.

By Courtney Caldwell

•Going through the 4 Hallmarks and why they are important. Honors in Action – using the hallmarks together. Use leadership workshops to practice outside your comfort zones
• 5 star development program designed to get you involved and explore every facet of the society. When you’re a 5 star chapter help lesser starred chapters.
• Nevada/Ca region – 5 districts (CA = NW, NE, SW, SE) and NV. Know who your VP is and contact them for advice, update them on what you’re doing that’s great and stay in touch, even when things aren’t great.
• Regional Officers – they help organize multi-chapter events, provide support, guidance and information (They want us to contact them) they’re there to enable multi-chapter communications and have special training to assist.
• Regional service projects – regional board creates these (new board = new projects)
• As a chapter, you need to report your projects. Some projects just start out as chapter projects (ie. Bridge to Peace), but spread to the rest of the region.
• On the chapter level: 1) planning your calendar – hallmarks, decide your goals (in community, etc) also find local community calendars, campus calendar, student organization calendar, etc
• Create committees for projects—make someone responsible/accountable for them
• Keep your advisor happy- effective communication is key (keep in mind that PTK is secondary to their teaching). They do a lot of extra work to do stuff w/ PTK. Some advisors are apathetic but if you share your passion with them, you can win them over.
• Infiltrate student government if you can. Maintain effective relationships with student government to overcome issues, participate, etc. you can influence the outlook that they have of PTK
• Induction ceremonies should be classy—formal (you will retain more people and first impressions are important). Show the accomplishment of being part of PTK.
• Gain administrative support to have relationship b/c they control your resource cap on campus. They’ll also share their ties with the community (Rotary, etc) also funding comes from them, so they’ll support you in tough times.
• Charlie Klein can talk to your college president if your advisor or President is inactive or unsupportive. Charlie can put pressure on them – if your advisor is apathetic, talk to them first, maybe see if you can figure out if they are overloaded and take some of those duties off them, or maybe get a co-advisor. Try to improve your relationship before removing an advisor.
• Conventions – lots of them. Check PTK.org. These are here for your training, more depth. Go to workshops for your honors topic. Ptk.org/chapters/resources  chapter resource manual. PTK.org/hallmarks info on the 4 hallmarks, definitions, how to write them, previous winners, etc. Chapter recognition is important so write your hallmarks.
• Ptk.org/fivestar steps to 5 star status – also, report your status on website so we maintain communication of activities.
• Keep projects rolling so that members and chapters stay involved and DOING not just brainstorming.
• Maybe have a project sign up at induction ceremonies so people commit
• Fundraising – depends on each chapter. Some from college budget, some from college pres budget, some just fundraising b/c they don’t get college support, also community sponsorship (Rotary, etc)
• If your foundation keeps track of ptk alumni, their business may sponsor you.

San Jose Regional Convention

The Phi Theta Kappa Nevada/California Region Convention was held in San Jose California from March 5th to 7th.

Ryan Calic, Courtney Caldwell, Sofia Lozano along with Advisor, Paul Roscelli, represented our Chapter. Ryan ran for the position of Vice President of the Nevada/California region, although he did not win, the entire chapter is very proud of his excellent performance. (See Ryan's Speech)

Our Chapter did extremely well this season, in addition to Ryan's candidature, the chapter won several recognitions.

1) Five Star Chapter Level (the highest activity level possible and for the 11th straight year)
2) A Regional Art Award went to multimedia student Courtney Caldwell
3) A Regional Literary Award went to Jonathan Werden
4) A Distinguished Officer Award went to Rene Rivera
5) A Distinguished Chapter Advisor Award went to Paul Roscelli
6) A Leadership Hallmark Award was earned by the Chapter
7) The college's chapter was recognized as the second most Distinguished Chapter in the entire Region--out of 87 chapters.

The chapter is very proud of its achievements. As always this standard of excellence was a joint effort of members and advisers that so we will keep working on and improving as time goes on.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ryan Calic's Speech

Greetings my fellow Kappans,
An old Viking proverb says, “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar, but if you rip their little wings off they’ll eat whatever the heck you give them. I’m not here to pull your wings off. And I’m not here to lure you with honey. You have a choice of who to vote for during this election. You are the voice of a new generation. I believe we have and shall continue to see a paradox of affluence in the challenges that face us. But, in solidarity we can utilize the four hallmarks to use the tools of education and arm ourselves with knowledge! I have a talent for getting people to work together and convincing other chapters to coordinate fellowship endeavors. I really love working with people and nurturing their enthusiasm for teamwork.
And I’ve been active in Phi Theta Kappa since November 2006. As my chapter’s historian and current vice president of fellowship I’ve successfully met every commitment I’ve set out to accomplish. I believe honor is more than just awards, but how you serve others and the legacy you leave behind. As the great Roman historian and lawyer, Cicero said, “Honor is the reward of virtue.”
I’ve successfully built and maintained relationships with chapter officers in my region and at the international level. I’ve worked with individuals such as Christopher Hagermann and Crist Antolin promoting regional fellowship projects such as a statewide beach cleanup in 2007. Also I have done fundraising on the Bridge2Peace project that helps build schools for children of the 2004 Tsunami victims in Sri Lanka.
Many in Phi Theta Kappa seek me out for advice because they know that they can count on my trustworthiness and dedication. These are qualities I will bring to this office. We cannot solve the problems that face our chapters and our region simply by marching ahead and hoping for solutions. However, as your Northwest Vice President I can assure you that I bring experience and practical, no nonsense answers to the challenges that we face. And so my fellow Kappans, help me to help you use the use the tools of education and arm yourselves with knowledge by casting your vote for the strength that you’ve come to depend on! Thank you!