Newsletters from Ruby De La Pena

JANUARY 2013

Hello District 1!

Hallmarks are in, and now it is time to turn our attention to a successful end of the year.

picture of Ruby De La Pena

Last year the Regional Officers set a goal for each chapter in the Alabama Region to raise at least $250 toward the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship. The Athens State Phi Theta Kappa Alumni Association will reward the chapter that donates the most money with a $100 gift card to be used to fund chapter initiatives or defer costs of future induction ceremonies. Also, the Alumni Association will hold a drawing for a pizza party. For every $50 contribution, chapters will have their name put in for the drawing. The challenge ends February 15th. Another incentive comes from Phi Theta Kappa Headquarters. All chapters that raise money toward the Oberndorf Scholarship will be eligible for the drawing to have a "Meet and Greet" with Phi Theta Kappa Executive Director Dr. Rod Risley and the Oberndorfs at the 2013 Annual Convention in San Jose, California. Deadline for this drawing is March 1, 2013!

Next up is our Regional Convention at Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton Alabama. Our Regional President, Carlee Jernigan, and her chapter are working hard on making this event fun for everyone. This is a great opportunity to get new members involved! They can see the wonderful end to a successful year and make new friends from all over the state. At my first Regional Convention, I was eager to learn how to lead a successful chapter. I had the chance to meet experienced members and advisors who gave me a lot of good advice which I used not only in my own chapter but also within the Region.

Also, this Regional Convention will mark the end of my term as Regional Officer. I had a great time visiting chapters throughout this District and the state. However, there are still a few chapters in District 1 that I have not yet visited. If I have not visited your chapter, I hope you will consider inviting me to your Spring Induction or to help with fundraising. I want to visit each chapter so that I can get to know the advisors and chapter members before I leave office.

As I leave office, I will be passing the torch to another brave Phi Theta Kappa member. If you have a member running for either a Regional or International Office, please let me know. I would like to report back to the Region exactly how many members plan to run for those offices. Deadline to submit a Regional Officer application is February 22, 2013. You can find the application on our Regional website, alptk.com.

For those of you going to the International Convention, I have a great volunteer opportunity for you. Jennifer Blalock, Chief Student Support Officer for Phi Theta Kappa, contacted me and is looking for volunteers to help Collegefish.org. Volunteers are requested to work any two hour shift on Thursday or Friday and will help students fill out their Collegefish.org profiles. If you are interested in volunteering please contact me no later than March 1st. I hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity and join me in this event.

Quite a few of you entered the All-USA Academic Team competition last semester. Advisors, please let me know if you have chapter members who were selected to represent your college on the All-Alabama Academic Team so they can be recognized at Regional Convention.

I wish you all luck on your Hallmark Entries and Scholarship Applications!

Yours truly,
Ruby


NOVEMBER 2012

Hello District One!

As Phi Theta Kappa members, you all deserved a well-rested break. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and are ready to get back to work. This last month was an exciting time, as many of you were wrapping up projects, organizing induction ceremonies and other events.

My chapter President, Karen Conn, was able to visit the Lambda Epsilon chapter at Bevill State in Jasper for their Meet and Greet event. I was able to visit the Psi Epsilon chapter at Northeast CC in Rainsville for their Honors in Action Project. I was also honored to be the guest speaker for induction ceremonies at Northwest-Shoals CC, the Alpha Sigma Beta Chapter in Muscle Shoals and the Alpha Zeta Iota Chapter in Phil Campbell. Events such as these display the hard work, dedication, and leadership of Phi Theta Kappa members. Keep up the good work District One!

The Regional Officers and I participated in a Service Learning Workshop by Alabama Possible at Birmingham-Southern College. It was a humbling experience and I was glad to be a part of it. Different groups and organizations came together and shared what they have done to help people in the state of Alabama. On February 8, 2013, Alabama Possible will hold another Service Learning Workshop focusing on the relationship between a college and the community. Please consider attending as a guest or workshop presenter. Our Phi Theta Kappa projects start with a need or an advocacy in our community or our college. The Alabama Possible workshop would be a great place share our experiences with the community and even get some fresh ideas on how to help people in our area. Proposals should focus on Engaging Alabama Communities through Colleges: Real Learning, Real Change and are due by January 4, 2013. For more information please contact Kristina Scott at kscott@alabamapoverty.org.

As the semester draws to an end, I hope that your chapter will set aside a date to work on your chapter's Hallmark Awards entries. You can find the entry forms at my.ptk.org. Also, applications for 2013 Regional Officer Positions are now available at alptk.com. Please talk with your advisor if you are interested in representing your chapter as a Regional Officer.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I wish you all luck on your finals and Happy Holidays!

Yours truly,
Ruby


OCTOBER 2012

Hello District 1!

I hope you are having a good semester so far.

This month, I had the chance to visit the Alpha Chi Tau Chapter at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville. They invited our chapter to volunteer at a local fundraiser. I was happy to see us working together to reach our goals. Also this month, my chapter president Karen Conn visited the Lambda Epsilon Chapter at Bevill State Community College in Jasper. They invited us to their 'Meet and Greet,' which we were more than happy to attend. Please keep me in mind for your chapter's events and/or meetings this semester. I would like to visit each chapter at least once.

At our most recent event, the Leadership Conference, the Regional Officers along with the Regional Research Team finished up the Regional Honors in Action Project. This project provided a model to the Region for the required elements of an Honors in Action Project. Here is a breakdown of how we worked on our project.

Earlier this year, the Regional Officers studied the Honors Program guide and talked about how we could help the Region with Honors in Action projects. We agreed that a Regional Honors in Action Project could be a way for everyone to learn the steps involved. We discussed the needs of the Region, and the fact that Alabama is ranked the 3rd poorest state in the nation. This led us to theme 8, "Making the Grade: Competition and Education." From that theme we chose the question "To what extent is lack of education one of the root causes of poverty?" We set a goal for 70% of the Alabama Region to collaborate on the Regional Honors in Action Project. A Regional Research Team representing ten chapters collaborated and communicated with each other by posting summaries of research on Facebook, Google Plus, email, and text. From this research, the Team developed questions that needed further exploring.

We partnered with Alabama Poverty Project Executive Director, Kristina Scott, who served as our research consultant and panel moderator, coordinated the selection of a diverse panel of experts who could help us better understand the issues. The panelists gave us some underlining causes of poverty and insight on how we could tackle poverty in our state. Everyone at the Leadership Conference participated in the project by attending the Panel Discussion and joining in the conversation. Through these shared experiences, we reached 61% participation from the Alabama Region. Great job!

For our conclusions, once again we would like to ask for your help. We will follow up with everyone who attended the Leadership Conference by asking for your comments and conclusions, based on the research and panel discussion. The evaluation survey will be sent by email soon, so I encourage everyone to complete and submit your survey as soon as possible.

One of the goals for the Alabama Region helps us fight poverty by helping our fellow students complete their education. We would like to have 70% of chapters participate in Community College Completion Corps program (C4). One way you can do this is by using the C4 Toolkit materials and holding a signing event on campus. You can also raise money for the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion scholarship. The Regional Officers have issued a challenge for the Alabama Region. We would like each chapter to raise at least $250 toward the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion scholarship. (Click to download more information) This scholarship will assist community college students facing unanticipated or severe financial barriers to complete a college credential. I would like to encourage you to help us meet our goal. I have attached information on how you can donate and help your fellow students succeed in completing a college credential.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. My chapter and I will be glad to help in any way. Keep up the good (and hard) work!

Yours truly,
Ruby


OCTOBER 2012

Hello District 1!

I hope you are having a good semester so far.

This month, I had the chance to visit the Alpha Chi Tau Chapter at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville. They invited our chapter to volunteer at a local fundraiser. I was happy to see us working together to reach our goals. Also this month, my chapter president Karen Conn visited the Lambda Epsilon Chapter at Bevill State Community College in Jasper. They invited us to their 'Meet and Greet,' which we were more than happy to attend. Please keep me in mind for your chapter's events and/or meetings this semester. I would like to visit each chapter at least once.

At our most recent event, the Leadership Conference, the Regional Officers along with the Regional Research Team finished up the Regional Honors in Action Project. This project provided a model to the Region for the required elements of an Honors in Action Project. Here is a breakdown of how we worked on our project.

Earlier this year, the Regional Officers studied the Honors Program guide and talked about how we could help the Region with Honors in Action projects. We agreed that a Regional Honors in Action Project could be a way for everyone to learn the steps involved. We discussed the needs of the Region, and the fact that Alabama is ranked the 3rd poorest state in the nation. This led us to theme 8, "Making the Grade: Competition and Education." From that theme we chose the question "To what extent is lack of education one of the root causes of poverty?" We set a goal for 70% of the Alabama Region to collaborate on the Regional Honors in Action Project. A Regional Research Team representing ten chapters collaborated and communicated with each other by posting summaries of research on Facebook, Google Plus, email, and text. From this research, the Team developed questions that needed further exploring.

We partnered with Alabama Poverty Project Executive Director, Kristina Scott, who served as our research consultant and panel moderator, coordinated the selection of a diverse panel of experts who could help us better understand the issues. The panelists gave us some underlining causes of poverty and insight on how we could tackle poverty in our state. Everyone at the Leadership Conference participated in the project by attending the Panel Discussion and joining in the conversation. Through these shared experiences, we reached 61% participation from the Alabama Region. Great job!

For our conclusions, once again we would like to ask for your help. We will follow up with everyone who attended the Leadership Conference by asking for your comments and conclusions, based on the research and panel discussion. The evaluation survey will be sent by email soon, so I encourage everyone to complete and submit your survey as soon as possible.

One of the goals for the Alabama Region helps us fight poverty by helping our fellow students complete their education. We would like to have 70% of chapters participate in Community College Completion Corps program (C4). One way you can do this is by using the C4 Toolkit materials and holding a signing event on campus. You can also raise money for the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion scholarship. The Regional Officers have issued a challenge for the Alabama Region. We would like each chapter to raise at least $250 toward the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion scholarship. (Click to download mor inofrmation) This scholarship will assist community college students facing unanticipated or severe financial barriers to complete a college credential. I would like to encourage you to help us meet our goal. I have attached information on how you can donate and help your fellow students succeed in completing a college credential.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. My chapter and I will be glad to help in any way. Keep up the good (and hard) work!

Yours truly,
Ruby


AUGUST 2012

Hello District 1!

As finals have come and gone and the new semester is underway, I hope that you enjoyed your summer!

The Regional Officers are excited about the new Regional Honors in Action Project. We have nine chapters from all over the Alabama Region participating in the research. The deadline for participation has now been extended. If you would like your chapter to participate please contact our Regional President, Carlee Jernigan at carleesbizzness@yahoo.com. Remember that the purpose of having a Regional Honors in Action Project is to provide a model to the Region for the required elements of an Honors in Action Project. This project will also provide a way for chapters to take a leadership role at the Regional level. Deadline to turn in research is September 5th. Your member of the research team should post research and a short summary of that research on our Facebook group http://www.facebook.com/groups/al.hia.research/ . Members of the research team should read what the others have posted and ask questions or come to their own conclusions about the research. Remember, you need three to five resources by September 5th.

This month the Regional Officers and I visited Phi Theta Kappa Headquarters in Jackson, MS! We asked questions pertaining to our Regional Honors in Action Project. Susan Edwards, Dean of the Honors Program for Phi Theta Kappa, suggested that we look for various academic articles for and against the subject we are researching. The analysis of the research is very important when looking at what will make a difference in the community. She also suggested that we make sure our project has a measureable impact. These are all things you can implement in your own Honors in Action Projects.

Also this month, I had the chance to visit the Alpha Zeta Iota Chapter at Northwest-Shoals Community College in Phil Campbell. They invited me to their member meeting and I was happy to see this chapter working hard towards their goals. Please keep me in mind for your chapter’s events and/or meetings. I would like to visit each chapter at least once. Thank you to those who have already sent in their dates and don’t forget to like us on Facebook! I’m posting words of encouragement and uploading pictures from the Region. Feel free to add pictures from your chapter on our page PhiThetaKappaAlabamaRegionDistrict1.

Coming up next is our Leadership Conference to be held at the 4-H Center in Columbiana, September 14-15. This event is open to all Phi Theta Kappa members, officers, and advisors. The Alabama Region would like you to participate in this event where you can benefit from teambuilding and leadership skills, as well as fellowship with other scholars like yourselves. I hope to see a lot of friendly faces in Columbiana!

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have. My chapter and I will be glad to help in any way.

Yours truly,
Ruby


JULY 2012

Hello District 1 Phi Theta Kappans!

As the summer semester comes to an end, I want to wish you luck on your finals. I hope that you enjoy the rest of your summer before fall semester starts.

This month I had the chance to attend the District 3 Mock Chapter at L.B. Wallace Community College in Greenville, Alabama. I also represented Phi Theta Kappa at the Student Leadership Institute in Rainsville, Alabama. This past weekend I attended the District 1 Mock Chapter in Alexander City. I received a lot of information on how to become a better leader and how to work on Honors in Action Projects and College Projects. I saw a lot of familiar faces and I hope to see more at upcoming events.

If you were not able to attend either of the Mock Chapters, I would like to share news from the Region. The Regional Officers have completed the Goals and Strategies for the Alabama Region 2012-2013. I have attached a copy of the Regional Goals and you can also visit alptk.com and click the "Regional Team" tab to view the goals online.

The Regional Officers are excited about the new Regional Honors in Action Project. We would like to invite chapters from each District to be on the research team, to plan and collaborate with the Regional Officers in this Project. The purpose of having a Regional Honors in Action Project is to provide a model to the Region for the required elements of an Honors in Action Project. This project will provide a way for chapters to take a leadership role at the Regional level. It will also provide a pathway for collaboration with other chapters in the Region, which is one of our 5 star chapter goals. Each chapter may nominate one member to serve on the Regional Research Team. Please read goal #1 on the Regional Goals (alptk.com) for the project details, and talk with your advisor about chapter participation. If your chapter will be participating on the Regional Research Team, please email me their name and contact information as soon as possible.

As you know Phi Theta Kappa has many benefits. On top of the many benefits Phi Theta Kappa has to offer, Phi Theta Kappa has recently obtained the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship. This scholarship will assist community college students facing unanticipated or severe financial barriers to complete a college credential. This year, Lou and Rosemary Oberndorf the benefactors of this scholarship, doubled the first $125,000 raised by Phi Theta Kappans. Now a second challenge has been launched to raise another $125,000 that will be matched by our benefactors, making it a grand total of $1,000,000 for the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship. The Alabama Region would like to encourage all chapters to donate at least $250. Help us meet our goal and help your fellow members succeed in completing a college credential. I have attached the donation form with information on how you can donate.

Coming up next is our Leadership Conference to be held at the 4-H Center in Columbiana, September 14-15. This event is open to all Phi Theta Kappa members, officers, and advisors. The Alabama Region would like you to participate in this event where you can benefit from teambuilding and leadership skills, as well as fellowship with other scholars like yourselves. I would like to encourage all members, officers, and advisors to join us for the Leadership Conference.

I hope everyone is looking forward to the fall semester. As the new school year starts, please keep me in mind for your chapter’s events. I would like to keep in touch with everyone and visit each chapter at least once. When you set dates for chapter events and meetings, please send me the dates. Thank you to those who have already sent in their dates. Also, another way you can keep up with what the Region is doing is by liking us on Facebook! I’m posting words of encouragement and uploading pictures from the Region. Feel free to add pictures from your chapter on our page PhiThetaKappaAlabamaRegionDistrict1.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any concerns or questions you may have. My chapter and I would be glad to help in any way.

Yours truly,
Ruby


JUNE 2012

Hello District 1 Phi Theta Kappans!

I’m Ruby De La Peña, Regional Vice President for District 1.

I hope that you have had time to start your research on the Honors Study Topic, “The Culture of Competition.” A good source of academic information can be found at your schools library. If you need help getting started, please contact me. Good luck to you! We want this year to be the best yet for the Alabama Region!

The Regional Officers just got back from the Honors Institute in Denver Colorado. Twenty members and advisors from the Alabama Region attended this event. We were inspired by amazing speakers like Laura Ling. She discussed her journey of hope: A Story about the Culture of Competition and Cooperation. Among other speakers we had the honor of having King Peggy present to us her journey from Secretary to King: Transforming a Culture of Competition and Cooperation. I hope that next year we can have even more members from the Alabama Region attend this event in Philadelphia!

Coming up next is our Mock Chapter Event. The dates are July 13 for District 3, and July 27 for Districts 1 and 2. This is a FREE event, open to all Phi Theta Kappa members, officers, and advisors. The Phi Theta Kappa mission statement states that our purpose is to “recognize and encourage scholarship among college students. To achieve this purpose, Phi Theta Kappa shall provide opportunity for the development of leadership and service.” The Alabama Region would like you to participate in this event where you can benefit from teambuilding and leadership skills, as well as fellowship with other scholars like yourselves. I encourage all members, officers and advisors to join us for either of the Mock Chapter events.

Again, I would like to stay in touch throughout the summer and fall, and hear from each of you about your chapter’s activities. So as soon as you can, please send me your new officer and advisor information, and pictures of your chapter's fall and/or spring induction of new members. It would be great if we could have every chapter in our District featured on alptk.com, the Alabama Region’s website. When you plan your chapter meetings and special events for fall semester, please send me those dates. My chapter and I would like to visit each of you at some point during the year, and hope you’ll call on us if you need help with any of your chapter activities. I look forward to seeing each chapter progress throughout the year and I hope to see you at Mock Chapter!

Have a fun and safe “Fourth of July!”

Yours truly,
Ruby


Hello District 1!

First of all I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as your regional vice president of district 1. This is an experience of a life-time for me. This opportunity has already helped me to become a better leader, thank you! On that note, I would love the opportunity to visit each chapter in District 1. I am looking forward to reporting back to our Region the brilliant progress District 1 is making.

The Regional Team just got back from the Regional Leadership Retreat. I am excited to be working with this hard-working and dedicated team. We set new regional goals and have a new Honors in Action Project for the Alabama Region. Stay tuned for more information coming soon. In the meantime, I can announce that we set up and started a new Facebook Page for each District! Please visit PhiThetaKappaAlabamaRegionDistrict1 for District 1 on Facebook. Following our Honors Study Topic, "The Culture of Competition," we would like foster the idea of "Coopetition." "Coopetition" is the theory that explains how competition and cooperation at the same time can help a business, in our case the Alabama Region, succeed. We can work together in order to maximize the success of the Alabama Region and our page has been set up to encourage, challenge, and help, our chapters. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, I will be more than happy to help.

Coming up next is our Honors Institute in Denver, CO June 18th-22nd. I hope to see some friendly faces from the Alabama Region at this event has we learn more over our new Honors Study Topic "The Culture of Competition." Don’t forget our Mock Chapter events are coming up! The dates are July 13 for District 3 and July 27 for District 1 and 2. This FREE, one-day event is open to all Phi Theta Kappa members, officers, and advisors, and will offer loads of good information and experience that your chapter can use to reach your 5 Star goals. We will be sending out a registration form soon, so please save the date!

I look forward to seeing each chapter progress throughout the year. If you have any questions please contact me at ruby.delapena@yahoo.com

Yours truly,
Ruby

Ruby De La Peña
Phi Theta Kappa
Alabama Region
Vice President of District 1
Sigma Lambda Chapter