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Honors Society Gives Students a Chance To Serve Community

Emily Lardy, a member of Phi Theta Kappa.

HCC honors programs are not the only way students are able to take advantage of honors opportunities. Phi Theta Kappa is the largest and most respected honor society in two-year institutions of higher education, including Howard Community College (HCC), whose chapter is called Alpha Alpha Sigma. The program is open to any student who meets the academic eligibility criteria, regardless of other honors program affiliations.

“I joined because I wanted to become more involved on campus and open my social circle. I had found it hard to get connected on campus, especially as a part-time student, but through Phi Theta Kappa I met people with a similar passion for academics,” says Emily Lardy, who was later elected to a leadership position in the chapter.

Lardy has since graduated and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree at UMBC in Spanish, Japanese, and international politics, and plans to pursue a master’s degree in international communication.

“With various scholarships, including those for being a Phi Theta Kappa member, I have all my tuition covered. I am forever grateful to Phi Theta Kappa and my advisors for providing me with these opportunities,” she said.

Each year, HCC’s Alpha Alpha Sigma students complete two major projects: Honors in Action, a service project that asks students to contribute research to support community programs and services that aim to improve life in Howard County; and, a College Project, which focuses on investigating and implementing positive changes on the HCC campus.

“For many students Alpha Alpha Sigma serves as a crucial connection to campus life,” said Frances Turner, associate professor of biology, who also serves as the college’s Phi Theta Kappa advisor. “Many carry a full course load, do research, and work full- or part-time, and would not necessarily have the chance to join an honors program if not for PTK. It gives students access to others who are like them; who love to learn and who have great motivation and ambition.”

Learn more about HCC’s honors programs.

Topics: Campus Life
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