Phi Theta Kappa Recognized by Minn-Kota

Alpha Omicron Beta named Five Star Chapter

The Alpha Omicron Beta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Inver Hills Community College was honored with several awards at the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Minn-Kota Regional Convention March 18–20, 2022, at the Marriott Bonvoy in Rochester, Minnesota.

Tanya Smutka serves as the PTK faculty advisor at Inver Hills. Tanya teaches biology and environmental science courses; she was also named 2019 LeadMN Instructor of the Year.

“Alpha Omicron Beta was recognized as a Five Star Chapter,” Tanya reported, “one of only seven in the Minn-Kota Region.”

Tanya added that Nicki Bottko Woods, former associate director of student life and PTK staff advisor at Inver Hills, was named a Five Star Advisor. Alpha Omicron Beta was named a REACH Chapter for maintaining or increasing its membership acceptance rate to 15 percent or higher. REACH stands for Recognizing Excellence in Acceptance and Completion.

“Our chapter also received the Honors in Action Most Distinguished Theme Award,” Tanya said. “The chapter earned the award in the Theme 2 category, Natural and Constructed Environments, for our 2021 Annual Research Conference presentation, ‘Environmental Justice in Minnesota.'”

Five Star Chapters

Minn-Kota Regional Convention 2022

Five Star Chapters are those that engage members and are involved at the local, regional, and international levels by attending PTK conferences and developing College Projects and Honors in Action projects. College Projects are “designed to strengthen the chapter’s relationship with the college administration through any project that supports the college’s mission.”

Honors in Action Projects “combine academic research, problem solving, and action-oriented service to address real-world challenges in our communities” and are based upon one of the year’s themes provided by the international PTK organization.

NOTE: Quoted material from Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society website.

Five Star Advisors

Five Star Advisors are those that undertake additional training to engage members, identify and develop student leaders, participate in regional and international programming, support undergraduate research, and build administrative support.

More about PTK at Inver Hills…

PTK Induction Ceremony 2018

The Alpha Omicron Beta chapter greeted more than 145 new members last year. The chapter has been active 23 years and boasts 2,100+ alumni. Inver Hills students are welcome to join in at PTK meetings, which are usually held over Zoom at 11 a.m. on Thursdays. Students are also invited to participate in chapter events hosted by PTK officers. Visit the Inver Hills Student Bulletin to learn more.

PTK at Inver Hills honors the achievements of students through two annual induction ceremonies, annual service and research projects, and other work carried out by the chapter. New members pay a one-time membership fee, but a scholarship process is in place to make sure the fee does not become the reason a student is unable to join the chapter.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society¹

For more than 100 years, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society has helped millions of high-achieving college students reach their full potential. In 2018 Phi Theta Kappa celebrated its 100th anniversary. The Society has grown from its humble beginnings to boast more than 3.5 million members in the United States and 10 sovereign nations.

Also in 2018, Phi Theta Kappa published Civic Scholar: Phi Theta Kappa Journal of Undergraduate Research. This is the first journal of its kind to publish research by community college students that resulted in action-oriented projects that positively impacted their communities. In 2021, the inaugural issue of Change Makers: Phi Theta Kappa Journal of Student Leadership was published, highlighting the work of community college students who developed leadership- and service-based projects to generate positive changes on their campuses.

The Phi Theta Kappa Foundation awards $1.5 million in scholarships to members each year, and four-year college partners now offer $250 million in transfer scholarships exclusively for Phi Theta Kappa members. The PTK Edge suite of free online courses helps students develop key skills to successfully transfer to a four-year college and gain employment.

The Society looks to the future with a renewed dedication to help all students succeed, regardless of their past mistakes or their end goals, as it continues to expand opportunities and accessibility.


Learn more about the PTK Alpha Omicron Beta chapter at Inver Hills by contacting:

Tanya Smutka
Biology Faculty
Environmental Science Faculty
Phi Theta Kappa Faculty Advisor

Or email

¹ SOURCE: Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society

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