Vicky Knickerbocker: PTK Faculty Scholar

Vicky Knickerbocker
Vicky Knickerbocker

Humanities instructor recognized nationally by Phi Theta Kappa

In December 2017, the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society selected 30 chapter advisors, advisors emeriti and alumni to serve as Faculty Scholars charged with guiding student and advisor groups at the society’s 2018 and 2019 Honors Institutes. Vicky Knickerbocker, a humanities, sociology and human services instructor at Inver Hills Community College, was recognized as one of the 30 standout academics from two-year colleges across the country.

Vicky was chosen as a Faculty Scholar thanks in large part to her longstanding work as a faculty advisor for the PTK Alpha Omicron Beta chapter at Inver Hills and for serving for three years as the regional coordinator for Minn-Kota, the PTK organization that supports society’s activities for Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota. She also completed a rigorous selection process that included a nine-page essay and video presentation.

“This is a huge honor, particularly because PTK will be celebrating the society’s one hundredth birthday in 2018,” Vicky said. “As the three PTK advisors from Minnesota selected to be Faculty Scholars, Jon Wood [Ridgewater College], Rahul Kane [Century College] and I will serve two-year terms. Our primary responsibility will be functioning as seminar leaders at the next two Honors Institutes hosted by Phi Theta Kappa.”

Vicky added that each Honors Institute includes four days of small-group discussions and collaborative learning exercises as well as leadership skills development, area tours and relationship-building. The Honors in Action (HIA) study topic for the next two years is “Transformations: Acknowledging, Assessing, and Achieving Change.”

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More about the Honors Institute…

Vicky reported that this year’s Honors Institute takes place June 18–23, 2018, at Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania. The venue for the 2019 event has not been determined. To prepare for her facilitator duties, Vicky will receive special training at PTK headquarters in Jackson, Mississippi, in late January 2018. That training will be replicated in 2019. All travel, flight and registration fees associated with the training and attending both Honors Institutes are covered by Phi Theta Kappa.

“To be eligible to serve as a Faculty Scholar, you must complete a written application and prepare a two- to three-minute video that illustrates an informed commentary about the Honors in Action topic,” Vicky said, noting that for the first time the Honors Institute will focus on Phi Theta Kappa’s Leadership Development curriculum. “Faculty Scholars will be certified to lead the curriculum, which has been praised by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as one of the eight top leadership development programs in the nation.”

Vicky Knickerbocker gallery

Honors in Action project

Vicky reported that PTK chapters interested in completing an Honors in Action project choose one of nine themes covered by the HIA topic and conduct academic research based on a question that has sparked their interest.

The video presentation portion of Vicky’s in-depth Faculty Scholar application focused on Theme 7: Powers of Connection and asked the question, “Is purchasing a cell phone always a ‘smart’ investment?”

“After conducting their research, PTK chapters design a plan of action to address some of the unmet needs posed by their academic research,” Vicky said. “My research helped me think more critically about how technological changes have altered my life choices.”

Transformations: Acknowledging, Assessing and Achieving Change

Nine Themes

Theme 1: Networks of Life
How do relationships among organisms, their environment, and the systems in which they exist transform each other?
Theme 2: Economies of Everything
How are economic systems transforming to meet contemporary needs and future expectations?
Theme 3: Politics of Identity
How do the ways in which people and communities identify themselves and others transform societies?
Theme 4: Dynamics of Discovery
How have changes in research and technology transformed the process of inquiry and discovery?
Theme 5: Channels of Creativity
How does our broadened view of arts and entertainment transform the world around us?
Theme 6: Visions of Justice
How are shifting views of justice transforming global realities and how are communities responding?
Theme 7: Powers of Connection
How are the ways we connect evolving and transforming the world?
Theme 8: Worlds of Work
How are global trends transforming the work we do, and how do we navigate to those changes?
Theme 9: Systems of Belief
How do systems of thought change and how do they have the power to change us?

Vicky PTK Faculty Scholar Video

More about Vicky…

You can learn more about Vicky Knickerbocker and her work at the college by reading the following stories on Inver Hills News:

“Why I Teach about the Holocaust”

Vicky and Eva Kor

“Cuba Adventure”

Cuba Tour 2016

“Vicky Knickerbocker Named MnSCU Outstanding Educator”

Vicky Knickerbocker

More about Alpha Omicron Beta…

Alpha Omicron Beta is one of the five largest and most awarded of the 70 chapters in our three-state region of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Each semester, chapter members actively participate in meetings, volunteer opportunities and leadership roles. Everyone is invited to join us in our work.

You can connect with Alpha Omicron Beta Mondays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in College Center Room 117 during weekly member and officer meetings. You can also stop by the Phi Theta Kappa and Student Senate office near the Fresh Stop Café.

To learn more about Phi Theta Kappa at Inver Hills, contact:

Vicky Knickerbocker
Humanities and Human Services Faculty
Phi Theta Kappa Faculty Advisor

Nicki Bottko
Associate Director of Student Life
Phi Theta Kappa Staff Advisor

Jenni Yamada
Student Life Activities Coordinator
Phi Theta Kappa Staff Advisor

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