Student-Run Since '51

MCC PTK chapter brings home big honors

Paige Wieland, Staff Writer

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On February 26, nine members of the MCC chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), Beta Zeta Phi, and their advisor Brandon Lange trekked over to Marshalltown, Iowa, for this year’s Iowa Regional Conference, bringing home six awards, including Honorable Mention in the “Honors in Action” Hallmark Award and in the Distinguished Chapter Award. They also received a first place honor for their Honors in Action project, “Frontiers in Temporal and Spatial Physics,” submitted for the Distinguished Theme Award of the Honors in Action Project.
PTK President Mary Nietzel explained that the spring session of the Iowa Regional Awards Conference is geared more towards congratulating and recognizing the Iowa PTK chapters on their achievements.
The two day trip is packed with activities. The first day includes a meet and greet, lunch and dinner, break-out sessions on fundraising and table etiquette.
The second day begins with an induction ceremony and then the rest of the day is dedicated to giving out awards, and this is where the MCC PTK Chapter really shined.
They received the Iowa Region Five Star Level Award, Honorable Mention in the Honors in Action Hallmark Award (Second Best in State) and Distinguished Chapter Award (Second Best in State). The Horizon Award was won by advisor Brandon Lange and former advisorJana Fowler. Lange also received the Paragon Award for New Advisor. This was his fourth year as advisor, his last year of eligibility for the Paragon. PTK also claimed first place in the Distinguished Theme Award-Honors and Action Project.
Advisor Brandon Lange said, “A successful organization depends on its members working together. Our success in PTK has been achieved from a strong leadership team that works really well together to deliver excellent results. I am very proud of my chapter.”
The Distinguished Theme Award-Honors and Action Project is a project each PTK Chapter works on after being given a broad topic by the PTK organization. This year’s broad topic was exploration of a variety of different topics, and the sub-topic the MCC Chapter chose was Theme 6- Exploration in Temporal and Spatial Physics.
Nietzel said that their project unfolded from a paper she had written for MCC English instructor Jim Compton’s composition class about superheros and comics and how they have influenced real life technology being created, such as Iron Man and exoskeleton technology.
“And so then we were talking as a group, and Greg Slonka, who is a member, he was like we could totally tie this into the Physics theme. Then we started brainstorming from there,” Nietzel said.
From there they discussed movies such as Star Wars, Star Trek, and Flatland, movies that tied into this theme. After the hard work and editing the members eventually created an award-winning end product.
“We created this paper that explores the idea that … pop culture as a whole has had direct effect on physics… and what it could influence,” Nietzel said.
Nietzel said, “My favorite part of the Conference was the Awards Ceremony. Our PTK Chapter worked really hard this year. … I felt like at times it was a bit stressful for us because we really wanted to do well, but it all in the end worked out and we were recognized for all our hard work.”

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Student-Run Since '51
MCC PTK chapter brings home big honors