Redlands' Phi Theta Kappa Chapter Brings Home Regional, National Awards

April 19, 2017

Contact: Marcia Shottenkirk, Communications Liaison / 405.422.6237


EL RENO, Okla. — The Alpha Beta Upsilon Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa from Redlands Community College was recently honored at the international honor society annual convention in Nashville. The chapter received three national honors at the Hallmark Awards Gala. The team brought home: Distinguished College Project; Distinguished Honors in Action Project, and the Distinguished Chapter Award.

In addition to national recognition, never before had an Oklahoma college received all top honors at the Phi Theta Kappa Oklahoma/Arkansas Regional Conference – until this year. Alpha Beta Upsilon Chapter swept all top honors at the 2017 meeting, held at the University of Central Oklahoma. Alpha Beta Upsilon chapter officers include: Kyndra Scott, Katie Cherry, Mia Miller, Annie Blassingame and Sydney Prince.

The Hallmark awards, based on competitively-judged applications, recognize individuals, chapters, and regions for excellence in scholarship, leadership, fellowship, and service. Redlands Community College received the top award in multiple categories:

The Distinguished Honors in Action Project incorporates academic research and analysis, leadership roles, leadership development, action, service, collaboration and reflection. Based on Theme Three from the Phi Theta Kappa Program Guide, Alpha Beta Upsilon addressed the notions of Rights vs. Responsibilities in the context of environmentalism. Using the adage of “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children,” the chapter explored the topic of plastic waste and collected more than 8,000 plastic water bottles discarded on campus in a 60- day period. The chapter also researched environmentally sound practices to encourage campuses to find alternatives to widespread plastics waste, including the installation of fill stations on water fountains.

The Distinguished College Project is designed to strengthen the supportive relationship between the chapter and college administration. Alpha Beta Upsilon met with Redlands President Jack Bryant and decided together to bring the College back into the community in order to increase visibility. Among the chief activities was a book drive, collecting more than 2,000 books to be used in Little Lending Libraries constructed by the El Reno Rotary Club. The College Project affords the project team the opportunity to interact at the highest administrative levels.

The Distinguished Chapter Award requires a chapter to have superior performance in both Honors in Action and College Projects. The award goes to the chapter with the highest average score across the two projects, and this year, Alpha Beta Upsilon received the highest ranking in both categories. In addition, the officer team must demonstrate an exceptional atmosphere of teamwork, leadership, and promotion of Phi Theta Kappa.

Sydney Prince received the Distinguished Chapter Officer Award, which is given to an officer who has demonstrated all four hallmarks of Phi Theta Kappa (scholarship, leadership, fellowship, and service), overall engagement in chapter activities, and exceptional outreach.

Trey Scott received the Distinguished Chapter Member Award, which is given to a member who has not been in an officer role and is based on a student’s embodiment of the four hallmarks (scholarship, leadership, service, and fellowship) through chapter activities, campus activities, and contributions to the Honors in Action and other chapter projects.

Julie Flegal-Smallwood and Kevin Hawk received the Distinguished Chapter Advisor Team Award, which recognizes an exceptional atmosphere of teamwork, leadership, chapter promotion, and other involvement in Phi Theta Kappa. Modeling teamwork and collegiality is a critical area of evaluation.

Julie Flegal-Smallwood also received the Paragon Distinguished Advisor Award, which is designed for exceptional advisors who have less than four years of experience in the role. Key characteristics include fostering growth of individual members, serving as an advocate on campus, and encouraging the chapter and its members to reach out to the campus and community.

Mia Miller received the Tammie Sharp Memorial Honors Institute Scholarship. Founded in memory of an Oklahoma/Arkansas Regional Officer who passed away in 2016 from a chronic health condition, the scholarship is given to a student who embodies Sharp’s fighter spirit and has, or is, overcoming significant obstacles to pursuing an education.

In addition to these awards, Alpha Beta Upsilon was recognized as a Five Star Level chapter and received a Certificate of Excellence for attaining Five Star status for more than 12 years.

For more information, please contact Communications Liaison Marcia Shottenkirk at 405.422.6237 or via email at