DCCC PTK Kicks Off 2021-22 Year

Lance Ziesch
DCCC assistant director of marketing, community relations

The Kappa Psi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society kicked off fall 2021 with its first meeting of the semester in the Dodge City Community College (DCCC) Learning Resource Center on Aug. 24.

The year’s officer team consists of Kaden Stapleton, sophomore, Jetmore, president; Jasmin Alvarado-Martinez, sophomore, Dodge City, vice president of scholarship; McKensy Torres-Dominguez, sophomore, Dodge City, vice president of leadership; Olivia Ramos, freshman, Dodge City, vice president of service; Clara Bartlett, sophomore, Cimarron, recording officer; and Guadalupe Hipolito-Medina, sophomore, Dodge City, public relations.

Stapleton, who was installed as PTK president at last April’s induction ceremony, said, “I am working toward my Associate of Science to be one step closer to receiving a doctorate in chiropractic care.”

Alvarado-Martinez, who was born and raised in Dodge City, said she plans to major in business at DCCC. Some of her interests include helping others, doing homework and going to the gym.

“My intended major is in human resources, which then leads to my Associate of General Studies and my Bachelor of Business Administration,” Alvarardo-Martinez said. “Something unique that I bring to PTK would be my kindness and my ability to always help in any way, shape or form that I can.”

Bartlett, who is majoring in nursing at DCCC, is also a member of the college’s cross country and track and field teams. Her interests include running, photography, crafting, hunting and fishing.

“Something unique I bring to PTK is my outgoing and talkative personality, which brings both a positive energy to our program and someone who is willing to take leadership,” she said.

In addition to a new student leadership team, PTK also has a new faculty advisor this year. Kerry J. Kuplic, DCCC Associate Professor of Vocal Music and Fine Arts Division Chair, became the new faculty advisor in April.

“I was originally asked to be the faculty advisor in fall 2015, and I served as advisor for two years until I was asked to become the Fine Arts Division Chair,” Kuplic said. “Lately, I had been thinking of ways to get more involved in the life of the campus, so the invitation to return as advisor was very fortuitous.”

When Kuplic was asked to serve as faculty advisor for a second time, he said he felt “really humbled and honored” that the current PTK members had voted in his favor.

“I enjoyed my time as advisor in the past, and I am looking forward to the Kappa Psi chapter making an immediate and positive impact on the college and community at large,” he said. “We’ve already undertaken projects and have several more in the works. I’m impressed with the members’ commitment to the chapter and their ideas for ways to highlight PTK’s unique place within the campus community. Their motivation is really inspiring.”

PTK was founded in 1918 to recognize scholars and develop leaders. Its members complete their associate degrees and/or transfer to four-year colleges or universities at an outstanding rate of 91%—compared to a national success rate of 39%.

PTK membership benefits include recognition, scholarship opportunities, access to a network of fellow scholars, development of leadership skills through Five Star Competitive Edge and the potential for leadership positions on the local, regional and international levels.

In order to be eligible for PTK, students must have completed at least 12 hours of coursework toward an associate or bachelor’s degree (or at least six hours of coursework toward a one-year certificate) and have a cumulative 3.0 grade point average.

“PTK is unique in that students can get out of it what they put in,” Kuplic said. “The structure is such that students can participate when they’re able, rather than rigid requirements for attendance and participation. We have a number of members who may not be able to attend every meeting or participate in every project, but they’re working behind the scenes to foster relationships with schools, area businesses, and charitable groups.”

DCCC President, Dr. Harold Nolte, said he greatly values his own PTK student experience—and the wonderful leadership and professional-growth opportunities that it provided—and he is very proud to be affiliated with the Kappa Psi Chapter today.

“In February, I was honored with the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction from PTK, which is the organization’s most prestigious award for community college presidents,” Nolte said. “It is a tremendous honor for me personally, because I was nominated by the PTK students from Dodge City Community College.”

The DCCC Kappa Psi Chapter of PTK was chartered on April 21, 1960.