Nick Stern, Staff Reporter | Photo by Nick Stern,
Anthropology major and vice president of Services Learning Program, Tiffany Ruelas, is now the current Vice President of the Phi Theta Kappa chapter at CNM, and she and fellow members have plans that will help further PTK’s goals and encourage students to do well in school, she said.
This month PTK is planning something called the C4 Commitment to Complete which is basically getting students to sign a massive banner committing themselves to complete an Associate’s degree at a community college, she said.
“It is for students who do well in school. For them to be acknowledged that they actually did well in school and there are scholarship opportunities and other events for students that are in PTK. It opens doors for students,” she said.
PTK has a lot of different things going on like planning for an ice cream social for the spring term which will help the group try to raise money to make scholarships for its members, she said. Members are also working with the CNM bookstore to try and get textbook scholarships for its members, she said.
PTK also works on a whole bunch of different things including different fundraisers and even events to just have some fun, she said.
“We went to the museum over the summer just to be together. So we do a bunch of different stuff,” she said.
PTK also plans on doing volunteer work for the Roadrunner food bank, which already has 30 volunteers, not including actual members, and are hoping to get a lot more, Ruelas said.
Ruelas recognizes that PTK does not have a really big presence on campus and not as many people know about it as there should be, she said.
One of the group’s larger goals right now is to create a bigger and better attendance and to convince more students to finish at a community college with an associate’s degree, she said.
“We are trying to get a bigger presence in school and we are planning some things to do that. We are planning school events and are thinking about doing rounds to different classes if teachers allow us to just talk for five minutes about PTK and answer questions,” she said.
PTK is a honor society organization for outstanding students of two-year colleges and has a two part mission according to its web page, which is to acknowledge and encourage academic accomplishments among students and to provide chances for experience and growth among individual students through participation in different types of helpful programs.
Students have to have a grade point average of at least a 3.5 to get in to PTK and maintain at least a 2.5 GPA to maintain their membership, Ruelas said.
When she first got the email asking her to join, Ruelas did research on PTK and decided it was interesting and joined the society, she said.
Ruelas said she came to a couple meetings and offered to help with the ice cream social and other activities and was soon emailed by the president asking if she wanted to be an officer and she agreed.
It cost 75 dollars to join and membership lasts a lifetime, Ruelas said
“You’re always going to be a Phi Theta Kappa no matter where you are, it is great because you can finish a degree at a community college, wait however many years, and still go back to school and apply for PTK scholarships and can possibly get them,” Ruelas said.
Ruelas is from San Antonio, Texas where she moved to New Mexico from three days after her high school graduation in 2012, she said.
She will be the first one in her family to get a degree and her parents have very high expectations for her, she said.
She meets them by making the dean’s list for all three semesters she has attended, and she got to be in the honors program, she said.
One piece of advice she has for students is to get an education in something they like or are interested in, because it is much harder to finish doing something that does not interest and will make it that much harder to succeed.