BY: KATHERINE SNELL, PTK SECRETARY
Northland Community & Technical College’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter attended the international conference, NerdNation, April 7-9 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., just outside of Washington, D.C. Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society of two-year colleges and academic programs. Seven of us from NCTC (Baylie Karboviak, Kelsey Weber, Hallie Reilly, Levi Pearson, Sean Lee and Katherine Snell and Mackenzie Kruta) attended the conference, along with our chaperone Jennifer Dahlen.
NerdNation is an annual conference that gives students a chance to network, attend educational forums and become more engaged in PTK. Nearly 4,000 PTK members from across the country attended and provided the opportunity to “see just how large Phi Theta Kappa really is,” NCTC PTK member Levi Pearson emphasized.
“It was amazing to meet students from around the world who are just as passionate about their studies as I am,” PTK member Baylie Karboviak said.
Colleges from all over the country came to take part in the transfer fair, where we all could learn more about the colleges and speak with college representatives. The transfer fair is “the largest in higher education and the only international fair held specifically for high-achieving and leadership-tested potential community college transfer students,” according to the Phi Theta Kappa website.
Voting for the PTK international officer candidate took place during the convention. We had the chance to walk through the marketplace and visit stands to speak with candidates and their campaign managers before voting.
Educational forums were offered daily. Some of the forums we attended included a money habits presentation, how to use yoga and stretches to de-stress, a presentation on how to build a personal brand, another on building PTK chapters through social media, and many more. The general sessions were high-energy events that were held in a grand room with flashing lights and enthusiastic cheers. Featured speakers included Yanik Etan, PTK international president; Dr. Paul G. Stoltz, author; Lord John Eatwell, economist; and Katty Kay, BBC World News anchor. Before the sessions began, students from different schools paraded around the room with signs to show school pride. Everyone from NCTC attended the final general session together. A highlight of the session was being able to watch the intense final round of the scholar bowl, where two teams competed in general knowledge and PTK history.
In our free time, we were able to explore D.C. We visited many sites including the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, the White House, and the Capitol. It was a life-changing event for students and a great bonding experience for us.
“It was undoubtedly a once in a lifetime opportunity that I’m glad I took,” Kelsey Weber concluded.
You can learn more about PTK and the opportunities available to NCTC students that are involved at http://www.northlandcollege.edu/campus-life/phi-theta-kappa/.
Images by Jennifer Dahlen