Over 150 leaders from the Carolinas Region swarmed Sumter, SC November 10 through 12 for the 2017 Phi Theta Kappa – Carolinas Region Leadership Conference. Central Carolina Technical College hosted this distinguished event in a first-class manner. Early Friday evening students and advisors who had already checked into the conference took advantage of learning to judge both Honors in Action and College Project entries. Friday night after all attendees arrived, is when the real fun began.
We held back to back concurrent workshop sessions for attendees before the first general session. During the first general session, the one and only Carolinas Region Superstar, “Papa” John made the call to order and introductions to get the evening started. It was quite the task but John passed over the spotlight to Dr. Michael Mikota, President of Central Carolina Technical College.
Dr. Mikota shared a great message about the four forces of flight. He compared these to life and how people live it. The four forces of flight (or acting forces of an airplane) are Lift, Thrust, Weight, and Drag. In regards to people, there are those who “lift” others up, those who “thrust” others to push themselves harder and further, those who “weigh” others down, and those who “drag” others backwards. Following the motivational welcome by Dr. Michael Mikota it was time for members of the Carolina Region to get active.
Leila Rogers, Advisor and Faculty Scholar from Horry Georgetown Technical College had members from the crowd volunteer to help with an activity. These volunteers didn’t know what they were getting themselves into and it led into an entertaining experiment. These volunteers were told to build a machine. They were all different parts to the machine and all played a vital role in making sure the machine ran properly. Without every part working properly and in sync with the other parts, the machine couldn’t function properly. It was a great team lesson. Everyone has their role when it comes to working as a team and when one person doesn’t do their portion, somebody else will have to pick up the slack.
Saturday was a day full of fellowship and teamwork. Students were split into mock chapters where they went through the process of electing chapter officers and voting for who would work on either the Honors in Action or the College Project committee. Following this step, students worked together to decide what they were interested in researching, discovering community and college needs, and how they could put their research into action. All who participated learned the step to step process in completing and writing a successful project.
Following a long day of work, it was time for a little entertainment. Saturday night was full of laughter and cheers as chapters participated in a Lip Sync Battle. Sunday morning was the third and final general session. During the session, mock chapters regrouped to review the judges’ feedback from the previous days’ work. The region then received a Phi Theta Kappa Headquarters Update from Division 1 International Vice President Don Koch. He also got everyone involved in an exercise to increase membership by asking small groups to work together to discuss what works and what doesn’t when it comes to increasing membership. The leadership conference was an eventful learning experience shared by all. The fellowship and discussion between members was astonishing. Get to Myrtle Beach for the Regional Convention. It’s going to be a blast.
By: Seth June