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Getting to know Phi Theta Kappa's New Alumni Association Board

February, 2019
  • PTK Alumni Association Executive Board President Allen Phillips
    PTK Alumni Association Executive Board President Allen Phillips

President of the newly formed Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Alpha Zeta Theta (AZT) AZT Alumni Association Executive Board, Allen Phillips,  shares his experiences and musings as a QCC student, PTK member and alumni.

What drew you to QCC and why did you end up choosing the college?

I decided to attend QCC to finish my degree in Business Administration. QCC was close to my house and very affordable. The college also had an online program that allowed me to continue with my busy schedule and still complete my education.

During your time at QCC you were a member of the PTK Alpha Theta Zeta Chapter. Can you tell me a bit about your experiences as a PTK member?

 I received an email from PTK Advisor Bonnie Coleman, telling me that I was eligible to join PTK based on my GPA. I researched what PTK was and what it meant to be a member. My first thought was, ‘why bother,’ but as I looked into it more and realized this was a good group of people who were all community -oriented, and that it was an honor to belong, I decided to join. There are also scholarship opportunities available to PTK members.

Has being a member of PTK helped you as you’ve progressed through your educational career and your professional career?

Being a member of PTK helped me to realize that I do not have to settle for a lower grade when I am capable of getting higher grades. I continued my education by attending the University of Alaska online for Homeland Security and Emergency Management Bachelor’s program. I finished this past December with a 4.0 GPA and also became a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key and Sword and Shield Honor societies. I am currently pursuing my Masters at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  I link it all back to my PTK induction and how it felt on that day in 2016.

Can you tell me what you are currently doing today work-wise?

Currently, I work full-time for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. I have been there for 14 years. I recently retired from the West Boylston Fire department, where I worked part-time as a firefighter and EMT. I retired because my family and I moved to Leicester, Massachusetts.

Why did you decide to be president of the new PTK Alumni Association?

I decided to be president because I wanted to give back to an organization that had given to me. Being a member boosted my confidence and allowed me to continue my education and understand something a professor once said to me, which was, “you are better than you think you are.” I had offered to be a member of the board in any position, the interview team had asked if I would consider being the president, due to my background, since I had been an association president for other organizations in my town, as well as a selectman.

What do you hope the Association brings to the table for former PTK students?

 I hope our Association brings the same benefits and incentive I felt by being a PTK member. In addition to the ability to re-connect with those members who attended school with you, there are fellowship, volunteer and many other benefits to being a member.

Do you have any upcoming events etc. planned for the Association?

Yes, the current board and I are now working on this year’s events. Once we are finished we will publish a calendar listing all of the events. I can give you an idea of some of the events we discussed, many which we will try to get worked out once we finish working on bylaws and other necessary things for PTK AZT Alumni Association. Some of the ideas are: hiking event, cookout, haunted woods in October, softball game, restaurant days, and a comedy show. We will also take any suggestions from others on what they would like for events.

What would you tell someone who was considering QCC, or someone who is already a student at QCC and has been invited to be a PTK member, but is a bit hesitant to join?

 Do not be afraid of opportunity. What do you have to lose? Think about scholarships, prestige, friendship and walking down that aisle at graduation with your gold stole. The stole tells everybody there that you made to extra effort to succeed.

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