Five Central Lakes College students and two instructors participated in the June 28-July 3 Phi Theta Kappa Honors Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The contingent included Buck Ream of Brainerd, president of the honor society chapter at CLC, club secretary Cheryl Flategraff of Pine River, and honor students Rudy Jensen of Pillager and Pinchat Chatpaitoon and Nutthanit Towan, both of Thailand, accompanied by Marie Esser of the English faculty and health instructor Nancy Smith, a PTK adviser.
PTK is the international honor society for two-year colleges. Members maintain a grade-point average of at least 3.5. The Upsilon Omega chapter at CLC is a three-star chapter based on its level of effective action in promotion of PTK themes.
"One of the things coming out of this trip is our intention to work toward designation as a five-star chapter," said Smith.
Information and inspiration gained from the institute are the groundwork for cultivating leadership, scholarship and service at CLC, she said.
Voter awareness is a central focus.
"Registering voters on campus is one of the national themes this year," Smith said. Students at CLC can expect to receive the benefit of PTK commitment when the fall term starts Aug. 23. "We'll show them how to register through Project Vote Smart," she said.
The event at UCLA drew about 500 students from among the 1,200 PTK chapters. The CLC chapter was one of three from Minnesota at the 37th annual institute. They listened to speakers and worked in round-table conversations under the honors study topic, "Popular Culture: Shaping and Reflecting Who We Are."
Speakers for general assembly sessions included F.J. Pratt, a TV writer for "Frasier," "Ellen" and "Less Than Perfect," and Tony Baxter of Creative Development at Walt Disney Imagineering, who led the design and creation of Disney attractions and theme parks of the last 25 years, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain and the Indiana Jones Adventure.
Smith said PTK leadership classes also yield greater potential for enriching the campus community and furthering academic achievement. She will attend such classes later this summer in Tennessee.
Marie Esser, whose teaching assignment at CLC includes Film Appreciation, appreciated both the official information and the learning opportunities surrounding the institute. During a day tour of the Hollywood area, the CLC group witnessed a big-screen production in the making and was in the vicinity of final scenes being shot for the soon-to-be-released "Cat Woman."
A day of R and R featured the Universal Studios tour of sets familiar to movie-goers of the last several decades and the theme park with memorable rides such as "Jurassic Park."
The trip was financed by Perkins grant funds.
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