Ione Ferreira is representing both Blinn College and her international honor society at four student leadership conferences this year.
Ferreira, a second-year student from Bellville, was elected by her peers in the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Beta Alpha chapter to serve as District V vice president, a role that helps oversee more than 20 college campuses.
Ferreira is one of six officers who make up the 2014-15 Texas regional officer team attending the conferences. Ferreira recently returned from the 2014 Honors Institute at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., and plans to attend conferences at Southwestern University, Grayson College and San Antonio later this year.
PTK is the official honor society for two-year colleges by the American Association of Community Colleges. Founded in 1918, PTK promotes scholarship, leadership service and fellowship among its members. To be accepted into the program, students much carry at least a 3.5 grade point average (GPA) with at least 12 transferable hours. Blinn – Brenham’s Beta Alpha chapter has more than 100 members.
“I came to Blinn to focus on my grades and transfer to Texas A&M for vet school,” Ferreira said. “Then I got involved in Phi Theta Kappa. It’s such a fun, educational opportunity. It challenges your critical thinking skills and it’s a great experience for any student.”
At the recent weeklong Honors Institute in St. Louis, Ferreira learned important leadership skills, including confidence, consistency and open-mindedness. Much of the conference was dedicated to preparing the officers to implement the Honors in Action project on their respective campuses. Honors in Action is a PTK initiative that encourages students to apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills toward an annual community action plan.
“It was a great learning environment,” Ferreira said. “You take the topic for the year and apply it to your community to discover how you can make it better. That’s what the Honors in Action project and PTK is all about.”
Ferreira is the first Blinn student to hold a regional officer position since 1980.
“I’m blessed to have this experience,” she said. “If you have the opportunity to be a part of something that is bigger than yourself, do it. The doors are numerous and so are the learning opportunities.”
Founded in 1883, Blinn is a comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement. With an enrollment of 18,413 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for its affordable educational excellence.
As part of its commitment to student success, Blinn is currently implementing a Quality Enhancement Plan titled, “Destination Success: First-Year Focus,” which utilizes learning communities to support first-year college students.