Students, Advisors Recognized for Academic Excellence and Leadership at PTK Regional Meeting

Rowan College of South Jersey’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society students from Alpha Psi Pi (Gloucester Campus) and Rho Gamma (Cumberland Campus) chapters attended the 36 Middle States Regional Convention in Baltimore, Maryland from March 10 to 12. To become a RCSJ Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) member, students must be enrolled and have completed at least 12 credits while earning a minimum GPA of 3.5. To remain a member, students must maintain a 3.25 GPA. 

PTK recognizes the academic achievement of college students and provides opportunities for its members to grow as scholars and leaders. Established in 1918, PTK has a presence on almost 1,300 community college campuses in 11 nations. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) recognized PTK as the official honor society for two-year colleges in 1929. More than 3.8 million students have been inducted since 1918, with approximately 250,000 active members in the nation’s community colleges. 

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RCSJ’s Gloucester campus Alpha Psi Pi (APP) chapter awards include:   

  • Recognized as one of 33 chapters earning 5-Star status.  There are over 80 chapters in the Middle States Region. 
  • Received the League of Honor Award for completion of Honors in Action, College Project, Middle States engagement, and participation in the Google Classroom learning experience.
  • Alpha Psi Pi earned REACH Rewards for 2022. 

RCSJ’s Gloucester campus Alpha Psi Pi student/advisor awards include: 

  • Domonique DeNardo (past officer), Karen Paladino (past officer), and Megan Rinaldo (current officer) were recognized for their efforts in completing the PTK Edge programs.  Although optional, these programs are requirements for students looking to earn our Distinguished Member designation offered on each campus. 
  • Alejandra Valencia (advisor) received an award for her recognition as a 5-Star Advisor. 
  • Alejandra Valencia also received the Paragon Award for an advisor with one to four years’ experience. Valencia will be recognized for this accomplishment at PTK’s Catalyst premier annual event next month. 

Megan Rinaldo, APP’s Executive Vice President, shares her PTK experience. 

“My family has been my biggest motivation for accepting this role. As a mom of two boys under seven, I wanted to show them that if you set goals and work hard to achieve those goals that anything is possible. PTK has helped me gain confidence to grow as a person, student, and a leader while gaining more professional skills with writing and research as well,” says Rinaldo. 

Alejandra Valencia, PTK Advisor, Gloucester Campus reflects, “PTK has seen me grow from the time I was a student at RCSJ. They were the first ones to give me the opportunity to become involved in campus and feel included. Thus, I am happy to give that back to current and future students as an advisor. This award is for them, for inspiring me to achieve my highest potential. Helping them is my life’s purpose.” 

RCSJ’s Cumberland campus Rho Gamma chapter awards include: 

  • Recognized as one of 33 chapters earning 5-Star status.  There are over 80 chapters in the Middle States Region. 
  • Rho Gamma earned REACH Rewards for 2022 

RCSJ’s Cumberland campus Rho Gamma advisor awards include: 

  • Michael Lemon was recognized for his efforts in completing the PTK Edge programs. 
  • Michael Lemon received an award for his recognition as a 5-Star Advisor. 

Lemon, PTK Advisor, Cumberland Campus, shares, “It has been fulfilling to me to see PTK officers work together as an official team and make everyone around them inside and outside of the PTK organization feel a part of the RCSJ family.” 

In addition to these awards, Kayla Ortiz, Executive Vice-President for the Cumberland Campus chapter, will now serve as the 2023 East District President for the Middle States Region for the next year.  She will be traveling to Jackson, Mississippi in November 2023 for a three-day training session with other regional officers and the CEO of Phi Theta Kappa, Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner.  

Ortiz shares, “PTK has helped me grow personally, professionally, and as a student leader. Throughout my time in PTK, I had the opportunity to hone my leadership, effective communication, and active listening skills. I have been able to strengthen my writing and research skills while working alongside a team of high-achieving and motivated students. I am so proud to be a part of the first team in RCSJ Cumberland’s history to reach Five Star status, the highest status a chapter can achieve! This recognition represents our chapter’s hard work and dedication throughout the year as engaged student leaders.” 

For more information on RCSJ PTK Honor Society visit

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