Friday, March 16, 2018

Fake it until you Make it

By Caroline Wong

We are not always proud of ourselves. In this world full of ambitions, imperfections, and disappointments, we enter a large hole, moving downward, full of self-reflection questions starting with “what if?”. Indeed, “what if I was more confident?”, what if life wasn’t that hard, afterward?”, “what if people weren’t seeing me the way I usually see myself as?”. Invading questions that no one could pursue answers but our own selves. It is not easy to answer them, and to be honest, it might even be impossible to do it sometimes. The planet we live in is not perfect. Nothing on it is. That is why creating our own responses is permissible. Researchers throughout generations kept on trying to find ways of making human creatures perceive their world differently, no matter who they are. Conclusions shape the Society whether they choose to follow the logic or not.

It is all about the way we think; psychology. Amy Cuddy, an American Social Psychologist shared one of her conclusions. During her first Ted Talks, she asked two questions: “Do our non-verbal behaviors govern how others think and feel about ourselves?”, and “Do our non-verbal govern how we think and feel about ourselves?”. The first question is one that many could think about, but the second one is a question that truly, can mark one’s life. In fact, according to Cuddy, when you pretend to be powerful, you tend to feel powerful. Our body changes our mind in so many ways. Depending on how we position ourselves, our thoughts, feelings, and other inner parts of our body are being influenced.

For Cuddy, powerful people tend to be more confident, optimistic, and take more risks. One thing that she came up with is physiological differences. Indeed, within this category hides testosterone (dominance hormone) and cortisone (stress hormone), and those two sub-categories represent statistics for high power alpha males as well as for the most powerful and effective leaders. The two groups of people share the same average statistics meaning that they both have high testosterone and low cortisone. Cuddy wants to light our mind in believing that power does not only include one component of a person’s physiology but two of them. Managing stress is one fact that makes a leader a powerful leader.

Both, testosterone and cortisone need each other. Believing in pretending that the fact that we are more powerful than we think we are would shape the way our mind functions is also needed for anyone who seeks to develop on their physiological components. After taking saliva samples from each person within a group study to test the accuracy of the hypothesis that an individual would feel more powerful if he positions himself in a powerful way, Cuddy concluded that role changing also shapes the mind of an individual.

I agree with Cuddy when she says in her talk that we are not who we are only because of others, but also because of ourselves. The body of ours tells a lot about our inner characteristics, but the way we position ourselves also influences our thinking process. Cuddy’s talk has been very impactful to me as it provided resourceful information. Indeed, answering those self-conscious questions by replacing them with pretending we are what we are not yet could be one way of experimenting life. It could be impactful. It could be impacting as well.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


by Andro Tadros 

I think in a way or another Phi Theta Kappa will really change myself, my thinking, my abilities, and I think with all these resources, knowledge, experiences, skills, that Phi Theta Kappa offers for me I will have the ability to change the process not only for my academic life but also for my personal life as well. So overall, Phi Theta Kappa will change my life and it will help me survive any difficulties that I am facing or will face in my school years and it will give me the courage to learn more, to know more, and to be a better person. Phi Theta Kappa or (PTK) is an international Honor Society for two-year colleges throughout the 50 states. Phi Theta Kappa was created to help students gain more skills and experiences during their years of study and to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students.

Personally I think being in PTK will add up to my experience in many ways. One of the benefits of Phi Theta Kappa is that it will help me develop my leadership skills and to have me thinking about myself as a leader. Also, it will provide me opportunities to participate in service and fellowship programming. It will offer me to nearly 37 million in scholarships opportunities and I am going to have the chance to apply for any four-year college. It will give the chance to meet new people, to explore friendships and meet very important people that I will never have the chance to meet them anywhere else. It's going to assist me to make connections and to have great network with others which means it will improve my social skills as well.

For example, when I went to the new members orientation I already started to talk to some people and made connections with them. And when I Meet more new people at any actual event and meet all the members of PTK it would be a great opportunity for me to make more connections with others. So PTK will really help me create my network very strongly. In addition, Phi Theta Kappa is going to afford me the chance to travel and and apply for schools that I had never imagined before. It will keep me on track in order to graduate on time, it will give me the knowledge of how to become successful in everything I am planning to do. I’ll have opportunities to develop research and servant leadership skills by participating in honors in action programming in local chapter, and opportunities to become part of a network of nearly 3 million fellow scholars and servant leaders on more than 1,285 campuses worldwide. Especially, my dream is to get into medical school, and with all the events that I will attend, with all the understanding my brain will create, and all the leadership and fellowship skills I will get from PTK I think I am going to have the ability to be very successful in medical school.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


By Shristee Poudel

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating the progress, giving birth to evolution. ” - Albert Einstein

I first heard and knew about PTK (Phi Theta Kappa) at the orientation of spring 2017. I was a transferred student and was willing to make most of my college experience. I learned about PTK and about its importance through the PTK officers. PTK is a platform where not only academic achievement is acknowledged but also polished. As the quote of sir Einstein states, it is always important to break the box of limitation in order to stand out in the crowd. I believe PTK encourages student to excel in academics and boost their confidence to create a future leader in a student. It is the place where members are family, you can open up your nervousness and they will teach to gain confidence on yourself. It is place where you will recognize your skills and learn to advance it.

Once my dad asked me about my dream, and I answered “I don’t know”. I remember being in fifth grade and I honestly was unaware about my skills, potential, passion and dream. Growing up my aim was fluctuating from pilot to singer to entrepreneur. Now, I am doing associate in computer science and have planned to finish my master on cyber security. I want to be a cyber-security analyst and help people feel safe in this modern age of technology. I come from small village named “sitapur” in country Nepal, where higher education for girl is still a dream. I am grateful to my parents for going beyond their economic ability and moving to the capital city for my higher education. I was able to dream bigger because they let me. I know in the near future I have to prove my ability to people who don’t know me. Here in PTK, I can explore all the academic resources, with the help of advisors and officers I can create a better result. So, I know PTK will help me overcome my self-confidence issue and turn me from a student to a leader.

Monday, February 26, 2018


by Lhamu Dolma Hyolmo

Competitive Edge is a professional deve
lopment course designed especially for Phi Theta Kappa scholars to develop and strengthen their knowledge of soft skills. It is really important for students to have these skills in order to achieve career goals and succeed in life. This competitive edge challenge is divided into five stages where you’ll be working on your communication skills, research skills, emotional intelligence, professional etiquette etc. through videos and quizzes and it is known as Five Star Competitive Edge Challenge.

Upon completion of each stage, you qualify for a star and you have to finish the first stage to get into another one. This is an online based course and you can take as much time as you need to complete it. You'll be valued as a five-star member and also get the opportunity to request a certificate and put it on your resume and buy a five-star member pin.

The first stage is about the importance of reflection and reading habits. You'll have to watch a few videos and answer the quizzes. The video will be about the way we define success and the growth mindset of people. Also, you are required to keep a journal and make a career development plan.

The second stage is on critical thinking and reading skills. You'll also be quizzed on this, as well as your grammar skills. You'll have to work on your emotional intelligence skills at this stage and also start to look for your research topic from the given list.

The third stage helps you strengthen your writing skills and gives you more knowledge about interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence. "The 4 A's of Responding to Customer Criticism" is an article which provides you a lesson regarding how to deal with people in a professional work environment. Apart from that, you are required to collect five newspaper articles to support your research topic.

The fourth stage provides you knowledge regarding professional etiquette. It does not only talk about how to dress and how to present yourself but also about social media etiquette which is very much important to know in this technological era. Furthermore, you are required to complete your research.

The fifth stage is about the importance of research and different ways to perform academic and professional research. In addition, several videos are provided to you where you can learn how to find and evaluate different credible sources. This stage also discusses how to overcome your anxiety, make a presentation and your body language. This is the final stage where you will be uploading your research for your final assessment and getting an edge as a five-star member.

From my own personal experience, I’d say that Competitive Edge is something that you must do. I am a full-time student and I took a month to complete my competitive edge as I had to give equal time for all my courses as well. I really enjoyed this course because I got to learn so many things starting with small details as to how to dress and eat and talk and it went to an advanced level where it teaches us to do research and make the presentation in a professional way. The best thing about this course is that you can take as much time as you need and you can also review it anytime.Therefore, I'd recommend taking full advantage of this course to strengthen your knowledge and be a proud five-star member.

Daveed Diggs at the 2018 PTK International Conference

By Hephzibah Oluwanusi

The Catalyst—Phi Theta Kappa’s annual convention—is an once-in-a-lifetime experience, as described by previous PTK members who had the privilege to attend this prestigious conference. Students like me will have the chance to hear from well-known and recognized speakers, such as Daveed Diggs, about their areas of interest and experiences, with the goal of inspiring action and promoting the pursuit of knowledge. I am confident that Daveed Diggs talk will be one of the most fascinating ones, primarily because of his diverse, rich experience in the education and entertainment industry. Although it is hard to predict what his talk will concentrate on, I expect to hear about his journey to fame and success—how he managed to overcome barriers and the tough, complex decisions he encountered. Daveed had the chance to work alongside influential individuals, and sharing how these interactions altered his point of view will be an interesting segment to hear.

Furthermore, Daveed Diggs has a history that is not often discussed—the will to break stereotypes and prove everyone wrong. Being from a racially mixed family, he often encountered dead ends and rejections from prominent producers; however, his talent and determination to succeed proved everyone wrong. An unwavering resolve to stand for what he believes led him to the path of today, and, addressing this part of his life to the diverse audience will help spread awareness for equality and provoke change—which is so desperately needed in our political and socio economic sectors.

Reading up on Daveed Diggs, I have learned so much about him.  He is a person who follows his passion and likes to incorporate his passion and vision into every project he gets involved in. I believe that Daveed’s presence at the convention would be inspiring to us students, as he is someone who apologetically pursues his dreams. Not only would he share his experiences but he would also motivate us to put passion into every project and activity we get involved in. Catalyst 2018, marks an important milestone, a hundred years of Phi Theta Kappa, and there is no better time than this to have such inspiration speakers to initiate a conference to be remembered for years to come.

A Job Interview Competition? To Do or Not To Do?

By Telijah Patterson

Job Interviews. #Sigh. No one enjoys them, but they are a necessary part of life, especially life as an ambitious professional who might need to go through several rounds of interviews for a senior level position. 

Phi Theta Kappa members are known the world over as young leaders who are rich in potential and many go on to become very accomplished individuals. This is no coincidence. In fact, Phi Theta Kappa has specialized training for active members to polish their professional suave. More than this, in order to incentivize professional readiness Phi Theta Kappa hosts a job interview competition at it’s annual convention every year! As if interviewing weren’t hard enough, Phi Theta Kappa challenges its members to their apex!

The way it works is at the convention students who wish to participate must present a resume to the selection committee. Candidates who meet their approval will then be able to advance to a 15 minute interview. All candidates are asked similar questions. First place receives $500, second place receives $250, and third place receives $100. The Phi Theta Kappa website notes that: “Contestants will be evaluated on their understanding of employment procedures faced in applying for an entry-level position.” There are only 40 slots available and expected attendance will be in the thousands so if students want to participate they must be on their A+ game and get in early.

This competition is an excellent opportunity for everyone, including people who do not win a prize. There is a proverb that says “aim for the moon, even if you should fail, you will land among the stars.” In the same way, preparing for the job interview competition is a great way to help students prepare for real-life scenarios. No doubt, being a participant whether a winner or not will boost students’ confidence in their ability to articulate themselves and help to clarify their professional goals. Doing all this research on the job interview competition at our upcoming Phi Theta Kappa international convention has me kind of considering whether I should accept the challenge myself. 

As I sit here on a cool Friday morning sipping a cup of fresh optimism I contemplate what this will require of me and I’ve come up with a list :
  • Preparation and time, preferably at least 30 minutes a day until competition
  • Feedback from one or more of my mentors
  • Research in several categories. First, what are tough interview questions and what are the best ways to answer? Second, who were winners from previous competitions and how can I get in touch with them for their advice? Last, but not least, do I know how to properly articulate my own experience?
  • Video camera so that I can record myself because what I feel and see might not be what the world feels and sees
  • A resume facelift because I have some great experience, but the design of my resume wouldn’t necessarily StAnD oUt (See how I just did that!, lol!). For this I will need to look at some colorful resume templates on
  • Master the STAR technique of interviewing.
  • Buy a new interview suit, something professional, but that also allows me to express my personality. I’m thinking of something with splashes of color and a bit of an edge! (This might just be the perfect excuse for me to go to Forever 21, yay!)
  • Rally supporters by talking to my friends. There’s nothing like some positive peer pressure, affirmation, and an outside source of accountability.
  • Get and stay in the right frame of mind. I have quite the imagination and I must admit that I’m a bit ashamed to say that what’s fueling my raging optimism right now is the image of myself grazing the stage to stake claim to my first place prize, but really that's not what this should be about. I am in this to improve myself professionally and whatever the outcome I will be more prepared to present myself at an interview when it matters most.
I really want to do this not for the competition because in my eyes the only person worth competing with is myself, making myself a better person that I was the day before. I don't want to do this for my school either. I love my school, yes, but no one needs that extra pressure. I want to do this for me! Because accepting a challenge is an affirmation of growth and in the end isn't that what life is supposed to be about? Stagnation is death and I am anything, but that! So here we go, I am inches away from clicking the sign up button. I can, I will, I must #participate!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

“Fake it till you Become it” - Amy Cuddy, PTK Catalyst 2018 Keynote Speaker

by Peter Dilshan Don

Social psychologist, author, and lecturer Amy Cuddy is an expert on the behavioral science of power, prejudice, and presence. She is best known for her research on the power of nonverbal behavior, prejudice and stereotyping. Amy Cuddy and her research became famous after her Ted talk which delivered at TEDGlobal 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. In her Ted talk, she talked about nonverbal behavior, how it can affect other people around us and most importantly how it can affect oneself. She shared findings of her research to show that how nonverbal behavior can affect our own thoughts, performance, and psychological state. In her book, “Presence,” she encourages readers to see the power in behavior, body language and mindset and use them to generate a better sense of presence in our lives.

I learned about Amy Cuddy through social media. One of my friends shared her Ted talk on Facebook and the title of the video, “Your body language may shape who you are,” immediately caught my attention. Because I know that our mind can shape who we are, what we do, our appearance, and our body language. But I have never heard anyone says that your body language has an effect on who you are. Also as a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, I was fascinated by the way Sherlock deduce and come to conclusions based on one’s body language. Even though the stories are fictional, I found that nonverbal behaviors are playing major role in our day to day life. Nonverbal behavior can be very useful when it’s come to social interaction. During my middle school and high school, I had a friend who is naturally talented in art. I was also really good at drawing and painting, and it made us close friends. However, it was difficult to communicate with him since he is unable to hear or speak. In order to truly understand him and effectively communicate with him, I had to rely on his facial expressions and nonverbal behavior. This experience helped me to understand the importance of nonverbal behavior as a communication tool and a way of expression. It wasn’t a surprise to learn that Amy Cuddy’s Ted talk is one of the most viewed Ted talks because it was an interesting subject matter that anyone can be related to. Sometimes it is inevitable to feel powerless and show it to the world. However, Cuddy has shown a way to change it; an important life hack, as she says “fake it till you become it.”

I am very excited to see her, listen to her, and learn about her latest work in person at PTK Catalyst 2018. This year PTK Catalyst going to be a wonderful event since we are celebrating the 100th anniversary as Phi Theta Kappans. This experience will be the highlight of my college life by far because I get to witness Amy Cuddy’s speech in person and participate in such a global event.


Fake it until you Make it

By Caroline Wong We are not always proud of ourselves. In this world full of ambitions, imperfections, and disappointments, we enter a la...