Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Phi Theta Kappa Fellowship In Action

By Anna Panyuta

On the weekend of October 17-19, the group of student officers from the Alpha Theta Phi Chapter participated at the Honors in Action conference in Selden, Long Island. Representatives of more than forty-four Phi Theta Kappa chapters of the NY region gathered in the Ammerman Campus of Suffolk County Community College. During the next three days we were a part of an incredible program that consisted of five general sessions, group discussions, games, campus tours and more. This Honors in Action Conference was probably the only event in my life which led me to meet so many wonderful, smart people in one location. In a period of only two in a half days, I made 25 new Facebook friends. Besides getting the chance to make new friends and making my network wider and more diverse, the trip to the conference showed me the great value of effective communication and the importance of tolerance while trying finding a function in dysfunction.

The Honors in Action Conference was brilliantly organized. It was planned to every second and had no visible hiccups in timing. The Conference consisted of five general sessions with keynote speakers discussing different topics in every and each general session. My favorite speaker was Mr. Frank Vino who covered the topic “Looking Back to Move Forward” where he talked about personal qualities of leaders. Students also had plenty of time and opportunities to break the ice and get to know each other. After the five general sessions, discussions took place in small groups. The “Nerd Nation” crowd was broken down into a small groups of fifteen and started talking in a casual atmosphere. Together with an advisor most of us have never met before, we shared experiences and opinions related to topics assigned earlier. Besides the discussion groups we got to know each other in various spots: on a shuttle bus, during breakfast lunch and dinner, on game night, and during the fellowship event called the Amazing Race Challenge. As a matter of fact, after game night, some of us liked to play the game “Mafia” so much, that after playing it during the first night we agreed to meet and play more, even though it wasn`t part of the schedule!

The Honors in Action Conference in Fall 2014 was a one of a kind trip in my life - in a short time of two in a half days I studied a lot and met tons of wonderful people. The conference managed to bring together many of the chapters of New York region and for the whole weekend we took part in incredible workshops, endless discussions, speeches, games and even a tour of the brand new Suffolk Community College Planetarium. The trip to the Honors in Action Conference will always stay in my mind as an example of how the one size doesn`t fit all and how important patience and tolerance is when trying to communicating with people who have a different  values and understandings of what is ethical vs. unethical, what is appropriate vs. inappropriate and what is professional vs. unprofessional.

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