April 19, 2023 (Middletown, Conn.) — The Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society chapter at Middlesex Community College inducted 66 new members during a campus ceremony on Friday, April 14.

By maintaining a 3.65 GPA with a minimum of 12 credits, the following students were inducted on April 14:

Yzage Baigts ZepedaChantal GauvinSteven Montagna
Gina BattistiniDavid GentileEphraim Mosher
Brenda BentChristina GiannelliPenelope Murphy-Prue
Patrick BootsSofia GuarinoMarissa Newman
Nathan BottingAleia HayesJack O’Connell
Katherine BurfordTatum HolcombeRhiannon Overstreet
Aaliyah BurnleyGracie HopwoodKatelyn Parrott
Allison CantyElmira JarzbekHenry Peeler
Veronica CelmerTaren KentzlerAmy Proto
Alexis ClarkRufaida KhanMatthew Quijano
Bethany CrumMark KulagaJohnathan Rivera
Taylor CunninghamGriffin LandryWesley Schleidt
Thomas CurrierEmmalee LaneMeghan Serpis
Max CzelleczAlani LawsonRyann Sweeney
Daniel DeberryJaven LevesqueMackenzie Toomey
Taylor DoyleBrenna MaccallumWanda Torres
Michelle EisenstatElisabeth MacdonaldAlysha Vandermaelen
Anthony EldredNathan MackinnonSenia Vazquez
Julio FernandezDevon MadoreRaina Wesson
Grace FontaineFrancesco MarottaDevin Wilke
Alexander FraenzaSharlene Martel-LuceroKaylee Wilson
David GarbielAmari McDanielEthan Zukowski

During her remarks, Olivia Merlini, chapter president, described what PTK members learned while carrying out their community project over the past year. The chapter worked with senior citizens with dementia at a local assisted living center.

“As my fellow officers and I studied the Montessori method during the development of this project, we learned how it emphasizes that play can sometimes be hard work and hard work can sometimes feel like play. College does not always feel like play — it requires a significant amount of hard work and determination. It can even feel like a struggle at times and like it is filled with twists and obstacles,” said Merlini. “What the Montessori method also points out, however, is that setbacks and challenges are not to be looked down upon…. Setbacks and challenges often encourage the boldness that is needed to persevere and fuel an individual’s mission to conquer their goals.”

“Middlesex Community College is the perfect place to practice this perseverance,” she added.

Also during the induction ceremony, PTK co-advisers Lin Lin, program coordinator for engineering, computer science and technology; Landi Hou, computer support specialist, and Anton Pettiford, Guided Pathways adviser, each received the Stole of Gratitude Award for assisting the PTK chapter during the past year. In addition, stoles were presented to Director of Student Activities Ingrid Orellana Rivera and Associate Director of Financial Aid Ashley Labbadia.

Kimberly Hogan, interim CEO, Donna Bontatibus, interim dean of academic and student affairs, and Chris Dibble, chair of the Middlesex Community College Foundation, also gave remarks. Sara Hanson, associate dean of student affairs, announced the inductees.

Earlier this year, the Beta Gamma Xi was recognized as a national Five Star Level Chapter and REACH Rewards. The PTK New England Region also presented the chapter with several awards: Most Distinguished Chapter Advisor award; Most Distinguished Chapter Officer awards (first and second); Most Distinguished Chapter award; Second Place for college project; First Place for Honors in Action project within its theme, and First Place for Honors in Action project overall.

For more information about Phi Theta Kappa, please visit mxcc.edu/PTK. Photos from the induction.