MCCC’s Alpha Theta Gamma Chapter Earns Five-Star Designation


West Windsor, N.J. – For the fourth-straight year, Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) Alpha Theta Gamma chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society will be recognized as a five-star organization.

The announcement comes in the year after chapter inducted 300 new members.

PTK is an international organization dedicated to the development of professional and leadership skills in college students. Established 102 years ago at Stephens College in Missouri, PTK is visible on nearly 1,300 community college campuses in 11 nations.

“The college administration has been one of our biggest advocates in our success,” said Gina Migliaccio, a staff member in Mercer’s Enrollment Services Office and Advisor to MCCC’s PTK chapter. “They have been the backbone of our accomplishments over the last few years.”

The run up to Alpha Theta Gamma’s accomplishment began in January 2019, when the chapter’s implemented its “Each One to Reach One” initiative.

Migliaccio said that last year’s project sought to increase mentorship opportunities available on Mercer’s campus.

That program’s success led to recognition of one of its student ambassadors. Victoria Frederick, PTK’s 2019 Chapter Vice President, was selected as a New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar, which is a nationally recognized honor supported by both PTK International and The Coca-Cola Company.

After Fredrick’s graduation in May 2019, Mercer’s PTK chapter stayed committed to keeping their five star mark. That summer, the officers met to determine how to maintain their standard for community service.

“This past fall we promoted the Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG),” Migliaccio said. New Jersey students enrolled in any of the state’s 18 community colleges are considered for the grant, which provides free tuition to eligible students.

The benefits were two-fold. PTK played a role in the college’s larger mission of providing affordable learning opportunities to a diverse population, while chapter members improved their leadership and communication skills.

“Our students went out to their communities – libraries, YMCA’s – armed with information about securing CCOG funding,” Migliaccio said.

“We also sent out electronic surveys to students to find out how much they knew about CCOG,” said PTK Secretary Kimberly Beck. She and her teammates would then use those results in a presentation to the college.

In addition to supporting CCOG, PTK also implemented their “Honors in Action” program, which made pamphlets to raise awareness of the importance of verbal and nonverbal communication in an increasingly digital world.

Highlighting the need to, “Put down the phone and start talking to each other!” the plan serves multiple functions. PTK members improved their communication and presentation skills, while Migliaccio uses the information when onboarding new students.

“I could be scheduling a new student for classes and they’ll ask me about one of the pamphlets and how they can get involved,” Migliaccio said.

These efforts accompany a surge in membership. In the fall 2019 semester Mercer’s chapter inducted a record 250 members.

That is a total shift from when Migliaccio was a student.

“When I was at Mercer, we were never a five-star organization,” she recalled. “We used to meet in the cafeteria, someone would order pizza and that was it.

“Now we have a foundation in the college administration. We have a budget. We even work with the Middle States Region, which has been a great asset.”

Rather than envy, Migliaccio is proud to support Mercer students who come through the PTK ranks.

“These students might show up to MCCC unsure of their path in life, and then in two years they are campus leaders, getting good grades, and positively impacting their peers,” she said. 

“It feels great to be able to give back what was given to me as a former PTK student at Mercer.”

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task supporter holds bowl

 MCCC's Fall 2019 PTK induction class.