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Victoria College student elected to international Phi Theta Kappa office

By Victoria Advocate
April 20, 2013 at 10:04 p.m.
Updated April 19, 2013 at 11:20 p.m.

Marek is a member of Victoria College's Zeta Gamma Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Victoria College student Toni Marek has been elected as Division II international vice president of Phi Theta Kappa.

Marek and the other 2013-14 international officers were announced during the Hallmark Awards Gala at the 2013 Annual Convention in San Jose, Calif. on April 6.

Marek is a member of VC's Zeta Gamma Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

As international vice president, she represents 318 chapters in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, the British Virgin Islands and Peru.

"It would be easy to say how proud I am of Toni and how much I've watched her grow at Victoria College, but the truth is this is a win for everyone," said Matt Wiley, VC faculty sponsor and associate mathematics professor. "From her professors who trained her mind, to our student body who provided emotional support, to marketing and communications, the VC Foundation, student activities and VC President Dr. Tom Butler for fliers, T-shirts and financial support - it took all of us."

Marek said her election as vice president allows her to serve Phi Theta Kappa on a larger scale now.

"More students are now aware that community colleges are not a second choice; it should be their first choice," Marek said. "I want to push that more in the Crossroads area and the areas I represent."

Marek emphasized community college positives, saying it is less expensive and allows students more one-on-one time with professors.

"I want to let high school seniors know that you can be a nontraditional student, go to a community college and go farther than you think you can," Marek said. "If you go to Victoria College, it's an awesome springboard" to further educational opportunities.

Marek will travel at least seven times during her one-year term as vice president and is available to speak at community college events. She has already been invited to three such events in Texas.

Serving as an international officer is the pinnacle of student leadership within Phi Theta Kappa. International officers serve one-year terms, and one officer is elected to a one-year term as the student representative to the Phi Theta Kappa Board of Directors.

The international vice presidents maintain regular correspondence with chapters in their respective divisions, represent the society at regional meetings and educational conferences, and preside at the Annual Convention and Honors Institute.

This year, 27 Phi Theta Kappa members campaigned for international office during the annual convention. Convention attendees were able to visit with the candidates, watch videos of a caucus with Phi Theta Kappa Executive Director and CEO Dr. Rod Risley, and read essays addressing the topic, "Does the assignment of grades help or hinder the learning process?" The 10 candidate finalists also presented speeches on the honors study topic, "The Culture of Competition," during the Fourth General Session on April 6.

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