Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society (PTK) Middletown


Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society – Alpha Beta Omega Chapter

Phi Theta Kappa is the only national honor society for students of community, technical and junior colleges. Students pursuing an associate’s degree, having a 3.5 grade point average and having taken at least 12 hours are eligible.

PTK Benefits of Membership
Members of Phi Theta Kappa enjoy special benefits, which include:

  • Exclusive scholarships
  • Automatic pay raises if going into government jobs
  • Opportunities to attend regional and international conferences and events
  • Opportunities for leadership
  • A special seal on degrees and certificates
  • Special tassel and stole worn at graduation
  • Discounts with GEICO
  • Letters of recommendation from advisors and PTK Headquarters

Faculty Advisor: Jim Brumbaugh, [email protected]

Faculty Advisor: Jenni VanCuren, [email protected]



Zak Swafford, Chapter Officer and Regional Officer, In His Own Words

My name is Zak Swafford. I am 26 years old and I currently reside in Strasburg, Virginia, where I have lived for the past 15 years of my life. I enjoy exploring with my lovely girlfriend, Emily, learning new things, meeting new people, and spending time with my loved ones and friends. I am currently in my final semester at Laurel Ridge, after which I will transfer to James Madison University to pursue a degree in Management.  

What made you join PTK?

When I first received my letter in the mail, I honestly had no idea what PTK was or what it involved. All I recognized at the time was that the hard work I was putting into my studies was finally paying off. After my induction, I attended one PTK chapter meeting, but then fell out of interest for a semester. A former officer approached me about becoming a chapter officer and, without hesitation, I agreed to join the team. After joining the officer team and becoming more involved, I started learning what PTK was all about.

What is the best part of being a PTK member?

This is a tough one because there are many amazing things about being a part of the PTK family, so I’m actually going to give two. First is service. To me, service is the gift that keeps on giving, and it is truly the greatest way to make the world a better place to live. Through PTK, there are many opportunities to give to and to serve your community, your school, your fellow PTK members, and even the world. The act of service has a knack of bringing together communities and giving one a sense of purpose. Through PTK, I have been given the opportunity to serve and impact the lives of others in a positive way, and I am forever grateful for it. Second is family. I have mentioned the term “PTK family,” and that is exactly what it is: a family. Through the various PTK conferences and events that I have been to, I have been blessed with meeting so many amazing fellow members from across the country and have gotten to hear so many unique experiences from them all.  Through these encounters, we all grow so close and gain friendships that last a lifetime. Just like any other family, each member of PTK has something unique to bring to the table. Hearing the different experiences from members can change one’s perspective on something and help one grow as an individual, a chapter member, or an officer. From what I have experienced, each PTK member has the common goal of impacting the world in a positive way and doing what they can to enrich the lives of others.

How has being a part of PTK changed your education or goals?

Being a part of PTK has certainly made me want to continue on the path of maintaining my educational success, but more than anything it has impacted my goals and what I want to accomplish. Before joining PTK, I had trouble taking advantage of opportunities or even having goals in mind for what I wanted

Zak Swafford has grown as an individual, a leader, and a student through his work with PTK. Between Laurel Ridge and PTK, he is soaring and will continue to soar!
to achieve. Once I became a chapter officer, I started to take advantage of every opportunity that I could get my hands on, even if it were a task that I knew I would have difficulty with. Going through that period of growth helped me to step out of my comfort zone and see that I could achieve more than I had given myself credit for. The latest opportunity I have taken advantage of has been joining the Regional Officer Team as Vice President of Virginia and West Virginia. Never did I imagine something like that could be possible for me, but again, I attribute that to taking advantage of the doors that opened in front of me, as well as surrounding myself with loved ones, friends, and fellow PTK members who have encouraged me to reach for the stars.  Being a part of PTK has encouraged me to set high goals for myself and to achieve all that I believe to be possible. One of my main goals now is to help others reach their potential and help them see that it is possible to achieve their goals and aspirations. Opportunity is always knocking; don’t be afraid to answer it.