All Aboard!

By Makaela Dickerson

In June, the Regional Officers and several chapter members from the MS/LA region attended Honors Institute at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. Most of us did not fly. Instead, we traveled by train! We boarded on Sunday; the train ride was over 24 hours long. (This made for great bonding time!) Although the train ride was interesting, the most important part of our trip was the actual Honors Institute. Today, we would like to expound on the experiences we shared during our week-long stay in Pennsylvania.


The Honors in Action theme this year is Transformation: Acknowledging, Assessing, and Achieving Change. Honors Institute captured the theme wonderfully through the speakers and seminar sessions. During the general sessions, movie clips were played followed by an exploration of the connection between our study topic and the clip. One of my personal favorite movie clips, 12 Angry Men, gave insight to how one person can truly make difference even when everyone else is leaning towards the opposite direction. Everyone was split into smaller groups for the seminar sessions; each session was led by a certified advisor. Suggested readings and the movie clips shown in the general session created group discussion in these sessions. We connected the readings and movie clips to each other as well as to leadership in general. From there, we applied our thoughts to transformations. Each seminar session produced thought-provoking conversation and a chance to strengthen our leadership skills. Now, these sessions might sound like a huge snooze fest, but wait! There’s more! We also played games, completed hands-on activities, and got to know the other students in our seminar groups. Laughter, deeper understanding, and maybe a few tears could have been found at the end of the week. (Tears because we were not ready to leave!) Is that all we did? Stay at Villanova University all week and go to the same two rooms? Absolutely not! We are PTK after all.


Who says learning is for the classroom? Not PTK! Not only did we receive valuable lessons in classrooms. We ventured into Philadelphia and enriched our minds with real live history. Independence Hall, Benjamin Franklin’s Grave, and the Liberty Bell were only a few of the amazing places we visited. The beautiful city of Philadelphia provided a wonderful perspective to our trip as well as Transformations. Honors Institute began with a room full of leaders. It ended with a room full of servants ready to acknowledge, assess, and achieve change for the better. We are PTK!

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