Students from the Alpha Phi Nu (APN) chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society at Craven Community College (Craven CC) used research skills, physical labor and high technology to identify and map 77 graves in the Greenwood Cemetery. The students took photos of identified graves and use the embedded global positioning data in the photos to mark the locations on a Google map.
Mary Peterkin of The Greenwood Cemetery Committee tasked the chapter with this assignment so the organization could create a tour map. The map brochure would include profiles of people who were connected to the Great Fire of New Bern that occurred on December 1, 1922. Peterkin said she hoped the project had turned young people on to historic preservation.
“The students select the projects based on themes and criteria provided by the PTK. The requirement for the honors in action project is that it ultimately serve the community,” said Kate Amerson, Craven CC history instructor and APN chapter advisor. Other Craven CC chapter advisors are Brian Kmec, history instructor, and Elaine Rouse, information systems specialist and PTK alumna.
This project was part of the PTK Honors in Action project requirement that aided the APN chapter in achieving a top, five-star chapter ranking for the seventh consecutive year. “The PTK service projects fit really well with the college’s teaching and learning mission,” said Amerson.
In the 2016-17 year, the chapter participated in other service projects, including in participating in Relay for Life, holding an American With Disabilities resource fair at the college, screening and discussing the 13TH documentary in conjunction with the Craven-Pamlico Re-Entry Council, producing a newsletter for the New Bern Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America, and participating in the PTK Carolina’s Region “Purse Project” which involved seeking donations for women’s shelters, including the Coastal Women’s Shelter of North Carolina.
Incoming APN chapter president Sonia Mizelle said the service projects help the students become servant leaders and the skills will carry on after they leave the educational setting.
In 2017-18 academic year, the APN chapter will celebrate its 25th year at Craven CC, and the PTK organization will turn 100 years old.
PTK is an international honor society for two-year higher education institutions whose mission is to recognize academic achievement and to develop student leaders. Degree-seeking students with a 3.5 grade point average and 12 credit hours are invited to join the honor society.
For more information about Phi Theta Kappa, contact Amerson at 252-638-7306 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deborah Kania is acting director of communications and new Small Business Center director.