Montgomery County Community College President Dr. Karen A. Stout was presented with Phi Theta Kappa’s 2015 Shirley B. Gordon Award on April 16 during the organization’s 97th annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.
The award is given annually to college presidents and campus CEOs for their outstanding efforts to promote the goals of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), an international honor society for students of two-year colleges. Dr. Stout is one of 23 college leaders to receive the 2015 award.
At Montgomery, student participation in Phi Theta Kappa has grown significantly during Dr. Stout’s tenure as president. Under her leadership, a second PTK chapter—Beta Tau Lambda—was added in 2005 at the College’s West Campus in Pottstown, complimenting the longstanding Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter at the Central Campus in Blue Bell. Both chapters consistently achieve the distinction of Five Star Status—the highest level of national recognition possible—for progressing through PTK’s Five Star Chapter Development Plan.
Recently, in recognition of the impact PTK membership has on student success and completion, Dr. Stout generously pledged $30,000 to establish a Phi Theta Kappa Annual Challenge Fund through MCCC’s Foundation.
“Phi Theta Kappa members in Pennsylvania have an overall success rate of 92 percent; yet, only 14 percent of PTK-eligible students join the organization. The cost of membership is a clear barrier,” said Stout.
The Karen A. Stout Phi Theta Kappa Challenge Fund at Montgomery County Community College supports qualified students by defraying half the cost of a PTK membership, which is currently $60, while challenging students to match the remaining cost.
Dr. Stout will begin her tenure as president and CEO of Achieving the Dream, Inc. on July 1, 2015. There, she will bring her passion for student access and success to more than 200 community colleges and nearly four million students in 35 states.
The Shirley B. Gordon Award is named for the late Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, Phi Theta Kappa’s longest-serving Board of Directors chair and president emeritus of Highline Community College in Des Moines, Wash. Gordon was named Phi Theta Kappa’s Most Distinguished College President in 1984. To learn more, visit ptk.org.
~ by Alana J. Mauger