Twelve members and advisors of Alpha Mu Chi chapter attended the 2023 Texas Leadership Conference on October 13th through 15th. Attendees included advisors Fatima Fuentes and Melody Mott, and members Vanessajane Bayna, Alison Majors, Ruby Ferretiz, Michelle Calderon, Victoria Matiz, and Neida Perez, Martin Ferretiz, Garrett Phillips, and Jose Lopez. As the District III Vice-President, Monserrat Rivero-Sanchez helped significantly with the planning and leading of the event. This year’s theme for the conference was “Play It Forward: Change the World.”
Each year, Phi Theta Kappa members attend Texas Leadership Conference to experience world-class speakers, breakout sessions, and workshops. Chapter members in attendance engage in seminar groups, participate in thoughtful discussion, and make connections throughout the Texas region.
Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, current CEO of Phi Theta Kappa, served as keynote speaker of the First General Session. During her presentation, Dr. Tincher-Ladner advocated for the importance of Community College attendance through her CC Smart campaign. Discussion topics ranged from stigma to student success. Students were encouraged to engage on campus and in their communities, work in groups, and understand the importance of Community College in providing an accessible education.
During her interview, Phi Theta Kappa member Alison Majors commented that she enjoyed the workshops and breakout sessions, where conference-goers discussed methods for improving their chapter and contributing more to their communities. Chapters discussed the impact of Phi Theta Kappa service projects such as Honors in Action and College Project, which benefit the community. Majors concluded by stating, During TLC, “I learned what it meant to be a leader and I am proud of my Community College.”
UNA Los Angeles Global Ambassador Jennifer Borera served as Second General Session speaker. Throughout her presentation titled, “Igniting Change,” Borera discussed the importance of recognizing personal privileges such as documentation, healthcare, justice, and education. Borera also highlighted the importance of individual life experiences in shaping career paths. As an individual who advocated for others without a voice, Borera later became Vice President of Advocacy at UNA Los Angeles. Borera concluded her speech by challenging conference members to assess their own personalities, values, knowledge, skills, and interest when choosing a career path.
Chapter Officer Michelle Calderon remarked that she was “extremely excited to attend this year’s Texas Leadership Conference,
especially with more members participating.” Calderon particularly enjoyed the “delightful and enlightening Multicultural Fair,” which granted chapter members the opportunity to host a table. Calderon “witnessed people from diverse corners of the world share their unique cultures and traditions.” For Calderon, this was both “educational and immensely enjoyable.” Calderon similarly enjoyed the fellowship activities offered at the convention, including the crafting of “cute stuffed animals,” which will “forever serve as souvenirs.” When asked which General Session she enjoyed the most, Calderon chose Second General Session speaker Jennifer Borrero, and her inspiring story. Calderon commented that Borrero’s “words resonated deeply” with her. Borrero encouraged audience members to harness their passions, transform them into actions, and create a profound impact. Calderon also recalled breakout sessions, which underscored challenges faced by first-generation students and their families. Calderon concluded, the “Texas Leadership Conference was truly an enriching and transformative experience.”
Former mayor of Denison and Grayson College Trustee, Jared Johnson served as the Third General Session speaker. During his presentation titled “Elite Leader,” Johnson challenged audience members to be “elite,” not just “average.” Johnson’s presentation focused on the importance of maintaining a positive outlook, setting daily goals, and associating yourself with likeminded people.
After attending the Texas Leadership Conference, chapter member Garrett Phillips made a statement that TLC’s “overall agenda consisted of teambuilding, extreme ownership, mental health, and scholarship opportunities.” Phillips noted that he is “blessed to be a part of an organization that encourages members to go above and beyond,” and that the conference “actively demonstrated strategies to reach one’s goals.” For Phillips, the conference was an “extraordinarily enlightening and eye-opening experience where each speaker shared new and essential information.” Phillips was “thankful to have spoken with fellow members and Phi Theta Kappa representatives.”
Adversity and resilience speaker Jasmine C. Williams served as the conference’s Fifth General Session speaker. Williams’s presentation titled, “Just a little spark,” discussed the importance of having a mental health action plan in the event of a “spark” or hardship in life. Williams encouraged students to consider their mental health and construct uplifting strategies to tackle life’s challenges.
When asked which aspect of TLC was most memorable, member Vanessajane Bayna similarly pointed to the breakout sessions. Bayna enjoyed the opportunity to interact with others, forge new friendships, and grow as a member. The breakout sessions taught Bayna more about herself, with regards to what she values most in life and the areas she needs to improve on.
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s four hallmarks, Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Fellowship help members develop skills to benefit themselves, their college, and their community. For more information on Alpha Mu Chi, NTCC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Chapter President Monserrat Rivero Sanchez at email@example.com or email our chapter advisors Dr. Matthew Lampert at firstname.lastname@example.org and Melody Mott at email@example.com.