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Northeast’s Brightest Students Honored, Encouraged to Do More

Northeast’s Brightest Students Honored, Encouraged to Do More

NORFOLK, Neb. – Some of Northeast Community College’s brightest students were honored and encouraged Thursday evening.

Seventy-four were inducted into an honor society that recognizes academic success and leadership.

The induction ceremony took place on Thursday, Feb. 29, at the Lifelong Learning Center on the Northeast campus. The students were honored for their achievements so far but encouraged to keep looking for leadership opportunities.

Since the installation of Northeast’s Tau Chi chapter in 1996, Northeast has inducted about 3,600 students into the international academic honor society for two-year colleges. For over 100 years, membership in Phi Theta Kappa has signified a singular honor and a willingness to embrace the society’s shared commitment to academic excellence.

 Colleen Barnes, criminal justice/sociology instructor, serves as a PTK adviser. She told the students Thursday that they were about to be inducted into a scholarly organization that includes Northeast Community College, the nation and the world.

“You’re joining a group that emphasizes and helps to strengthen your commitment to scholarship,” Barnes said. “We welcome you today.”

Amanda Nipp, vice president of student services at Northeast, said the students who earned induction have achieved a significant accomplishment.

“You all are the best of the best at Northeast Community College,” she said.

The organization will provide opportunities for individual growth and development through participation in honors, leadership, service and fellowship programming. PTK is the largest honor society in higher education.

PTK includes opportunities to attend conferences, run for office and engage with other members.

“It can be as big or small as you choose to make it,” Nipp said.

To be eligible for induction into PTK, students must have earned at least 12 credit hours and achieved a minimum grade point average of 3.5 or above out of a 4.0 system. 

Eli McPhillips, Humphrey, vice president of leadership; Jeremiah Polak, Coleridge; vice president of service/secretary; and Micah Goedeken, Beemer; vice president of fellowship; spoke on the history and significance of Phi Theta Kappa.

Scholarship, leadership, fellowship and service are the hallmarks of the organization, Goedeken said.

The following Northeast Community College students have qualified for PTK for the Spring 2024 semester:

Ainsworth – Levi Goshorn.

Atkinson – Rylan Olson.

Aurora – Garrett Bellis, Connor Smith.

Battle Creek – Carrie Knull.

Bellwood – Joey Long.

Benedict – Andrew Quick.

Blair – Abigail Schlachter.

Cedar Rapids – Brittany Grammer.

Chambers – Chase Halsey.

Cody – Dylan Naslund.

Columbus – Marisol Montes, Lauryn Nitz.

Creighton – Jayden Coutts, Colton Schaefer.

David City – Barrett Andel.

Dix – Trevor Williams.

Fremont – Josiah Stonehocker, Adam Wiese.

Fullerton – Carter Meysenburg.

Grand Island – Alexis Lilienthal.

Hadar – Hailey Blank, Draevin Roskens, Keli Shermer.

Humphrey – Makenna Wietfeld.

Laurel – Berniece McCorkindale.

Louisville – Jenna Muntz.

Malmo – Kya Swartz.

Marquette – Ethan Jones.

Newman Grove – Aaliyah Wagaman.

Niobrara – Samanta Klug.

Norfolk – Melanie Alvarez, Jax Ayer, Shiyann Bright, Abigail Coe, Apple Dah, Chom Dah, Caleb Grashorn, Stacey Hernandez, Alexis Howell, Kaia Kollmar, Joseph McNair, Emily Miller, Liz Claudia Pedroza, Catherine Rutenbek, Annastasia Salvatori, Breena Schwarzkopf, Aziz Tadzhibaev, Jose Vasquez-Martin, Nacesha Zahnd.

Omaha – Mikaela McAllister, Whitney Meier, Jason Wanetka.

O’Neill – Kyler Dean.

Ord – Josephine Lange.

Pender – Shon Buermann.

Pierce – Katelyn Gubbels.

Saint Paul – Jacie Ambrose,

Schuyler – Litzy Avila, Yuri Vicente.

Shelby – Kirsten Glatter.

South Sioux City – Evelyn Cruz Hernandez.

Spalding – Izek Leslie.

Stanton – Cortlynn Cadwallader, Regina Lierman.

Thurston – Trudy Kramer.

Wakefield – Maria Arriaza.

West Point – Emma Meiergerd.

Wisner – Megan Wesemann.

Wood River – Dillon Dubbs.

York – Addison Cotton.

Yutan – Zoie Nielsen.



Charter Oak, Iowa – Cole Miller.

Sioux City, Iowa – Angel Castorena.

Officers taking the oath Thursday for the 2024-25 year were Jason Wanetka, Omaha; president; Breena Schwarzkopf, Norfolk; vice president of leadership; Abigail Coe, Norfolk, vice president of scholarship; Annie Salvatori, Norfolk, vice president of communication.

Officers for the 2023-24 year are Sheridan Smejkal, Wagner, S.D., president; Eli McPhillips, Humphrey, vice president of leadership; Kaleb Wragge, Norfolk, vice president of scholarship; Micah Goedeken, Beemer; vice president of fellowship; Jeremiah Polak, Coleridge; vice president of service/secretary.

Northeast Phi Theta Kappa sponsors are Colleen Barnes, criminal justice/sociology instructor; and Amanda Nipp, vice president of student services. Charlene Widener, vice president of educational services, also took part in Thursday’s ceremony.

Phi Theta Kappa cutline

Northeast Community College held an induction ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 29, for a large induction class into Phi Theta Kappa, which honors academic success and helps to develop leadership. (Northeast Community College)