LaGuardia Community College’s Honor Society Once Again Captures Top Awards at Regional Ceremony

Long Island City, NY—For the second consecutive year, Alpha Theta Phi, LaGuardia Community College’s Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society of the Two-Year College chapter was this year’s top chapter among more than 60 in the New York region, receiving the highest prize—the Most Distinguished Chapter Award—and a host of other awards.

Along with collecting the highest honor, the chapter took the main prize in the following categories: Outstanding Honors in Action Project and Outstanding Research Project for the issue of Education.  In addition, it once again was named a Five-Star chapter, the highest level a chapter can achieve.

In the individual categories, Emilia Kowalczy, the chapter’s Honors in Action Study Chair, was the winner of the Outstanding Chapter Member Award.  Emilia was a major player in the project, coordinating the research on how curriculum is decided and moderating the town hall discussion.  Yosep Lee, chapter Vice President of Programming and Events, received the Visual Arts Award for his poster design.  Yosep was also elected alumni representative of the New York region office team and Seung Hwan Oh was elected historian.

For this year’s Honors in Action research project on the topic “Democratization of Information: Power, Peril and Promise,” LaGuardia honor students focused on education and curriculum selection at the college level, and organized a town hall meeting and panel discussion to share their research.  In addition, the students participated in a major college initiative by assisting in promoting a video contest to upper level class students regarding the importance of graduation.

Since 2007, the chapter has had consistent wins at the regional and international levels and for the 2009-2010 year the organization’s International President, the highest position a student can hold, was LaGuardia student Edgar Romero. 

“While working with challenges not unlike those faced by their peers, the chapter leaders for 2011 also availed themselves to opportunities to grow as leaders who serve others,” said Luke Vasileiou, a LaGuardia English professor and the chapter’s head advisor, who shared the responsibility of advising the students with Dr. Payal Doctor, a philosophy professor, and Dr. Karlyn Koh, an English professor.  “That they allowed themselves to be pushed and tested to—or beyond—their limits even as they tried to manage their academic and personal lives in commendable.”

Phi Theta Kappa’s mission is two-fold: 1) recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and (2) provide opportunities for individual growth and development through participation in honors, leadership, service and fellowship programming.

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LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit to learn more.