One More Reason to Attend NerdNation 2016

Competitive Edge members — we have one more great reason for you to attend NerdNation 2016: a special event on building your personal brand led by LinkedIn mastermind and career coach Ron Nash.

Nash will lead an exclusive educational forum entitled “How to LinkedIn and Get Yourself Noticed” on Saturday, April 9, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. The event is sponsored by Pearson Higher Education Group.

Ninety-seven percent of human resources professionals and hiring managers use LinkedIn to recruit new talent; and if you’re not on the social networking site, you’re nearly invisible to them, Nash says. In this forum, he’ll show you how the site can get you noticed.

Nash has worked as a human resources business partner for more than 20 years providing talent acquisition and strategies to help organizations attract top talent. He has worked with Fortune 50 to 500 companies, including Microsoft, Belkin Wireless, Samsung, Cardinal Health and LinkedIn.

“We are thrilled to have Ron Nash joining us for this special opportunity for our Competitive Edge members,” said Jennifer Stanford, Phi Theta Kappa’s Chief Student Engagement Officer. “His presentation will be a great complement to the soft skills and personal and professional development Competitive Edge members have gained through their participation in the program.”

This event is only open to Competitive Edge members at any level, whether you’ve reached the Five Star Level or only just begun. For admission, you must have a Competitive Edge ribbon attached to your NerdNation name badge. Ribbons may be claimed at the Foundation Booth.

Nash will sign copies of his latest book, LinkedIn: The Power of Your Profile, at the Pearson Booth in the Marketplace from 10-11 a.m., immediately following his Competitive Edge presentation. The book signing is open to all NerdNation attendees, and books may be purchased in the NerdNation Marketplace.

Learn more about this exclusive event, and get started in Competitive Edge today!

NerdNation 2016 will be held April 7-9 in National Harbor, Maryland. The regular registration rate ends March 14. Register today!

Reminder: Refund Request Forms are due March 14, and Special Needs Forms are due March 23.

Oklahoma Advisor Saves Boy’s Life in Paris

Dr. Julie Flegal-Smallwood, advisor to the Alpha Beta Upsilon Chapter at Redlands Community College in Oklahoma, was honored last week for saving a child’s life in a Paris airport.

According to a news story posted on NewsOK, She was in France for a weekend training session to prepare to lead her students on a study abroad trip. While in the airport, Flegal-Smallwood saw a 5-year-old boy lifeless and not breathing. She administered CPR until he regained consciousness and stayed with him until paramedics and police arrived.

Read the full story here.

Enter Today for a Chance to #GoStudyAbroad

If you’ve ever dreamed of studying abroad, the #GoStudyAbroad Contest, sponsored by Go Overseas and the Institute for International Education (IIE), can help make it possible! Now through March 31, you can enter to win a $10,000 scholarship to fund your international study.

#GoStudyAbroad is part of Generation Study Abroad, an IIE-led initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade. With 1 in 5 jobs linked to international trade and employers looking for global talent, more U.S. students must study abroad to broaden their perspectives, understand and tolerate different ways of life and succeed in today’s global workforce.

IIE also calls on anyone who studied abroad to pay it forward by nominating U.S. college students to #GoStudyAbroad by the time they graduate. Nominees could win a $10,000 scholarship for study abroad, and nominators are eligible to win travel prizes.

Higher education institutions, study abroad organizations, government agencies and others are encouraged to participate in this nationwide campaign. Please join us in mobilizing study abroad alumni, faculty members and wider campus communities to nominate students to #GoStudyAbroad.

Enter directly to win a scholarship. Or, nominate a student. The contest runs through March 31.

CCID Conference Highlights: You Can Study Abroad

Monika Byrd, Phi Theta Kappa’s Dean of Leadership Development and Service Learning, recently attended the annual conference of the Community Colleges for International Development. Here, she shares some highlights.

Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) held their annual conference February 20-22. CCID is a network of community, technical and vocational institutions from 14 different nations that seeks to create and support globally engaged learning environments (

CCID is celebrating 40 years this year, so the conference was a great opportunity to learn more about its history. The international education researchers and practitioners who attended contributed to my knowledge of community college international initiatives, comprehensive internationalization, international community colleges, and the short- and long-term impact of study abroad on student and professional success.

I learned some practical things of interest to Phi Theta Kappa advisors and members too. The U.S. State Department is seeking to dispel the myths that its scholarships and funding in higher education are not for community college students, faculty, administrators and programs. In fact, in addition to the U.S. Department of State, the Departments of Agriculture, Education and Defense all have initiatives for which they seek greater participation from community colleges.

A single website is available to learn more about the opportunities related to study abroad: Grant funding is available for things besides study abroad that are relevant to internationalization too, such as the Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence program, which funds the expenses of bringing a foreign lecturer to U.S. colleges.

Representatives of the Institute for International Education, which administers Fulbright programs for the U.S. Department of State, will be at NerdNation 2016, April 7-9 in National Harbor, Maryland, and available to answer questions.

Phi Theta Kappa works to connect its members with various international studies and study abroad opportunities:

Global Entrepreneurship — UCLA
Organizational Leadership — the University of Johannesburg
International Business Human Resources — the University of South Carolina
Contemporary Chinese Culture — Beijing Culture and Language University

  • Phi Theta Kappa members participating in the International Scholar Laureate Program (ISLP) — which allows students to study one of five career fields in four countries: Australia, China, New Zealand and South Africa — may apply for scholarships to help cover the cost of international travel. Applications are due March 11.
  • The Institute of International Education has launched the #GoStudyAbroad Campaign offering $30,000 in scholarships and travel prizes. The campaign is part of Generation Study Abroad, a five-year initiative to double the number of students who study abroad by the end of the decade.
  • The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. The number of awards and award amounts varies. The application is open March 31-October 11.

We’re on the HuffPost College Blog!

In his post, “Building the Higher Education Transfer Pipeline,” Dr. Brian C. Mitchell, Director of the Edvance Foundation, points to a recent study of the completion and transfer successes of Phi Theta Kappa members as a “compelling case for how colleges can help more students be successful.”

From the blog: “For community colleges trying to move the needles of transfer and completion, it may be most important to open and expand the Phi Theta Kappa chapters on their campuses.”

The study Mitchell references was conducted by Phi Theta Kappa President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner; AACC President and CEO Emeritus and Phi Theta Kappa Board of Directors Chair Dr. George Boggs; Chief Advancement Officer at William Carey University Dr. Monica Marlowe; and Mississippi State University Department of Educational Leadership faculty member Dr. Stephanie King. It followed 11,000 students who became Phi Theta Kappa members in 2008-09. Read the study.

Check out Mitchell’s full blog post.

Gilman Scholarship Apps Due March 1

Don’t miss this great scholarship opportunity — the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. The deadline to apply is March 1.

Award amounts vary up to $5,000, and more than 2,500 awards are given each year. The award must be used to defray eligible study or intern abroad costs such as program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and international airfare.

The program seeks to better prepare U.S. students for significant roles in an increasingly global economy and aims to encourage diverse students to choose programs in non-traditional destinations. Community college students are highly encouraged to apply and can participate on programs that are a minimum of two-weeks abroad.

Learn more and apply today!

Pictured: Gilman Scholar Carol Alvarez in China

Meet the NerdNation 2016 Featured Speakers

NerdNation 2016, April 7-9 in National Harbor, Maryland, features a full slate of speakers guaranteed to inform and inspire you.

In addition to our featured speakers listed below, 2015-2016 International President Yanik Etan will speak during the first general session, and Phi Theta Kappa President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner during the fourth general session.

Dr. Paul G. Stoltz — General Session 1

Stoltz is considered the world’s leading authority on the integration and application of grit and resilience. He was voted “One of the Top 10 Most Influential Global Thinkers” by HR Magazine and “One of the 100 Most Influential Thinkers of Our Time” by Executive Excellence.

“To succeed in the world requires growth, resilience, instinct and tenacity (GRIT),” said Susan Edwards, Phi Theta Kappa’s Dean of Academic Affairs and Honors Programs. “Dr. Stoltz will help us understand how emotional, mental, physical and spiritual GRIT play roles in how the world works.”

Stoltz is the Director of the Global Resilience and GRIT Institutes, where he oversees research in 29 countries dedicated to exploring, expanding and advancing the applications of his Adversity Quotient theory and GRIT to strengthen people and their organizations. His newest book is GRIT — The New Science of What it Takes to Persevere, Flourish, Succeed.

“How can we use GRIT in our everyday lives to achieve our most worthy goals?” Edwards asked. “Dr. Stoltz will answer that question, and NerdNation 2016 participants will be ready to create their own GRITty game plans.”

Read his full bio.

Many thanks to Pearson Higher Education Group for sponsoring this speaker!

Lord John Eatwell — General Session 2

Eatwell is the President of Queens’ College Camridge, a constituent college of Cambridge University. He is an economist whose early work focused on economic theory and later work on problems of international finance and unemployment, financial markets and regulation.

“Lord Eatwell knows a thing or two about the global economy, and he is a strong proponent of international education as a way to see how the world works from others’ perspectives,” Edwards said.

Eatwell has taught Economics and Finance at Cambridge for decades. He has also been a visiting professor at Columbia University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Amsterdam and the New School for Social Research, and he now teaches for six weeks each year at the University of Southern California.

From 1993-1997 and again from 2010-2013, Eatwell was Principal Opposition Spokesman on Treasury and Economic Affairs in the House of Lords.

“We are so fortunate to have Lord Eatwell join us at NerdNation 2016,” Edwards said. “He understands how the world works in academia, politics and public service. The depth and breadth of his knowledge about global perspectives on how the world works is unparalleled.”

Read his full bio.

Katty Kay — General Session 3

Kay is the lead anchor for BBC World News America. She covered the end of apartheid in South Africa and the Kobe earthquake and the economic recession in Japan, among other topics around the world, before settling in Washington, D.C. She was at the Pentagon just 20 minutes after a hijacked airplane flew into the building on September 11, 2001.

“We are excited to host BBC World America anchor Katty Kay at NerdNation 2016,” Edwards said. “Her work reporting and delivering the news allows American viewers to consider issues from global perspectives.

“Kay has also written two books that explore the science and art of self-assurance and encourage women to develop confidence to go along with their talents.”

Kay is co-author of The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know and Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success. She grew up in the Middle East and studied modern languages at Oxford University.

“She will inspire convention participants to see how the world works in new and different ways,” Edwards said.

Read her full bio.

The regular registration deadline for NerdNation 2016 is March 14. See the full schedule, make hotel reservations and register today!

We’re Live!

Welcome to Phi Theta Kappa’s news blog, The Reach! Here’s a look at what you can expect:

  • Features on chapters, members, advisors and alumni
  • Upcoming dates and deadline reminders
  • Important program announcements
  • Best practices
  • Event news and updates
  • Scholarship tips and application due dates
  • Offers and opportunities from corporate sponsors and partners

We’ll also have Phi Theta Kappa staff members step in as guest bloggers when available, and we may even reach out to some members and advisors to share their experiences first-hand.

We have a lot of exciting news and info to share, so check back often. And be sure to subscribe to receive the weekly email digest of blog posts so you don’t miss a thing. Subscribe now!

And of course, if you have exciting news and photos to share, or if you have story ideas or suggestions, email us at We’d love to hear from you!