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Phi Theta Kappa Graduates Take Center Stage

Group picture of PTK members on campus

During Rowan College of South Jersey's (RCSJ) Commencement week, May 11-14, the College will celebrate the many accomplishments of its students in a four-day-long Parade of Graduates held across both campuses. Among those graduating from the Gloucester campus, are 191 remarkable Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society members – each with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and a formidable resume of academic accomplishments and community engagement.

PTK is the premiere international honor society recognizing students at associate degree-granting colleges, with 3.5 million members across its nearly 1,300 chapters.  Established in 1918, the society seeks to foster the success of high-achieving students through leadership training, professional skills development, scholarship support, community service projects and more. The Gloucester campus chapter, Alpha Psi Pi, has earned the distinction of a 5-Star chapter status – the highest level of achievement a chapter can attain for their participation on campus and in local, regional, national, and international activities.

While the Alpha Psi Pi chapter has many awards and recognitions to its name, a few weeks prior to graduation it was the chapter's members who were in the spotlight. For the first time in its history, Alpha Psi Pi presented three of its officers with the Distinguished Member certificate and pin, intended to recognize students who go above and beyond normal membership standards, in addition to taking on leadership positions and actively participating in Phi Theta Kappa College Project and Honors in Action assignments.

Ashton Paladino of Williamstown, Pre-Veterinary Science major and Alpha Psi Pi Chapter President, and Samantha Bicking of West Deptford, Psychology major and Chair of the chapter's Team Building Committee & Outreach Committee – both graduating with their associate degrees this May – were presented with the prestigious certificate by PTK chapter advisors Shawn Rutter and Jackie Thomasson. 2019-2020 Chapter President, Candice Giunta of Runnemede, who just completed serving as the elected New Jersey State President for PTK and plans to enter RCSJ's Nursing program in the fall, was presented with the Distinguished Member certificate in addition to a plaque commemorating her service and commitment within her State leadership role. 

“The concept of developing a Distinguished Member recognition began two years ago and it was such an honor to present the award to its first recipients. I hope to have the opportunity to recognize more members over the next academic year," remarked Rutter. “I want to congratulate Ashton, Candice and Samantha, along with the 191 members of Phi Theta Kappa who are graduating next week. Their commitment to completing their degrees during the heigh of a global pandemic is truly a testament to their determination to succeed, and I know each member will go on to do remarkable things."

For more information on Phi Theta Kappa at Rowan College of South Jersey, visit

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