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Local Students Receive International Honors

PTK in Denver
September 22, 2022

Andrew Schoppelrei

Marion Technical College is proud to announce that students from the local chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor (PTK) Society returned from the international conference in Denver, Colorado, with numerous awards.

Andrew Schoppelrei of Cardington ran and was elected to serve as the Division I Vice President of this worldwide honor society. He is the first international officer from Marion Technical College. After running on a 

platform to support students facing mental health challenges, he will represent Marion Tech over the next year as he travels around the United States and takes a leading role in hosting the 2023 international conference in Columbus, Ohio.

In addition, the local Beta Nu Pi officer team of Andrew Schoppelrei, Breanna Napper, Brandon Scholten, and Kaleb Raymond received medals and were recognized as a Most Distinguished Officer Team at the international level.Brandon, Bre, and Andrew receive the Distinguished Chapter Officer Team Award.

“Marion Technical College's Chapter Officer Team being internationally recognized as most distinguished is a testament to the hard work and dedication the team has put forth on the college project and Honors in Action Project. It's nice to be recognized for our hard work and leadership,” Schoppelrei said.

The chapter’s Honors in Action project focused on researching an issue and finding a way to address it. As a result, the Marion chapter expanded PTK to local, incarcerated college students. The first members released from the prison were inducted this month. Programs like PTK with standards of excellence, service, and leadership opportunities, as well as scholarships and networking, help students who have been incarcerated build new lives after release.

Andrew campaigned on the convention floor.

“Winning the International Vice President of Division 1 position means the world to me. Growing up in a household where I was made to feel worthless-- it's proof of how much I have grown as a person,” Schoppelrei said. “The reason I chose to base my campaign on mental illness, is because I know how it feels to be alone, and think there is no one you can turn to for help. Being a mental illness survivor myself, this topic is very dear to my heart--the fact is there needs to be more advocacy and awareness about mental illness facing college students today.”

Brandon Scholten served as Schoppelrei’s campaign manager and even campaigned during a large rally of thousands of students before the vote while Schoppelrei was ill and being treated at a local emergency room.

“I owe him the win. I owe him everything. We are a team!” Schoppelrei said.From left to right: Dr. Andrew Hand, Abigale Jordan, Brandon Scholten, Breanna Napper, Sharon Putney, and Andrew Schoppelrei.

Schoppelrei had to give multiple speeches and was interviewed by the president of PTK in front of thousands of conference attendees.

“Big Schop did a great job with his campaign as well as his speeches. I look forward to seeing what he will do at an international level,” said Sharon Putney, former Beta Nu Pi chapter officer, and former Ohio regional officer, who attended with the current leadership.

The awards were recognition of the many volunteer hours put into these projects and many community projects as well.

“I’m so proud of the team I was able to work with this year, we finished and completed our college project and the honors in action project,” said Napper.

Abigale Jordan, Faculty Primrose Igonor, Dr. Andrew Hand, and Brandon Scholten paint walls at a Habitat for Humanity home in Marion.

“One of my favorite parts about working at Marion Technical College is being the Phi Theta Kappa advisor. I am extremely proud of and impressed by what our students continue to accomplish," said Dr. Andrew Hand, faculty advisor. "Marion Technical College has never had a student become an international officer and it is a very big deal. It will be life-changing for Andrew, and I can't wait to see where this opportunity leads him."

The college president agreed.

“Our local chapter consistently receives honors at a local, state, and national level,” said Dr. Ryan McCall. “This new international award shows that they push themselves to reach new levels of excellence.”

While PTK offers opportunities for leadership, scholarships, and personal growth, members said its value cannot be measured.

“PTK has opened so many doors to a PTK family, support system, and scholarship opportunities. Phi Theta Kappa truly makes a difference in your life and in the lives of others,” Schoppelrei said.

Scholten, a Caledonia resident, said, “I feel like PTK has transformed me as a person. When the pandemic hit, I did a lot of my coursework online. It was very lonely. After Andrew and Bre introduced me to PTK, I got involved in our events. I felt inclined to serve the community on my own instead of out of obligation.”MTC Mascots, Andrew, and Brandon

The recent recognitions at the international conference are just a few of the awards the local PTK chapter and its members have received this year.

Schoppelrei was recognized by Coca-Cola as a Silver Scholar. He received a medal and a $1250 scholarship.

Schoppelrei and Scholten were both recognized as part of the Academic All-Ohio Team. Andrew received a medal and a $500 scholarship for being on the first team. Brandon received a medal and was recognized for being part of the third team.

At the Phi Theta Kappa Regional Award Ceremony in March, our college’s chapter officer team made up of Andrew Schoppelrei, Breanna Napper, Brandon Scholten, and Kaleb Raymond were recognized as the Ohio Region’s Most Distinguished Officer Team. Additionally, Brandon Scholten received a $1,000 scholarship and Breanna Napper received a $500 scholarship for their community service efforts and work in Phi Theta Kappa over the past year.

For more than 100 years, PTK has recognized the top students receiving associate degrees and helped them grow as scholars and leaders. It has more than 3.8 million members and 1,300 chapters in 11 countries.

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