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OJC Press Release ID: 2931

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

OJC’S Phi Theta Kappa Inducts New Members, Honors Outstanding Members


Members of Otero Junior College’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) academic honorary chapter recently held an induction of new members, honored graduating members, elected officers and reviewed their spring semester activities.

Three OJC students, Jules Berg, La Junta; Holly Carter, Pueblo and Jade Witzel, Stratton, were named to the Phi Theta Kappa All-Colorado Academic Team for their scholarship, leadership and community service. They were to be honored during a luncheon at the History Colorado Center in Denver, unfortunately the ceremony was cancelled because of bad weather. Carter was also named a 2019 New Century Workforce Pathways Scholar. She was the top-scoring student from Colorado in that competition.

A big spring storm also kept OJC’s chapter from the Phi Theta Kappa Regional Convention in Cheyenne, Wyo. In that meeting the chapter was to be named a Four-Star Chapter, and their College Project received a third-place award in the Colorado-Wyoming Region. That project involved publication of college Spotlights on digital signs and flyers campus-wide. The Spotlights recognized OJC faculty, staff and students with photos and background information. This project was intended to increase feelings of community on campus and to provide recognition for individual achievements.

Another project developed by the chapter was promoting Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site’s Traveling Trunk to fourth-grade teachers in Colorado. This trunk of Santa Fe Trail artifacts and lesson plans can assist in the teaching of Colorado History required in fourth-grade. Chapter members also assisted with the 22nd Annual Regional Science and Engineering Fair held at the college.

Jules Berg and Sam Willett, PTK members from OJC, were named Rising Stars for their contributions to the college and community this academic year. They were honored in Denver. Member Andy Mallo was awarded a Golden Opportunity Scholarship by Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

2018-2019 academic year chapter officers were Jules Berg, President, ASG Representative Jade Witzel and Historian Ruka Shimohata. Members recently elected to chapter leadership for the 2019-2020 academic year are: Sam Willett, president; Jason Sweeney, vice president of scholarship; Mallory Morgan, vice president of leadership; John Amolsch, vice president of service; Carolyn Finkner, vice president of fellowship; and Demian Ryder, vice president of public relations. Continuing as faculty advisors are Kaysie Schmidt, Dr. Jeffrey Reed, and Judy Hensley.

Members Jules Berg, Angelina Apodaca, Katy Jones and Advisor Kaysie Schmidt attended the 2019 Catalyst Phi Theta Kappa International Convention held in Orlando, Fla. They enjoyed many workshops, speeches, ceremonies and activities as well as a visit to Disney World.

Attending the induction ceremonies were new members:

Nevaeh Duarte, La Junta
Delaney Fletcher, Lakewood
Stormi Garcia, Aurora
Mallory Morgan, Wiley
Chris Votruba, La Junta
McClain Walker, Colorado Springs

Other new members include:

John Amolsch, Las Animas
Victoria Barger, Pueblo West
Bryson Chiles, Broomfield
Nathaniel Copley, La Junta
Eva Cude, Florence
Joshua Grizzell, Colorado Springs
Ty Hidalgo-Jordan, Roswell, NM
Cindy Jones, Canon City
Seanah Kauten, La Junta
Aleksander Kosovac, Serbia
Tristin Krcelic, Pueblo
Timothy Ledna, La Junta
Andy Mallo, Rye
Alyssa Metzger, Limon
Courtney Metzger, La Junta
Michelle Mobley, Swink
Kaitlin Nixon, Ordway
Dyson Oquist, La Junta
Joie Raybourn, Durango
Elizabeth Richtsmeier, Las Animas
Alecia Rumrill, La Junta
Callie Sefcovic, Pueblo
Jonas Sehlen, Kalefeld, Germany
Jason Sweeney, Las Animas
Zachary Thomas, Pueblo
Cristian Valdez, Rocky Ford
Savannah Vigil, La Junta

Members who were honored and congratulated on their upcoming May 4 graduation included:

Delaney Fletcher, Lakewood
Deandra Pickering, Colorado Springs
Stormi Garcia, Aurora
McClain Walker, Colorado Springs
Jules Berg, La Junta
Jade Witzel, Stratton
Katy Jones, La Junta

For more information about the PTK chapter at OJC, contact Kaysie Schmidt, PTK sponsor at 719-384-6854 or email


Press Release Photo
Phi Theta Kappa members attending the induction and end-of-year celebration (l-r): Mallory Morgan, Wiley; Angelina Apodaca, Rocky Ford; Chris Votruba, La Junta; Nevaeh Duarte, La Junta; Deandra Pickering, Colorado Springs; Stormi Garcia, Aurora; Jules Berg, La Junta; Jade Witzel, Stratton; McClain Walker, Colorado Spring; Katy Jones, La Junta and Delaney Fletcher, Lakewood.