Rho Omega takes on Music City

PTK officers reflect on attending the national convention

Earlier this month, a few of the PTK officers visited Nashville for the annual national convention, dubbed this year as the PTK Catalyst. The convention itself was held April 5-8 at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center and had a variety of events that ranged from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

As the secretary of the group, I went on the trip with President Trevor Finnan, Vice President of Membership Arinze Ochuba and Vice President of Service Brittany Blomquist.

Our advisors, Biology instructor Eric Schroeder and Aseret Loveland, Assistant Director of Admissions and Records, also joined us.

We were all in love with the Gaylord and its four indoor gardens that had 30,000 different plant species, small rivers, waterfalls and restaurants scattered throughout.

“It was fun taking in the beautiful scene at the resort, so I was people watching,” Ochuba said. People watching was definitely one of our favorite aspects of the trip. Whether at the Gaylord or in Centennial Park, we were shameless tourists who took hundreds of pictures and just enjoyed the beautiful weather and views.

The main events at the convention, known as the general sessions, had guest speakers and special presentations. The first general session featured the opening ceremony and keynote speaker Dr. Jennifer Arnold, a neonatologist and co-star of TLC’s docu-drama, “The Little Couple.”

Photographer Platon spoke at the second general session, including Phi Theta Kappa President and CEO, Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner. Ladner explained that the reason for changing the name of the convention from “Nerd Nation” to “PTK Catalyst” is because they’ve noticed in the last few years that the annual convention has spurred a positive change in the members.

The third general session presented the awards for the distinguished members, individual officer and officer teams. The winners from the t-shirt, pin, speech, video and music competitions were also recognized. Members entered submissions through social media or the PTK website and were voted by fellow PTK members.

“It was very inspiring seeing how much people put into their projects,” Ochuba continued.

The final general session featured the main scholarship and the co-host of “MythBusters,” Jamie Hyneman and concluded with the final round of the Scholar Bowl. Schools could sign up to compete in the trivia game that started April 6. Hyneman was asked several questions about his favorite experiments, how he chose Adam Savage as his co-host and how he came up with the concept.

He also took two audience questions at the end. One asked what he would say to those that don’t believe in climate change. Hyneman was civil in his answer, but the irritation behind it was evident. He called it “an assault on rational thought” to not believe there was a bigger issue out there that demanded our attention.

“Not only did we meet officers from other PTK chapters, we had the chance to hear speakers from a myriad of backgrounds and professions,” Blomquist said. “Being able to share in this opportunity with the other Rho Omega officers was a fun and memorable experience.”

After the farewell dance ended Saturday night, which was basically prom and the four of us were horribly underdressed, we spent our Sunday at the zoo as one last activity before we left for home. Combined with the beautiful weather and some feisty flamingos, it was a relaxing way to end the trip.