PTK Awarded Honors in Action Grant


The PTK International Honors Program Guide poses the question: “In what ways do inherited expressions of truth build lasting legacies?” The Eastern Campus PTK Chapter, Alpha Eta Psi, chose this question to guide our Honors in Action project.

PTK stands for Phi Theta Kappa, which is an honor society that acknowledges the academic achievements of college students while giving them opportunities to interact with their community. Many of those interactions involve research, which is developed through the annual Honors in Action (HIA) project. 

The HIA project began over the summer with an idea presented to PTK by Dean Reese, Interim Executive Dean. Various buildings on the Eastern Campus are named after Native American people such as The Shinnecock Building, The Montaukett Learning Resource Center, and the Corchaug Building. Dean Reese explained how despite walking in and out of these buildings everyday, there is a lack of awareness and knowledge of those groups. 

PTK officers Ailie Kinnier (President), Milan Lengyeltoti (VP of Leadership), and Janice Ospina (VP of Fellowship) recognized this idea as a possible HIA topic. They agreed that the subject was not only relevant but a vital conversation to have with the community. 

“We are honored to initiate a project that will shed some overdue light on the narratives of local indigenous communities that will not only give those names deserved meaning but also make an action that is impactful because it is honest,” Alpha Eta Psi said. 

This year, Phi Theta Kappa International allowed chapters an opportunity to be awarded up to $1000 to go towards their HIA project. To be selected, Alpha Eta Psi had to fill out an application that required preliminary research and answer various questions. 

After consulting the question “In what ways do inherited expressions of truth build lasting legacies?” and reading about the current issues felt by Native American communities, Alpha Eta Psi’s research question developed: How can Native American narratives be used as a resource to promote awareness of the ongoing effects of colonialism? 

In a matter of weeks, Alpha Eta Psi received the news that they were awarded a grant of $1000 to go towards their HIA project. 

Alpha Eta Psi’s project will evolve throughout the semester, but they hope to fulfill their action through the creation of an educational installation for one of the campus buildings that is named after a Native American people.