MCC-Penn Valley PTK member elected to international post

Carol Comer (center) with MCC-Penn Valley advisor Dawinderpreet Brar (left) and Steve and Jo Fritts, Phi Theta Kappa Missouri regional coordinators, at the PTK national convention

It’s an historic occasion for Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley: A member of the campus chapter of Phi Theta Kappa honor society has been elected an international officer.

Carol Comer, who’s studying business administration,  was elected vice president of Division III at this year’s PTK Catalyst convention, which was held recently in Kansas City.

Comer is the first international officer to come from the Penn Valley chapter. Only two other MCC students have taken on international roles: Mike Sager in 1985 and Ric Hicks in 1988, both from the MCC-Longview PTK chapter.

Comer completed MCC’s health information management program in Spring 2017. She says she plans on working in human resources within the health field.

In addition to school, Comer has plenty to keep her busy. She’s a member of the Kansas City Women’s Chorus and a returning cast member of Gladstone Theatre in the Park. She served as a board member for City Theatre of Independence and assists with the Harvesters food bank, among other activities.

Dawinderpreet Brar, an MCC academic advisor and advisor for the Penn Valley PTK chapter, said she believes Comer was selected to be an international officer because students connected to her story.

“People were crying during her speech,” Brar said. “She was chosen because of her ability to lead and motivate others to be the best version of themselves.”

In her speech, Comer said that in addition to Black Lives Matter and Justice for Malala, another movement quietly evolving beneath the radar is “the right to be you, the right to be you despite how you function in the world, or perhaps how the world functions with you in it.”

She went on to say that through mindfulness, we can help bring about positive global change.

As an international officer, Comer will travel to present at regional PTK conferences. She will also help run the general sessions at the PTK international conference, which will take place in Orlando, Fla., next year.

This is the Phi Theta Kappa honor society’s centennial. It was founded in 1918 at Stephens College in Columbia, Mo. The Junior College of Kansas City, as MCC was once known, had a PTK chapter that was later transferred to the MCC-Longview campus, which opened in 1969.

The MCC-Penn Valley chapter was chartered in May 1969, several months before the campus opened, with the Maple Woods chapter launched that October. MCC-Blue River (then the Blue Springs campus) would follow in November 1989 and Business & Technology in March 2011.

Students cannot apply to be in PTK. Instead, they are invited based on their academic performance. They have to have a 3.5 minimum GPA and 12 college-level credits.

For more information about Phi Theta Kappa on MCC’s campuses, click here.