Dr. James Lombella, President of Asnuntuck Community College (ACC) and President of Tunxis Community College, received the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction on April 20, 2018 at Phi Theta Kappa’s (PTK) Catalyst 2018 International Convention.
Dr. Lombella is among 35 college presidents and campus CEOs who received the award during the society’s annual convention, held in Kansas City, Missouri. The recognition is in honor of the support that Dr. Lombella and other recipients have given to promoting the goals of Phi Theta Kappa’s honor society. The society celebrated its milestone 100th anniversary during the convention. Phi Theta Kappa is an honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges.
The award is named in honor of the late Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, longtime chair of the PTK Board of Directors, and president emeritus of Highline College in Des Moines, Washington.
President Lombella, who himself is a proud community college graduate, was nominated by Asnuntuck’s Alpha Lamda Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. He was one of the initial sponsors for CTC4: Connecticut’s Commit to Complete event in 2015. He spoke at a number of events surrounding the project. Dr. Lombella’s embracing of the initiative, and his outreach to fellow community college Presidents, resulted in 100% participation from the Connecticut Community College system.
Appreciating the importance of Phi Theta Kappa membership and the benefits students gain from attending meetings and conferences, Dr. Lombella has secured funds each year for ACC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter. This funding has helped students who do not have the financial means to join the honor society, participate in events, and have access to scholarships and more.
President Lombella encouraged the chapter to host their regional convention at Asnuntuck, which they did in 2014 and will host again March 22-23, 2019. Dr. Lombella also ensured that PTK had dedicated office space, as part of the new addition to Asnuntuck’s campus. This support has led to significant increases in membership for the chapter.
During Dr. Lombella’s tenure as President at Asnuntuck the college’s Alpha Lambda Zeta chapter has obtained five star status from PTK each year. Achieving this distinction requires the chapter to be involved in the organization’s College Project and Honors in Action Project. The local chapter researched Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and food, in the United States, for this past year’s project. Two years ago, Alpha Lambda Zeta researched the rights and responsibilities of United States citizens.
At this year’s national convention, Asnuntuck’s chapter received several national awards. Alpha Lambda Zeta received Distinguished Chapter, Distinguished Theme Award Honors in Action, and one for a Distinguished Honors in Action Project. ACC’s Alpha Lambda Zeta is one of PTK’s top 35 Chapters.
The mission of Phi Theta Kappa is to recognize academic achievement of college students and to provide opportunities for them to grow as scholars and leaders. The society has a membership of 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in ten nations. Nearly 4,500 people attended the recent convention.
For more information, visit: PTK.org.
To learn more about Asnuntuck, visit www.asnuntuck.edu