JJC Student Attends International Honors Institute in Philadelphia

Joliet Junior College web design student and Romeoville resident Joe Kelly didn’t know what to expect when he made his first trip to Philadelphia, Penn., for a Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society conference in June.

Kelly got to attend the International Honors Institute conference because of his role as PTK’s northern Illinois regional vice president. Kelly traveled with five other Illinois regional VPs and an adviser to Villanova University, where the conference took place. This year’s theme was “The Culture of Competition.”

JJC student Joe Kelly met Temple Grandin, doctor of animal science and autistic advocate, at a Phi Theta Kappa Conference held in Philadelphia, Penn. this past June.

Kelly’s favorite part of the conference was attending a presentation by Temple Grandin, doctor of animal science and autistic advocate. Grandin is well known for her book, “The Autistic Brain,” and the 2010 made-for-TV movie, “Temple Grandin,” based on her life.

Grandin’s presentation was memorable to Kelly because she spoke about how there is a different learning style for everybody.

The ideas Grandin shared in her presentation opened up new ways of thinking for Kelly – especially because he is a JJC Academic Skills tutor. He spends his free time helping other students with their beginner web design and technology classes.

“There were big things that came out of her presentation,” Kelly said. “I was happy to hear her speak. What I took from her presentation could help with my tutoring.”

Kelly enjoys being a tutor not only because it helps him retain information he learned in his beginner classes, but also because he enjoys seeing the progress he makes with his pupils.

“When the moment comes when I see the person I’m helping to understand the material, it makes me feel good that I’m helping another person,” Kelly said.

Kelly also enjoyed other speakers like Bill Rancic. Rancic is famous for his season one win on the business-themed TV show, “The Apprentice.”

“It was interesting to hear his way of thinking – outside the box,” Kelly said.

In addition to attending presentations, Kelly enjoyed meeting other PTK members from other parts of the U.S. and around the world. There were more than 500 PTK students who attended the conference.

Kelly first became interested in PTK’s northern Illinois regional vice president position last year.

“The person who held the position before me was also a JJC student,” Kelly said. “I got to see the fun stuff that she got to be a part of with that position.”

Kelly is new to the job, and hopes to practice his public speaking skills during his term.

As vice president, Kelly will attend various PTK inductions throughout Illinois, meet other PTK students from other colleges in the state, and help plan regional events, among other duties.

To find out more about the JJC chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, log on to www.jjc.edu/student-life/clubs-orgs/phi-theta-kappa.

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