PTK team celebrates recognition

Jun 9, 2022Neesha Hosein

The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society recognized 20 college presidents with the Paragon President Award during PTK Catalyst 2022, the society's annual convention in Denver, Colorado, April 7-9. One of the winners was San Jacinto College South Campus provost Dr. Aaron Knight.

PTK Honors

A person can win the Paragon award only once, and students submit the nomination. To be eligible, candidates must be in their role for fewer than three years. The 20 recipients were chosen from 426 other candidates, including eligible chancellors and CEOs.

"This is a great honor because PTK students are the leaders of tomorrow," Knight said. "Their commitment to excellence is inspiring. I am always happy to support the organization in any way I can."

One of his favorite aspects of working with PTK is meeting with the officers and sponsors at the start of each academic year and hearing them present the plans for their annual service project.

"Last year they worked on supporting local foster kids, and this year they worked to highlight the role of various learning styles in education," Knight said. "I enjoy seeing the thoughtfulness and passion these student leaders bring to their work. I am also grateful for the opportunity to work with our chapter sponsors, Elizabeth McKinley and Lambrini Nicopoulos, and all who support this fine organization."

Other winners

At PTK Texas Regionals in Frisco, Texas, March 10-12, Lambrini Nicopoulos, life sciences department chair and PTK Alpha Gamma Zeta chapter co-advisor, was recognized with the Hall of Honor Award. Nicopoulos also received the Horizon Award with co-advisor Elizabeth McKinley, business professor, during the PTK Catalyst Convention in Denver.

Nicopoulos is thrilled to have been recognized.

"I strive to be there for our students and to make an impact in their lives," she said. "This award is just a tangible representation of the growth I get to see in our students each semester. I am proud to be a significant part of their lives. I am extremely lucky to have the guidance and support of my co-advisor and friend, Elizabeth McKinley."

Nicopoulos became involved with PTK as a San Jac student and was inducted into the Mu Omicron Chapter at the Central Campus.

"As a faculty member, I had opportunities to assist the South chapter of PTK for several years," Nicopoulos said. "Then I was fortunate enough to be asked by Elizabeth McKinley to serve as a co-advisor. I have served in that capacity for the past six years."

Overview of winners


  • Top 100 chapters (of more than 1,300 chapters)
  • Paragon Award for New College Presidents - Dr. Aaron Knight
  • Distinguished Advisor - Lambrini Nicopoulos
  • Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar - Ashley Winslow
  • Jack Kent Cooke Scholar - Sadokat Khakimova
  • Gustwhite Scholar - Sadokat Khakimova
  • International Officer - Sadokat Khakimova
  • 5 Star Chapter


  • Top Chapter in Texas (top 15 out of 92 chapters in Texas)
  • Award of Merit for College Project (Cranium/Learning Styles project)
  • Honors In Action - Theme 4 Award of Merit- Expressions of Truth (inequities in K-12 schools)
  • Hall of Honor for College Presidents - Dr. Aaron Knight
  • Hall of Honor for Advisors - Lambrini Nicopoulos
  • Distinguished Chapter Officer - Deannella Vitatoe
  • Horizon Awards for Advisors - Elizabeth McKinley and Lambrini Nicopoulos
  • Outgoing Regional Officer - Ashley Winslow
  • Incoming Texas Regional Officer District IV - Deannella Vitatoe
  • Competitive Edge Pins - eight chapter members (finished the PTK Competitive Edge Program)
  • Hall of Honor for Members for District IV- eight students
  • 5-Star Chapter


  • PTK Founders Model - Anthony Gamage (officer)
  • All Texas Academic Team - Elsie Bura and Ashley Winslow (officers)
  • New Century Workforce Scholar - Felice Reyes (member)
  • Mary Hood Scholarship - Ashley Winslow (officer)
  • Walter B. Cooper Scholarship - Alexandra Flores (officer)
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