TNCC Student Elected to State Office for Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society

Published: April 9, 2012

Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) student Jerry Van Harris has been elected to serve as a Regional President for Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society representing Virginia. A member of PTK’s Phi Sigma chapter at TNCC, Harris was installed in March during the organization’s regional convention in Roanoke, Virginia and will be officially recognized during its 94th International Convention in Nashville, Tennessee April 12-14. He has also been designated as the official flag bearer representing Virginia during the convention’s opening ceremony.

Harris will serve one year as a regional president. “I was honored and surprised that [PTK peers] thought I would be a good regional president. I want to represent the chapter and Thomas Nelson well while in the position. I hope to promote education, whether it’s for personal or professional purposes, as an asset to everyone’s life. Learning is a lifelong experience,” he said.

The Hampton resident is no stranger to being a leader having served two years in the U. S. Marines and now representing TNCC’s Student Government Association as president. He takes a hands-on approach to leadership. “Actions speak louder than words. You can tell somebody something but your actions show everything. So, the best I can do is lead by example,” he said.

Before enrolling at Thomas Nelson in 2010, Harris enjoyed several years as an entrepreneur thriving in a trade he loves — building. Looking to expand his repertoire, he began pursuing a degree in HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning).

He later decided to also major in Social Sciences after becoming immersed in campus life through membership in organizations such as the International Club.

Harris plans to transfer to Old Dominion University, earn a degree in Psychology and pursue a career in counseling working primarily with troubled males. This interest grew out of routinely encountering fellow students while working as administrative assistant to the adviser for TNCC’s Peer Mentor Program, he explained.

Now that he no longer runs a business, Harris focuses on his education full time. “School is my job. I’m usually here 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday,” he said. And, he is most proud of maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. This dedication to high academic standards resulted in his induction into TNCC’ Phi Sigma chapter of Phi Theta Kappa last year.

To learn more about Phi Theta Kappa at Thomas Nelson, visit

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