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Collin President Honored by Honor Society


April 13, 2005 -- Collin County Community College District (Collin) President Cary A. Israel will be honored by Phi Theta Kappa at an upcoming national convention. The national honor society for community college students will honor Israel with the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction at the Phi Theta Kappa 87th annual International Convention at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Thursday-Saturday, April 14-16.

Israel earned the national distinction for his efforts in promoting the goals of Phi Theta Kappa. College presidents, campus chief executives and state community college directors are nominated by Phi Theta Kappa chapters.

"I am extremely honored and humbled to receive this commendation from Phi Theta Kappa," Israel said. "The society promotes ideals that parallel our college's core values, which students, trustees, faculty and staff live by every day -- a passion for Learning, Service and Involvement, Creativity & Innovation, Academic Excellence, Dignity and Respect, and Integrity."

Phi Theta Kappa Executive Director Rod Risley said Israel deserves the honor due to his dedication to education and Collin's students. "Throughout his community college career, Dr. Israel has served as a strong advocate for excellence in our nation's two-year colleges," Risley said. "He has demonstrated through deed that the concepts of access to and excellence in education are not mutually exclusive.  He has served as an exemplary role model for students, faculty, staff and presidents demonstrating by action his strength of character and belief in the hallmarks of Phi Theta Kappa. Dr. Israel is a most deserving recipient of the highest honor Phi Theta Kappa accords college presidents."

Israel was nominated for the national award by the Collin Phi Theta Kappa chapter. Student chapter officers Adele Bailey and Sydney Portilla-Diggs said they believed Israel deserved the award because of his dedication towards education and helping students become successful.

According to Bailey, "President Israel is the most deserving person, and I could not let my term as regional officer pass without him being honored," she said. "He is never too busy for students, and he fights for our causes. He takes a personal interest and sits down with students to make sure they are successful."

"President Israel is the embodiment of a student centered institution," Portilla-Diggs said. "I admire his devotion and his uncompromised belief in Collin students, his passionate support of various student organizations especially Phi Theta Kappa, and the innovative ideas he has implemented at Collin.  I would like to think that I am the president of his fan club."

The mission of Phi Theta Kappa is to "recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and provide opportunities for individual growth and development through participation in honors, leadership, service and fellowship programming."

The convention will include about 3,600 Phi Theta Kappa members, college faculty and college presidents from around the nation. Former New York City major Rudy Giuliani will be the keynote speaker at the convention.

Phi Theta Kappa totals 1.5 million members and 1,200 chapters in the United States, Canada and Germany.