Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society has named Texarkana College President Dr. Jason Smith a 2020 recipient of the prestigious Paragon Award for New Presidents. Smith is one of 28 college presidents throughout the nation who will be recognized by PTK at their annual convention. More than 500 college presidents were eligible to receive this award.   

Dr. Mary Ellen Young, TC’s PTK lead faculty advisor, said student chapter members and advisors nominated Smith for the award, which is given to new college presidents demonstrating strong support of student success by recognizing academic achievement, leadership, and service among high-achieving students at their college. Young said, “Our students see President Smith in action around campus and they recognize his support of the chapter’s service to the college and the community. He takes the time to regularly meet with students to encourage their feedback on college issues. He also makes great effort to recognize Phi Theta Kappa students and their success at board meetings, new student orientation, and community events. We are so grateful for his support of our chapter through his involvement and dedication of resources to help us meet our goals.”

 In April, Smith will travel with students and faculty advisors from TC’s chapter to the annual Phi Theta Kappa International Convention Catalyst 2020 to formally receive the Paragon Award. The three-day conference is the 102nd annual convention for PTK and will feature globally acclaimed speakers, innovative workshops, and leadership lessons. More than 4,000 attendees including students, advisors, alumni, partners and friends from all over the world will meet at the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas, for the event.

More information about Texarkana College and the PTK Zeta Sigma Chapter can be found online at or

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