Being busy is a way of life for Phi Theta Kappa leader


Andrew Kicmol

Left to right: Brandy Nobles, Kalia Vang and Jhoan Cosme-Torres

Andrew Kicmol, Editor in Chief

College students are busy: they have homework and studying to do, most have a job to go along with school, and don’t forget they have their personal lives. Throw in time committed to running a student organization and that can sound like a hectic life for a college student.

For Kalia Vang, it’s the normal college life.

As president of Phi Theta Kappa, a member of Executive Leadership team, a full-time student, and with a job on top, Vang has a full schedule.

“I feel like if I had less things to do, I’d be less motivated,” said Vang of her full-schedule college life.

Originally from Minnesota, Vang came to Madison to visit the city. She applied UW Madison, but when looking at the cost of going to the four-year university she looked for another option. That option was Madison College. With friends already going to the college and a more affordable tuition, Vang made the choice to go to Madison College instead.

Two-year technical and community colleges aren’t often recognized for their academic standards like a four-year university is, but Phi Theta Kappa works to recognize the outstanding work of two-year college students.

In her first semester, Vang was approached by another student to join PTK. As a member, she helped out with events and got to know the other people in the organization. One full semester of 12 credits is required to become an officer. When the time came for a new PTK president, Vang became a candidate.

Vang said she wasn’t initially going to run for president of PTK, but a lot of her advisers told her it would be a great opportunity for her. And so she ended up as president.

As president she is the face for PTK at the college, she works with the other leaders of PTK, the Vice President of Scholarship and Vice President of Leadership to work on the two yearly projects PTK organizes.

One project is Honors in Action that the VP of scholarship leads, and the other VP is tasked with working to benefit the college as a whole.

Vang also gets to speak at induction ceremonies, like the one that happened on Thursday, Feb. 28. When the members were given their medallions, she stood side by side with the provost of Madison College, shaking hands with every inductee.

As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, she helps the group train the other clubs at Madison College. There are around 64 clubs at the college and ELT works to give them leadership training, like how to recruit and member retention. Once per semester the get together to pitch different ideas to one another.

Vang has found her time with PTK rewarding.

“If I was never PTK president, I would never have met the VP, so I got to engage with Keith (Cornille) on an individual level,” said Vang.

Vang was also a part of the interview panel for the new VP of Student Affairs. Her seat in the panel was to give input on the candidates interviewing for the job.

What Vang likes most about PTK, though, is the relationships with the people, and how they are recognized for their academic successes at Madison College.

“We are a really good, supportive community. We understand that you work really hard at this institution, so you should definitely be acknowledged for it,” said Vang.

As president of Phi Theta Kappa and a member of Executive Leadership Team, Vang has a full schedule, but is glad she joined.

“You can’t do everything, but definitely try and get involved,” said Vang.