New inductees into Phi Theta Kappa, a national honor society, cite the organization’s pledge during an induction ceremony Tuesday night at EMCC’s Scooba campus. Photo by: Courtesy photo
April 1, 2016 10:46:36 AM
SCOOBA -- Mississippi State University President Dr. Mark Keenum was the keynote speaker during the Tuesday night induction ceremony of about 50 new Phi Theta Kappa members at East Mississippi Community College's Scooba campus.
Keenum urged the inductees of the Eta Upsilon chapter of PTK to arm themselves with the education needed to assume leadership roles and address problems in a rapidly changing world.
Keenum said the 70 million members of the millennial generation in the U.S., of which the PTK inductees are members, is the largest generation in the country today and will face a changing workforce.
Keenum cited statistics by the U.S. Department of Labor that states a young person entering the workforce today can expect to work in 10 to 15 different jobs before they reach the age of 38.
"This is mind boggling to me," Keenum said.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that when they begin working, 65 percent of today's elementary school children in first through sixth grades "will be working in a job that doesn't exist today using technologies that have yet to be invented and solving problems we don't even know we have today," Keenum said.
"That's in a wink of an eye," Keenum said. "That's your world. That's how fast this world is evolving and changing."
He also spoke of the world's growing population and the planet's limited resources.
Keenum said by the time the inductees reach their early to mid-50s, the earth's population will have swelled from 7 billion to 10 billion.
"Nearly one billion people, right now, don't get enough food," Keenum said. "Nor do they have access to adequate amounts of water."
The challenge for the millennials will be to figure out how to help feed the world and provide water, housing and energy to an additional 3 billion people while protecting the environment and conserving natural resources.
"That is the world you are inheriting," Keenum said. "Get yourself the best education you possibly can to equip yourself to be prepared for this changing world you are about to inherit."
Keenum encouraged the students to assume leadership roles and attempt to make a positive impact on their world. He spoke to the inductees about the qualities of a good leader.
"The most important thing is you have to have is the value of integrity," Keenum said. "Be a nice person. If you can truly live your life with integrity, you are going to be a great leader because people are going to trust you, have confidence in you."
Following the ceremony, the inductees participated in a signing ceremony and received their certificates.
At the induction ceremony, Anna Dudley, a student officer with the Eta Upsilon chapter of PTK, had a surprise announcement for EMCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner, Jr., and Dr. Thomas Ware, EMCC vice president for instruction.
"To thank you for all that you do and for making this chapter so successful, we have contacted Phi Theta Kappa headquarters and have officially inducted both of you into the Eta Upsilon chapter as honorary members," Dudley told the two men, who were given a PTK pin and certificate.
Huebner presented PTK advisor Janet Briggs a pin for 15 years of service to the organization.
The induction ceremony for the 50-plus new Phi Theta Kappa members at EMCC's Golden Triangle campus took place March 23.
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