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Texarkana College’s Dr. Mary Ellen Young Recognized with Hallmark Award for Advisors by Phi Theta Kappa

Dr. Mary Ellen Young receives award in Orlando during PTK 2024 Conference.
Dr. Mary Ellen Young

Texarkana College congratulates Dr. Mary Ellen Young who was named as a recipient of the prestigious Hallmark Award for Advisors by the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society at their 2024 Catalyst Convention. More than 4,000 community college students and their advisors gathered in Orlando, Florida last week for the annual conference. The award is based on nominations from local chapter members’ submission and a letter of support from the college president.  Texarkana College student Ashlee Carter is TC’s Zeta Sigma Chapter president who completed the application of nomination for Dr. Young.  Dr. Young will complete 20 years of service as TC’s Phi Theta Kappa- Zeta Sigma Chapter advisor this year.  She also serves as the Dean of Liberal and Performing Arts and Social Sciences, the Director of TC’s Honors College, and Professor of English.

In his nomination letter to the PTK Award Selection Committee, TC President Dr. Jason Smith said, “Dr. Young embodies the characteristics of what this award represents – a commitment to students and student success through leadership, service, scholarship, and fellowship.”

Dr. Smith commended Dr. Young for her work on the state level to help bring awareness to the importance of building a campus culture of completion for students. “Dr. Young began her advocacy while creating awareness and visibility for Phi Theta Kappa in 2011 when she and chapter members began the transformation of our local college culture to a culture of completion through the Phi Theta Kappa’s C4 initiative – Community College Completion Corps.  Her work continues and is celebrated today as TC continues to be recognized as one of the top community colleges in the state of Texas in student college completion measures. On campus and in the community, Dr. Young is well-known and highly respected for her work with students. She is a strong advocate for Phi Theta Kappa and its members and secures funding and resources for student participation in Phi Theta Kappa events by highlighting the personal and professional development opportunities PTK provides. These students are frequently recognized by our Board of Trustees, Foundation Board members, and local philanthropic organizations.  Students often provide testimonials of their volunteer service, conference and convention experiences, and their awards and scholarships as a result of the programs in Phi Theta Kappa and Dr. Young’s leadership.”

Dr. Young also serves as a volunteer on several local and state-level non-profit and education boards including the Caddo Area Council Boy Scouts of America, Opportunities, Inc., and Texas Community College Teachers Association (TCCTA) where she served as President and a member of the Nominating Committee. Dr. Young has received numerous honors and awards throughout her career including the Leadership Texarkana Idalee Hawkins Leader of the Year Award, the Texarkana College Endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence Award, and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award.

Congratulations to Dr. Mary Ellen Young on her outstanding contributions to higher education and for her continued excellence in service to Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society.

To learn more about Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, visit

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