For Immediate Release - Southwest Tennessee Community College

Date: December 17, 2010

Southwest Tennessee Community College Student Wins the Phi Theta Kappa 2010 International Essay Contest

Phi Theta Kappa student Valentina Taylor, a languages and literature major at Southwest Tennessee Community College, is the 2010 International Essay Contest Winner for the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. The purpose of the essay contest was to stimulate research and intellectual reflection preparatory to meaningful civic engagement and also help to facilitate Honors in Action activities.

The following is an excerpt from Taylor's essay titled, "Information Overload: Reaching the Limit," which emphasizes the role that technology has played in the current information explosion; the positive and negative outcomes:

"Thanks to palm-size camcorders, digital cameras, and Smartphones, as well as laptop and desktop computers, information can be transmitted within seconds from, virtually, any point on the globe. Furthermore, because of these devices, deployed soldiers are able to communicate with their friends and families back home on a daily basis. Although this is a good thing for many families, it is not such a good thing for the U.S. government. For instance, in the event of a casualty or an attack, a soldier with a portable camcorder, phone, or digital camera is able to freely record and transmit that information via YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter. Therefore, news of a son's, husband's, brother's, sister's, wife's, or daughter's death may reach a family before the proper authorities are able to "

Soon after having become a member of the honors society, contest rule were forwarded to Taylor who decided to chance it and enter the contest. "On a whim, completely last minute; I entered it, typed the essay and submitted it. In November, they notified me that I won first place," said Taylor.

Taylor is a full-time student with a 4.0 GPA and is also president of the International Student Club. "Miss Taylor is a great example of the talented and self-motivated students that participate in our Upsilon Delta chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society," said Dr. Joan McGrory, assistant professor of Business Administration. "Despite her busy schedule, Tina wrote and submitted an award winning entry to the international essay competition within days of joining our chapter. Tina Taylor exemplifies the spirit and dedication of our Phi Theta Kappa students," McGrory continued.

Phi Theta Kappa's mission is two-fold: 1) recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and (2) provide opportunities for individual growth and development through participation in honors, leadership, service and fellowship programming.


Photo caption: Valentina Taylor

For more information contact: Brenda J. Rayner, (901) 333-4247,, Farris Bldg., Room 1002, 5983 Macon Cove, Memphis, TN 38134