Each month, our chapter features one of our members in a “Spotlight” as a way to recognize our members and highlight their talents, passions, and/or achievements. If there is someone you would like to nominate for next month’s Spotlight, please email us at! Any member of PTK who has contributed to our organization can be featured in a Spotlight.


Our November Spotlight is recognizing Muhammad Ibrahim.  Muhammad is a very active and valuable member of our PTK-BAZ chapter.  We are thankful to have him as part of the PTK family.  Please join us in congratulating him!

Let’s get to know Muhammad:

img_2072Hello, my name is Muhammad Ibrahim and I am a proud member of Phi Theta Kappa, Beta Alpha Zeta Chapter. I am an international student from Lagos, Nigeria, currently pursuing my Associate-in-Science, and Associate-in-Engineering here at Wake Tech. I am in my second year and I hope to transfer to NC State to get my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.

I love helping people as much as I can, and also enjoy taking up volunteering opportunities that come my way.  I enjoy learning new things, and always seek to learn from my peers and instructors. I feel very much honored to receive this recognition, and also very excited about all of the opportunities BAZ provides for us members to improve our community, and ourselves.

I look forward to achieving more with my PTK family, and thank you once again for this awesomely awesome recognition!



Our October Spotlight is recognizing Diego Bryan.  Diego is an active member of PTK and we are glad he is a part of our BAZ Chapter.  Please join us in congratulating Diego!

Let’s find out a little more about Diego:



My Name is Diego Bryan. I grew up in a military family, so I’ve lived in several different places across the country. However, I was born in Indiana so that’s where I say I’m from. This is my second year at Wake Tech, and I’ve been a member of Phi Theta Kappa since Spring 2016. At Wake Tech I’m in the Associate in Engineering program and at the beginning of the 2017 fall semester, I hope to be a student for NC State. Outside of School, I work at Panera Bread a lot. Whenever I get free time I like to be adventurous outside and hike or take photos.





Our September Spotlight is recognizing Tasha Holt, who was inducted at the Spring Induction Ceremony.  Tasha is a valued member or PTK and we are so happy to have her part of the PTK family.  Please join us in congratulating Tasha!

Here’s what Tasha had to say:


Hello! My name is Tasha Holt and I am extremely honored to be chosen as the September PTK Spotlight member, so much so that I let out a pretty audible “wow” when I received the email. I am in my second year at Wake Tech as a Medical Office Administration student and I look forward to graduating with my Associate in Applied Sciences this coming spring. In addition to my studies here at Wake Tech, I will be sitting for two certification exams in medical billing and I plan on transferring to NC Wesleyan next fall to continue my studies.

I am the wife to an avid gaming enthusiast and the mother to an amazing daughter and dog. In my personal life I love video games, I am a huge fan of FPS. We are growing our gaming console collection; at this moment, we have two Xbox Ones, an Xbox 360, Wii, and a Sega Genesis. I also play coed flag football with Premier Sports (our team is the Abusement Park if you want to join!) and I like to spend my free time reading.

I was honored to join Phi Theta Kappa in the Spring of 2016 and I look forward to the many things our chapter has in store for us this school year. Thank you again for the honor.



Our August Spotlight is recognizing Ellie Alfers, who was inducted at the spring Induction Ceremony. Ellie is very active in PTK, attending meetings regularly.  We are grateful to have her as part of the PTK family — join us in congratulating her!

Let’s find out more about Ellie:

Ellie Alfers

Hi!  My name is Ellie Alfers.  I feel so honored and humbled to have been nominated for this month’s PTK-BAZ Spotlight.  I joined Phi Theta Kappa this past spring semester and have already gotten to meet so many amazing people.  I volunteered to help with the Krispy Kreme fundraiser and had a great experience talking to people as they bought their doughnuts.  I am really looking forward to seeing our chapter continue to advance throughout the upcoming school year.    

I will begin my second year at Wake Tech later this month and I’m excited to get back into the swing of things.  I only need a few more credits before I am able to graduate with my Associate’s Degree in Arts, but I have decided to stay at Wake Tech for another full year because I have been chosen as one of 15 students to be a Student Ambassador for our community college.  After graduation, my plan is to transfer to Meredith College in the Fall of 2017 to pursue my passion of Interior Design.

On a personal note, I am the oldest of four kids and I enjoy spending as much time with my family as possible.  Having a 6 person household can be a bit chaotic at times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I am an extremely organized person and need to have an agenda in order to function properly.  I am obsessed with Marvel movies and any other form of superhero entertainment.  My family jokes with me constantly about my “nerdiness” and my ability to spit out facts and information like a Marvel encyclopedia.

I am so happy to be a part of this PTK family and I look forward to meeting new people and helping to push our chapter to its fullest potential.


Our May Spotlight recognizes Brad Kotlarz, who served as Chapter President for the 2015-16 school year and Vice President for the 2014-15 school year. Brad did a phenomenal job leading our officer team this past year, and was a driving force on the Honors in Action and other various projects that helped our chapter obtain its four-star status. Join us in congratulating him on all his hard work and wishing him luck at Carolina! Here is what he had to say:


Hello fellow Phi Theta Kappans! My name is Brad Kotlarz and I am honored to be nominated for the PTK Spotlight. I have been a member of Beta Alpha Zeta since the fall of 2014 and I was lucky enough to serve as both a vice-president and president for our amazing chapter. My time with PTK was incredible. I met some wonderful people and got to work alongside each of them on a regular basis. Seeing our chapter and its members grow during my time was such a rewarding experience, and I will truly miss my time with Beta Alpha Zeta. Unfortunately, that time has come to an end. I graduated this spring with my associates in science and will be attending The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall (Go Tar Heels!!) where I will be studying biochemistry with an overall goal of attending medical school. Even though my time as an active member has passed, I look forward to working with the chapter and watching its continued growth throughout the years to come as an alumni member. During the induction ceremony it is said that you must give of yourself in order for the organization to be meaningful to you, and I can honestly say there is nothing truer when talking about Phi Theta Kappa. I hope everybody reading this will take those words to heart in order to get the most out of this rewarding opportunity. I want to thank all of my fellow members and our wonderful advisors for making my time with BAZ one that I will never forget!


Our April Spotlight goes to our Perry Health Science Campus Vice President, Ursula Nzimiro! Ursula has done a fantastic job as VP — she is currently working on starting an Alumni chapter for graduated Wake Tech Phi Theta Kappa students, and has worked tirelessly throughout the year to help our chapter reach its full potential. Join us in congratulating her! Here is what Ursula had to say:

Ursula Pic

Hi! My name is Ursula Nzimiro and I am so honored that I was nominated for April’s PTK-Beta Alpha Zeta spotlight. I was inducted into the organization in November of 2014. I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and moved to Raleigh, North Carolina when I was 7 years old. I am a full-time student and unfortunately this is my last semester here at Wake Technical Community College. I will receive my Associates of Applied Science in Medical Assisting in May 2016. I will transfer to North Carolina Wesleyan College to obtain my Bachelors of Science Degree in Organizational Administration.

Wake Tech has a transfer program with NC Wesleyan that I am excited about because I thought I would have to start all over at a four year institution to receive a Bachelors because none of my credits will transfer. When I started out at Wake Tech, I was only interested in obtaining my Associates. Higher education was very important to my mother and when she passed away in 2012, I wanted to make her proud of me and try again at the opportunity of obtaining my degree. Being a part of PTK has challenged me to go beyond with my education. As an adult student, I felt I had missed out on so much, but Wake Tech gave me a second chance and for that I am grateful.

I currently serve as the Vice President of the Health Science Campus for our PTK Chapter. This leadership role has given me a drive to excel in my grades and in everyday living. I had the opportunity of going to the Carolinas Regions Conference in South Carolina. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and learned some wonderful things. We are in the process of starting an Alumni Chapter for Beta Alpha Zeta. This will give students who are graduating an opportunity to stay involved with our organization. It is important that we share our experiences with each other so that we can make our chapter the best chapter ever!!

I serve as a member of the North Campus Eagle Productions Team. Eagle Productions plans the students’ activities that we have on campus. I am also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

I would like to encourage everyone who has been inducted and have become a part of the PTK family to GET INVOLVED. There are many opportunities that the organization has to offer you so that you become a better person. Please attend meetings and become active!

I want to thank the Lord for truly allowing me to start over as a college student. It is only because of Him that I am here today and on a path of success. I want to thank my mother for believing in me and teaching me the right way to live my life. I know that she is proud of me. Last, but not least, I would like to send thanks to the many people who have supported me along my journey. To God be the Glory!!!



Our March Spotlight is recognizing Meghan Chung, who will soon be inducted at the spring Induction Ceremony. Meghan never hesitates to lend a helping hand and we’re very excited to have her become part of the PTK family — join us in congratulating her!

Here is what Meghan has to say:


Hi! My name is Meghan and I am so excited and honored that I was nominated for this month’s PTK-BAZ spotlight. I am being inducted at the next ceremony in April and can’t wait! I’m originally from California, where I lived for 10 years before moving to North Carolina in 2006. I am a full-time student and this is my 2nd semester at Wake Tech. I’m continuing my education here through Spring 2017 to get my Associate in Science. From there I am hoping to transfer to NC State and major in Animal Science to pursue my dream of becoming a veterinarian.

I have loved animals my whole life and currently have 14 pets. I have 4 horses, a pony, a donkey, 4 cats, 2 bunnies, a dog, and a mouse. I’m not quite sure what kind of veterinarian I want to be yet but right now I am getting most of my animal experience hours from working at Clayton Animal Hospital. Over the summer I’m planning to start volunteering with exotic and large animals. Becoming a part of the PTK family is such a great experience and opportunity. Everyone has been very welcoming and I’m looking forward to participating in all of the future events and making new friends in the process!


Congratulations to Enzo Codella, who is recognized in this month’s Spotlight! Enzo was inducted into PTK last semester and is the AHSS Outstanding Student for this year. He is a very involved member, who works hard in both his academics and the community. When asked to share a little about himself, here is what he had to say:


came to the United States in September 2012, and I settled in Clayton, North Carolina, the following October. After two years of resilient wait and hard work, I enrolled at Wake Tech for the Fall 2014 semester to major in psychology. Since that moment, I have endeavored in my classes, seeking new ways to outdo myself every time. I am an active member of Wake Tech’s Honors Program, The National Society of Leadership and Success, and Phi Theta Kappa. I recently gave a speech at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro regarding the correctability of psychopathic personalities.

I plan to become a psychologist as a means to help promote humanitarian attitudes in the society. I am particularly interested in the rehabilitation of antisocial people, and my goal is to open and to manage social rehabilitation centers in the U.S., facilities that shall provide criminal offenders the means to develop prosocial lifestyles, encouraging their education and honest employment opportunities. I firmly believe in the benevolence of human beings when the environment allows for its flourishing, and I have the will to actively pursue this end and make it a reality in our culture.





Congratulations to Joanne Finch, who is recognized in this month’s Spotlight! Joanne is a very involved, dedicated member who embodies what it means to be a member of PTK. Here is what she had to say:


joanne-finch-spotlight-picHappy New Year! My name is Joanne Finch, and it is an honor to be the featured PTK member for the month of January.  I am a part-time student here at Wake Tech.  I am not your traditional college student.  I have been out of high school for thirty plus years. I started working right out of high school, got married, had a family, bought a house, and then I finally decided that I wanted to go back to school. I have been at it for a year and a half now and have discovered that I love school.

My ultimate goal is to transfer to a four-year college with an Associates of Arts degree from Wake Tech and then to earn a Bachelors degree for middle school education.  I appreciate the education I am receiving from qualified professors, the smaller class sizes, and the connections I am making with other students. I am so grateful to have been invited to become a member of PTK as well. It was the pat on the back that affirmed that I can be a successful college student. The other members that I have met are just as dedicated to their education and just as willing to volunteer in the community as I am. I believe being a member of PTK is an amazing opportunity to broaden my horizons.  I will continue to work hard to meet new challenges and opportunities.



December’s Spotlight is recognizing Publicity Secretary Brie McGhee. Join us in congratulating her!

career focusHi! My name is Brie McGhee and I’m currently serving as the Publicity Secretary for PTK-BAZ. I’m honored to have been chosen for this month’s Spotlight. Phi Theta Kappa has really helped me develop as a leader, a communicator, and a person. I’m very thankful to all the officers, members, and advisors that make this organization so great to be a part of. I’m in my second year of the Networking Technologies program here at Wake Tech, and I plan on transferring to NC State for my bachelor’s in Computer Science after graduating. I am also a part of the Student Ambassador program, the 2016 Alternative Spring Break program, and Sigma Alpha Pi. I want to thank my family and friends for their endless support and encouragement.


November’s PTK Spotlight is recognizing Su Leone, a very committed member who has been instrumental in bringing our chapter’s Honors in Action Project to fruition. She recently created a Website where students can access information about reducing academic anxiety. You can see the Website here: Join us in congratulating her for all the great work she has done!

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 5.33.19 PM

Su is a part-time Engineering student at Wake Tech, with an eye toward getting her Bachelor of Science in Geomatics from NC A&T University. This has been a goal of hers since starting the Geomatics Technology program at Wake Tech in the fall of 2013. Since graduating in May 2015 the from that program, she has been teaching an introductory geomatics courses at Vernon Malone High School as a WTCC Instructor, and talks to her students about keeping their grades up so they can join PTK, too!

In her free time, Su enjoys needle arts, reading, attending services at Church of the Earth, and cuddling with her cats at the home in Raleigh she shares with her husband of 20 years. She says she is is grateful to Phi Theta Kappa for the wonderful opportunities in fellowship and service that have come her way, and hopes our chapter continues to grow in participation as well as stature in the wider PTK community.



This month’s Spotlight features Kimberly Stokley, one of PTK’s most dedicated and determined members. Join us in congratulating her on the wonderful contributions she’s made to PTK!

kimberly_stokley_spotlightKimberly Stokley is a member of Phi Theta Kappa at Wake Tech studying Early Childhood Education. After graduation in the spring of 2016, she plans to continue her education and attend a four-year college to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. When she began school in the spring of 2014 at Wake Tech, Kimberly set out to achieve her goal of becoming a teacher focusing in kindergarten and preschool. Throughout her college career, Kimberly has worked part-time jobs while going to school full time. Kimberly has quite a full load and a busy schedule, but she still manages to keep a smile upon her face, and her grades up to par. In her free time volunteers in the community for events including the American Diabetes Association because she is a Type 1 Diabetic. Kimberly is honored for the nomination of October’s “Member Spotlight”. She is grateful for all of the opportunities that Phi Theta Kappa has to offer, such as camping, volunteering, and learning opportunities. She also wants to thank her parents and family for their love and support.




Congratulations to our North Campus Vice President, Cody Tharaldsen, who is featured in this month’s Spotlight. Cody is a dedicated member of PTK who works diligently in both his studies and community. Thank you, Cody for all the effort you put into making PTK great and congratulations on your success!

Here is what Cody had to say:

IMG_0348Hello! こんにちは!你好!שָׁלוֹם. My name is Cody Tharaldsen and I’m honored to be the featured PTK member for September. I currently serve as the Vice President for Phi Theta Kappa and Vice President for the International Friends club at the Northern Wake Tech campus. I am extremely interested in foreign languages as you may be able to tell. I’ve been studying Japanese for the past three years, primarily via self-study. I’m also on my third semester of Mandarin Chinese at Wake Tech, and just last month I began learning Hebrew.  This is my fifth and final semester at Wake Tech, so next semester I’d like to transfer to SEBST to earn a degree in Global Studies. From there I am still undecided, but I may go for a Masters in Translation and Interpretation or perhaps Linguistics. I want to use these skills to travel the world bringing light to the dark places and helping to instigate love and peace among all people.

Contrary to what one might expect of a Phi Theta Kappa member, I haven’t always been successful in academics. In fact, I was very lazy and undiligent as a high school student. I faced many trials in my past that led me to be the disinterested student I was. However, since fall 2013 I’ve had quite a bit of success, and now I’ve even had one of my works chosen for Nota Bene 2015. I’ve been so blessed by God these past few years and I owe all of my success to Him.



MitchphotoMitchell LaValley is the current Phi Theta Kappa Main Campus Vice President. The 2015-2016 school year will be his third and final year at Wake Tech; he plans to transfer into NC State’s Mechanical Engineering Program. After receiving his Master’s degree, his goal is to work with either NASA or SpaceX; however, he is excited about all his future opportunities. Throughout his first two years at Wake Tech, Mitchell competed in several engineering competitions, earned distinct leadership positions, and several scholarships. He was recently selected as 1 of the 300 students nationwide to partake in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars online sessions. He successfully finished in the top 120; therefore, he was selected to travel to a workshop at a NASA facility and work alongside NASA engineers!


Some of his accomplishments include:

-Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Vice President (Spring 2014-Present)

-Completed 3 Honors Program Projects

-Service Learning Program Member (Tutoring)

-Finished 1st place in 1st Wake Tech STEM Stars Competition

-Finished 2nd place in EGR 150 Trebuchet Competition

-Selected for NASA Community College Aerospace Program (2015)

-Two time NC Space Grant Community College STEM Scholarship Recipient (2014-2015) and (2015-2016)

-Clark Nexsen Architecture and Engineering Scholarship Recipient (2014)

-Sloan Family Foundation Scholarship Recipient (2015)

-White Oak Foundation Scholarship Recipient (2015)

-Wake Tech Success Story (Fall 2014)

Join us in congratulating Mitchell on his achievements and thanking him for all the hard work he puts into PTK!


If you want to nominate someone for a Spotlight, email us at!