A Gift from the Heart: Woodbridge PTK Chapter Gives to Future Nighthawks

April 17, 2024

From left to right: Bryan Brown, Chair, NOVA Cinema Program; Chris Stallings, Professor, NOVA Cinema Program; David Epstein, Academic Dean, Woodbridge Campus; Kelly Persons, Executive Director, NOVA Foundation, Angel Pino, student and Phi Theta Kappa member; Theana Kastens, Honors English Faculty and advisor to PTK's Woodbridge chapter; and Abbey Jones, Associate Director, Specialty Programs.

On Monday, April 1, NOVA’s Woodbridge Campus hosted a special ceremony to present a check to the NOVA Educational Foundation. Angel Pino, current member and incoming president of the Alpha Delta Tau Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society, offered a check in the amount of $5,000; the funds will establish a scholarship to support student travel to the Czech Republic for the Cinema program's study abroad session in Summer 2025.

In an outstanding demonstration of the strong culture of philanthropy that makes us boldly NOVA, members of the honor society voted to allocate part of their dues to support their fellow students.

Dr. Theana Kastens, Honors English faculty and advisor to the Woodbridge PTK chapter, highlighted PTK’s dedication to community service and scholarship as a key reason why this gift made perfect sense. Woodbridge Cinema Professor Christopher Stallings and Cinema Chair Bryan Brown spoke to the significance of the Cinema program's study abroad experience. According to Stallings, the intensive summer program covers cinematography, lighting, screenwriting, postproduction and film studies. Department Chair Brown added, “As a community college, we have had some nontraditional and many traditional students who do not necessarily have the funds to afford a trip like this. Our students may need assistance more than those attending a four-year university. By traveling abroad, NOVA students will experience important life lessons like the power of connection through networking and the opportunity to see how the real world operates.” 

When asked about what inspired him to join the Woodbridge PTK chapter, Pino shared, “PTK is a steppingstone; specifically, there are numerous opportunities in terms of scholarships and leadership. I would recommend it to other students. I know there are students who are driven, and there are many enrichment opportunities one can participate in that provide avenues for growth and development.”  

Thank you to all NOVA PTK Honor Society members at the Woodbridge Campus, and to Dr. Kastens for leading by example as she empowers her students. Because of their dedication, participation in the Summer 2025 Cinema program's study abroad session will become a reality for other NOVA students. As Kelly Persons, executive director of the NOVA Foundation, stated, “This dedication to service and community is what PTK is all about.”

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