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Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Executive Director to Speak at Atlantic Cape Commencement May 17

April 17, 2012

Dr. Rod A. Risley of Jackson, Miss., executive director of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and secretary of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation Board of Trustees, will deliver the keynote address to Atlantic Cape Community College’s class of 2012 at the school’s 45th annual commencement, 11 a.m., Thursday, May 17.

For the past 25 years, Risley has been an advocate for community colleges students. He is an expert in the areas of student engagement, retention and transfer students.

During his tenure as executive director of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Risley has received accolades for his research in the correlation between student success and honors education, leadership development and service learning. Risley has also played an active role in developing the Community College Completion Challenge and the Community College Completion Corps.

Two initiatives, the Phi Theta Kappa Leadership Studies Program, funded by a W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant; and CollegeFish.org, a transfer planning website, were spearheaded by Risley and aimed at community college student success.

 In addition to contributing to national education journals and media, Risley is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges Commission on Academic, Student and Community Development and has served as consultant to Federation for State Humanities Councils. He is responsible for developing the All-USA Community College Academic Team, “Competitive Edge” student development plan and numerous scholarships.

His honors include the American Association of Community College’s National Leadership Award and Distinguished Alumnus Award. Risley is a graduate of San Jacinto College and Sam Houston State University and earned an MBA from Millsaps College and a Ph.D. in Community College Leadership from Mississippi State University.