Army Specialist and business major Yosio Jong knows what he wants in his professional life. He wants to have an office with a great view, somewhere in the corporate business world. En route to his goal, he received his associates degree from Barton Community College along with 50 other graduates from Ft. Riley on Thursday during the commencement ceremony.
“Barton is a great stepping stone to get into a four-year college and get a good job,” he said.
Jong spent a year deployed in Baghdad as an intelligence analyst. During his time there, he also reached a landmark as the first soldier to ever become initiated into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society while deployed. Barton recognized Jong and all other Phi Theta Kappa members at a special honors ceremony prior to the graduation. To be a member of this academic honor society, students must carry a 3.5 GPA and be enrolled in at least 12 credit-hours. No small feat for someone whose day job is serving our country in the military.
Barton’s College Programs, eCompanion, and Hybrid Coordinator Janet Balk said Jong’s determination and drive are what keep him progressing towards his goals.
“Being deployed overseas is a very stressful environment, and the fact that he kept up his studies and continued to do very well says a lot about him as a person,” she said. “He’s not willing to sit back and wait for life to happen to him. He’s actively pursuing it.”
The chapter at Ft. Riley also received a Pinnacle Award for increasing their membership. They have received the award multiple times for continuing to increase their presence in PTK by five percent over the previous year.
Barton also honored members of the Alpha Sigma Lambda, which recognizes non-traditional students who maintain a 3.5 GPA and have completed at least 24 credit-hours.
The day of celebration culminated with a large ceremony for all of the graduates at Riley’s Conference center.