Monserrat Rivero Sanchez wins international officer position in PTK

monse at booth

     Monserrat Rivero Sanchez, a Presidential Honors Scholar at Northeast Texas Community College, recently won election for an International Officer position within Phi Theta Kappa. Rivero Sanchez will be serving as the Division II Vice-President, which includes 322 chapters found in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, the British Virgin Islands and Peru. She is among a team of just five international officers who represent 3.8 million members around the world. 

  The International Officer campaign began in March, with preliminary elections held online based on candidate video speeches, information pieces, and questionnaires. Semifinalists attended PTK Catalyst, the international convention, held in Orlando April 3-6. Political rallies and campaign booths allowed the candidates to interact with thousands of prospective voters. Rivero Sanchez’s campaign slogan “Go to bat with Monserrat” was memorable, and lively. Her twenty-member campaign team dressed in baseball jerseys and included PTK members from across the state of Texas, and even neighboring states.

     Photos and memorabilia lined her campaign booth. An interactive component of her campaign allowed visitors to write down the names of individuals who have gone to bat for them on soft baseballs. Michelle Calderon, also a Presidential Honors Scholar at NTCC, served as Rivero Sanchez’s campaign manager, ensuring that the campaign ran smoothly and that Rivero Sanchez stayed hydrated during the long hours of talking and campaigning over the multi-day event. Another round of voting narrowed the field to two finalists, who were interviewed live, on stage, by the CEO of Phi Theta Kappa, in front of thousands of attendees. Rivero Sanchez’s answers charmed and delighted the audience, as she ultimately won the position.

catalyst with clinton

     “Winning International Office has not settled on my mind yet because this is the highest leadership position you can aim for as a Phi Theta Kappa student. Back in December when I was filling out the application, I didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t believe people would listen to my story and would feel connected,” Rivero Sanchez said. “When I went to serve in my last conference as a Texas Regional Officer I saw all the people that were rooting for me, people from colleges across the state telling me that if I needed anything they would be there. And they were! They are my team! They are the reason why I have achieved so much so far, and I am just humble and thankful that I have a huge support system anywhere I go.”

     “Michelle Calderon, Ruby Ferretiz, Fatima Fuentes, Kim Irvin, Jessica Hargis, Jessica Dorantes, and Cindy Stansell did everything to help me out for this journey from practicing my speech, to make detail schedules and long to do list of what I need to do, to drive me 18 hours to be able to get to where I needed. They were there every step of the way because they care and they wanted to see me succeed,” she said. “This is not only my win, it is the win of every person that has believed on me and has been in the first row cheering me on. This is a sign to show you that whenever you feel lonely, look around, there are so many that want the best for you and would do anything to see you smile.”

Catalyst collage

     Rivero Sanchez served as the District III Vice-President in the Texas Region this past year, providing her experience coordinating conventions and speaking before large crowds – skills that will come in handy as she serves as an International Officer with the organization. She was selected to give the keynote address at the opening session of the Texas Community College Teacher Association in February. 

     She also serves as Chapter President of Alpha Mu Chi, the Phi Theta Kappa chapter on the NTCC campus, as well as Vice President of the Honors Student Council. She has been, according to Honors Director Dr. Andrew Yox, a “powerful force behind two Caldwell Award-winning film efforts” for Honors Northeast. She is a graduate of Mount Pleasant High School. 

     Rivero Sanchez is the second International Officer for Phi Theta Kappa to come from Northeast Texas Community College. Jacob Lambie was elected as the International Vice-President for Division II in April 2020. Phi Theta Kappa is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious honor society in higher education, offering students access to $90 million in scholarships, as well as significant leadership, fellowship, and service opportunities. Founded in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa is in the United States and ten other nations. 

monse collage 2