By Sandra Saad and Avram McCarty
After 20 years on the job, Dr. Bill Loftus, a professor of Psychology at Big Sandy Community and Technical College, is stepping down as advisor to the Alpha Nu Zeta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.
Under his leadership, the chapters annual membership has doubled and the number of actively involved members and officers has tripled. Outside of his students in the classroom, it is the active chapter members who receive the full focus of Loftus attention, effort and energy.
I call them all my kids, Loftus notes, but they are learners and, in return, they teach me.
Loftus was a co-advisor with the late Professor Hassan Saffari, who passed away suddenly in August 2005. In honor of his friend, Loftus founded the Hassan Saffari PTK Membership Scholarship. Funds raised for the scholarship are generously matched by the Big Sandy College Educational Foundation and the scholarship funds are awarded to students to offset their $60 membership fees to join PTK. In return, the students are asked to contribute 10 hours of volunteer service to the local chapter and, in so doing, become actively involved in the chapters work.
In addition to the scholarship fund, Dr. Loftus also secured the chapter an office space on the Prestonsburg Campus where the chapter members can come together for, as he describes it, fellowship, mentorship and cross training.
Dr. Loftus is highly regarded by the chapter officers who work with him on a near
daily basis. Avram McCarty - honors student, student government president, PTK public
relations officer, student representative to the colleges Board of Directors and 2013
graduate - offered the following tribute to his mentor.
Bill Loftus is a man of numerous accomplishments, academic rigor, mentorship, compassion, and most of all a man with an immense consideration for those whose lives he touches.
He has made it his goal on campus to seek out the bright and make them brighter, turning Big Sandys diamonds in the rough into polished gemstones. He has done this through the woodwork of Phi Theta Kappa, an Honors Society that focuses on four hallmarks of success, i.e., Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Fellowship.
Bill has established quite the reputation in his advisor position in Phi Theta Kappa. He has laid claim to a myriad of regional awards, as well as four international awards: he was awarded the Mosel Award, two International Chapter Advisor Awards, and this year a Continued Excellence Award for Advisors. He has received every possible award for advisors, and is among the worlds best in what he doesadvising people along the way, helping the bright become brighter, and realizing potential that lies in every nook and cranny.