By Tommy Wells
Ranger College Public Information Officer/Sports Information Director
RANGER (April 5, 2016) – Ranger College students Bradoc Archibald and Shelby Neatherlin both could have attended almost any college they had wanted when they graduated from high school. Both, however, decided bigger isn’t always better especially when it comes to opportunity and enrolled at Ranger College.
Both have made their decisions successful – both athletics and academically.
On Sunday, April 3, Archibald and Neatherlin put themselves in an elite class when they were among a record-setting class of students inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, a prestigious international honor society for two-year colleges students. Overall, 59 students were inducted into PTK during a ceremony on April 3 in the Ranger College Auditorium.
“This means a lot,” said Archibald, who will be graduating in May and then transferring to Cal Tech. “This will, hopefully, open a lot of opportunities for everyone. All you can do is work hard to create the opportunity to be successful. After that, it’s up to you as far as what you do with them. The main thing is to have the opportunity.”
Archibald, who will be among a small group of students who will be completing their Associate’s Degree in one year, has been a standout at Ranger College as both a student and as an athlete. A 4.0 student in class, he was also a member of RC’s historic men’s basketball team, which advanced to the “Final Four” at the NJCAA national tournament last month.
Like Archibald, Neatherlin parlayed outstanding achievement on the softball field and in the classroom into an invitation to join PTK.
“I’m very excited about this,” said Neartherlin, the freshman daughter of a high school coach. “I’m more honored to be a part of it than anything. It’s something that is special for me because it means I was able to succeed at academics and athletics at the same time.”
Neatherlin heads into this weekend’s home games with Grayson College and Weatherford College ranked among the Lady Rangers’ top players. A strong-armed third baseman, she is hitting .378 and a team-high 33 runs batted in.
During the induction ceremony, guest speaker Gerald Gunstansen told the new PTK members to take advantage of their opportunity to “do the hard things.” By searching out and undertaking the hard things, they could live up to the expectations of all Phi Theta Kappa members by becoming leaders and reaching out to help others through fellowship and service.
“You’ve learned how to do hard things. You’ve studied. You gave up a lot to get here and that’s to be congratulated,” said Gunstansen. “I’ve found that where I put my fingerprints, either in projects or in people lives, that I have had a hand in making people’s lives better. When I invested in the community, I’ve had great success. Part of Phi Theta Kappa stands for is service, and service makes you a better person. I say to you, learn how to do the harder things. You can never go wrong doing the harder things and not looking for the easy way out, and not looking for the reward or the fastest way to the end. In doing so, I’ve learned that I affect change.”
“If you want to affect change, service is the greatest tool,” he added.
Archibald and Neatherlin were joined in being inducted into PTK by Juan Avalos, Seth Barberee, Deanna Black, William Boyles, Shelbie Branscum, Sierra Branscum, Tyler Brooks, Jason Bubert, Christopher Carlton, Stephanie Chapa, Kyle Coleman, Sylvester (Trey) Conrod, Kaci Cook, Ben Cuni, Nolan Ellis, Kendra Evans, Sean Farrell, Josie Feller, Amaranta Gamboa, Ty Green, John Gwynne, Kathy Hall, Abigail Haston, Jessica Hallmark, Hope Heard, Arielle Heinrichs, Justin Hernandez, Nina Hernandez, Holli Hullum, Jonathan Kastens, Baxter Krug, Abby Junkel, Emilie Linares, Cade Little, Matthew Lowe, Rene McCamey, Shelby Meredith, Brad Milligan, Norma Montanez, Jose Mora, Ivon Moreno, Jonathan Narvais, Paul Neely, Kira Nichols, Landen Northcutt, Grant Page, Caitlin Park, Shayla Roby, Nicole Rojas, Shaun Saul, Shallen Stickney, Malik Taylor, Karen Torres, Foy Varner and Sarah Willis.