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OCC student published in national literary journal, named International Poet Laureate

Orange Coast College student Federico De Palma is among 28 Phi Theta Kappa members to who will be published in the honor society’s 2021 issue of Nota Bene, a literary journal that showcases outstanding writing of community college students.

De Palma also has been recognized as one of six “exemplary entries” and in addition to receiving a $1,000 scholarship, he has been named PTK’s International Poet Laureate for a poem titled “Immigrant’s Song.”

A recent graduate of OCC with an Associate’s degree, De Palma transferred to University of California, Irvine, this fall however he has continued to take classes at Coast for his own personal interest. He has been a member of OCC’s PTK chapter since 2019, and currently is majoring in Spanish with a minor in education. “I received an email from Teresa Scarbrough, [OCC’s PTK] chapter coordinator, with the info about Nota Bene,” says De Palma. “I intend to use this scholarship to pay [for] my studies, specifically to buy books and materials for my courses.”

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievements of students at associate degree-granting colleges, and helps them grow as scholars and leaders. The honor society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 10 countries. OCC’s PTK chapter was recently recognized as one of the best in the world.

De Palma recognizes the value that his membership in PTK has provided. “Education is not only studying, but also socializing, learning from experience, and challenging yourself to new things,” he says. “Honors societies open the doors to that and much more.”

More than 440 entries were submitted to the 2021 Nota Bene competition, which is judged by current and retired college faculty and staff from across the country. A digital issue of the literary journal will be available on www.ptk.org this winter.

This article was released by Orange Coast College.