Calvin Emerson: Honors Society Vice President


Emerson at Phi Theta Kappa event (Courtesy of PTK)

After years of advocacy, a lifetime of self-reflection and one letter of invitation, EvCC’s chapter of the International Honor Society has elected Calvin Emerson as a Division 4 Vice President of the northwest Phi Theta Kappa chapter.

While campaigning for EvCC’s chapter, Phi Theta Kappa, Emerson focused on a platform of support for students suffering from mental health issues.

Emerson speaking at PTK event (Courtesy of PTK)

Emerson has promised to use his new platform as Vice President to be a champion for all students at EvCC, International Honors Society member or not. “It doesn’t matter to me if you do qualify for the Honors Society or not…I will do anything I can to help someone if they need it,” Emerson said.

The International Honors Society provides opportunities for student success via talks given by speakers, job fairs and scholarships. To join the honor society students must qualify with a 3.5 GPA or higher and be invited to the chapter.

As vice president, Emerson is responsible for being a spokesperson and a speaker. His campaigning was rife with messages of acceptance for his fellow LGBTQ+ community members and those who struggle with their mental health. Focusing on making one on one connections with his fellow honor society members. “I plan to spread the same message I do at home, in California, Oregon, the east coast, Tennessee…Anywhere I get to travel,” Emerson said.

The question raised for Calvin is how does he actually plan to do that? “I can see what each person can accomplish and I want to get them to be able to see that within themselves… I want to talk to and connect with those on the fringes of the community and pull them in,” Emerson said.

When the “see it in yourself” message is pressed, Calvin’s character begins to reveal itself.

Emerson says that in his younger years, the setbacks and weight of mental health issues brought on by being neurodivergent nearly crushed him. Almost making himself believe all he was worth was the sum of his problems.

2022-23 International PTK Officers (From Left to Right) Division 1 Vice President Andrew Schoppelrei, Division 2 Vice President Michael Rodriguez, International President Dayriana Sanders, International President Keziah Christie Ancheta, Division 3 Vice President Brooke Janowsky, Division 4 Vice President Calvin Emerson (Courtesy of PTK)

Somewhere in the depths of darkness, Emerson found the fight to keep pushing forward despite the baggage life provided. He says he was lucky enough to find support via a counselor and encouragement to continue the push until he found what others saw in him. Someone that is more than what life throws at them.

Emerson knows that the road is long and the road is dark. Yet from experience, he knows the only way forward is to keep pushing until you can see acceptance in yourself.

Emerson’s strategy for change is based on the one-on-one connection between him and his constituents. Rather than aiming for a butterfly effect and planning on the whole institution to change, he is looking through an interpersonal scope. Emerson said, “I don’t know if I can change every one or anyone in a year…But if I can influence one to fifteen people, I will have been successful as vice president.”