Narinder Singh

Using Angel and winning All-Kansas

March 2012

When JCCC student Narinder Singh joined the college’s honor society, Phi Theta Kappa, he volunteered to help out however he could. He had taken some business administration and accounting classes, but instead of treasurer, Singh became the vice president for communication. 

Singh, recently named to the All-Kansas Academic Team, was already incredibly busy. The 2010 Shawnee Mission South High School graduate had a full load of classes and three part-time jobs. He worked in the Billington Library, at a local sub-sandwich restaurant and at his uncle’s transmission-repair shop. 

During breaks from classes and jobs, he worked on creating a web page that would become a virtual community center for PTK members. 

Singh used Angel, a learning management suite used by JCCC, to post messages, meeting reminders and opportunities for volunteer work. 

“Before, that information had to be sent out using email,” Singh said, and invariably someone would be left off the distribution list, or the recipient would never check for the email. 

“Students usually have to get on Angel at some point anyway,” Singh said, since Angel can be used for both online and face-to-face classes.  

Pat Decker, director, honors program, and adviser, Phi Theta Kappa, said she is grateful for his work in creating the Angel site. 

“He’s been wonderful in terms of managing the Angel site,” she said. “He created a community for us on Angel, and he did it pretty much by himself.” 

Singh said he came to JCCC unaware of his career goals. His experiences in working with Angel, combined with his JCCC classes in computer science, have led him to believe computers are his life’s work. “I’m not quite sure how yet – I’d still like to study business as well, perhaps work on computers for a business,” he said. 

Singh said he felt honored to be chosen for the All-Kansas Academic Team. Students are selected by their own community colleges for the annual statewide academic team and can be chosen for the 2012 All-USA Academic Team. The national award is sponsored by USA Today, Phi Theta Kappa international honor society and the American Association of Community Colleges. 

Singh is also a member of the Academic Excellence Challenge Team (a quiz-bowl-like competition for Kansas community colleges). Team success at the district level earned a spot at “nationals” – the National Academic Quiz Tournaments – held in Florida. 

With his schedule already filled, why would he want to become a member of that team?

“It was the buzzers. We were meeting up in the Center for Student Involvement for Phi Theta Kappa, and [the Academic Excellence Challenge Team was] playing with the buzzers,” he said. “I just started playing with them, and I was hooked.”