Honor society grants MTSU alumna $8,500 fellowship...

Honor society grants MTSU alumna $8,500 fellowship to continue her education

 An MTSU alumna will take degrees in two languages beyond the confines of campus with a generous financial stipend.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines, has bestowed an $8,500 fellowship on Kelsey Keith, a May 2021 MTSU graduate from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She is one of only 62 PKP fellowship recipients nationwide.  

Kelsey Keith, winner of an $8,500 Phi Kappa Phi fellowship (Photo submitted)

Kelsey Keith

“Besides helping me chip away at the economic barriers of graduate school, this fellowship represents academic community, both the one I have been fortunate to grow in my education thus far and the one I will continue to build and call upon in my graduate studies,” Keith said.

However, those graduate studies will have to wait for a year as Keith moves to Oviedo, Spain, as a Fulbright teaching assistant. In fall 2022, Keith will begin her master’s degree work in the University of Pennsylvania’s Education, Culture and Society program. She sought that program because its flexibility enables her to tailor her degree to her specific interests.

“Upon receiving my master’s degree, I hope to work in education through the government or a nonprofit organization,” Keith said. “I am specifically interested in issues of equity within international education and education in the Southern United States.”

Keith earned bachelor’s degrees in both English and Spanish at MTSU. She credits the flexibility of class choices in the Department of English with enabling her to take Spanish classes, which she had not been able to do for years.

“Taking Spanish courses again reminded me of my love for the language, and I found that adding it as a second major, with a little extra elbow grease, allowed me to be a better global citizen and greatly enhance my communication skills,” Keith said.College of Liberal Arts color brand logo

Phi Kappa Phi, the most prestigious honor society at MTSU, awards more than $1 million each year to outstanding members and students through study abroad grants, graduate fellowships, funding for post-baccalaureate development, member and chapter awards and grants for local, national and international literacy initiatives.

PKP extends membership by invitation only to the top 10% of seniors and graduate students and 7.5% of juniors in the country. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. The organization’s motto is “Philosophia Krateito Photon,” which is Greek for “Let the love of learning rule humanity.” 

“That motto signifies the voraciousness with which we should all approach learning and understanding, as well as the humility with which we should acknowledge when we are wrong,” Keith said. “Our love for learning should reflect our love for one another.”

For more information about the MTSU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, go to To learn more about the national organization, go to

— Gina K. Logue (