The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi has bestowed its top award upon MTSU’s chapter — and study-abroad grants on a trio of deserving MTSU seniors.
For its yearly humanitarian activities, initiation efforts and promotion of educational excellence, the MTSU Phi Kappa Phi chapter has been designated as a “Platinum Chapter of Excellence.”
Local president Dr. Philip Phillips, a professor of English and associate dean of the University Honors College, said the chapter is “deeply honored” to receive this recognition.
“We are fortunate to have the support of our campus leadership as well as the University Honors College, where our chapter has been housed for over 25 years,” Phillips said.
“The greatest strength of our chapter, however, is our student members, especially our student vice presidents, who are actively engaged in promoting Phi Kappa Phi on campus through their service projects and information sessions for prospective members.”
Chapter members and MTSU seniors Hayley Ellis, B. Monique Little and Hannah Solima each received a study-abroad grant of $1,000 from the national PKP organization.
Ellis, an elementary education major from Smyrna, Tennessee, used her grant to study in Perth, Australia.
Solima, who also is from Smyrna, is using her grant to study this summer at the Moscow Institute of International Relations in Moscow, Russia. She is a double major in criminal justice administration and French.
“So far, the class has had two debates on nuclear security and the enlargement of NATO,” Solima said. “There are also group presentations at the very end, and the group I am a part of will present on cybersecurity in U.S.-Russia relations.”
Little, a Murfreesboro resident, is using her grant to study this summer at Seinan Gakuin University in Fukuoka, Japan.
“Winning this grant as a single mother, full-time student and full-time mother is extremely gratifying,” the industrial/organizational psychology major said.
“It also means that I can travel with lessened anxiety about finances, which is truly crucial.”
Founded in 1897, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.
It has chapters at more than 300 colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines, including MTSU. MTSU established its PKP chapter in 1987.
Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify.
The Phi Kappa Phi Circle of Honor Chapter Awards Program recognizes local chapters each year for working to expand their organization and encourage campus scholars.
MTSU was the only university in Tennessee included in the 2018-19 platinum excellence category, in which schools receive a perfect score out of 100 possible points.
Since the PKP Study Abroad Grant Program began in 2001, the honor society has given students across America more than $800,000 for overseas education.
The funds are part of the organization’s overall awards program, which provides $1.4 million every two years to outstanding students and members through graduate fellowships, funding for postbaccalaureate development, member and chapter awards, and grants for local, national and international literacy initiatives.
More than two dozen MTSU students’ academic excellence has earned them Phi Kappa Phi scholarships and grants since 1999.
That number includes 14 recipients of the organization’s most prestigious student honor, the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship. It’s for students beginning their first year of graduate or professional studies.
For more information about the MTSU chapter, contact Phillips at 615-898-2699 or firstname.lastname@example.org or chapter president-elect Maria Bachman at 615-898-5090 or email@example.com.
For more information on the national organization, visit www.phikappaphi.org.
— Gina K. Logue (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Editor’s note: Gina K. Logue is secretary and public affairs officer for MTSU’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter as well as a member of the organization.)