Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Member Benefits Highlights – December 2013

The holiday season is here, which means lots of shopping, traveling and planning! Make sure to check out these discounts—including a new benefit—exclusively available to Phi Kappa Phi members throughout December.

Shoeboxed (New Benefit!)
Go from paperwork to paperless with new Phi Kappa Phi partner, Shoeboxed! Shoeboxed provides a fast, easy way to turn your important paper documents such as receipts, bills, business cards, and more into organized digital data. With Shoeboxed, your documents will be carefully sorted and scanned into a secure online account. All of the organized data, including an IRS-accepted image of each document, is then human-verified, categorized, and accessible anytime, anywhere. As a Phi Kappa Phi member, you are eligible to receive 20 percent off your first six months when you subscribe. Sign up using this link to receive the discount and begin eliminating your paper clutter today!

Carbonite backs up your irreplaceable computer files—like term papers, business documents photos, music and more—securely and automatically to the cloud. In addition, you can access these important files from any computer, smartphone or tablet. Unlimited backup space is only $59.99 a year, and Phi Kappa Phi members can now receive 10 percent off (with additional discounts for multiyear purchase). Visit Carbonite.com and use promo code PKP2014 to get started today!

Graduation Recognition Sale
For limited time only, get free shipping when you buy all three graduation recognition items (the Phi Kappa Phi medallion, cord and honor stole). Place your order by phone only at 800.804.9880, ext. 210. Protocol for wearing graduation recognition items varies from school to school. Please check with your college or university before ordering.

Get special savings on select Lenovo products each day until Christmas. Visit www.lenovo.com/phikappaphi to check out today’s deal and start shopping!

The holiday shopping season is here! Whether shopping online or in the store, it’s important to be aware and watchful by taking the necessary precautions to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft. As a member, you are eligible to receive a 20% discount on a LifeLock membership. Click here to enroll using the Phi Kappa Phi discount.

The Princeton Review
As you gear up for the holiday season and the new year, make sure you keep your exam preparations top of mind! Phi Kappa Phi members can receive $150 off classroom courses, online courses and tutoring through The Princeton Review with promo code PKP150. In addition, take advantage of 20% off The Princeton Review’s Financial Add Seminars when you use code FINAID20. Start prepping today!

Worldwide Hotel Discount Program
Holiday travel plans? Enter into a drawing for a one-night free hotel stay when you book between now and March 31 using Phi Kappa Phi’s Worldwide Hotel Discount Program. Choose from a worldwide inventory of hotels with exclusive discounted rates averaging 10-20 percent below best available rates. Book today!

The 411 on Merit

Recently, we encouraged you to check out Merit, an online platform that allows us to create and publish personalized stories about members’ achievements such as being initiated into the Society, receiving a Phi Kappa Phi award, becoming a chapter officer and more.

If you’re still on the hunt for more information about this great tool, check out the below Frequently Asked Questions and resources to help you get started today.

When a member receives an achievement (being initiated, becoming a chapter officer, receiving a Phi Kappa Phi award, etc.), Society Headquarters creates a personalized story about the accomplishment and awards a badge to be published on the member’s Merit profile. (See a sample profile.) These stories are then also sent to the member’s hometown newspaper for publication.

If you were initiated into the Society prior to March 2013, you can request a badge by emailing hbreaux@phikappaphi.org with your name and member ID number.

Merit creates a professional and powerful online profile that showcases success and achievements. These profiles can be beneficial when applying for an internship, job, scholarship or graduate school. Furthermore, Merit provides a simple and easy way to share these accomplishments with family and friends through social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter.

Read the Merit Quick Start Guide for additional FAQs and check out Phi Kappa Phi's Merit page to see what member achievements could be awarded to you!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Volunteer Spotlight – December 2013

Joe DeCristoforo
The University of Texas at San Antonio


Joe DeCristoforo

Chapter Position: Chapter President

Years of Service to the Chapter: 2 years

University Position: Associate Vice President and University Registrar

Degree(s)/Discipline: B.A., English; M.Ed./Ed.S., Counselor Education  - University of Florida; Ph.D., Research, Measurement, & Statistics - Georgia State University

How did you become involved as a chapter officer?
When I first heard that discussions were underway between Phi Kappa Phi and our administration, I joined a working group of other faculty and staff to help start a local chapter for our campus. I had already served at two prior universities as a chapter president and chapter secretary, so I had some experience already.

What has your chapter done that has made you proud?
Well, we have had complete support from our University President and also our Provost in bringing a chapter to UTSA. During our chartering ceremony, which was very special to me, I recall looking at our platform party and all of the Deans and Faculty in the audience waiting to be inducted. I felt a tremendous sense of achievement that what we were doing on that day would have a significant positive impact on our student population for decades to come.

What does Phi Kappa Phi mean to you?
Phi Kappa Phi is all about academic excellence and the various ways that we can promote this concept across our campus, region, and country. I often hear the term "community of scholars" and when you work in higher education as I have for the past few decades, I have come to understand just what that really means. Interacting with students, faculty, and other staff in promoting academic excellence is a privilege I don't take lightly - it is an honor and a blessing to work toward this goal.

What do you enjoy most about being a chapter officer?
Besides meeting new students and faculty at UTSA and getting to know them better, I've also been fortunate to serve on the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship Committee. It was unlike anything I've ever experienced before - reviewing nearly 200 applicants for these special scholarships. The talent and level of experience we saw from these applicants was inspiring and humbling. The personal statement was my favorite part of the application as you often got a glimpse of the motivation the applicants had early on in life that was their catalyst to work hard and perform so well academically.

What advice would you give to a new chapter officer?
This is the easiest question - my advice is to understand you can't do it all by yourself. There are scholars on your campus who can help out and want to help out. You need to reach out and give them an opportunity to become involved. A few students who are energetic and motivated can make all of the difference in the world. Another lesson I learned is to keep regular monthly meetings (thanks Rebecca!); this helps everyone to stay on track as we are all pretty busy routinely but when we meet regularly, it helps to keep us all on track, working toward our common goals.

What are your hobbies?
"Lions, Tigers, and Bears - oh my...." Well, maybe not that dramatic, but we do have horses, dogs, and cats - and lots of them. We live on a small horse ranch in Texas and we absolutely love it!  My wife, Alice (who is also Phi Kappa Phi) and I love to go fishing and boating. We first met on the campus of the University of Florida at an international folk dance event a long time ago, and we've been dancing ever since. Our favorite form of dancing right now are the Cajun/Zydeco dances you can see in cities like New Orleans and Houston. Alice and I also like to make stained glass and fused glass artwork.

Where are you from?
I was born in New York but half of my life I've lived in Florida, and the other half in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and now Texas. Living in San Antonio is an experience unlike any other - there are so many traditions here related to The Alamo and the festive nature of the residents of this fun city.

See Joe's Bio.