Monday, September 29, 2014

Volunteer Spotlight – October 2014

Sharonne L. Winston
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Name: Sharonne L. Winston

Chapter Position: Administrative Assistant

Years of Service: 16 years

University Position: Administrative Specialist II

Degree(s)/Discipline: Bachelor of Arts in African & African American Studies, Summa Cum Laude

How did you become involved as a chapter officer? When I began at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville in July 1998, I was given three areas of responsibility, and Phi Kappa Phi was one of those responsibilities.  I've come in to contact with many faculty that serve as officers of Phi Kappa Phi and they have always made me feel like an officer, which is an awesome feeling!

What has your chapter done that has made you proud? Supplying students with the opportunities to continue to attend school by giving them the opportunity to apply for the McDow Scholarship, awarded to a junior(s) each fall semester who was initiated into Phi Kappa Phi the previous fall/spring semesters. They are nominated by their college deans or representatives from their college.

What does Phi Kappa Phi mean to you? I am not only an administrative assistant for Phi Kappa Phi, I am also a member.  I was inducted as a student in 2004, which I was more than ecstatic to become a member. Volunteering is the best feeling, and as a volunteer for Phi Kappa Phi, I have the greatest opportunity to express to students the need to be a volunteer, not just for Phi Kappa Phi, but in any area of their lives.

What do you enjoy most about being a chapter officer? I enjoy working with Phi Kappa Phi because of the many students and their families that I have the pleasure of meeting each semester at the induction ceremonies.

What advice would you give to a new chapter officer?
 Be passionate about Phi Kappa Phi!

What are your hobbies? I love spending time with my family, going to the movies with friends, as well as out to eat with my friends and family. Sudoku puzzles are my favorite!

Where are you from? I am from Knoxville, TN, born and raised.

See Sharonne's bio.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Take Part in the Phi Kappa Phi Book Drive Competition!

Beginning next week on October 1, chapters are encouraged to host a book drive as part of the second Phi Kappa Phi Book Drive Competition. The competition, created by the Council of Students, aims to encourage and promote literacy in the communities and campuses served by Phi Kappa Phi’s chapters.

Each participating chapter is tasked with collecting as many books as possible to donate to an organization of their choice. The book drives can take place anytime between October 1 and December 31, 2014.

The chapters that collect the most books will receive a “Little Free Library” (pictured right) to place at a location of each their choice. Chapters that win this prize will also receive $150 to cover the design cost for personalizing the library. To learn more about Little Free Library, visit

This project is a great way to promote Phi Kappa Phi on your campus and in the community. In addition, your participation in this book drive can help encourage a love of learning and enable access to opportunities that can last a lifetime!

To learn more about the Book Drive Competition and download important resources, visit And don’t forget to read the results from the inaugural contest, which was held earlier this year between February and April.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Changes to Phi Kappa Phi Award & Grant Programs

Beginning with the 2014-2016 biennium, Phi Kappa Phi’s award and grant programs will reflect new changes that include two new programs, dual cycles and an increased number of available awards. Learn more about these changes below and visit the Awards & Grants page on the Phi Kappa Phi website for additional details about each program.

New Programs

Dissertation Fellowships

The Dissertation Fellowship Program is new to the Society and is intended to support doctoral candidates who are writing their dissertations. Phi Kappa Phi will award two Dissertation Fellowships at $10,000 each per year. The Dissertation Fellowship program opens October 1, 2014, and the deadline to apply is November 30.

Excellence in Innovation Award
The Phi Kappa Phi Excellence in Innovation Award will be given to a college or university each biennium for achievement in innovation. The institution selected for the award will receive $100,000 from the Society. Further details about this award will become available early 2015.

Changes to Existing Programs

Study Abroad

The Study Abroad Grant Program will now be offered in two cycles each year. Twenty-five awards at $1,000 each will be awarded in both sessions. The new cycles will go into effect this year with Session A opening December 15 and closing February 15. Session B will open July 1 and close September 15.

Love of Learning
The Love of Learning Program now offers 160 awards at $500 each. The program also is moving to a two-cycle schedule with 80 awards being granted each session. The new cycles will go into effect this year with Session A opening December 15 and closing April 1. Session B will open July 1 and close October 1.

Scholar and Artist Awards
The deadline to submit a nomination for the Scholar & Artist Awards has been changed to February 1, 2016.

Ray Sylvester Distinguished Service Award
The deadline to submit a nomination for the Ray Sylvester Distinguished Service Award has been changed to February 1, 2016.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Volunteer Spotlight – September 2014

Alise Orloff
University of Maryland, College Park

Name: Alise Orloff

Volunteer Position: Love of Learning Selection Committee

Years of Service: 2 years

Degree(s)/Discipline: B.S., Education

How did you become involved as a Phi Kappa Phi volunteer? As a volunteer, my desire is to reach out to the Phi Kappa Phi community and give back to this prestigious honor society of which I am so proud to be a member. I was particularly intrigued by the Love of Learning Awards which have helped fund career development and academic endeavors for active members since 2007, and I was honored to have been chosen as a member of this committee in October 2012.

What has Phi Kappa Phi done that has made you proud? I am so proud to be a member of the nation's oldest and most selective honor society which celebrates academic excellence in all disciplines of higher education. The Society also sets high standards for membership, including integrity and strong leadership capabilities. Phi Kappa Phi members are passionate, engaging and enthusiastic; giving time and effort through volunteer opportunities and service to others.

What does Phi Kappa Phi mean to you? Phi Kappa Phi is a distinguished community of high achieving scholars and professionals who are united in the spirit of giving to others and facilitating academic works of high merit and impressive quality. When I was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland in December 1980, it was one of the proudest moments in my life, and that pride has only increased as the years have gone by. Phi Kappa Phi is truly the definition of an "Honor Society."

What do you enjoy most about being a committee member? I truly enjoy the camaraderie that I share with our program coordinator, committee chair and Love of Learning committee members. They are wonderful individuals, and it is so gratifying to know that our collaborative efforts in granting these awards are helping others to achieve their academic and professional dreams.

What advice would you give to a new committee member?
 Be willing to give generously of your time in order to do the best job you possibly can, and know that your efforts will have a positive impact on the lives of others. Do not be afraid to ask questions, and be willing to share your knowledge and resources with other members of your team. Volunteering boosts one's self esteem and produces a sense of pride and accomplishment.

What are your hobbies? My hobbies include Phi Kappa Phi volunteer work, reading, history/politics, music, sports, needlework crafts, stamp collecting, and last but not least, learning!

Where are you from? I was born in Washington, D.C., and reside in Silver Spring, Maryland.

See Alyse's bio.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Member Benefits Highlights – September 2014

Fall into savings with these special offers exclusively available to Phi Kappa Phi members throughout September.

The Princeton Review
Are you approaching the new MCAT exam? If so, you are eligible to take part in a beta test run of the first MCAT 2015 Ultimate LiveOnline Beta Course and save up to $1,799. The course is The Princeton Review’s most comprehensive MCAT course and offers more than 500 hours of preparation, specialized instruction, extended access to the Online Student Portal for the 2015 testing year, 11 full-length practice exams, access to exclusive learning technology study tool amplifire™ and much more. This limited-time offer is available only to 10 Phi Kappa Phi members on a first come, first serve basis. To enroll, call 800.2REVIEW and select Option 2. The deadline to enroll is September 25. For additional information on this exclusive opportunity, click here.

Becker Professional Education
As a Phi Kappa Phi member, you are eligible for a $300 discount when you register for all four parts of Becker Professional Education's CPA Review Course at the same time. To redeem the discount, provide 2005BCPARCPKP as the code when enrolling online.

Qualifying Phi Kappa Phi members can get an exclusive discount of up to 8 percent on auto insurance from GEICO. To get a quote, click here. Existing GEICO customers may also be eligible for this discount. To enroll, call 800.368.2734. Did you know? Each time you request a quote, GEICO makes a contribution to the Society, helping to support Awards & Grants. Be sure to search for "The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi" in the list of partners when requesting a quote.

Phi Kappa Phi Graduation Gear
Graduating this fall? Receive a free Phi Kappa Phi tassel when you purchase the Phi Kappa Phi honor cord, medallion and stole! Visit the Online Store to purchase today. Please note that protocol for wearing items at commencement varies from school to school. Be sure to check with your college or university before ordering.

Phi Kappa Phi Visa® Rewards Credit Card
Phi Kappa Phi has teamed up with Commerce Bank to offer members a Visa® rewards credit card. The credit card is the perfect way for members to show their Phi Kappa Phi pride everywhere Visa is accepted, as well as earn rewards points redeemable for thousands of rewards items. Other benefits include 20 percent off Phi Kappa Phi merchandise purchases, no annual fee, low introductory rate for first 6 months, $100,000 travel accident insurance and much more. To sign up for the Phi Kappa Phi Visa credit card and take advantage of the great benefits, click here.

Exclusive Worldwide Hotel Discount Program
Access a worldwide inventory of hotels available at exclusive discounted rates when you book through Phi Kappa Phi’s Worldwide Hotel Discount Program. Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, individually or in a group, domestically or abroad, you can take advantage of discounted rates averaging 10-20 percent below best available rates. To book online, click here or call 1.800.892.2136 using the code “PKP.”

Monday, September 8, 2014

Today is International Literacy Day

Did you know that more than 781 million adults and 126 million children in the world cannot read or write? As a way to promote awareness around the issue of illiteracy, the United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) created International Literacy Day in 1965. Since then, the day has been celebrated internationally on September 8 each year. Many organizations, including Phi Kappa Phi, extend the celebration beyond September 8 and devote the entire month to literacy awareness.

In honor of International Literacy Day today, we challenge you to educate yourself about the stats and facts surrounding illiteracy. Check out the 2014 UNESCO International Literacy Day infographic to learn more. And don’t forget to tell us how you are celebrating International Literacy Day by using #PKPCelebratesLiteracy.

Stay tuned to the Phi Kappa Phi blog throughout September for more literacy-related posts. If you haven’t already, check out this post that spotlights one of the many literacy initiatives being championed by Phi Kappa Phi member and Literacy Grant winner Sky Choi.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Literacy Spotlight: Project Riyen

After receiving a Literacy Grant from Phi Kappa Phi in 2013, Sky Choi knew exactly how he would use the funds: to enhance the efforts of Project Riyen, a non-profit organization he founded. The project, which is named after the Khmer word for learning, focuses on providing school supplies, educational resources and improved access to quality education in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The project’s efforts target both improved education for children as well as enriched training for teachers. To accomplish these goals, Project Riyen delivers school supplies to elementary schools in rural areas throughout the year and provides training and preparation to students at the Siem Reap Provincial Teachers College.

As part of the Literacy Grant, tailored laptops preloaded with educational content, software and Internet access were purchased and given to the top graduates at the Siem Reap Provincial Teachers College. Those graduates receiving the laptops then returned to their villages equipped to improve the learning experience for their students.

Today, the project continues to enhance the lives of both students and teachers in Siem Reap. Learn more about Project Riyen in the below video.

Read more about the Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grants program and see what literacy initiatives are being championed by this year’s grant winners.