Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Phi Kappa Phi Member Named 2015 MacArthur Fellow

Photo credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Photo credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Phi Kappa Phi member and fellow Matthew Desmond, an associate professor of sociology and social studies at Harvard University, is now a MacArthur Fellow.

“America is unmatched by any developed democracy for the depths and extent of its poverty, but it’s also not inevitable,” ethnographer Desmond says in a video released by the MacArthur Foundation. For his research on eviction, Desmond immersed himself in the issue, moving into a trailer park and then a rooming house in Milwaukee. He found eviction is a complex, multifaceted and far-reaching problem, affecting all aspects of family life.

“Eviction, instead of being rare, has become ordinary. The prevalence of eviction, how common it is in low-income communities, is leaving a deep and jagged scar on the next generation. And it’s something we’ll all have to face sooner or later,” Desmond says. “The fellowship gives me incredible license to think big and think differently. There’s a lot of hope and a lot of capacity to do something major about this problem.”

Desmond is the author of the upcoming book “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” and a graduate of Arizona State University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He was a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, has written several other books, including “On the Fireline,” “Race in America,” and “The Racial Order,” and has been published in the American Journal of Sociology and the American Sociological Review. He is also editor of the forthcoming issue of RSF: Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences.

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards $625,000, unrestricted, and paid over five years to those who shoe “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Promoting Literacy on Campus and in the Community

In honor of National Literacy Month, check out these ways that you can promote literacy both on campus and in your community.

Host an event.
There are a number of events, both big and small, that your chapter can host to promote literacy such as an informational booth, public forum on illiteracy, book drive and more. You can also consider making it an annual event each year during National Literacy Month. This will help create awareness as well as raise the profile of both your chapter and Phi Kappa Phi.

Spread the word.
Use fliers, posters, bookmarks, and other printed materials to celebrate literacy. You can also create informational packets combining many of these printed materials. Consider running a PSA or campus newspaper ad for an upcoming chapter event. Social media is another great way to spread the word while encouraging others to do the same.

Build partnerships.
Team up with local organizations in your community to co-sponsor a larger event or ask your chapter to become a sponsor for an upcoming event. Reach out to local retailers and offices to keep the materials created by your chapter (See “Spread the Word” above) on hand for the community.

Tap into your membership base.
Consider encouraging your members and officers to create a Phi Kappa Phi tutoring program or host monthly read-alouds at local schools within your community. These types of commitments will increase your chapter’s community contribution and encourage members to become involved on a service-related level.

Give a gift.
Donate those old books on your bookshelf to a local library or school within your community. Or, host a chapter event to raise funds that will allow your chapter to make a monetary donation to a beneficiary organization of your choice.

Celebrate year-round.
Even though National Literacy Month is only one month out of the year, make it a priority to do something—big or small—to encourage literacy on your campus and in your community throughout the entire year. And consider participating in Phi Kappa Phi’s Annual Book Drive Competition. The competition, open to all chapters, kicks off in February of each year.

Apply for a Literacy Grant.
Apply for a Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant to help your chapter champion a literacy initiative. The grants of up to $2,500 are available each year to chapters and individual members. Learn more about the program here and watch these podcasts created by past winner Dr. Paulette Harris (Part 1 and Part 2) for tips on a successful application.

Have a tip to share? Post it in the comments below or tweet us @PhiKappaPhi using #PKPCelebratesLiteracy.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Apply for a Love of Learning Award

Need funding to attend a conference, support dissertation research, or pay for textbooks? Apply for a Love of Learning Award!

Available to active Phi Kappa Phi members, Love of Learning Awards help fund post-baccalaureate studies and/or career development including graduate or professional studies, doctoral dissertations, continuing education, travel related to teaching/studies and more.

Eighty awards, at $500 each, will be distributed during Session B. The deadline to submit applications is October 1.

Applications are open to all active (dues current) Phi Kappa Phi members who:
  • Have completed their baccalaureate studies by application submission deadline.
  • Have not received a Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship

For more information, check out the FAQs and Love of Learning fact sheet. Ready to apply? Click here!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Save an Extra 10% with Dell!

From now until October 31, Phi Kappa Phi has teamed up with Dell to offer members an additional 10 percent off select PCs, tablets, electronics and accessories from Dell.com!

To receive the exclusive discount, click here and follow the instructions. Please note you must be logged in with your Phi Kappa Phi credentials to access this page.

For more information about the limited-time offer, click here. If you need additional assistance accessing the discount, please contact James Case at james_case@dell.com or Jamie Chapman at jchapman@phikappaphi.org.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Phi Kappa Phi Launches Excellence in Innovation Award

Phi Kappa Phi is excited to announce the launch of its Excellence in Innovation Award. The new $100,000 award, given once per biennium, will recognize a college and university for its achievements in finding powerful answers to important local, regional, national, or global challenges.

While Phi Kappa Phi has pursued its mission of recognizing and promoting academic excellence since its founding in 1897, until now it has not played a significant role of any sort in the national conversation on higher education.

We seek to change that by doing what we do best—recognizing and promoting excellence. Since 1933, Phi Kappa Phi has awarded fellowships and grants to members and students on our chapter campuses.

Currently, we award more than $500,000 annually through programs that last year recognized over 270 individuals.

But we have never had an award for institutions until now.

The Society will present the first Excellence in Innovation Award in 2016 to an institution of higher learning that uses innovative and substantive solutions to achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes to improve the lives of others and create systemic large-scale change.

The application period for colleges and universities to apply for the Excellence in Innovation award is currently open and will close December 10. To learn more about the award including award criteria, eligibility, and timeline details, visit www.PhiKappaPhiInnovation.org.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Today is International Literacy Day

Did you know that more than 757 million adults and 250 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 join us and other organizations and communities across the globe to raise awareness around the importance of literacy. We also encourage you to educate yourself about the stats and facts surrounding the advancement of literacy. To do so, check out the five new publications and infographic (right) launched by UNESCO in honor of International Literacy Day.

And don’t forget to tell us how you are celebrating International Literacy Day by using #PKPCelebratesLiteracy on social media.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Member Benefits Highlights – September 2015

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

Lumosity *New Benefit
Phi Kappa Phi has teamed up with Lumosity, a leading brain training company, to offer members an exclusive 25% discount on individual yearly and lifetime subscriptions. Lumosity is available on iPad, iPhone and Android, and in several languages on the web including French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish. To take advantage of the exclusive 25% discount, visit Lumosity.com to set up your free account. Once you’ve created your account, click here to activate the 25% discount.

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way to support Phi Kappa Phi every time you shop at Amazon.com at no cost to you. When you shop using AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience with the added bonus that Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to Phi Kappa Phi. Start your shopping today! And don’t forget to bookmark the AmazonSmile link to make it even easier to support Phi Kappa Phi every time you shop on Amazon.

JoS A. Bank
Receive 20% savings in store and online from menswear retailer JoS. A. Bank. To begin receiving the discount, sign up for a free Corporate Card by visiting your nearest JoS. A. Bank store. Once at the store, mention your membership in Phi Kappa Phi and corporate ID# 525720. Members can also register by calling 800.285.2265 or emailing a request, along with the address you would like the card sent, to corporatecard@jos-a-bank.com. Remember, you must mention Phi Kappa Phi and corporate ID# 525720 when requesting your card.

Gain access to more than 1,800 academic journals with JPASS by JSTOR and receive an exclusive 25% discount when you purchase the annual JPASS-JSTOR individual access plan. The JSTOR archive collection is a database containing back issues of more than 2,000 academic and professional journals spanning 50 disciplines and more than 350 years of scholarship—including some of the most authoritative and widely read articles in the arts and sciences. Click here to redeem your 25% discount today. (You must be logged in to the website to access the discount.)

Qualifying Phi Kappa Phi members can get an exclusive discount of up to 8% on auto insurance from GEICO. To get a quote, click here. Existing GEICO customers may also be eligible for this discount. To enroll, call 1.800.368.2734. Did you know? Each time you request a quote, GEICO makes a contribution to the Society’s Awards & Grant programs!

Mercer Insurance Program
As a Phi Kappa Phi member, you can take advantage of special rates and discounts for life, pet, disability, long-term care and health insurance through Mercer Consumer, a service of Mercer Health & Benefits Administration, LLC, and other well-known providers. To learn more and enroll, call 1.888.560.ALUM (2586). Be sure to mention your membership in The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Click here to access the plans currently offered to Phi Kappa Phi members.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Phi Kappa Phi Celebrates National Literacy Month

September is National Literacy Month! This month-long global celebration brings together organizations, communities, educators and students both near and far to promote literacy as a foundation for lifelong learning.

Throughout the month, we will celebrate literacy on our blog, website and social media. But we also want to know how you are celebrating. Send us your stories or post below about a literacy initiative being championed by you or your chapter. You can also join the conversation using #PKPCelebratesLiteracy.

And if you haven’t already, read about the 2015 Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant winners who are championing various literacy initiatives across the nation.

Volunteer Spotlight – September 2015

Laura A. Pawlow, Ph.D.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Name: Laura A. Pawlow, Ph.D

Chapter Position: President

University Position: Professor of Psychology, Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Coordinator

Years of Service to the Chapter: 3 years

Degree(s)/Discipline: Clinical Psychology

How did you become involved as a chapter officer? Shortly after I was initiated, I was approached by then President-Elect, Mary Weishaar, and asked to serve.

What has your chapter done that has made you proud? I am most proud of the work we did to support our local Head Start Agency through the Phi Kappa Phi National Book Drive Contest. In approximately 6 weeks, we were able to collect 2,873 new and gently used children's books from our university and surrounding community. I'm so excited about the impact so many great books will have on so many very deserving kids!

What does Phi Kappa Phi mean to you? I really appreciate the emphasis on inspiring a lifelong love of learning. As teachers, we strive to instill a sense of wonder in our students and to promote intellectual curiosity. I love that this is the over-arching goal of Phi Kappa Phi. I also really appreciate the fact that membership is open to ALL disciplines and that representing all areas of scholarly inquiry is encouraged. Finally, I enjoy the commitment to service embodied by Phi Kappa Phi.

What do you enjoy most about being a chapter officer? Many things, but the most enjoyable moments to date involved seeing a small room in my laboratory practically overflowing with the almost 3,000 books that our community so generously donated and anticipating the delight these books are going to bring to so many little ones!

What advice would you give to a new chapter officer? You don't have to do everything by yourself. You have dedicated and hard-working fellow officers to support you and an entire staff at the national level determined to help your chapter succeed.

What are your hobbies? I love spending time with my family and friends, spending time on the water with my husband and kids, St. Louis Cardinals games, reading, and working on various house and yard projects.

Where are you from? I was born in St. Louis, Mo., but as an "Air Force brat," we called many places home, including South Korea for three years.

Read Laura's bio.