The University of Findlay
Chapter Position: Treasurer
University Position: Dean, College of Liberal Arts; Professor of English
Years of Service to the Chapter: 8 years
Degree(s)/Discipline: Ph.D., English; M.B.A, Organizational Leadership; M.S., Curriculum and Instruction; M.A., Technical Communication
How did you become involved as a chapter officer? A colleague of mine, Dr. Marie Louden-Hanes, was a strong advocate of bringing a few select honor societies to campus. She sought out members of Phi Kappa Phi to help with the campaign to receive our charter. I didn't hesitate. I always appreciated Phi Kappa Phi's mission and have always felt that it was a well-run organization that used its resources wisely for its members.
What has your chapter done that has made you proud? Many things. Our chapter reflects our University's identity as an institution. We combine our own distinctives (e.g., a strong commitment to service, entrepreneurial approach, etc.) with academic success. I'm very proud that we've achieved either the Chapter of Merit or Chapter of Excellence award every year they were offered, and we were eligible. Looking over the list of large state and private schools that have Phi Kappa Phi chapters, I'm particularly proud that our small chapter has achieved ambitious goals.
What does Phi Kappa Phi mean to you? Another opportunity for our students to be recognized, to get involved, and to be supported both on campus and beyond their own university. I'm proud to be part of an interdisciplinary honor society that encourages diversity of thought and discipline. And I strongly believe that the "love of learning" should guide us all as academics.
What do you enjoy most about being a chapter officer? My supportive colleagues, our student leaders and the ability to say yes to the small expenditures that make our chapter run efficiently. It's not always the most exciting or high profile role (e.g., tax forms, finance reports, etc.), but it is essential to the health of our chapter.
What advice would you give to a new chapter officer? They say the worst vice is advice, but if asked, I would stick with what I know. For a mid-sized or smaller college or university, you are the agent of change and productivity. Find a role at a chapter and strive to make a difference. Smaller schools don't have the luxury of "next person up" or the accumulated resources that larger schools may have. In the eight years since we received our charter from Phi Kappa Phi, we have succeeded because our chapter is comprised of role players devoid of ego who do what they do because they see the benefit to the students. Find those people to work with and be that person who recognizes the opportunities that can provide a legacy for our students far beyond what we might be able to do alone. I would also suggest volunteering for a national-level committee and attending the Phi Kappa Phi conventions. I have been privileged to hold several volunteer roles at the national level that have allowed me to learn from my colleagues and to be inspired both by ideas from other chapters and the devoted folks at Phi Kappa Phi Headquarters.
What are your hobbies? Cycling, kayaking, disc golf, continuing education, reading, writing, traveling
Where are you from? Originally from Chicago, though Findlay, Ohio, has been my home for over 10 years.
Click here to see Ron's CV.