Thursday, November 30, 2017

Executive Director's Blog - Happy Days ... Not So Much

From the Executive Director
Forum, Winter 2017

The late comedian Dick Gregory is noted for saying, “One of the things I keep learning is that the secret of being happy is doing things for other people.” Gregory admits to being a lifelong learner, a habit many Phi Kappa Phi members share.

I struggled with writing this column on the early October day we awoke to learn of the largest mass murder in American history, the horrific shooting of hundreds of people doing nothing more than enjoying a concert in Las Vegas.

The previous weeks had seen one natural disaster after another — hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria had lashed Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico with rain, wind, and flooding. Thousands of Americans were suddenly homeless, some temporarily, some undoubtedly long term.

And then came Las Vegas, the work not of nature but of a single individual with a personal arsenal of weapons. The motive for his actions died with the shooter, but speculation abounds, as we seem convinced that knowing why this man did what he did will somehow assuage our overwhelming grief.

As the day after the massacre unfolded, the media sought reactions, from witnesses, survivors, public officials and pundits. Descriptions of the scene were universally graphic, accounts shocking and grim, and victim counts unheard of even in modern warfare. It was not a day to focus on happiness, despite a deadline.

But as the day came to a close, the inability of commentators to offer solace was subsumed by stories of heroism and hope. Images of Nevadans lined up for blocks to donate blood, and of volunteers bringing food and water to those in line, brought a sense that people had not been rendered helpless or hopeless in the face of great tragedy.

In the aftermath of the worst actions humanity can unleash come some of humanity’s best. Strangers held the hands of the dying who fell next to them, bodies covered other bodies as shields, survivors rescued phones so desperate families could gain information about loved ones. People shared stories of fear, confusion, and loss. Medical personnel worked extended shifts, as one said, “just to stop the dying.” The repair work would come once victims stabilized.

In the light of day, as Americans woke to another Monday morning, the news from Las Vegas felt surreal before it finally sunk in — yet another mass murder, this one the largest in our history. Hadn’t we just learned of events in Orlando, San Bernardino, Aurora, Newtown, Columbine?

And as in each preceding horror, ordinary people joined hands and hearts in solidarity and shared revulsion, and went about doing good.

As they did in Puerto Rico, rescuing neighbors from flooded homes, sharing scarce food and water, clearing brush from roads. People helping people amid devastation that affected them all.

The mission statement of Phi Kappa Phi consists of two distinct statements. We tend to focus most of our attention on recognizing and promoting academic excellence, but the second part compels us to do something more: to engage the community of scholars in service to others.

I expect many of you have responded to the string of disasters in your own way, through donation or local action or other. I trust your engagement, like mine, your doing for other people, brought at least a hint of the happiness Dick Gregory suggests, a happiness that draws us out of despair, helplessness and loss. It likely also brought a glimpse happiness to those impacted by disaster.

Thank you, Phi Kappa Phi members, for your engagement in service to others. You’re making a difference.

-Mary Todd, Executive Director

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Phi Kappa Phi Announces Study Abroad Grant Recipients

Phi Kappa Phi recently announced the Session B recipients of a 2017 Study Abroad Grant. The $1,000 grants were awarded to 25 students across the nation.

Awarded twice a year, the grants are designed to support undergraduates, both members and nonmembers from campuses that have Phi Kappa Phi chapters, as they seek expanded knowledge and experience in their academic fields by studying abroad.

“Study abroad offers students a valuable learning experience with a culture other than their own,” said Society Executive Director Dr. Mary Todd. “Phi Kappa Phi is pleased to help open doors to expanded global knowledge and meaningful engagement with different cultures through our study abroad grants.”

The selection process for a study abroad grant is based on the applicant’s academic achievement, campus and community service, relation of travel to academic preparation and career goals, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and acceptance into a study abroad program.

Established in 2001, the Study Abroad Grant Program has awarded more than $800,000 to undergraduate students. In addition to these grants, the Society awards $1.4 million each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, funding for post-baccalaureate development, member and chapter awards, and grants for local, national and international literacy initiatives.

For the complete list of recipients from Session B of the program, click here. The application process for Session A will open December 15, 2017.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Today is Giving Tuesday!

You've made it through Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Now, kick off the holiday season by giving back on Giving Tuesday.

Please join us today, November 28, by giving opportunity to deserving students and members across the nation. Your gifts, no matter the size, will help students realize their educational and career goals, from study abroad to graduate school to lifelong learning.

All donations made to the Phi Kappa Phi Foundation today will help fund the Society's award programs. These programs, made possible by you, help student members in the early stages of their careers—whether an undergraduate studying abroad, a student just beginning graduate study, or an ABD trying to cross the finish line. Your gifts put books in the hands of children enrolled in literacy programs. And your gifts enable other members to extend their love of learning.

Thank you in advance for considering a donation to the Phi Kappa Phi Foundation. The gifts you give today will help us create tomorrow's opportunities.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Save on Technology this Holiday Season

If you’re in the market for a laptop, PC or technology accessories this holiday season you can save with ΦΚΦ technology partners! Members can take advantage of instant savings up to 42% off PCs and laptops, 10% off cloud-based computer backup plans, 15% off digital organization subscriptions, and 15% off qualified AT&T monthly wireless plans. Click the links below to start saving today!
  • AT&T – Save 15% on qualified monthly wireless phone service plans.
  • Carbonite – Receive a 10% discount on Carbonite cloud-based computer backup solutions, with additional discounts available for multi-year purchase, on all business and personal plan subscriptions.
  • Dell – Access savings up to 30% on select Dell laptops, desktops, plus hundreds of electronics and accessories.
  • Lenovo – Save up to 20% on Lenovo PC products and accessories, including the award-winning ThinkPad laptop.
  • Shoeboxed – Receive 30-days of Shoeboxed completely free and then 50% off the next six months.
Questions? Contact Jamie Chapman at or 800.804.9880, ext. 217.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Reason ‘Tue’ Give

Giving Tuesday is one week away! On November 28, Phi Kappa Phi will join communities, charities, businesses and individuals across the globe to celebrate a global day of philanthropy dedicated to giving back.

Gifts made to the Phi Kappa Phi Foundation on Giving Tuesday will support Phi Kappa Phi’s award programs, which give $1.4 million each biennium to deserving students and members. These programs, made possible by supporters like you, help students realize their educational and career goals, from study abroad to graduate school to lifelong learning.

Want to see firsthand how your donations can make a difference? Watch the below video to hear from Phi Kappa Phi award winners who are doing great things.

Will you join us next Tuesday? Save the date by adding Giving Tuesday to your calendar (Outlook, iCal, Google Calendar), and help us spread the word by telling your friends.

Highlight Your ΦΚΦ Membership

When it's time to apply for a job, scholarship or graduate program, let Phi Kappa Phi help highlight your membership in the nation's oldest and most selective all-discipline honor society. Phi Kappa Phi is happy to supply members with logo graphics, membership verification letters and personalized press releases.

Press Releases

Phi Kappa Phi sends press releases on behalf of each new initiate announcing their membership in the Society using a platform called Merit. These press releases are submitted electronically to new initiates’ hometown newspapers following the member’s induction ceremony.

In addition, a personalized story is prepared for each new member and a customizable online profile is created for the member to easily share his or her achievement with family and friends on social media. Click here to learn more about how Phi Kappa Phi promotes member accomplishments.

Membership Verification Letters
Verify your membership in the Society with a letter from Dr. Mary Todd, Society Executive Director. Contact Deanna Landry at to request your personalized membership verification letter.

Society Logos
Proudly display your Phi Kappa Phi membership on your résumé by including an official Society logo. Click here to download several ΦΚΦ logos.

Questions? Contact Jamie Chapman at or 800.804.9880, ext. 217.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Apply for a Dissertation Fellowship by November 30

The application deadline for the Dissertation Fellowship Program is less than two weeks away.

Introduced in 2014, the program is designed to support doctoral candidates who are writing their dissertations. Ten fellowships of $10,000 each will be awarded in 2018.

To be eligible, applicants must be an active Phi Kappa Phi member in the dissertation writing stage of doctoral study. All pre-dissertation requirements should be met by the November 30 deadline including approval of the dissertation proposal.

The selection process for a dissertation fellowship examines how the fellowship will contribute to the completion of the dissertation, the significance of original research, and endorsement by the dissertation chair. Recipients will receive $10,000 to apply toward 12 months of dissertation writing.

To start your application, click here. For more information, read the Dissertation Fellowship FAQs or download the fact sheet.

If you have additional questions, please contact Kelli Partin at

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Spread the Word about Giving Tuesday

In just a few weeks, Phi Kappa Phi will celebrate Giving Tuesday—a global day of philanthropy dedicated to giving back through the support of nonprofit organizations. Now in its sixth year, Giving Tuesday will take place on November 28, the Tuesday following Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Gifts made to the Phi Kappa Phi Foundation on this day will support Phi Kappa Phi’s award programs, which give $1.4 million each biennium to deserving students and members. These programs help students realize their educational and career goals, from study abroad to graduate school to lifelong learning.

But we need your help in spreading the word about this important day. To do so, join the Phi Kappa Phi Thunderclap campaign. It takes less than a minute!

You may be asking, what is a Thunderclap campaign?

Thunderclap is an online platform that allows people to collectively send social media posts via Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr on the same day (i.e. Giving Tuesday) at the same time to raise awareness about an organization or cause. Think of it as an online flash mob.

Click here to join our Thunderclap campaign and pledge one tweet, Facebook post or Tumblr post to be shared on Giving Tuesday. By doing so, you will help us continue to make an impact on the future.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Application Deadline Near for $100,000 Excellence in Innovation Award

Phi Kappa Phi is accepting applications for its 2018 Excellence in Innovation Award. The deadline for interested institutions to apply for the $100,000 award is December 12, 2017.

Awarded each biennium, the Excellence in Innovation Award recognizes one college or university for achievement in finding powerful substantive solutions to improve the lives of others and create systematic large-scale change. The recipient institution will receive $100,000 in tangible recognition of its best practice in response to the changes and challenges facing higher education in the 21st century.

“The Phi Kappa Phi Excellence in Innovation Award is a fitting extension of our mission to recognize and promote excellence in higher education by lifting up the transformative work being done on college and university campuses across the country,” said Dr. Mary Todd, the Society’s executive director.

Since 1932, Phi Kappa Phi has awarded fellowships and grants to members and students on its chapter campuses. Currently, more than $700,000 is awarded annually through programs that last year recognized more than 285 individuals. The Excellence in Innovation Award, first awarded in 2016 to Tulane University, is the Society’s only award for institutions.

The application period for colleges and universities to apply for the Excellence in Innovation Award is open until December 12, 2017. For more information including award criteria, eligibility, and timeline details, visit

Monday, November 13, 2017

Phi Kappa Phi Life Membership Fee to Increase in 2018

Effective January 1, 2018, the fee for a Phi Kappa Phi life membership will increase from $300 to $400. The senior life membership option available to members age 60 and older will increase from $225 to $300. Representing the Society’s commitment to keeping membership affordable, this is the first increase to the life membership fee in more than 15 years.

Members who choose the life membership option can enjoy the full benefits of active membership in Phi Kappa Phi without ever having to pay the annual renewal fee in the future.

Not only does membership grant access to numerous benefits and resources throughout a member’s academic and professional life, the membership fees help fund more than $1.4 million in awards granted to students and professionals each biennium.

If you would like to renew your membership for one year, two years, three years or for life, click here to see the options to renew online, by phone or by mail.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Save on Holiday Travel with ΦΚΦ Partners

Are you in the midst of planning your holiday travels? Book through Phi Kappa Phi partners and save up to 50% on hotels, 35% on car rentals, 15% on airport parking, and $500 on guided tours! Click the links below to make your reservations today.

Avis Rent A Car
Save up to 25% off Avis base rates on every rental whenever you make reservations using Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number W980400. From the car to the accessories, choose what best fits you and your trip. For further information and reservations, visit

Budget Car Rental
Use Budget Customer Discount (BCD) number R023600 to save up to 25% off Budget base rates and access exclusive coupons for free upgrades, free weekend day rentals and more. To make your reservation and for additional information, visit

Save up to $500 per person on guided travel across all seven continents. Click here to learn more about how you can save on a trip of a lifetime.

Enterprise Rent-a-Car
Phi Kappa Phi members are eligible to receive a 5% discount on Enterprise's standard, undiscounted daily, weekly and monthly rates. Click here to book your reservation. The discount is automatically applied to the internet best rate.

ΦΚΦ Travel Discounts
Whether traveling for work or pleasure, individually or in a group, domestically or abroad, Phi Kappa Phi members, friends and family can take advantage of huge savings of more than 50% for hotels and 35% for car rentals at locations worldwide. Any car, any hotel, anywhere, anytime. Click here to book today.

National Car Rental
Phi Kappa Phi members can receive a 10% discount on National's standard, undiscounted daily, weekly and monthly rates. Click here to book your reservation. The discount is automatically applied to the internet best rate.

Road Scholar
Road Scholar offers members a one-time, $100 savings on any one of their learning adventures in 150 countries and 50 states. Click here to sign up for a Road Scholar catalog and you’ll receive $100 off your first Road Scholar adventure.

The Parking Spot
Members can join the Spot Club Exec program to access a 15% discount at all full-service Parking Spot locations and a 10% discount at all Spot locations nationwide. Click here to order your Phi Kappa Phi Spot Club Exec card, view discounted rates, get directions and make reservations.

Questions? Contact Jamie Chapman at or 800.804.9880, ext. 217.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Display Your Membership with a Customized Frame

Looking to show off your Phi Kappa Phi pride? Frame your membership certificate with a customizable frame from our partner, Church Hill Classics. Choose from a variety of frame mouldings, mat colors and materials to create a frame that complements your home or office decor. In addition, you can find a frame to showcase your medallion, stole or Phi Kappa Phi photos.

You also will find other commemorative items such as gold engraved medallion desk pen sets, bookends, desk boxes and more. Click here to browse and start designing your custom frame today!

Questions? Contact or call 1.800.477.9005 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Recognizing Excellence in Innovation (VIDEO)

In 2016, Phi Kappa Phi awarded its first-ever Excellence in Innovation Award to Tulane University. The award, given once per biennium, honored Tulane for its achievement in finding powerful solutions to local, regional, national and global challenges through the university’s Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking.

Founded in 2014, the Taylor Center is a university-wide initiative that implements a range of academic, co-curricular and research opportunities through programming that includes community partnerships, student-led activities, visiting professors, student fellowships, service-learning components, award programs and social ventures. Each facet of the Taylor Center, exemplified by transdisciplinary methods, works together to provide sustainable solutions to challenges faced in the environment, society, education, health care and beyond.

With the $100,000 funding provided from the Excellence in Innovation Award, Tulane has been able to expand the programming and curriculum offered at the Taylor Center. Watch the below video to see how the award has made an impact on the Tulane campus and beyond.


Phi Kappa Phi is accepting applications for the 2018 Excellence in Innovation Award. The deadline for interested institutions to apply is December 12, 2017. For more information including award criteria, eligibility and timeline details, visit

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Give Back on Giving Tuesday

We have a day for giving thanks. We have a day for getting deals. And now we have Giving Tuesday—a global day of philanthropy dedicated to giving back through the support of nonprofit organizations.

On November 28, Phi Kappa Phi will join organizations across the world to celebrate Giving Tuesday. It's a day when communities, charities, businesses, and individuals come together to transform the way we think about and participate in the giving season.

With your help on this special day, we can continue to open doors of opportunity to members both near and far. Your gifts, no matter the size, will help deserving students and members realize their educational and career goals, from study abroad to graduate school to lifelong learning.

Want to be a part of Giving Tuesday? Here are a few ways:

Join us on Giving Tuesday and help us make an impact on the future. ​

ΦΚΦ Expert Directory Now Live!

We are excited to announce the launch of a new feature within the Phi Kappa Phi online community—the Expert Directory! This directory is a searchable database designed to help members connect with potential speakers, authors, and other authorities across all disciplines and topics.

If you are an expert in your field, we invite you to customize your expert profile today! Getting started is simple. Click here to login and edit your expert bio and professional status, select the topics in your field of expertise, customize your expert profile URL, and upload past presentations. A simple step-by-step guide is available should you need assistance. Click here to download it now.

We hope the directory will serve as a resource for you and we encourage you to take a moment to look around. Visit to start browsing today.

Please feel free to reach out to or 800.804.9880, extension 217, should you have questions or need assistance.

We look forward to seeing you around the community soon!

Monday, November 6, 2017

FREE GRE Strategy Webinar

Are you preparing to take the GRE? If so, you don’t want to miss this free GRE Strategy Session Webinar presented by The Princeton Review and the University of Bridgeport chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. They will teach you how to maximize your score on Monday, November 13 at 12:20 p.m. ET.

Topics will include:
  • GRE misconceptions and truths
  • Exclusive Princeton Review test-taking strategies to help you score higher
  • Question types, scoring and structure
  • Ways to dodge "traps"
  • Question and answer session
  • Special offer from The Princeton Review
The webinar is available for anyone to attend. Students on the University of Bridgeport campus can attend in person in the Discovery Pavilion on the first floor of Wahlstrom Library. Pizza will be served, and attendees are asked to arrive 30 minutes early.

Can't attend the webinar live? Sign up to receive a free recording

Questions? Contact Jamie Chapman at or 800.804.9880, ext. 217.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Member Benefit Highlights – November 2017

As the holiday season approaches, ease your shopping, traveling and planning stress with these discounts exclusively available to Phi Kappa Phi members throughout November.

Collette *New Benefit
Collette is a guided travel pioneer, taking travelers across the globe for the last 100 years. Their tours help you get the most out of any adventure, with itineraries designed to take you to iconic locales and show you hidden gems. From African safaris to whale watching in Iceland, Collette can help you make memories that will last a lifetime. Phi Kappa Phi members can save up to $500 per person. Click here to learn more about how you can save on a trip of a lifetime.

Mercer Alumni Insurance
*New Product
Mercer Consumer now offers members the Health Savers Benefit Card. By signing up for this new benefit program, members can save on Dental powered by Aetna Dental Access, Coast To Coast Vision™, pharmacy costs and Health Advocate™ Solutions services. For highlights and more information about this benefit program, click here.

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way to support Phi Kappa Phi every time you shop at—at no cost to you. When you shop using AmazonSmile, you’ll find the same low prices and selection with the added bonus that Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to Phi Kappa Phi. You can even use your existing Amazon and Amazon Prime accounts while shopping AmazonSmile. Click here to start your shopping today! And don’t forget to bookmark the AmazonSmile link to make it even easier to support the Society every time you shop on Amazon.

Holiday Travel
Are you in the midst of planning your holiday travels? Book through Phi Kappa Phi partners and save up to 50% on hotels, 35% on car rentals, 15% on airport parking, and $500 on guided tours! Click the links below to make your reservations today!
Phi Kappa Phi Gear and Graduation Regalia
Show your Phi Kappa Phi pride with Society-branded gear, graduation regalia and more! Shop our online store at to see all of the available items. You’ll find Society-branded items such as honor cords and stoles, T-shirts, backpacks, license plate frames, mugs and more. Free ground shipping is available for orders totaling $50 or more.

Phi Kappa Phi Rewards Visa®
Show your Phi Kappa Phi pride everywhere you shop, dine and travel! The Phi Kappa Phi Rewards Visa® gives cardholders cash-back on everyday purchases and offers extra points on special categories such as groceries and gas. Planning a vacation? You also can receive special perks on travel and entertainment. Other benefits include extra peace of mind and protection with travel accident insurance and emergency assistance services. Visit to learn more about the Phi Kappa Phi Rewards Visa® card today.

Technology Savings
If you’re in the market for a laptop, PC or technology accessories this holiday season you can save with ΦΚΦ technology partners! Members can take advantage of instant savings up to 42% off award winning Lenovo branded technologies, up to 30% off Dell products and accessories, 10% off Carbonite backup plans, 15% off Shoeboxed digital organization subscriptions, and 15% on qualified AT&T monthly wireless plans. Click the links below to start saving today!
Access year-round discounts available exclusively from Phi Kappa Phi partners at

Questions about member benefits? Contact Jamie Chapman at or 800.804.9880, ext. 217.

Volunteer Spotlight – November 2017

Barbara Lee
Texas A&M University

Chapter Position: Chapter Coordinator

University Position: Administrative Coordinator II, Academic Success Center, Division of Undergraduate Studies

Years of Service to the Chapter: 15+

How did you become involved with Phi Kappa Phi? After the merging of offices that were previously involved with Phi Kappa Phi at Texas A&M, the position of coordinator was left vacant and needed to be filled in order to keep the chapter thriving. Dr. Mark Weichold, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies, volunteered his office as the permanent home for chapter records and materials. I accepted the challenge and took ownership of ΦΚΦ, the nation’s oldest and most selective multidisciplinary collegiate honor society. I provided the behind-the-scenes work to ensure smooth operation and a smooth transition of the executive board from one year to the next.

What has Phi Kappa Phi done that has made you proud? Phi Kappa Phi has given our students opportunities they wouldn't have otherwise. In particular, the opportunity for eligible students to be designated as an Outstanding Junior for their college has made me very proud of this organization. This designation also comes with a scholarship. Our Outstanding Junior award is not only offered at our main College Station campus, but we extend it to our Galveston and Qatar campuses as well. Another award that gives me pride is the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship award. I am honored to serve along with the executive board on a committee that is dedicated to choosing a student deserving of this Fellowship. It is also a good feeling when your chapter's nominee for the Fellowship is selected and further recognized by the national office as our chapter's nominee has been for the past 5 years.

What does Phi Kappa Phi mean to you? Phi Kappa Phi is an honor society that recognizes outstanding academic performance across the entire university among juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Phi Kappa Phi means giving students from all disciplines the ability to achieve academic excellence through the resources and awards provided. This organization means I’m able to honor those that have worked hard to get where they are and are willing to continue their success throughout their college career and beyond.

What do you enjoy most about being a Phi Kappa Phi volunteer? As Chapter Coordinator, I love getting to interact with our students, faculty, and staff. My favorite part is receiving emails from non-member students that are excited about the prospect of joining our organization. I also love getting to bring family and friends together to celebrate the achievement of those being inducted into the Society during our initiation ceremony.

What advice would you give to a new Phi Kappa Phi volunteer? We are here to support and serve the students. A volunteer will need to be ready and committed to work with the chapter officers to foster growth within the chapter by stimulating new ideas and collaborating on projects. There may be times a volunteer will need to work extended hours to complete projects or events, but the rewards of this position are definitely worth the extra effort. My experience working with the organization from year to year is to provide continuity for the executive committee.

What are your hobbies? Spending time with my grandchildren, reading, and traveling.