Monday, July 30, 2018

We're packing our bags!

Staff from the national office will head to Minneapolis, Minnesota, tomorrow, July 31, to prepare for the 2018 Phi Kappa Phi Convention! The convention, themed Keep Calm and Carry On Excellence, marks the 45th gathering since the Society’s founding in 1897 at the University of Maine. Chapter officers, students and members from institutions across the nation will convene for three days of networking, learning and sharing.

Taking place Thursday through Saturday, the convention boasts an exciting agenda including a keynote address from Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members, a panel discussion with three university provosts, presentation of the Society’s $100,000 Excellence in Innovation Award and much more. In addition, the 2018-2020 Board of Directors and Divisional Vice Presidents will be elected during the convention. (See the Slate of Candidates here.)

Stay tuned for all convention happenings to be posted here on the Phi Kappa Phi blog and our social media channels.

And for those heading to Minneapolis, we’ll see you there!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Chapter Update – July 2018

By Kay White
Chapter Development Director

Right now, at our national office, all activities are focused on the biennial convention to be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2-4. The chapter development department is designing training and programming to benefit all chapter officers, both old and new. These trainings and information sessions are integral to the understanding of how to run a successful chapter, as well as how to engage the campus community. We are excited to see all of the chapter delegates that will be joining us, and look forward to our time together!

Recently, Dr. Patricia Whitlow, Director of Nationally Competitive Awards at the University of Kentucky’s Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence, let us know about a Phi Kappa Phi member at UK accomplishing great things. Benjamin Troupe, pictured, is the University of Kentucky’s first Pickering Fellow, and plans to use the award to study at George Washington University and pursue a master’s degree in international affairs. Whitlow is proud that someone from the university and chapter is being recognized in this way. “As the President of UK’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter, I am especially excited that Ben is one of our members and that he is willing to serve as a contact for Phi Kappa Phi members who are interested in careers with the U.S. State Department.” For more information, click here.

To share your chapter’s events with the national office, contact Kay White, Chapter Development Director, at

Photo caption - Benjamin Troupe, University of Kentucky

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Phi Kappa Phi Receives Power of A Silver Award for Its Excellence in Innovation Award

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines, has been recognized by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) with a 2018 Power of A Silver Award. Phi Kappa Phi was selected as a recipient of the award for its efforts in recognizing and promoting innovation in higher education through the Excellence in Innovation Award.

The Power of A Awards, the association industry’s top award, honors outstanding efforts by associations that distinguish themselves with innovative, effective and broad-reaching programs that have a positive impact at the local, national and global levels.

Established in 2014 and awarded each biennium, Phi Kappa Phi’s Excellence in Innovation Award was created as a way to recognize colleges and universities for their achievement in finding powerful solutions to improve the lives of others and create systematic large-scale change, as well as to raise awareness of the importance of encouraging innovation in higher education. The recipient institution receives $100,000 in tangible recognition of its best practice in response to the changes and challenges facing higher education.

Since its creation, the Excellence in Innovation Award has been awarded to Tulane University in 2016 for its Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking and most recently to Western Michigan University for its Seita Scholars Program.

“The power of an association is its ability to serve not only its membership but to represent them, to believe so passionately in its mission that it sees the potential for impact beyond its own members,” said Society Executive Director Dr. Mary Todd. “The Innovation Award is a direct extension of both the Phi Kappa Phi mission and members’ shared love of learning by lifting up the transformative work being done on college and university campuses across the country.”

Phi Kappa Phi is one of 34 organizations to receive the 2018 Power of A Silver Award from ASAE. Created in 2010, the Power of A program showcases how associations leverage their unique resources to solve problems, kickstart innovation and improve world conditions.

“Congratulations to Phi Kappa Phi for their efforts to enrich and strengthen lives,” said Sharon J. Swan, FASAE, CAE, chair of the Power of A Awards Judging Committee. “Their initiative exemplifies how we work best when we work together and how associations have a positive influence on our everyday lives in every way.”

To learn more about Phi Kappa Phi’s Excellence in Innovation Award, visit

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Test Prep with The Princeton Review and Save

For more than 35 years, students and their families have trusted The Princeton Review to help them get into their dream schools. Its mission is to provide personalized, innovative, best-in-class private tutoring, test prep, and admission products and services to help students knock down barriers and achieve their academic goals. The Princeton Review is solely on the side of students and is not affiliated with any test developers.

Phi Kappa Phi members and family can save 15% on The Princeton Review courses and tutoring for the MCAT®, LSAT®, GMAT®, GRE®, and more.

To access the appropriate promotional code and enroll online, click here.

Members can also take advantage of the following free resources:
  • Essential Presentations - Access a series of essential presentations on graduate school applications and testing strategies from The Princeton Review.
  • Free Practice Tests and Events - Determine your preparation needs by taking a full-length practice exam (online or in person) without affecting your record and receive a personalized, detailed score report, analyzing your test taking strengths and weaknesses.
  • Upcoming Webinars and Facebook Live Events – Sign up for free webinars on college admissions prep, testing strategy, and more.
  • Admissions Counseling - Get an edge with counseling from The Princeton Review advisors, and let them help you reach your goals!
  • Homework Help - From tackling tough homework assignments to studying for a big test or writing an essay, The Princeton Review tutors are available to help 24/7.

Questions? Contact Robyn Zangla at or call 1.800.2REVIEW (800.273.8439) to speak with an advisor Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Member Spotlight - July 2018

Many couples have fond memories of walking down the aisle as newlyweds, beaming with pride and reveling in the milestone moment. But couple Luis and Wendy Castaneira recently shared a slightly different milestone moment – the pride of walking down the aisle at California State University, San Bernardino’s graduation as Phi Kappa Phi members.

In June the pair earned their bachelor’s degrees, both graduating cum laude and with university and departmental honors – Luis in criminal justice and Wendy in nursing. The first-generation college students and parents of four met their challenges head on over the years and supported each other on the way to the finish line.

“Our biggest challenges were managing finances and time to study. We would both get on our computers and complete our school work after the kids were in bed,” shared Wendy. The joint study efforts proved successful. “We have been able to help each other study and review each other’s essays. We also had our own ways of studying which helped giving advice back and forth.”

Wendy was excited to receive an invitation to join Phi Kappa Phi in 2017 and easily made the decision to join. Luis, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, was encouraged to follow her lead when his invitation arrived a year later. “My wife was excited for me to join a prestigious honor society with her. She explained the importance of joining Phi Kappa Phi and that it would be an honor to be labeled as a member,” he said.

As Wendy explained, “You work so hard to achieve greatness, you should be proud to be able to join those I consider elite. Let the world know you are more than just a student. Let them know you qualified and have become part of the nationwide honor society Phi Kappa Phi.”

The couple hopes to pass on their love of learning to their children. “We are constantly teaching our kids,” said Wendy. “Every day is a chance to learn something new. While in school we learned so much about the development of a child’s brain and how they perceive the world. It has helped us so much in understanding their developmental needs.”

When it comes to managing college as a parent, Wendy encourages others to take on the challenge. “Just get it done. It’s never going to get any easier and there will never be a ‘right time’ – just do it. Close your eyes and jump in. You will not regret the decision.”

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Phi Kappa Phi Announces 2018 Literacy Grant Recipients

Phi Kappa Phi is excited to announce its 2018 Literacy Grant recipients. The grants of up to $2,500 were awarded to 13 Phi Kappa Phi members across the nation.

The Literacy Grant Program, established in 2003, provides funding to Phi Kappa Phi chapters and active members for new and ongoing projects that reinforce part of the Society's mission "to engage the community of scholars in service to others." Drawing from a multidisciplinary society of students and scholars from large and small institutions, the grants help fund projects ranging from traditional reading initiatives to those that foster learning in cultural, digital, financial, health, historical literacy and beyond.

The 2018 recipients and their respective projects are:
  • Dr. Mary Elizabeth Ambery, Born to Read
  • Terry Atkinson, Community Literacy Engagement: Imagination Library Kindergarten Impact Study
  • Tina Chaseley, Connecting the Lives of Diverse Populations with Multicultural Literature
  • Dr. Lisa Taylor Cook, Children's Libraries for Childcare Programs Servicing Low-Income Families
  • Steve Elliott, Measurement Literacy Enrichment Program
  • Amanda J. Hardesty, Ready for Reading
  • Benjamin Jacob, My Story Matters
  • Dr. Christophe Konkobo, Candy for the Mind
  • Christina McIntyre, Skill UP NRV: Neighbors Helping Neighbors
  • Amy C. Nickless, Book Club Kits for Adult Literacy
  • Bethanie C. Pletcher, Islanders Helping the Early Acceleration of Readers Together (iHeart)
  • Hannatu Jumai Sadiq, Ebira Community Cultural Center
  • Kathleen Tice, Open Door Preschool Project

"Phi Kappa Phi is pleased to see a broad diversity in the projects awarded Literacy Grants this year," said Society Executive Director Dr. Mary Todd. "Literacy, by definition about more than reading alone, is knowledge of a particular subject. Phi Kappa Phi members’ love of learning is central to the successful transmission of knowledge, whatever the subject."

The winning projects were selected for a grant based on a number of criteria including the project’s scope, student and community involvement, impact, duration and ability to achieve success.

Literacy Grants are part of the Society’s robust award programs, which give $1.4 million each biennium to outstanding students and members through study abroad grants, graduate fellowships, funding for post-baccalaureate development and member and chapter awards.

To learn more about this year’s recipients and projects, please visit

Monday, July 16, 2018

Share Your Success with Merit

Have you heard about Phi Kappa Phi’s member achievement program, Merit? If not, here’s your chance!

Merit is an online platform that allows Phi Kappa Phi members to promote their academic and extracurricular achievements, work experience, leadership roles and much more. Not only does Merit allow you to receive the recognition you deserve, it’s a surefire way to polish your online presence!

Promote your successes such as being initiated into the Society, receiving an award, becoming a chapter officer, attending Phi Kappa Phi events and more. Merit also allows members to customize their online profile with a photo, bio, activities, affiliations and work experience. Consider it a virtual résumé!

Updates to Merit pages are shared with a network of stakeholders who are invested in your achievements: family and friends, local news outlets, employers, former teachers, colleges and universities, volunteer organizations and more. In addition to keeping your achievements and activities in one virtual place, Merit can build your online presence to help you secure jobs, get internships and collect references.

Your Merit page is also social, so sharing news with your inner circle on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is easy.

If you haven’t received a Merit profile yet (anyone initiated before March 2013 or anyone who opted out during the join process) and would like to take advantage the program and its many benefits, email with your name and member ID number.

Want more information? Click here to learn more about Merit, including frequently asked questions, and check out the latest member achievements on the official Phi Kappa Phi Merit page.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Vote for Your Favorite Graduation Photo

Thanks to everyone who submitted photos to our 2018 Spring Graduation Photo Contest! We received more than 700 photos of Phi Kappa Phi members proudly wearing Society recognition apparel on their big day.

After much deliberation, Phi Kappa Phi staff members narrowed the field to 10 outstanding entries. Now we need your help to pick the winners!

Click here to vote now! (Please note the system limits entries to one vote per device/IP address.)

Voting will close Sunday, July 29, at 11:59 p.m. Central time. The winning entries will receive an Amazon gift card and appear in various Society marketing and promotional materials.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Phi Kappa Phi Announces 2018 Fellows

Phi Kappa Phi is excited to announce its 2018 class of Fellows. The fellowships, totaling $345,000, were awarded to 57 of the nation’s top scholars at institutions with an active chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.

Established in 1932, the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship has become the Society’s signature award, providing funding for first-year graduate or professional study. This year’s program awarded 51 fellowships of $5,000 and six $15,000 Marcus L. Urann Fellowships, named for the Society’s founder.

“The Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship, the Society’s first and now signature award, provides financial support to superior students beginning their graduate education. Endorsed by their local Phi Kappa Phi chapters, fellows go on to study at some of the nation’s finest graduate programs,” said Society Executive Director Dr. Mary Todd. “We are pleased to have offered this opportunity to emerging scholars for more than 85 years, and look forward to strengthening the program in the years to come.”

The 2018 class of fellows represent students from 57 colleges and universities across the nation. The recipients—drawn from all academic disciplines—are pursuing post-baccalaureate programs of study ranging from science and engineering to arts and humanities.

The selection process for a fellowship is based on the applicant’s evidence of graduate potential, undergraduate academic achievement, service and leadership experience, letters of recommendation, personal statement of educational perspective and career goals, and acceptance in an approved graduate or professional program.

Phi Kappa Phi Fellowships are part of the Society’s robust award programs, which give $1.4 million each biennium to outstanding students and members through study abroad grants, graduate fellowships, funding for post-baccalaureate development, member and chapter awards, and grants for local, national and international literacy initiatives.

To see the complete list of 2018 Phi Kappa Phi Fellows and learn more about the program, click here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Member Benefit Highlights – July 2018

What do you have planned this summer? Whether it’s traveling, shopping or upgrading your technology, Phi Kappa Phi has you covered! Don’t miss these exclusive offers and discounts available to members throughout July.

Budget Car
Summer travel plans? Let Budget help plan your next trip and save up to 25% off base rental rates when making a reservation with Budget Customer Discount (BCD) number R023600. Visit to access exclusive coupons and make your reservation today!

Brooks Brothers
Sign up for your complimentary Brooks Brothers Corporate Membership Card and save 15% on regularly priced merchandise at all Brooks Brothers U.S. and Canadian stores, by phone and online. To sign up for the card, visit or call 1.866.515.4747 with organization ID 11755 and pin code 61431.

To use the discount online, members must create a separate Corporate Member profile, even if you already have an existing Brooks Brothers profile. Please allow 20 minutes after you receive your email confirmation before creating your online Corporate Member profile. Register for your separate Corporate Member profile here.

Take advantage of doorbusters during Dell’s biggest Black Friday in July sale, including laptops for $130! Save on computers, laptops, accessories and much more. Click here to view offers throughout July and visit to shop. Please note your discount is automatically calculated and will appear in red at checkout.

Celebrate Black Friday in July with Lenovo and save up to 40% off select Lenovo products, including laptops, PCs and accessories. Click here to learn more and start saving today! Visit often—special offers change frequently.

Phi Kappa Phi Visa® Rewards Credit Card
Show your Phi Kappa Phi pride everywhere you shop, dine and travel with the Phi Kappa Phi Visa® Rewards Credit Card. The card even allows you to earn points redeemable for thousands of rewards items. Plus, each time you use the card, you help support Phi Kappa Phi award programs. Other benefits include no annual fee, a low introductory rate and more. Click here to sign up and take advantage of the great benefits!

Phi Kappa Phi Worldwide Travel Discount Program
Summer travel plans? Book a hotel using Phi Kappa Phi's Worldwide Travel Discount program and save up to 50%, plus you’ll be automatically entered for chance to win a free hotel stay when you book your trip before September 30. Click here to access the Phi Kappa Phi Travel Program today! (Your Phi Kappa Phi login will be required.)

Want to access even more savings year-round? Visit to view all of the discounts available to active members year-round. Please note, discounts are reserved for active members and your Phi Kappa Phi login will be required to access many of the partnership webpages.

Questions? Contact Jamie Chapman at or 1.800.804.9880, ext 217.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Apply Today! Session B Award Programs Now Open

Phi Kappa Phi is now accepting applications for Session B of its Love of Learning Award and Study Abroad Grant programs. The award programs provide funding for graduate study, continuing education, professional development and studies abroad.
Study Abroad Grants
Established in 2001, the Study Abroad Grant Program supports undergraduates—both members and nonmembers—as they seek expanded knowledge and experience in their academic fields. Interested students do not have to be a member of Phi Kappa Phi to apply, but must currently attend an institution with an active chapter. Twenty-five $1,000 grants will be awarded during Session B. The deadline to apply is September 15.
“Without organizations like Phi Kappa Phi, students such as myself would likely be unable to consider pursuing study abroad,” said Ryan Marine, recipient of a 2017 Study Abroad Grant. “Phi Kappa Phi's devotion to enabling students to study abroad will undoubtedly lead to life-changing experiences for many individuals.”
Love of Learning Awards
Love of Learning Awards, established in 2007, help fund post-baccalaureate professional development for active Phi Kappa Phi members including graduate or professional studies, doctoral dissertations, continuing education, travel related to teaching and research, career development and more. One hundred awards, at $500 each, will be distributed during Session B. The deadline to apply is October 1.
“The best part of Phi Kappa Phi is that they recognize those that continuously pushed themselves academically, and continue to allow them to further advance their knowledge beyond the classroom,” said Michael Kessler, recipient of a 2018 Love of Learning Award. “By offering multiple awards, students and professionals can be lifelong learners.”
If you have questions about either program, please contact Kelli Partin at or 800.804.9880, ext. 235.