Monday, August 26, 2019

New Feature: Electronic Membership Verification Letters

Phi Kappa Phi is excited to unveil a new feature within the online member profile. Members can now verify their membership with downloadable and printable membership cards and membership verification letters signed by Executive Director Dr. Mary Todd.

Membership in Phi Kappa Phi is a stamp of excellence recognized by graduate school admissions and employers, and when it's time to apply for a job, scholarship or graduate program we encourage you to take advantage of these resources.

Don’t forget, downloadable Society logos are also available for members to include on their résumés and personalized press releases can be used to share achievements.

Click here to visit your member profile and access the new features in the Membership Documents tab. From there, you will be able to download and print your verification letter.

Member benefits are only available to active members and your member login is required to access many of the webpages listed above. Not active? Click here to renew your membership today. For assistance with your login, email

Questions? Contact Jamie Chapman at or (800) 804-9880, ext. 217.

Friday, August 23, 2019

New Suggestions for Your 'To Be Read' Pile

What have you been reading in 2019? Has a book ever changed your life? We asked and you responded with all the fiction and non-fiction grabbing your attention. The suggestions include links to Amazon to read the book summaries or make a purchase.

Middle school English teacher Amy Baverso shared her love of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky, and the impact the author had on her life. As a teacher struggling to find a job, she was considering a career change when she met Chbosky at a teaching conference.

“He told me that he wrote Perks for students who felt like wallflowers, and it would take a special teacher to share those books, to break away from the traditional canon,” said Baverso. “He said I needed to be in the classroom so I could reach those kids who have nothing.”

As she now enters her tenth year of teaching – and after sharing the book with hundreds of reluctant readers over the past decade – Baverso believes that the book changed her mindset, and the author changed her life.

Other books suggested by respondents include:
  • Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir, by Joyce Johnson – Suggested by Mara Wiltshire who deems it a “fresh perspective on the women in [Jack] Kerouac’s circle” that also “brings [Allen] Ginsberg, Kerouac and the rest into the human realm.”
  • The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini – Suggested by Stevie René who said it’s “definitely worth a read or two or three.”
  • You Are a Badass®: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero – Suggested by Amy Brady who shared, “I generally dislike the term self-help but this book definitely helped me change my life! I highly recommend it to everyone!”
  • Academic Diary: Or Why Higher Education Still Matters, by Les Back – Suggested by Monica Arroyo who wrote, “I highly recommend it to faculty members and post-docs or graduate students considering academia.”
  • Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers – Suggested by Alannah McDermott who shared that “fiction is great to read to expand my creativity and storytelling, and the nonfiction books are great at growing my skill set and learning something new!”

AmazonSmile is a simple way to support Phi Kappa Phi every time you shop with 0.5% of your purchases going to support the Society’s mission. Find out more about using AmazonSmile here.

Click here to keep the conversation going by sharing your latest reads in the Phi Kappa Phi Writer's Block community! Please note, you must be logged into your Phi Kappa Phi member account to access the Phi Kappa Phi community. For assistance with your login credentials, email

Monday, August 19, 2019

4 Ways to Save This Back-to-School Season

Gearing up for the new school year means more than adjusting to a new routine. It also means setting yourself up for success during one of the most expensive shopping seasons of the year.

We pulled together 4 ways you can save on tools you will need for a successful school year.

1. Shop Supplies and Planners
Access significant savings on school supplies when shopping Office Depot in store or online. Click here to download and print your Office Depot Store Purchasing Card to use in-store or visit to shop online now.

Shop a large selection of planners and receive a 15% discount on any Franklin Planner online purchase using promo code PKPMEMBER. Visit to start planning today!

2. Upgrade Your Technology 
Update your laptop, PC or tech accessories for the new school year with Society partners Dell, HP and Lenovo. Click here to learn more and shop exclusive savings up to 50%.

Make sure your irreplaceable computer files are securely and automatically backed up to the cloud with a Carbonite backup subscription. Browse plans at and use promo code PKPOFFER10 to save 10% any plan subscription.

3. Subscribe to Leading Academic Journals 
Access expertise from more than 2,000 of the world's leading academic journals and ensure the accuracy and quality of your work with a subscription to JPASS by JSTOR. Click here to browse plans and save 25% when you purchase an annual subscription.

4. Prepare to Make the Grade
The Princeton Review can help you achieve your academic goals with personalized, innovative and best-in-class test prep products and services. Save 15% on review courses and tutoring for the MCAT®, LSAT®, GMAT®, GRE®, and more. Click here to access the appropriate promotional code and enroll online.

For those who are preparing for the CPA Exam, Becker Professional Education offers an array of study formats designed to fit your schedule and learning style. Save $300 when registering for all four parts of the Becker CPA Review Course at the same time. Click here to create an account and select The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi in the society drop-down menu on the Affiliations tab. The discount will be automatically applied to your purchase.

Don’t forget, if you are shopping Amazon for back-to-school supplies be sure to support Phi Kappa Phi by using our unique link to login to your Amazon account and shop through AmazonSmile. You will see "Supporting: The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi" in the top left corner, near the Amazon logo. Click here to shop now.

Good luck in the new school year! Questions regarding any of the savings mentioned about can be emailed to Jamie Chapman at

Kathleen Blanco, Former Governor of Louisiana, Dies at Age 76

Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), the 54th governor of Louisiana and the first woman governor of the state, died Aug. 18, 2019. She was 76.

Born in 1942 in Coteau, Louisiana, Blanco attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She graduated in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in business education. She was also a member of Kappa Delta sorority. That same year, she married Raymond Blanco and began teaching business at Breaux Bridge High School. Together, the couple had four daughters and two sons.

Blanco’s career as a public servant began in 1984 when she was elected to the Louisiana Legislature as the first woman to represent the people of Lafayette. She was elected to the Public Service Commission in 1989 and served as both the first woman commissioner and, later, the first woman to chair the commission. In 1995, Blanco was elected to the first of two consecutive terms as Louisiana’s lieutenant governor.

On Jan. 12, 2004, Blanco was sworn into office as governor. The following year, she led the state through the destruction leveled by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Also during her term as governor, she directed the single largest investment increase in education in the history of the state.

Blanco helped establish the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority as part of the fight to protect wetlands, Louisiana’s natural barrier against storms. She also served on the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices board, the NGA Natural Resources Committee, and the NGA Education, Early Childhood, and Workforce Committee.

In 2018, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette established the Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center, which will work in public policy areas supported by Blanco during her state government career including governmental ethics, criminal justice reform, poverty and education.

In an open letter to the citizens of Louisiana in December 2017, Blanco asked for prayers and support as she faced the challenge of cancer. She recalled her time in the state House of Representatives writing, “Those early lessons led me from the Legislature, to the Public Service Commission, the Lieutenant Governor's Office and, finally, to the Governor's Office. All that was possible because you believed in me and guided me on that 24-year journey. I believed in you. I believed we could all be better than we were.”

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Oh, the Places You've Been!

At the beginning of summer, we asked members to share their travel experiences with us. As summer comes to a close, we take a look at some of the adventures you shared on your journeys around the world.

One of our Study Abroad grant recipients, Katie Daniels, headed to the oldest university in Scotland – The University of St. Andrews. While there, Daniels completed a series of traditional music videos and chronicled her experience to share with others on her website,

Emma Bourgeois, top left picture, traveled to England during her time spent wandering the globe. She visited Bath, Dartmoor Restormel Castle and more. This smiling shot was captured during a stop at Stonehenge.

Marissa Rollins, top right, spent time with friends in South Korea. She noted that they share many similarities with America despite the cultural differences. “The food was flavorful, yet much healthier than much American cuisine,” Rollins noted, and she enjoyed “being submerged in the culture with people who are just delightful to be around.”

Another Study Abroad grant recipient, Audrey Fletcher, bottom left, headed to Hungary to learn about the mathematical and cultural traditions of the country. Though it was her first trip outside of the U.S., Fletcher loves to travel. “It reminds me how much good is in the world and motivates me to be a better person,” she said.

Avery Wright, bottom right, studied music and culture in Vienna, Austria, as a Study Abroad grant recipient. “We visited stunning attractions, read intriguing articles, and participated in thought-provoking discussions,” shared Wright. “These experiences were life-changing.”

As Daniels shared on her website, “The world is a big place. You can’t see all of it.” But it’s certainly fun to try.

Click here to keep the conversation going by sharing your travel adventures in the Phi Kappa Phi community! Please note, you must be logged into your Phi Kappa Phi member account to access the Phi Kappa Phi community. For assistance with your login credentials, email

Friday, August 9, 2019

Celebrate Book Lovers Day with a Phi Kappa Phi Author

It’s National Book Lovers Day! Are you looking for your next great read? The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is proud to have a long history of published members. Whether you’re in the mood for a suspenseful mystery or inspiring poetry, these highlights from Society authors are sure to provide something for everyone.

David Baldacci (Virginia Commonwealth University) – Since Baldacci’s first novel, Absolute Power, hit the shelves in 1996, the prolific author has produced more than 35 books. His latest release, Long Road to Mercy, introduces a new character – Atlee Pine – to his long list of thrillers.

Brené Brown (University of Houston) – The research professor from UH holds the title of having one of the most watched Ted Talks in history. The Power of Vulnerability has accumulated more than 40 million views. Her 2018 release, Dare to Lead, continues her study of courage, vulnerability and empathy.

James Lee Burke (University of Louisiana-Lafayette) – Burke, a Pulitzer Prize nominee, is best known for his Dave Robicheaux mystery series, two of which made it to the big screen. (Heaven’s Prisoners in 1996 and In the Electric Mist in 2009.) The latest Robicheaux installment, released earlier this year, is The New Iberia Blues.

Jimmy Carter (Georgia State University) – Even before his presidency, Carter was a published author and has written more than 30 books. The topics range from politics to memoirs and poetry. In his latest book, Faith: A Journey for All, he looks at how faith has sustained him and how readers might find it in their own lives.

Hillary Rodham Clinton (University of Arkansas at Little Rock) – Her first book, It Takes a Village, not only spent time at the top of the New York Times Best Seller List but also earned the first lady a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for the audio recording. In her newest release, What Happened, she shares her perspective of the 2016 presidential election.

Matthew Desmond
(Arizona State University) – Desmond is the is the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. His most recent book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, continues his research on poverty in America. It also earned him the Pulitzer Prize.

Rita Dove (Miami University) – Though Dove has published a novel, a short story collection and more, she is best known for her poetry and has served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. Her poetry collection Thomas and Beulah won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Ernest Gaines (University of Louisiana-Lafayette) – One of Gaines’ most critically acclaimed novels, A Lesson Before Dying, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was adapted for television. The Tragedy of Brady Sims is his latest novella and tells a story of race and power in a small town.

Robert Gates (Texas A&M University) – The former United States Secretary of Defense first published From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War. His more recent nonfiction, A Passion for Leadership, looks at lessons from his fifty years of public service.

John Grisham (The University of Mississippi) – The lawyer turned novelist first hit the shelves with A Time to Kill in 1989. Since then, his more than 20 legal thrillers have continued to stay atop the best seller lists. His latest release is The Reckoning and his upcoming book, The Guardians, will be released in October.

Freeman A. Hrabowski, III (University of Maryland, Baltimore Campuses) – Hrabowski, president of University of Maryland, Baltimore County, was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME magazine in 2012. His most recent work is Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth, from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement.

Sandra Meek (Berry College) – Meek has served as the poetry editor of the Society’s Forum magazine since 2008. She is the author of several books of poems including her most recent work, An Ecology of Elsewhere. Her forthcoming book, Still, will be released in January.

Click here to keep the conversation going by sharing your latest reads in the Phi Kappa Phi community! Please note, you must be logged into your Phi Kappa Phi member account to access the Phi Kappa Phi community. For assistance with your login credentials, email

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Announcing the Graduation Photo Contest Winners

Drumroll, please!

Phi Kappa Phi is excited to announce the winners of its Spring 2019 Graduation Photo Contest. The top 10 photos received more than 1,100 votes in total!

Congratulations to Kaylee Bowers, from Texas A&M University, who was selected as the first place winner. As the first place recipient, Kaylee received a $100 Amazon gift card. Gailene Solis, from California State University, Sacramento, was awarded second place and a $50 Amazon gift card. Third place was a tie! Christopher Evans, from East Carolina University, and Christopher Rosalejos, from San Jose State University, each received a $25 Amazon gift card.

Watch for the winning entries, along with other submissions, to appear in various Phi Kappa Phi marketing and promotional materials. And stay tuned for details about the Fall Graduation Photo Contest, which will open in December.

To see all photos entered into the contest, visit our Flickr page.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Member Benefits Highlights – August 2019

Did you know the Society is partnered with more than 30 companies offering discounts up to 50% on technology, travel and more? Each month the Society highlights a handful of discounts and promotions for our members to easily access. Check out the August highlights below!

AT&T gives you more. More for your thing, that’s their thing! Members can save 15% off their monthly wireless phone service on qualified plans. Visit to learn how to apply the discount to your wireless account today.

See how much more you could save with a special discount on auto insurance. Members could save up to 8%. Visit to get your free auto or homeowners quote today!

Access everyday discounts up to 35% on technology with a purpose. Shop a broad line of products, from notebooks and desktops to printers, accessories and more! Click here to shop and access free shipping.

Mercer Insurance
Take advantage of special rates on insurance products through Mercer and other well-known providers. Long-term care, medical, disability, pet, travel and life insurance products are available. Secure essential worry-free protection, and access assistance with some of the most important decisions you will ever make. Visit to learn more.

Phi Kappa Phi Rewards Visa®
The Society-branded Rewards Visa® credit card is the perfect way for members to show their Phi Kappa Phi pride everywhere Visa is accepted and earn rewards points. Plus, each time you use the card you help to support the Society's award programs. Visit to learn more and apply online.

Seeking Success
Create a résumé that is focused on your target, complies with modern screening apps and promotes your value through accomplishments, and save $75 on any Seeking Success résumé writing package. To view and purchase packages visit and enter page code PKP2015 to access the exclusive Phi Kappa Phi member page. Enter the same code when checking out to apply the $75 discount to your order.

Questions about member benefits? Contact Jamie Chapman at or (800) 804-9880, ext. 217, with all of your member benefit inquiries.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Chapter Update – August 2019

By Michelle Lowery
Chapter Development Director

SVP Leadership Summit 2019 Recap
Fifty-one students from across the United States and the Philippines participated in the Student Vice President Leadership Summit hosted by Phi Kappa Phi on July 12-13 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Students learned about the history of the Society, what Phi Kappa Phi looks like today on a national level, and the role of a student vice president. They also participated in lectures and small group discussions on maximizing social media for personal and organizational use, living a servant-leader lifestyle, and implementing the “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership” from The Student Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner.

Summit participants also toured the Mint Museum Uptown, which houses the internationally renowned Craft + Design collection, as well as outstanding collections of American, contemporary, and European art.

Participants really enjoyed the experience. “This was by far the best conference/Summit I have attended as a student. I look forward to future ΦKΦ events,” said Atin Suri from Arkansas State University.

Changes to Phi Kappa Phi Events
The Chapter Development staff, in consultation with the Council of Students, have made some changes to the Book Drive and Student Visibility Week that will be implemented during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Fall Service Project

The annual book drive has been changed to a service project and moved to the fall semester to be held some time during the month of October. The change is in part due to declining participation in the book drive and gives chapters the opportunity to decide how they would like to be involved in the community. Since most chapters host a spring initiation ceremony in April, this change also eliminates conflicts with planning two events at the same time and provides an opportunity for more visibility in the fall.

Chapters are encouraged to focus on a community need and establish a partnership with a community organization. The Council of Students also strongly recommends including a literacy component and collaborating with campus departments or organizations. One example for chapters located in Florida coastal areas included hosting a beach literacy workshop to educate the community about hazards in the ocean. Additional examples include adult literacy, computer literacy or financial literacy. For the purposes of this project, literacy can be defined very broadly to address the needs in the community.

Phi Kappa Phi Week

The annual Student Visibility Week has been changed to “Phi Kappa Phi Week” and moved to the first full week of February. The first Phi Kappa Phi Week will be held February 3-7, 2020. Since most chapters host a spring initiation ceremony, this change provides an opportunity to promote the Society one more time right before invitations are sent to students.

Not only will chapters be encouraged to promote Phi Kappa Phi Week, but members can also participate by wearing Phi Kappa Phi gear with a logo, the colors navy and gold, or the pin on specific days of the week. Members are encouraged to take photos and post with the hashtag #PhiKappaPhiWeek. More details on this spirited week will be available later in the fall semester.

Got News?
Please share your chapter news and events with Michelle Lowery, Chapter Development Director, so it can be included in future chapter updates and shared on social media. Pictures are encouraged!

Large group photo by Tommy McCart Photography, LLC – Fifty-one students attended the Student Vice President Leadership Summit.

Small group photo by Tommy McCart Photography, LLC – The Student Leadership Team includes, from left, Drew McAbee, Nicole Matis, Angelica Zamora-Duran, Megan Burns, Tristan Hightower, Emily Scircle, Brett Ranon Nachman, and Anna Gardner.

Museum photo by Michelle Lowery – Summit attendees enjoying an outing to the Mint Museum Uptown include, from left, Omrie Samuels (MCPHS University), Atin Suri (Arkansas State University), and Aly Nguyen (University of South Alabama).

To see all of the photos from the event, visit our Summit Photo Album.