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Campus Life

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi Elects 2012-2014 Board of Directors

Aug 23, 2012

At its 2012 Biennial Convention hosted in St. Louis, Mo., The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi-the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines-filled nine vacant positions and welcomed back six members to its national board of directors.

Leading the 2012-2014 board is Society President Diane G. Smathers, Ed.D., associate vice provost and director at Clemson University. Smathers has been a member of Phi Kappa Phi's board of directors since 2007, serving a 3-year term as society vice president and 2-year term as president-elect. Prior to election to the national board, Smathers served on the Society's Membership Opportunities Committee and authored the white paper, Phi Kappa Phi and the Distance Learner. She also is a 2005 recipient of a Phi Kappa Phi literacy grant.

"I am extremely pleased and honored to serve as the 29th president of the Society," said Smathers. "I look forward to working with the new board of directors, which is the most diverse board in our history, as we undertake a strategic planning 'pause.' My goal is to position Phi Kappa Phi to be an influencing factor not only in higher education, but in society in general."

Smathers replaces Society President William A. Bloodworth, Jr., Ph.D., recently retired president of Augusta State University. Bloodworth has been a member of Phi Kappa Phi's board of directors since 2007, serving as president-elect and president. During Bloodworth's term as president, for the first time, students and at-large members were served on the board of directors, the Society began work on a national service initiative, and the membership increased by seven percent to a level not seen since 2002.Bloodworth will continue to serve the Society as past president for the upcoming biennium.

Returning to the board is H. Ray Sylvester, Ph.D., associate dean of the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of the Pacific. Sylvester was elected to the post of Society president-elect. This election represents a six-year commitment to Phi Kappa Phi, including his forthcoming terms as president and past president.

"I look forward to working with Ray Sylvester and believe that he represents the balance between tradition and change that is needed in higher education today," said Society President Smathers. " His leadership in establishing a partnership between Phi Kappa Phi and NIXTY, a global online learning platform, illustrates this strength."

Sylvester has been an active member of the Society's board since 2007 serving as vice president of the western region and most recently, vice president for marketing and member benefits. "I look forward to working with a group of people who prize excellence and integrity. And I think among us we can do some wonderful things inside the academy and outside of it," said Sylvester.

New to the board is Angela Lumpkin, Ph.D., professor of health, sport and exercise sciences at The University of Kansas. Prior to her election as vice president for marketing and member benefits, Lumpkin served on the Society's Budget Advisory and Review Committee. She also served as vice president of the University of Kansas chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. Lumpkin is a frequent contributor to Phi Kappa Phi Forum, the multidisciplinary quarterly magazine of the Society.

Returning to the board for a second consecutive term as vice president for finance is Curtis D. Black, Ph.D., professor emeritus of clinical pharmacy at The University of Toledo. In addition to his role as vice president during the 2010-2012 biennium, Black has served as the chair of Phi Kappa Phi's Investment Committee since 2007 and as a member of both the Finance and Budget Committee and the Programs and Awards Review Committee.

Also returning to the board is Gypsy M. Denzine, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education at Northern Arizona University. Denzine will take the role of vice president for fellowships and awards. In her most recent position, Denzine served on the Society's Chapter Relations Committee as western regional representative. Additionally, Denzine chaired the 2010-2012 Fellowship Committee, which selects the recipients of the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowships. Since its creation in 1932, the Fellowship Program has become one of the Society's most visible and financially well-supported endeavors, allocating $330,000 annually to deserving students for first-year graduate study.

Newly-elected to the board as vice president for students is Oluseun "Sam" Idowu, interdisciplinary doctoral student in geosciences and mathematics at the University of Missouri Kansas City. Idowu recently was named to the 2012-2014 Council of Students-an advisory panel for the Society-as a representative of students in the Society's south central region and co-chair of the council. In addition, Idowu currently serves as a student vice president for the University of Missouri Kansas City local chapter.

Ryan D. Wright, a literary and textural studies graduate student at Bowling Green State University, also joins the board as vice president for students. Wright represents the Society's north central region as a member of the 2012-2014 Council of Students and serves as co-chair of the council. Initiated at the University of Toledo, Wright served as student vice president for the university's Phi Kappa Phi chapter prior to his position on the Society's national board and Council of Students.

Newly-elected to the board as vice president at large is Trish L. Kalivoda, Ed.D., senior associate vice president for public service and outreach at The University of Georgia and editor of the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. Kalivoda served as president for the University of Georgia's Phi Kappa Phi chapter from 2005-2007. In addition, she has served on the chapter's executive committee since 2003.

Dianna Samuelson, a project leader consultant at Innolab, also joins the board as vice president at large. Prior to her election to Society office, Samuelson served Phi Kappa Phi as a member of the Investment Committee during the 2010-2012 biennium. Samuelson also served as treasurer of her local chapter at the University of Maryland.

Joining the board as regional vice president is Dewain L. Lee, Ph.D., dean of students and associate vice chancellor for student development at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Lee serves on the Society's chapter relations committee as western regional vice president. In addition to her national roles, Lee currently serves as secretary of the University of Alaska Anchorage chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.

Anita Welch, Ph.D., assistant professor of education at North Dakota State University, also joins the national board as regional vice president. Welch serves on the Society's chapter relations committee as north central regional vice president. Previously, Welch served on the Society's Marketing and Member Benefits Committee during the 2010-2012 biennium. In addition to her national responsibilities, she is also president of the North Dakota State University chapter and has held the positions of president-elect and vice president and served as a member of the chapter's Executive Board.

Appointed by Society President Smathers to serve terms on the board are Bridgette Cram, John C. O'Quinn and Rick Shale, Ph.D. Cram, a higher education graduate student at Florida State University, was appointed to the post of vice president for students. Before joining the national board, Cram was elected by her peers to serve on the Society's inaugural 2010-2012 Council of Students as a representative for students in the southeastern region.

O'Quinn, partner at the Washington, D.C. office of Kirkland and Ellis, was appointed as vice president at-large. O'Quinn most recently served as a member of the Society's Awards Council and chair of the Phi Kappa Phi Scholar and Artist Committee from 2010-2012. He also is a 1996 recipient of a Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship award.

Shale, professor in the Department of English at Youngstown State University, was appointed as vice president for chapter relations. Previously, Shale served two consecutive terms on the national board as a regional vice president. In this role, he worked to strengthen chapters in the north central region and represented the interests of all chapters on the Society's board. Shale also has served on both the Society's Nominating and Marketing and Member Benefits committees.

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. The Society has chapters on more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines.

More About Phi Kappa Phi

Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Phi Kappa Phi inducts annually approximately 32,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni. The Society has chapters on more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify.

Since its founding, more than 1 million members have been initiated. Some of the organization's more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist David Baldacci and YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley. The Society has awarded approximately $14 million since the inception of its awards program in 1932. Today, $1 million is awarded each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad scholarships, member and chapter awards and grants for local and national literacy initiatives. The Society's mission is "To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others."

For more information on Phi Kappa Phi, please call 800/804-9880 or visit www.PhiKappaPhi.org.