Phi Kappa Phi inducts new members into U-M chapter


Twenty-six faculty members and 292 students from across the university were inducted recently into the U-M chapter of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.

This year’s faculty inductees represent LSA, the Medical School, Rackham Graduate School, the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, the Stamps School of Art & Design, the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, the colleges of Engineering and Pharmacy, and the schools of Education, Public Health, Social Work, and Music, Theatre and Dance.

Lester Monts displays an engraved clock presented by Phi Kappa Phi Chapter President Mary Beth Donovan. (Photo by Brandon Baier)

A highlight of the April 6 event in the Michigan Union’s Rogel Ballroom was a musical tribute to Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Music. He is the chapter’s former treasurer, a member and supporter for several years.

William Campbell, professor of trumpet, led a trumpet quintet in a performance of “Metallic Fury” by Erik Morales in gratitude for Monts’ long support of SMTD’s trumpet program. The chapter also presented him with an engraved clock to thank him for his years of service.

Andrew Wald from the Taubman College, the chapter’s 2013 Graduate Scholarship Winner and a 2013-14 Student Vice President, presented the keynote address “New Space Hyperwalk.”

This year the Michigan chapter awarded Project Grants totaling $20,000 to extend learning beyond the classroom to its members. The $5,000 awards are the largest that the chapter has bestowed since 2008. Junior, senior and graduate student applicants submitted proposals for projects that directly related to their academic program and career plans.

Winners of $5,000 grants are graduate students Sarah Alsaden, law; Amy Navvab, social work; and Ph.D. candidate Scott Zavada, macromolecular science and engineering.  Undergraduate winners are Lena Kremin, biopsychology, cognition, neuroscience and Linguistics; and Layne Vandenberg, international studies and Spanish. Each received $2,500.

Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, and is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines. Former U-M President Clarence Cook Little, a Phi Kappa Phi member and former president at Maine, supported the establishment of Chapter 039 at U-M in 1926, making it one of the society’s oldest.

In 2013, the Michigan chapter received its third consecutive Chapter of Excellence award, the highest honor the society bestows, and one of only five chapters to have achieved that distinction out of 325 chapters across the country.

To be eligible for invitation into Phi Kappa Phi, seniors and graduate students must rank in the top 10 percent of all students on the Ann Arbor campus; second-semester juniors must rank in the top 7.5 percent. Since its founding, more than 8,600 students have been initiated into the U-M chapter.


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