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Honor Society Gives Chapter of Excellence Award to Phi Kappa Phi

UT Dallas Phi Kappa Phi tapping ceremony

Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, the University's provost and executive vice president (left), joins Rafael Martin, associate vice president for research and president of the UT Dallas chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, in honoring students at a "tapping" ceremony last year in which students were selected for the honor society.

The University of Texas at Dallas chapter of Phi Kappa Phi has received a Chapter of Excellence award from the honor society’s national headquarters.

UT Dallas is among 19 of the 325 chapters at colleges and universities across the U.S. to receive the top award, given for outstanding performance of volunteer chapter officers. Other Texas institutions recognized with a Chapter of Excellence award were Texas A&M University and Texas Woman’s University.

Fifty other institutions in the U.S. received Chapter of Merit awards, including UT San Antonio and the University of North Texas.

Rafael Martin, associate vice president for research and president of the UT Dallas chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, credited the groundwork laid by the chapter’s founding president, Dr. Denise Paquette Boots, and the time invested by faculty and staff who take on rotating leadership roles.

“We have the infrastructure already in place, thanks to the foundation Dr. Boots laid as founding president of the chapter,” Martin said. “I’m certainly proud of the chapter. It is the mission of Phi Kappa Phi to recognize excellence, and we strive for excellence in how we run our chapter as well. It is very gratifying to receive recognition for our efforts.”

I’m certainly proud of the chapter. It is the mission of Phi Kappa Phi to recognize excellence, and we strive for excellence in how we run our chapter as well. It is very gratifying to receive recognition for our efforts.

Rafael Martin,
associate vice president for research and president of the UT Dallas chapter of Phi Kappa Phi

The UT Dallas chapter, which was established in 2011, was recognized for being a particularly active chapter, offering multiple nominees for national and local fellowships and awards, hosting or sponsoring events that include the Honors Convocation, and submitting all chapter criteria in a timely manner.

Chapter executive committee members Dr. Edward Harpham, associate provost and director of the University’s Collegium V Honors Program, and Dr. Douglas Dow, coordinator of the Office of Distinguished Scholarships and associate director of Collegium V, have been able to recommend nominees for Phi Kappa Phi fellowships, Martin said.

UT Dallas alumnus Dina Shahrokhi BA’11, who is now studying international mediation and foreign policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, was one of six graduate students in the U.S. this year to receive the $15,000 Marcus L. Urann Fellowship from Phi Kappa Phi.    

The UT Dallas chapter also excelled in the effective use of social media communication and campus newspaper ads to promote Phi Kappa Phi activities, events and awards.

The chapter added 116 new inductees in fall 2013, and now has inducted 632 members since its inception.

Among the faculty members added in the last academic year were Dr. Rod Heelis, holder of a Distinguished Chair in Natural Sciences and Mathematics and director of the William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences, and Dr. Murray Leaf, professor of anthropology and political economy in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.

Phi Kappa Phi is the country’s oldest, largest and most selective honor society that serves all academic disciplines, with chapters on more than 300 campuses in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Philippines.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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