Recent Graduate Earns Phi Kappa Phi National Fellowship; Third in Four Years for EKU

photo of Mazzotta

For the third time in four years, an Eastern Kentucky University graduate has received a Phi Kappa Phi National Fellowship for graduate study.

Shortly after graduating magna cum laude as an Honors Scholar with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at EKU’s spring commencement ceremonies, Michael Mazzotta of Apex, N.C., learned he was one of approximately 50 recipients nationwide of a Phi Kappa Phi National Fellowship valued at $5,000.

A member of Eastern’s nationally recognized Honors Program while a student, Mazzotta earned numerous academic awards, including top chemistry awards for his class as a freshman and sophomore. An undergraduate research assistant for several chemistry and mathematics projects, he will begin research at Purdue University in June and pursue a doctoral degree in inorganic chemistry beginning in the fall.

“Mike started attending conferences with us in EKU Honors when he was a freshman,” EKU Honors Program Director Linda Frost said. “By the time he graduated, he had presented at almost 20 conferences in honors and in his discipline proper. He has been a diligent researcher, tirelessly seeking out, and at times even creating, undergraduate research opportunities for himself. He was EKU's first Goldwater Scholarship nominee in more than a decade, and we were thrilled when he won an Honorable Mention for that.”

In 2009, Mazzotta was one of 60 students in the nation to receive the Phi Kappa Phi Emerging Scholar Award, which recognizes rising sophomores.

At EKU, Mazzotta served Phi Kappa Phi as executive student vice president and was a member of the Student Government Association, holding the position of director of Green Initiatives. He was a founding member and treasurer for the Biology Club before being promoted to president.

He recently took first place at the 2012 Regional Undergraduate Chemistry Poster Session hosted by the University of Kentucky’s Department of Chemistry and sponsored by the Lexington Chapter of the American Chemical Society.

Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship applications are evaluated based on numerous factors, including academic recognition and awards, campus and community involvement, leadership experiences, and quality and scope of proposed program.

Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective all-discipline honor society. Phi Kappa Phi inducts annually more than 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni. The Society has chapters at 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.

A graduate of Eastern High School in Louisville, Mazzotta is the son of Marie Mazzotta of Apex, N.C., and Michael Mazzotta of Spotswood, N.J.

Published on May 22, 2012