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Thirty Eastern Kentucky University students were inducted into the University’s chapter of the prestigious honor society Phi Kappa Phi and 26 were recognized for outstanding academic achievement during the Fall 2018 semester.

The inductees included seniors and graduate students at the top 10 percent of their class and juniors in the top 7 to 5 percent. The EKU Phi Kappa Phi Fall 2018 inductees included Hannah Batsche, Carrie Brown, Jessica Carpenter, Betty Contreras, Welsy Discua, Emily D’Italia, Loni Gibson, Allison Gordon, Anna Haas, Jessie Hatfield, Randall Heite, Andrew Hensley, James Hensley, Wendy Highbarger, Lacy Justice, Tristan King, Barbara Martin, Jenna McGuire, Marsha McKenzie, Diedre Morris, Cassady Patterson, Kristen Preston, Jenna Price, Kevin Stanley, Chelsea Sullivan, Jessica Sutton, Michele Tanton, Erica Thompson, Sonja West and Bobbie Zugner.

Twenty-six EKU sophomores also received academic achievement certificates for completing more than 30 hours with a grade point average of 3.75 and above. Those students recognized by Phi Kappa Phi were Alexander Alonso-Ibarra, Bailey Bird, Jordan Brock, Hailey Buffin, Jessalyn Buis, Rachel Burns, Meghan Corder, Meagan Cosper, Danielle Dischar, Kyle Dunham, Kristen Foreman, Katie Heinrich, Victoria Kelly, John Kinnett, Victoria Long, Lorna Martin, Christina Relich, Leslie Richie, James Riley, Michael Roberts, Brianna Robinson, Ashley Shofner, Jessica Sims, Mary Rose Stelzer-Weise, Kim Tran and Alexandria Williams.

EKU faculty were also honored through recognitions and inductions into the University’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter. Inductees and honorees included the event’s keynote speaker, Professor John Strada, senior lecturer in communication studies; Dr. Ogechi Anyanwu, professor of history and African studies; and Dr. Faridah Awang, professor of corporate communications and technology.

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective all-discipline honor society. The society has chapters on more than 300 campuses in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. 

Membership in Phi Kappa Phi is by invitation and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors, having at least 72 semester hours, are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10 percent of the number of candidates for graduate degrees may also qualify, as do faculty, professional staff, and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.

Since its founding, more than 1 million members have been initiated. Some of the organization’s more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, Baylor University head women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson, writer John Grisham and Netscape founder James Barksdale. The society has awarded approximately $11.5 million in fellowships and scholarships since the inception of its awards program in 1932. Today, more than $800,000 is awarded annually to qualifying members and non-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 about the EKU Phi Kappa Phi chapter, visit or contact Dr. Minh Nguyen at