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The Eastern Kentucky University Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, which initiated 55 juniors, seniors and graduate students at a special spring induction ceremony on the Richmond campus, recently received the prestigious Circle of Excellence Platinum Award from the national PKP organization.

The 2018-19 award recognizes chapters that “have gone above and beyond to promote academic excellence on their campuses and have engaged the community of scholars,” said Phi Kappa Phi Society Executive Director Dr. Mary Todd.

This year, 75 of more than 350 chapters were welcomed into the Circle of Excellence. The EKU chapter was the only one located on a Kentucky campus to earn Platinum honors, the top distinction among Platinum, Gold and Silver and accompanied by a choice of a $300 cash gift or convention registration grant. Three other Kentucky institutions earned Gold or Silver honors.

The new members of the EKU chapter are among approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year.

Also, the ceremony honored EKU faculty members Dr. Martin Brock, Professor Ida Kumoji-Ankrah and Dr. Matthew Winslow.

Brock studied chemistry at the University of California-San Diego and received a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry at the University of Illinois. He completed post-doctoral studies at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London and at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. He has taught chemistry and biochemistry at EKU since 1990, retiring this spring, and mentored dozens of research students on enzyme structure and function. His interests in and love of teaching have drawn much notice. He received several awards for teaching, and he translated his beekeeping interests into honors courses and other projects for his students. He believes his best accomplishment was an invitation to participate in long-term and well-funded programs that led to work among Kentucky K-12 science teachers and development of pre-service STEM programs in conjunction with the EKU College of Education. He applied those experiences to lead national symposia on the material and conduct many outreach science sessions with underserved children.

Kumoji-Ankrah is a professor of graphic design and chair of the Department of Art and Design at EKU. She received a bachelor’s degree in studio art at St Catherine University and an MFA degree in graphic design at the University of Minnesota. As an educator, designer and researcher, she explores topics such as cross-cultural design, visual culture, typography, and art and textiles of Africa. She has publications in books, journals and magazines, and has presented at various conferences. She actively exhibits work in galleries and museums, and works with clients on commissioned design projects globally. To date, she has been in more than105 exhibitions and has work in public and private collections, such as St. Catherine University, National Institution of Museum of Tetovo and the Vignelli Centre for Design Studies.

Winslow earned degrees from Macalester College (B.A.), the University of California-Santa Cruz (M.A.), and the University of Minnesota (Ph.D.). He joined the EKU faculty in 1998 as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and was promoted to full professor in 2012. He has taught courses in general psychology, research methods, social psychology, political psychology, evolutionary psychology, sexuality, prejudice and empathy. He has also taught Honors Program courses about psychology and the law, good and evil, meditation and the self, and mentored 12 Honors theses. He has won the University’s Critical Thinking Teacher of the Year award (twice) and the 2017 Acorn Award, presented by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education to the top professor in Kentucky. He helped create the Faculty Innovator program at EKU, serves as the teaching enhancement coordinator for the psychology department, and completed his second term as chair of the Faculty Senate. His research has touched on prejudice, same-sex marriage and the scholarship of teaching and learning, and he assisted in the creation of a software application designed to make children more compassionate, Random App of Kindness. He has also delivered two lectures in the EKU Chautauqua lecture series.

The Chapter Fellowship Award in the amount of $500 was presented to Stuart Jones, a senior EKU Honors student from Oldham County, Kentucky. Jones began his undergraduate years as a music major studying guitar performance under Dr. Dennis Davis. Stuart will graduate summa cum laude from EKU with a bachelor’s degree in emergency medical care with minors in music and chemistry. He currently works as a paramedic serving both Estill and Oldham counties, and will continue his education this fall in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He was also admitted to the University of Louisville College of Medicine.

Students were selected through an application process that included a personal essay and letters of recommendation.  A selection committee then reviewed the entries to select the very best Fellowship applicant. 

The following juniors, seniors and graduate students were inducted:

College of Business and Technology: Phyllis Caudill, Mikayla Courtney, Elizabeth Elleman,

Kelsie Floyd, Marc Hardy, Mackenzie Mahon, Lauren Ossege, Katelyn Riley and Joshua Wallin.

College of Education: Lauren Bancroft, Angela Cooper, Jacob Hurd and Corlia Logsdon.

College of Health Sciences: Anna Balassa, Sarah Barnes, Mary Boujaoude, Breanna Bowling, Rachael Corrone, Diana Goodwin, Chad Gosnell, Amy Heiser. Karissa Hunt, Deana Jackson, Rebecca King, Renee Leonard, Jaelyn Ross and Jacqueline Schafer-Clay.

College of Justice & Safety: Megan Alexander, Stephanie Blevins, Abigail Coogan, Max Hargett, Adam Kester, Laura Kirk, Michael McQuillan, Victor Mora, Logan Richardson, Alexis Riep, Mallory Robinson, Kellie Schinzel, Kim Tran, Andrea Tyra and Lisa Wier.

College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences: Kenton Bentley, Nathaniel Britt, Katie Hamblin, Sydney Lewis, Arthur Martin, Kaisee Riddell, Madison Schoenbachler, Ashley Thompson and Brad Williamson.

College of Science: Jessalyn Buis, Samuel Hayworth, Bradley Mattingly and John Nelson.    

More about Phi Kappa Phi

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, 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.”

To learn more about the EKU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, visit