Honor society recognized for members’ academic research, outreach efforts

MURRAY, Ky. — The Murray State University chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi was awarded the Circle of Excellence Silver Status for the 2019-20 academic year, the third highest achievement that a chapter can receive from the national office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

“When I received the email from the national headquarters that Murray State’s chapter was designated a Silver Chapter, I wore a large smile on my face,” said Dr. Melony Shemberger, associate professor of journalism and mass communication who serves as chapter president. “Many requirements for this award had to be met. The faculty and student officers of this chapter have worked diligently to elevate the Society’s visibility on campus and mission, which is to promote the love of learning.”

The Murray State University chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi was awarded the Circle of Excellence Silver Status for the 2019-20 academic year, the third highest achievement that a chapter can receive from the national office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

There are three levels as part of the Circle of Excellence Chapter Awards program — platinum, gold and silver. These designations recognize chapters for their yearly efforts in promoting excellence on their campus and engaging a community of scholars and learners. A complete list of chapters receiving awards in the Circle of Honor may be found at bit.ly/PKPawards.

In addition to this recent award, Murray State’s chapter has been recognized as a Chapter of Excellence, a Chapter of Merit and a Healthy Chapter in previous years.

Shemberger, a lifetime member who served as a director on the national Phi Kappa Phi board from 2016-18, said several members have been winners of Phi Kappa Phi awards and involved with the national organization in various capacities. The chapter’s previous president, professor of history Dr. Bill Mulligan, is serving as the Society’s Division 3 vice president and works with chapters that are housed at Carnegie Master’s institutions.

Some of the chapter’s officers also have attended national workshops to learn how to enhance the chapter’s visibility and outreach. Ashley Ireland, dean of University Libraries and chapter president-elect, will attend a national workshop in Atlanta, Georgia, on Jan. 11. 

In addition, Mulligan and Shemberger, along with other chapter members in the past, have received Love of Learning grants from the national organization to continue their research.

The Murray State chapter promotes the Society’s motto, “Let the love of learning rule humanity,” by participating each semester in the university’s Scholars Week event, where members present their research on the Love of Learning Panel. The chapter also holds an induction ceremony of new members each April and participates in various service projects throughout the year.

Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, most selective and most prestigious all-discipline academic honor society. Membership is by invitation only to Murray State’s top 7.5 percent of juniors and the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students. Faculty, staff and alumni may be invited to join for exceptional contributions to their discipline, profession or community.

Murray State’s chapter was chartered on Nov. 28, 2007, and has inducted several hundred outstanding Racers into membership since then.
For more information about Phi Kappa Phi at Murray State, contact Shemberger at mshemberger@murraystate.edu or by telephone at 270-809-6874.

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