Youngstown State University’s chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society is one of 19 chapters nationwide to be recently honored as a Chapter of Excellence, the highest award a chapter can receive from the association.
By receiving the award, the YSU chapter is commended as one that meets frequently, holds annual initiations and applies often for the organization’s scholarships, grants and fellowships.
Traci Navarre, chief marketing officer for Phi Kappa Phi’s national headquarters, said the designation is primarily based on the chapter’s “level of activity.”
“They work to get their students involved and provide benefits for their students,” she said.
Phi Kappa Phi is open to any students who achieve in the top 10 percent of their senior class.
Membership is not specific to one particular discipline.
As a result of the designation, YSU will receive a $500 award, a commendation letter from the society, special recognition on the society’s website and in its publications, advertisements in local media and educational journals, and a logo for use in chapter communications.
Former Phi Kappa Phi President Becky Geltz said the honor is a reflection of efforts by many people.
“It is mandatory to keep bylaws up to date, invite juniors and seniors, and [hold] meetings often,” Geltz said. “It all makes us a striving and active chapter.”
Geltz said the chapter usually participates in training at an off-campus cluster meeting with the national office and other institutions similar to YSU.
She said the chapter, under the leadership of Christine Cobb, has a website and a Facebook page, and it tries to keep up with fliers, posters and newsletters.
Geltz added that the criteria pertaining to the honorary statuses may be revamped next year. She said the national office is making a change to have more bearing and emphasis on types of local activities.
“Our success is a reflection of a large group of individuals doing a lot of work,” Geltz said. “We invite a couple hundred students every year. And we have between 100 to 200 students every year that decide to become members.”
YSU’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi boasts more than 4,500 members, some dating back to its inaugural year of 1972.
“It is all volunteer work, and YSU is very fortunate to have the group of responsible people that it does,” Geltz said.
Geltz said she is proud to be a part of Phi Kappa Phi as a both a member and a leader.
“I was able to work with many good people,” she said. “It is a point of pride for me.”