(March 23, 2012) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio chapter of Phi Kappa Phi inducted its first members and signed charter documents at an installation ceremony March 6 in the University Center Ballroom. UTSA became the 317th chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, which was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine and is the nation's oldest and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines.
Phi Kappa Phi regional representative David Silva presided over the charter signing and installation. Silva is vice provost for academic affairs and professor of linguistics at the University of Texas at Arlington.
UTSA was approved to establish a chapter in September 2011. Each year, approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni are initiated into the society. 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.
The UTSA chapter's first initiates included some three dozen faculty and staff, as well as several graduating seniors, who were selected so they would be eligible to apply for Phi Kappa Phi's graduate fellowships. Students initiated at the March 6 ceremony were Elissa Dougherty (psychology), James R. Mayberry (biology) and Arrica Rose Ramos (criminal justice). The chapter will hold its first large-scale initiation ceremony for eligible students on May 3.
Faculty, administrative and staff initiates included President Ricardo Romo and Provost John Frederick, as well as C. Mauli Agrawal, James Chambers, Richard A. Diem, Bridget Drinka, Ann R. Eisenberg, Christopher G. Ellison, Lisa Firmin, Dorothy Flannagan, Marjie French, Daniel J. Gelo, Francis M. Hult, Amy E. Jasperson, Charlin R. Jones, Craig T. Jordan, Rebecca Luther, Krisellen Maloney, Betty M. Merchant, Lisa J. Montoya, John D. Murphy Jr., Taeg K. Nishimoto, Augustine S. Osman, George Perry, Rogelio Saenz, Mehdi Shadaram, Barbara G. Smith, Page A. Smith, Judy M. Teale, Andrew Tsin, Jude Valdez, Sandra T. Welch, Lawrence R. Williams, Terry L. Wilson, Floyd L. Wormley Jr. and Tammy J. Wyatt.
UTSA registrar Joe DeCristoforo was installed as founding president of the UTSA chapter. DeCristoforo was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi in 1974 as an undergraduate student at the University of Florida.
"It is a tremendous honor to serve in this position alongside the other distinguished officers within our chapter," said DeCristoforo. "I am also very grateful to our administration for their enthusiastic support throughout this process."
Other chapter officers are Floyd L. Wormley Jr., president elect; John Frederick, past president; Janakiram Seshu, secretary; Gail C. Pizzola, treasurer; Alan R. Shoho, vice president for alumni relations; Charlin R. Jones, vice president for initiations and traditions; Rebecca Luther, vice president for public relations; Eugene B. John, vice president for scholarships and awards; and Carlos Natividad-Licon, student vice president.
Additional charter members (based on prior membership in Phi Kappa Phi or other national honor societies) include Bernard P. Arulanandam, James Chambers, Alice J. DeCristoforo, Bridget Drinka, Christopher G. Ellison, Marcheta P. Evans, Peter L. Geenberg, Julius M. Gribou, Weldon W. Hammond, Daniel R. Hollas, Francis M. Hult, Amy E. Jasperson, Gage E. Paine, George Perry, Kevin S. Price, Francine S. Romero, Shannon J. Sauro, Corey S. Sparks, Andrew Tsin, Frank Walmsley, Judith A. Walmsley and Wayne E. Wright.
UTSA prides itself on giving students a well-rounded education. Combining a top-tier academic program with opportunities for personal growth prepares students to compete in a global economy. And that's not all. They learn to be informed and engaged citizens as well. At the heart of that academic program is an award-winning core curriculum.
For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.
Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.
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