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Caldwell University Inducts New Members to Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi

Caldwell University chapter of the honor society Phi Kappa Phi members posing with the banner.
Dr. Blattner with Yashant Bikram Gyawali at the honor society Phi Kappa Phi inductee program
President Blattner with Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Inductee
Phi Kappa Phi inducted new members at a ceremony on April 12 posing for a group photo. 
Dr. Blattner at Phi Kappa Phi Inductee ceremony
Dr. Blattner presenting a student certificate of induction in honors society

Caldwell, N.J., April 17, 2018 – The Caldwell University chapter of the honor society Phi Kappa Phi inducted new members at a ceremony on April 12.  Students, administrators, faculty, staff and alumni joined the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective all-discipline honor society.

Faculty, staff and alumni inductees are Communication and Media Studies Professor Robert Mann, Associate Vice President of Admissions Stephen Quinn, Education faculty member Dr. Edith Dunfee Ries, Director of Institutional Research and Assessment Susan Hayes,  and board of trustees member and Alumni Director Mary Sellitto-Curcio.

Student inductees are:

Jawaher Almahbub,

Suzanne M. Bilicska,

Heba Bou Karroum,

Melissa Brady,

Christopher R. Colasurdo,

Favour Onose Garuba,

Rebecca Concetta Gerardi,

Yashant Bikram Gyawali,

Susan Hayes,

Tiffany Henawi,

Imran Ali Jaboor,

Lauren Elizabeth Jarvis,

Chennelle Maria Lawrence,

Kathryne Mary Macaluso,

Danielle Elizabeth Marceca,

Jordyn Mastrodomenico,

Natalia E. McGuire,

Trevor J. McLauglin,

Juliann Meletta,

Karen A. Mirro-Drew,

Nicole Monaco,

Samantha A. Myers,

Melissa L. Nelson,

Jana Nieman,

Aida Osmeni,

Arielle J. Peterson,

John Scimone,

Keisha O. Shay,

Olha Shchur,

Marjorie Ann O’Connell

Hanna Marie Weber.

Chapter President Dr. William Velhagen Jr. provided introductions and opening remarks. Velhagen, who is ending his term as Caldwell’s Phi Kappa Phi president, recalled being inducted as a student in his native Philippines. The ceremony’s student speaker encouraged inductees, who were being honored for their academic performance and who had benefited from government-supported education, to use their talents to improve the lives of others and the economic conditions in the country.  The goal was not just to enable more students to join Phi Kappa Phi, said Velhagen, but to lift more out of hardship.  “So, as I end my term as chapter president,” he said, “I will echo that speaker and ask you to be idealistic and ask yourself, how can I make things better? How can my love of learning improve humanity?”

Staff member Maria Miceli, the chapter treasurer, described the society’s seal and motto, and faculty member Lynne Alleger, the vice president, introduced faculty, staff and alumni initiates.

Velhagen announced the chapter officer appointments for 2018-19. Alleger will become president, and Dr. Agnes Berki, associate professor of biology, will become vice president.

Continuing for new terms are:

Treasurer Miceli,

Secretary- Dr. Rachel Carey, assistant professor of communication and media studies,

Public Relations Officer   – Dr. Francine Del Vecchio, associate professor of education.

Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 under the leadership of Marcus L. Urann, who wanted to create a different kind of honor society—one that recognized excellence in all academic disciplines. Today, the society has chapters on more than 300 campuses in the United States and the Philippines and inducts more than 30,000 new members each year. Membership is by invitation only to the top 7.5 percent of juniors and the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students, along with faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.

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.” Since its founding, more than 1.25 million members have been initiated. Some of the organization’s more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist David Baldacci and YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley. The society has awarded approximately $15 million since the inception of its awards program in 1932. Today, more than $1 million is awarded each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, member and chapter awards and grants for local and national literacy initiatives. For more information about Phi Kappa Phi, visit www.PhiKappaPhi.org.