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UK's Phi Kappa Phi Chapter Gains Momentum

By Carl Nathe

(Aug. 26, 2015) — "For a chapter which did not even exist six-and-a-half years ago, we're doing pretty well."

That quote about the University of Kentucky Phi Kappa Phi (PKP) Chapter from chapter President  Frank Ettensohn, professor of earth and environmental sciences and Jefferson Science Fellow, is best described as an understatement. Chartered in April 2009, the UK chapter of the nation's oldest, largest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines is doing more than 'pretty well.'

In its brief history, UK's PKP chapter has been selected as a 'Chapter of Excellence' by national headquarters in two separate years and has been named a 'Chapter of Merit' in another year.

PKP to host 'Welcome Back' event Sept. 3

Current UK student, faculty and staff members of Phi Kappa Phi, as well as those who now attend UK or work at the university but were inducted into the society on another campus, are invited to a special 'welcome back' gathering at the Boone Center, located at the corner of Rose and Columbia, at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3. Admission is free, but attendees are requested to RSVP by Sept. 1 by calling Lynn Hiler at 257-6894, or emailing

Recent UK Grad earns PKP Fellowship 

The latest example of the chapter's quick rise to prominence among the more than 300 chapters across the country is the recent announcement that May 2015 UK graduate Christina Zeidan has been awarded a competitive Phi Kappa Phi fellowship award worth $5,000. Zeidan, of White House, Tennessee, was a double major in political science and anthropology at the university. She will use the funds as she begins her pursuit of a juris doctor in international law at Emory University in Atlanta this fall.

History of University of Kentucky Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi Award Recipients


2015 Christina Zeidan

2014 Dominique Luster

2012 Taylor Lloyd

2011 Jenna Brashear

Study Abroad Grant

2012 Brittany Kidwell

Love of Learning Award

2014 Sarah Ehrensberger

2013 Demetrius Abshire

Literacy Grant

2012 Heather Davis

Nationally, Phi Kappa Phi's robust award programs give more than $1 million each biennium to qualifying students and members through fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, grants for literacy initiatives, and member and chapter awards. To learn more about these programs, visit

The mission of Phi Kappa Phi, which was founded in 1897, is "to recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others."

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.

2015 PKP Induction is Nov. 9

Invitations for the UK chapter's 2015-16 class of PKP initiates will be sent out during September. This year's induction ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, in the UK Athletics Auditorium of the William T. Young Library with a reception to follow.

For more information about the UK Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, go to

Phi Kappa Phi is supported by The Chellgren Center which is part of the Academy for Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education at UK.