Monday, September 2, 2013
Dr. Pamela J. Stewart
Arizona State University
Name: Pamela J. Stewart
Chapter Position: Chapter PresidentYears of Service to the Chapter: 8
University Position: Lecturer, School of Letters and Sciences
Degree(s)/Discipline: Ph.D., History
How did you become involved as a chapter officer?
One of the rocks of our chapter, Dr. Diane Facinelli, asked if I was interested in serving as Vice President.
What has your chapter done that has made you proud?
I am especially proud of our ability to recognize outstanding students at the largest public university in the country. So many work hard in so many degrees, including online degrees, yet receive little notice; some are veterans or returning students who aren't living "typical" college lives. The emails I get responding to their invitations are inspiring—and motivating. Seeing so many at initiation with their children, modeling for them a future of great possibilities makes it all worthwhile.
What does Phi Kappa Phi mean to you?
I am particularly drawn to the fact that PKP welcomes excellent students from all degree programs and majors. I strongly believe that we all have something to offer and that excellence can not only be found in all areas, but that we need a widely-diverse group of excellent people working to solve problems. PKP represents this possibility.
What do you enjoy most about being a chapter officer?
Hearing from students, especially when they receive their invitation to membership. But also, as I've worked to make PKP more visible on all four ASU campuses (and online), the emails I have received by staff who work closely with students who are veterans, online students, or whose degree programs don't have honor societies remind me of what a great opportunity Phi Kappa Phi provides. They are thrilled to know of the opportunities PKP offers those who are excellent, but often left out of traditional honors opportunities.
What advice would you give to a new chapter officer?
First, I would hope they have a mentor who has "done everything" in the chapter to help answer their questions and guide them. Whether or not they do, I would encourage them to contact PKP National Headquarters whenever they need to. They are there to help and can often clarify and guide across the board. Most importantly, prioritize. We are all doing more with less (time, money, people) but the over-arching goal is to acknowledge outstanding students through our invitations and initiations and help them take advantage of Chapter and National fellowships and opportunities. If a chapter does more, great. But begin there.
What are your hobbies?
I was a "non-traditional" student, not starting college until my 30s; therefore, much of what I do is linked to my passion—which is also my "job": teaching and researching history. I focus especially on women and am currently researching women in sports and women-headed households in Arizona, 1870-1940. But I am also an ardent WNBA fan, Phoenix Mercury in particular! I am a docent at Phoenix Art Museum and regularly give museum tours and present to the community on topics such as, "Modern Art and the Women Who Made It."
Where are you from?
Originally I am from southern California, via north Texas, to Arizona—so the Southwest has always been my home.