Chapter Position: Immediate Past President
University Position: Professor
Years of Service to the Chapter: 15 years
Degree(s)/Discipline: Ph.D. in Communication with specializations in interpersonal communication and instructional communication
How did you become involved as a chapter officer? I was involved with our chapter prior to becoming a Phi Kappa Phi member. When I came to what was then Augusta State University in 2001 I volunteered to work with the planning committee for the campus Undergraduate Student Research and Fine Arts Conference that was sponsored by Phi Kappa Phi.
I was honored to be invited to join ASU Phi Kappa Phi Chapter #166 as a faculty member in 2004. I continued to serve on the conference planning committee and attended chapter meetings.
In 2011, I was elected president-elect of the ASU chapter. I served in that role through 2013. During that time, ASU consolidated with Georgia Health Sciences University, leading to the creation of the new Phi Kappa Phi Chapter #324. I moved into the role of chapter president for the new chapter. I held that position for two years and then moved into my current role of immediate past president and will complete my two-year term in 2017.
I was also nominated for the Southeast Regional Vice President position for Phi Kappa Phi at the 2014 convention. As fate would have it, I did not win that election, but the person who did win had to move out of the region so I was asked to step in. It was an unexpected, but highly rewarding turn of events. I just wrapped up my term as RVP and had an amazing experience working with the national chapter development team and getting to know members from chapters in my region. Being invited to participate in events in my region has been a highlight for me.
What has your chapter done that has made you proud? There are so many accomplishments of our chapter that have made me proud. I think one of the most important is the fact that we pulled a strong, cohesive team together during the period where the two universities were consolidating. The process of consolidation is stressful as there is much uncertainty. Given the fact we had to create a brand new chapter during a very complicated time, it would have been so easy to let Phi Kappa Phi involvement slip through the cracks. But our board members were so strongly committed to making this new chapter work that it pulled us through and we are healthy and thriving. Working with these officers has been inspiring to me and we all feel a strong connection to the new chapter.
I am also very proud of the student research and fine arts conference we have been hosting for more than 15 years. The event continues to grow in size and prestige. We were even featured in a Phi Kappa Phi Forum article several years ago.
I also like that we are making sure to include service to our community in our chapter mission. We started hosting a work day for our campus literacy center. We had Phi Kappa Phi members come out to help spruce up the literacy center property by working in the yard, dusting indoors, and our chapter president Kevin Frazier even headed up to the roof for leaf blowing.
What does Phi Kappa Phi mean to you? Phi Kappa Phi has been an important part of my life. It has been great to work with so many people who have a passion for excellence. It is yet another way I can interact with students that takes me beyond the classroom. I have had the chance to attend conventions, PFS, board meetings, and chapter induction ceremonies and every time I am energized by other Phi Kappa Phi members. I feel very fortunate that I got to work closely with the Phi Kappa Phi executive director and staff during my time as an RVP. They are the best.
What do you enjoy most about being a chapter officer? Nothing beats getting to congratulate new student initiates!
What advice would you give to a new chapter officer? 1. Keep it simple. Focus on one or two things your chapter can work on and do them to the best of your ability.
2. Always be thinking of your replacement. It is important to bring new people and new ideas into the organization. Although it is commendable to be a long-standing officer, it is just as commendable to identify and encourage involvement by new members.
What are your hobbies? I enjoy attending theatre, music, and art events. I like to travel to see new places and meet new people. I also value time with family and friends. I belong to a book group that has a wonderfully diverse reading list. I also recently joined a group that knits and crochets for charity and am slowly amping up my crochet game.
Where are you from? I grew up in Berwyn, Illinois, which is right outside of Chicago (my accent gives it away every time).
Click here to read Pam's CV.