Volunteer Spotlight – August 2014

Aug 12, 2014

Cynthia Surmacz
Bloomsburg University

: Cynthia Surmacz

Chapter Position: Secretary

Years of Service to the Chapter: 29 years

University Position: Professor, Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences

Degree(s)/Discipline: B.S., Biology; Ph.D., Physiology

How did you become involved as a chapter officer? I was initiated into Phi Kappa Phi as an undergraduate at Penn State University in 1978. Upon arriving at Bloomsburg University as a new faculty member, I was pleased to find a relatively new chapter of Phi Kappa Phi on campus. The group was looking for a secretary and I was honored to become involved.

What has your chapter done that has made you proud? Over the years, our chapter has obtained Chapter of Merit status, had Graduate Fellowship winners, and received three Literacy Grants. I am proud to be associated with such talented and accomplished students and colleagues.

What does Phi Kappa Phi mean to you? Phi Kappa Phi provides a way for me to celebrate and recognize our top students and to promote the importance of academic excellence.

What do you enjoy most about being a chapter officer? My favorite moments each year in the life of our chapter occur during our initiation ceremony. It is a great joy to watch the faces of family members glow with pride as their sons, daughters, husbands, wives, etc. are initiated. I also enjoy being part of a group that brings together students and faculty from so many disciplines to celebrate academic excellence.

What advice would you give to a new chapter officer? Don't hesitate to contact the folks at headquarters. They are great! They have lots of practical information and are willing to go to great lengths to help you. I would also suggest attending cluster meetings to learn more about Phi Kappa Phi to bring home ideas for your chapter and to get inspired.

What are your hobbies? I enjoy cooking, reading, listening to music, theatre, and traveling.

Where are you from? I was born in Trafford, PA, near Pittsburgh, grew up in Schuylkill Haven, PA, and have lived in central Pennsylvania in the Bloomsburg area for 30 years.