Volunteer Spotlight – July 2015

Jul 1, 2015

Dr. Ron Shaklee
Youngstown State University

Name: Dr. Ron Shaklee

Chapter Position: President

University Position: Director, University Honors Program and Professor of Geography

Years of Service to the Chapter: 11 years

Degree(s)/Discipline: B.A., Geography; M.A., Geography; Ph.D., Geography

How did you become involved as a chapter officer? I started as an at-large member of the Executive Board in charge of awards and grants. That position was a direct outgrowth of my position as Honors Director at the university. On several occasions I was asked to stand for higher office but I felt I could be a far more valuable asset to my chapter as the Awards and Grants officer. I later was convinced that my energies could be of great benefit to the chapter if I agreed to serve in other positions as well. I was asked to stand for election to the position of President-Elect and was honored when the chapter membership elected me to that position.

What has your chapter done that has made you proud? I am proud of my chapter because of the tremendous sense of belonging it extends to all members of the Society. Inductees can be as active as they wish to be, and our chapter has been very aggressive in extending opportunities for participation in chapter affairs. In particular, we have been increasingly involved in service activities across our campus. This participation is a positive element for all concerned – the members, the chapter, and those who directly or indirectly benefit from our activities.

What does Phi Kappa Phi mean to you? The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is, by its very definition, an organization that stands for accomplishment and integrity. Beyond that, our local chapter has lent even more meaning to that overall sense of pride that accompanies membership. Phi Kappa Phi members are leaders in their community, their region, their nation, and their world. It is an amazing sense of pride to be a part of that global continuum.

What do you enjoy most about being a chapter officer?
 The camaraderie of the Executive Board and the sense of fulfillment I experience when students are inducted into membership in The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Our chapter is active and has a strong sense of identity on our campus and that identity facilitates the recruitment of student members. Chapter recognition activities sponsored by the national organization (chapter recognition, book drives, etc.) have garnered extremely positive press and have enhanced our visibility on campus. That sense of identity gives members of our Executive Board a strong feeling of pride in our accomplishments.

What advice would you give to a new chapter officer? Don't wait to be asked to become involved. The chapter is as strong as the members of the executive board want it to be. If you see a need – fill it. If you have an innovative idea – propose it and then take the necessary steps to turn your idea into reality. Rely on, and demand participation from, your fellow officers and the chapter membership. If you already have a strong chapter and executive board, do your part to make it stronger. If you see areas for growth, make sure you are the catalyst for positive change.

What are your hobbies? 
My hobbies include writing fictional novels, writing and performing my own music, and making sure that my granddaughters have cause to laugh, giggle and question their grandfather's sanity.

Where are you from? I was born in Urbana, Ill., but my formative years were spent in the Maryland suburbs of Washington D.C. Prior to becoming a member of the faculty at Youngstown State University, I served with the U.S. Army in the Republic of Vietnam, attended the University of Kansas for undergraduate and graduate degrees in geography, and spent time on the faculty of Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) and Mississippi State University.