Volunteer Spotlight – November 2017

Nov 1, 2017

Barbara Lee headshotBarbara Lee
Texas A&M University

Chapter Position: Chapter Coordinator

University Position: Administrative Coordinator II, Academic Success Center, Division of Undergraduate Studies

Years of Service to the Chapter: 15+

How did you become involved with Phi Kappa Phi?
 After the merging of offices that were previously involved with Phi Kappa Phi at Texas A&M, the position of coordinator was left vacant and needed to be filled in order to keep the chapter thriving. Dr. Mark Weichold, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies, volunteered his office as the permanent home for chapter records and materials. I accepted the challenge and took ownership of ΦΚΦ, the nation’s oldest and most selective multidisciplinary collegiate honor society. I provided the behind-the-scenes work to ensure smooth operation and a smooth transition of the executive board from one year to the next.

What has Phi Kappa Phi done that has made you proud? Phi Kappa Phi has given our students opportunities they wouldn't have otherwise. In particular, the opportunity for eligible students to be designated as an Outstanding Junior for their college has made me very proud of this organization. This designation also comes with a scholarship. Our Outstanding Junior award is not only offered at our main College Station campus, but we extend it to our Galveston and Qatar campuses as well. Another award that gives me pride is the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship award. I am honored to serve along with the executive board on a committee that is dedicated to choosing a student deserving of this Fellowship. It is also a good feeling when your chapter's nominee for the Fellowship is selected and further recognized by the national office as our chapter's nominee has been for the past 5 years. 
What does Phi Kappa Phi mean to you? Phi Kappa Phi is an honor society that recognizes outstanding academic performance across the entire university among juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Phi Kappa Phi means giving students from all disciplines the ability to achieve academic excellence through the resources and awards provided. This organization means I’m able to honor those that have worked hard to get where they are and are willing to continue their success throughout their college career and beyond. 

What do you enjoy most about being a Phi Kappa Phi volunteer?
 As Chapter Coordinator, I love getting to interact with our students, faculty, and staff. My favorite part is receiving emails from non-member students that are excited about the prospect of joining our organization. I also love getting to bring family and friends together to celebrate the achievement of those being inducted into the Society during our initiation ceremony. 

What advice would you give to a new Phi Kappa Phi volunteer? We are here to support and serve the students. A volunteer will need to be ready and committed to work with the chapter officers to foster growth within the chapter by stimulating new ideas and collaborating on projects. There may be times a volunteer will need to work extended hours to complete projects or events, but the rewards of this position are definitely worth the extra effort. My experience working with the organization from year to year is to provide continuity for the executive committee. 

What are your hobbies? Spending time with my grandchildren, reading, and traveling.