Chapter Update – June 2019

Michelle Lowery
Jun 26, 2019

Bonjour, Ciao, Hola!

Michelle Lowery headshotThis is my first chapter update since I started working at the Phi Kappa Phi national office on May 1. Prior to that, I was with Louisiana State University as a Student Affairs professional for over 19 years. I received two degrees from the University of Mississippi, including a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts-journalism with an emphasis in public relations and a master’s degree in higher education-student personnel.

I will primarily be serving as a liaison for student members on the Board of Directors, the Council of Students, and faculty and staff officers at chapters in Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and chapters to the northeast of these states. My role also includes coordinating the annual Book Drive and Chapter Visibility Week, writing Chapter Updates on the website, and facilitating the Student Vice President Leadership Summit.

This month I am highlighting initiatives completed recently by chapters in Florida, Louisiana, and Missouri. Please share your chapter news and events with me, Michelle Lowery, Chapter Development Director, at or 800.804.9880, ext. 212. Pictures are encouraged!

LSU - An Evening with Great AuthorsAn Evening with Great Authors

Chapter 43 at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, co-hosted the 9th annual “An Evening with Great Authors” with the Adult Literacy Advocates (ALA) of Greater Baton Rouge on April 24 with a celebration of the work published by Dima Ghawi, author of Breaking Vases. Ghawi’s journey is one of escaping confinement, crossing continents, and transforming her life’s purpose. She uses her personal and professional experiences to inspire, educate, and empower individuals to attain personal and professional growth. All proceeds from the event benefitted ALA’s students, programs, and educational outreach services. The event has raised more than $25,000 for ALA since its inception in 2011.

Photo by William Boyd Lee, II – Keynote speaker Dima Ghawi, center, green dress, is joined by, from left, Gary Robertson, ALA Executive Director; Dave Harris, ALA Board Member; Tenika James, ALA Board Secretary and Event Chair; Todd Pourciau, ALA Board Member; Sarah Rosemann, ALA Board Member; John Hightower, ALA Board Member; Chris Martin, ALA Board Chair; Anita Gregoire, ALA Board Member; Richard Vlosky, President, LSU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi; Regina Leingang, Executive Secretary, LSU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi; Nicole Hobson-Morris, ALA Board Member; and Mittie Bolton, ALA Board Vice-Chair.

SEMO State  - Born to Read 4Born to Read

Chapter 260 at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, recently completed their literacy project “Born to Read.” The project, which was started in 2001 and earned a 2018 Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant, has become their signature activity in which an early reader book is given to newborn babies at three hospitals in the area. Each book contains a message to the family about the importance and enjoyment of reading and encourages the family members to read the book to the baby many times in order to plant the seed that will grow into a love of reading and learning. Approximately 3,000 babies are born in these three hospitals every year.

Photo by Marge Phillips – Dr. Mary Elizabeth Ambery, left, leads Southeast Phi Kappa Phi chapter members in the Born to Read project.

FIT - Scholar and Artist VisitScholar & Artist Visit

Chapter 308 at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida, hosted a reception for Dr. Morton Ann Gernsbacher, one of Phi Kappa Phi’s Scholar & Artist Award recipients for 2018-2020. During the visit on March 28-29, she met with student members of Psi Chi (the psychology honorary), visited classes in the School of Psychology, and toured the Scott Center for Autism Treatment. Gernsbacher also presented a public lecture on Diverse Brains that focused on brain research and how individuals and society can accommodate brain differences. This is the fourth time the chapter has arranged visits from the Phi Kappa Phi Scholar or Artist.

Photo by Heidi Hatfield Edwards – Phi Kappa Phi Scholar Dr. Morton Ann Gernsbacher, right, is joined by, from left, Gary Grant, Florida Tech’s Sr. Vice President of Development; Alyann Grant; and Mary Bonnhomme, Florida Tech’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter co-secretary.