Member Mentions – November 2021

Marla Elsea
Nov 29, 2021

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi's international community is a unique blend of students, academicians, and corporate and civic leaders from all fields of endeavor. Membership in Phi Kappa Phi recognizes and rewards academic success. That recognition doesn’t end after initiation. From their time in school to their professional career, Society members’ hard work continues to pay off and be acknowledged.

Phi Kappa Phi would like to congratulate these members on their recent achievements:

Priscilla Awkard (Elon University) has been named a co-chair of the Elon LEADS Campaign. The 1995 Elon graduate is also a member of the university's Sports Hall of Fame and has received the Distinguished Alumni Award after serving in many leadership roles as an alumna.

John Estell (Ohio Northern University) was recognized as the winner of the 2021 ABET Fellow Award at the recent ABET Awards Celebration. Estell was chosen for his sustained contributions as well as for service on the Accreditation Council Training Committee.

Lynn Hagan (University of Southern Mississippi) has been inducted into the University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association's Hall of Fame which was established to recognize those whose contributions helped move the university forward.

Hayley Kazen (Texas A&M University) received Texas A&M International University's Outstanding Teacher Award for 2021. Kazen was honored for her innovative teaching style, student-centered classroom and global outreach.

Helene Plank (The College of New Jersey) was chosen to participate in the 92nd Juried Art Show at Phillips' Mill in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Plank's mosaics are influenced by artist Georges Seurat and his technique of optical blending.

Richard "RJ" Podeschi (Millikin University) has been appointed Dean of Tabor School of Business at Millikin. "RJ is a dedicated professor and student venture mentor, an active IT consultant and published scholar, a committed community volunteer and a proud Millikin alum," said Mary Black, interim provost.

Selena Ramkeesoon (University of Maryland Global Campus) joined the executive team at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association as the Chief Staff Officer for Communications. Ramkeesoon will lead the Public Relations, Digital Communications, Creative Media and Membership departments.

August and Maria Selak (Youngstown State University) have been honored with the Ursuline High School's Distinguished Alumni Awards. The childhood sweethearts have been married for 46 years and were chosen for their dedicated service to the school and the community at large.

Dennis Truax (Mississippi State University) was named the 2022 president of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He recently retired from his position at MSU as the department head and professor of civil and environmental engineering. He was also MSU's James T. White endowed chair.

Peysen Webster (Southern Virginia University) has been selected to the All-Conference Second Team as part of the USA South Athletic Conference's 2021 All-Conference Teams. The three-year team captain is the first men's soccer player from Southern Virginia's to be chosen for an All-Conference team.

Troy University has announced its 2021 Homecoming Court and among those named are two Society members. Congratulations to Ashlie Eden Hipps and John Petersen for earning this honor.

Do you have an accomplishment you’d like to share? Email your member news to to be considered for inclusion.