California State University, Stanislaus (#282) demonstrated its commitment to these ideals in a recent weeklong schedule of activities that
encouraged interdisciplinary collaboration. The campus and community
were invited to attend these educational and thought-provoking presentations, panels and performances during Phi Kappa Phi Week, April 27 to
As part of Phi Kappa Phi Week, Dr. Ahmed Afzal presented a lecture
based on his book, Lone Star Muslims, published by New York University
Press this year. Dr. Afzal’s research on Islam and transnational citizenship
captures the unique story of Pakistani immigrants in Houston, Texas, and
demonstrates how transnational identities are shaped through class, gender, sexuality, citizenship status and Islamic sectarian affiliation. There
were 45 attendees who enjoyed this spirited presentation and ensuing
question and answer forum.
“Dr. Afzal is passionate about the ethnographic study which revealed
interesting insights into a culture often stereotyped and misunderstood,”
Chapter President Janice Herring said.
The next day, a presentation from Blue Zone trainer and consultant
Luann Alemao inspired audience members to establish habits that could
help them to live longer and healthier lives. The best-selling book, The
Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People by
Dr. Dan Buettner, was the basis for this training that attracted a group of
more than 65 people.
Theater professor Dan Gately facilitated an open forum with the cast
of King Lear, presented at the campus through the beginning of May. This
discussion involved members of the production of King Lear presented
by Shakespeare Under the Stars. The discussion provided theatergoers
insight into the process of creating this classic tragedy. Continuing within
the discipline of fine arts, composition students in the university music
program composed pieces for bassoon presented in collaboration with the
Annual Student Composition and Music Festival presented on May 5.
The week’s closing was an invitation to learn about student leadership
with the organization from current Student Vice Presidents Charlene Gal-
lagher, Shanil Chandra and Stephanie Lopez. Chandra was quoted as
saying, “Being a student vice president has boosted my leadership and
communication skills. Being involved in various activities such as our
book drive, food drive, new member heralding, and informational table
has given me an opportunity to realize the importance of serving the
members of the community.”
For the second year, Idaho State University’s (#110) chapter of Phi
Kappa Phi hosted GMAT and GRE preparation webinars, facilitated by
Anthony Russomanno, of the Princeton Review in Orange County, Cal-
ifornia. More than 400 students from Idaho State and around the world
(representing four continents, including Africa), members and nonmem-
bers of Phi Kappa Phi, signed up for the one-hour introductory sessions,
which covered the fundamentals of the exams and gave participants valu-
able tips for how to approach their preparation for taking the exams.
For students at Idaho State, Phi Kappa Phi, in partnership with ISU’s
College of Business Professional Development and MBA programs, host-
ed the GMAT webinar on-site and provided free lunch to registered par-
ticipants. The goal of the GMAT and GRE prep courses, according to
Chapter President Alex Bolinger, is to raise awareness that students can
continue to pursue their love of learning in graduate school. “The GMAT
and GRE can seem daunting to prepare for. Many students that I talk
to are not even sure where to start,” said Bolinger. “These webinars give
students valuable information about what to expect and, we hope, make
graduate school seem like a more viable option to them.”
On April 30, the chapter held its annual initiation ceremony, inducting
a mix of graduate and undergraduate students from disciplines ranging
from psychology to accounting to microbiology. Steve Muse, community
relations director for Idaho Power, was also inducted in recognition of
his interest in and contributions to education in the Pocatello community.
The highlight of the ceremony was a presentation by the Dean of Idaho
State’s College of Arts and Letters Dr. Kandi Turley-Ames. Turley-Ames
surprised Emily Crighton, a junior majoring in mass communication,
with a $1,000 scholarship sponsored by Arts and Letters, in recognition
of Crighton’s outstanding academic record.
Dean of Idaho State’s College of Arts and Letters, Dr. Kandi Turley-Ames, left, awards a
scholarship to Emily Crighton, a junior majoring in mass communication.
California State University, Stanislaus Chapter President Janice Herring, right, with Luann
Alemao follo wing her lecture at Phi Kappa Phi Week.
Kay White is a chapter development director at Phi Kappa Phi. She
began working for the Society in February after teaching at the University
of Arkansas, Fort Smith. White earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and
doctoral degrees in music (vocal performance). Email her at kwhite@