Our new Phi Kappa Phi society
December 16, 2016

LACEY, Wash. — Saint Martin’s University officially took its place as the 339th chapter of the national  Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi Dec. 7. An evening installation and initiation ceremony marked the University’s acceptance into the society, the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society.

The Saint Martin’s chapter was approved for establishment of a chapter by the honor society’s board of directors earlier this year.

“The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is pleased to welcome Saint Martin’s University to its community of scholars,” said Executive Director Mary Todd, Ph.D. “Saint Martin’s emphasis on excellence is evident in its strategic initiative to build academic programs that focus on an appreciation of complexity and cultivation of creativity.”

Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine. Its mission is to recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others. The honorary has awarded about $15 million since its awards program began in 1932. Today, Phi Kappa Phi awards about $1.4 million each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships; undergraduate study-abroad grants; member and chapter awards; and grants for local and national literacy initiatives, said Hannah Breaux, the society’s communications director.

“Establishing a chapter of Phi Kappa Phi at Saint Martin’s University will benefit our students in several ways,” says University Director of Institutional Assessment Sheila Steiner, Ph.D., a professor of psychology and the driving force in organizing the Saint Martin’s chapter. “It will recognize students for scholarly achievement, create additional opportunities for service and leadership through chapter activities, and provide financial support through scholarships and fellowships. In addition, because Phi Kappa Phi is an all-disciplinary honor society, students from all majors and programs, including our masters programs, can be invited to join. This is a great way to honor Saint Martin’s Benedictine commitment to inclusiveness.”

Steiner was installed as president of the new chapter. Other officers installed were President-elect Bonnie Amende, Ph.D., associate professor, mathematics; Secretary Katie Bugyis, Ph.D., assistant professor, religious studies; and Treasurer Diane Bingaman, C.P.A., M.A.C.C., assistant professor of accounting and chair of the accounting department.

The new Saint Martin’s chapter has nine charter members, some of whom are among the 12 faculty, staff and board members initiated. The University will initiate its first student members this spring. Membership to Phi Kappa Phi is by invitation and is limited to the top 7.5 percent of college juniors and the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students, along with faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.

Longtime Phi Kappa Phi member Rico Picone, Ph.D., an assistant professor of engineering tapped for the honorary as a University of Nevada, Las Vegas, student in 2007, says, “Joining Phi Kappa Phi will give Saint Martin's students the opportunity to connect with other excellent scholars and professionals. We have great students who should be recognized as such and connected through the honor society. I am excited our students will soon have the same opportunity.”

Since Phi Kappa Phi was founded, more than 1.25 million members have been initiated. Some of the organization's more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist David Baldacci and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley.

Charter members:

  • Bonnie Amende, Ph.D., associate professor, mathematics.
  • Todd Barosky, Ph.D., assistant professor, English.
  • Diane Bingaman, C.P.A., M.A.C.C., assistant professor, accounting; chair, accounting.
  • Katie Bugyis, Ph.D., assistant professor, religious studies.
  • Robert Hauhart, Ph.D., J.D., professor, criminal justice, sociology, legal studies.
  • David Olwell, Ph.D., dean, Hal and Inge Marcus School of Engineering; professor, engineering.
  • Arwyn Smalley, Ph.D., associate professor, chemistry.
  • Molly Smith, Ph.D., provost; vice president, academic affairs; professor, English.
  • Sheila Steiner, Ph.D., director of institutional assessment; professor, psychology.

Initiated members:

  • Todd Barosky, Ph.D., assistant professor, English.
  • Diane Bingaman, C.P.A., M.A.C.C., assistant professor, accounting; chair, accounting.
  • Richard Beer, Ph.D., dean, School of Business; professor, computer science.
  • Katie Bugyis, Ph.D., assistant professor, religious studies.
  • Genevieve Chan, M.F.A., vice president, Office of Marketing and Communications.
  • Jeff Crane, Ph.D., dean, College of Arts and Sciences; professor, history.
  • Lori G. Drummond, University trustee; president and CEO, Olympia Federal Savings.
  • Robert Hauhart, Ph.D., J.D., professor, criminal justice, sociology, legal studies.
  • Roy Heynderickx, Ph.D., University president; professor, business.
  • Kathleen “Kate” M. Boyle, Ph.D., dean, College of Education and Counseling Psychology,
  • Sheila Steiner, Ph.D., director of institutional assessment; professor of psychology.
  • Father Peter Tynan, O.S.B., M.Div., M.A.-theology, M.A., M.LIS., discovery services librarian, O’Grady Library; chaplain.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washing­ton. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedic­tine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,243 undergraduate students and 277 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 350 more students to its extended campus at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

For additional information:

Sheila Steiner, Ph.D.
Director of Assessment and Accreditation;
Professor of psychology
360-923-8724; SSteiner@stmartin.edu

Deanna Partlow
Interim Media Relations Manager
360-412-6126; dpartlow@stmartin.edu