photo of Old Main
May 16, 2017

LACEY, Wash. — On April 9, the Saint Martin’s University chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society welcomed 39 new student members, including graduate and undergraduate students from all of the University’s colleges and schools.

“Phi Kappa Phi is Saint Martin’s first all-discipline national honors’ society,” said University Director of Institutional Assessment Sheila Steiner, Ph.D., professor of psychology and Saint Martin’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter President. “We launched our chapter in order to bring greater recognition and opportunities for our high-achieving students. Phi Kappa Phi promotes academic excellence in service to humanity, a value that aligns perfectly with our Benedictine heritage.”

In her keynote address to the initiates, chapter President-elect Bonnie Amende, Ph.D., associate professor, mathematics, explained why she is glad that she joined Phi Kappa Phi in 1995 and continues to be involved. “It feels good to receive external validation, and I wanted to join a community of top scholars that rewards and values academic excellence and the pursuit of lifetime learning. I wanted the students at Saint Martin’s to have the same opportunity—I want our students to feel proud and to be recognized for their academic excellence in this same way.”

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. 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. 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.

When Saint Martin’s University became the 339th chapter of Phi Kappa Phi this past December, Saint Martin’s students became eligible to apply and compete for the honor society’s many fellowships, awards and grants. One Phi Kappa Phi award has already been given to a Saint Martin's University student. Kenna Fosnacht, of Rochester, Washington, who is a senior majoring in biology, was awarded a $1,000 study abroad grant.

The Phi Kappa Phi inductees for Spring 2017 are:

  • Lydia Aguirre, University Place, Washington, a graduate student in business administration
  • Juan Almazan, Olympia, Washington, a junior majoring in computer science
  • Amy Anderson, Olympia, Washington, a graduate student in counseling psychology
  • Roslyn Buff, Tumwater, Washington, a senior majoring in English
  • Tiffany Burgess, Bonney Lake, Washington, a senior/graduate student majoring in psychology
  • Forrest Campbell, Lacey, Washington, a junior majoring in biology and anthropology
  • Diana Carlson, Olympia, Washington, a graduate student in counseling psychology
  • Felisha Cerda, Lacey, Washington, a senior majoring in business administration
  • Jennifer Codd, Olympia, Washington, a junior majoring in biology
  • Elizabeth Colón, Olympia, Washington, a junior majoring in business administration
  • Jessica Comstock, Lacey, Washington, a graduate student in counseling psychology
  • Lauren Curtis, Olympia, Washington, a junior majoring in psychology
  • Shelbie Davis, Olympia, Washington, a graduate student in mechanical engineering
  • Rachel Doogan, Juneau, Alaska, a senior majoring in communications
  • Leslie Eder, Lacey, Washington, a graduate student in business administration
  • Sally Fletcher, Seabeck, Washington, a senior majoring in mathematics
  • Denis Gaty, Dupont, Washington, a senior majoring in social work
  • Michelle Gross, Olympia, Washington, a senior majoring in criminal justice
  • Kathleen Gurnard, Maple Valley, Washington, a graduate student in education
  • Ahna Johnson ’16, York, Maine, who received a degree in education
  • Chong Kim, Lacey, Washington, a senior majoring in accounting
  • Evan Lake, Pendleton, Oregon, a senior majoring in English literature
  • Lindsey Leighton, Enumclaw, Washington, a junior majoring in elementary education
  • Rocky Lightfoot, Olympia, Washington, a junior majoring in civil education
  • Philomena Lindgren, McCleary, Washington, a senior majoring in education, reading, and special education
  • Baker McCullough, Enumclaw, Washington, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering
  • Haani Nicole Metra, Olympia, Washington, a graduate student in counseling psychology
  • Natasha Morgan Ashenhurst, Olympia, Washington, a graduate student in political science
  • Mary Nairn, Olympia, Washington, a graduate student in education
  • Andres Perez, Lacey, Washington, a senior majoring in social work
  • Elizabeth Piper, Olympia, Washington, a senior majoring in biology
  • Janine Salinas ’16, Lakewood, Washington, who received a degree in psychology
  • Jonathan San Nicolas, Tumwater, Washington, a senior majoring in social work
  • Emilie Schnabel, Olympia, Washington, a graduate student in counseling psychology
  • Scott Schoen, Lacey, Washington, a graduate student in business administration
  • Kim Van Vleet, Puyallup, Washington, a senior majoring in computer science
  • Hannah Wesselman, Spokane Valley, Washington, a senior majoring in biology
  • Bradley Whitmore, Oregon City, Oregon, a senior majoring in accounting and business administration
  • Lianghao Zhang ’16, Lacey, Washington, who received a degree in business administration

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 1,100 undergraduate students and 340 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 350 more students to its extended campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College.

For additional information:

Sheila Steiner, Ph.D.
Director of Institutional Assessment and Professor of Psychology
360-923-8724; ssteiner@stmartin.edu

Kevin Hyde
Media Relations Manager
360-412-6126; khyde@stmartin.edu