UT chapter of Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi to initiate new members

April 23, 2009 | Events, UToday
By Staff

The UT chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi will hold its spring initiation ceremony Sunday, April 26, at 1 p.m. in Student Union Room 2582 on Main Campus.

More than 130 undergraduate and graduate students from all academic disciplines and three faculty members will be inducted into the honor society. Four students will be recognized for special scholarship awards.

Dr. William McMillen, UT vice president for governmental relations and a published author of fiction, will give the keynote address.

Faculty members to be inducted this year will be Joel Lipman, professor of art; John Barrett, associate professor of law; and Dr. Patricia Metting, College of Medicine associate dean for student affairs and vice provost for student affairs on Health Science Campus.



Clinton D. Cochran, a graduating senior majoring in bioengineering, will be honored for receiving a $5,000 fellowship for graduate study from the national Phi Kappa Phi organization. This highly competitive award will be applied toward Cochran’s medical school education at The University of Toledo that he will begin next fall.

In addition to an outstanding academic record, Cochran was a quarterback on UT’s football team from 2004 to 2008. The essay he completed for the scholarship competition described the contrast between the experience he felt leading the UT football team against its weekly opponent and the struggle of his fiancee’s mother as she battles breast cancer. It was this latter experience that inspired him to enter the field of medicine.

“The skills acquired through a sport are excellent preparation for future challenges. However, the game itself is not where I will find these challenges. I am filled with excitement at the prospect of redirecting my efforts to such a worthy and rewarding endeavor. The stands may not echo with the praise of a big play, but the feeling of success will be even greater,” Cochran wrote about his future in medicine.

Three undergraduate students will receive UT chapter Awards of Excellence. The $1,500 scholarships are awarded competitively each year based on grade point average, student activities, faculty recommendations and an essay. Those receiving the awards this year will be  Joseph Boggs, a junior majoring in history; Jeffrey Kodysh, a junior majoring in geography and planning; and Alicia Petrarca, a junior majoring in pharmacy.

Boggs was described by Dr. Cynthia Jo Ingham, UT assistant professor of history and one of his recommenders, as “diligent, determined to excel, and conscientious about all work.” Boggs wrote his essay about the time he spent last summer researching Malcolm X.  An article resulting from that research will be published in an upcoming issue of Michigan History magazine.

Kodysh wrote his scholarship essay on Henry David Thoreau and how Thoreau influenced his academic studies, particularly the years when he was home schooled.  Dr. Barbara Mann, UT lecturer in English who recommended Kodysh, said that no matter what the topic of the class, “he immersed himself in the lore.”

Alicia Petrarca wrote her essay about the summer she spent in Mexico studying Spanish and Mexican history. Dr. Max Funk, Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry and one of her faculty recommenders, noted Petrarca’s moral character, which he described by recalling that when he made a grading error that awarded her one additional point, she insisted that he correct the grade. “I have been fortunate to work with a steady stream of outstanding students in organic chemistry for 30 years. Petrarca was clearly among the best of those students,” Funk said.

Friends and family members of those being inducted into the honorary are invited to attend.

For more information, contact Dr. Mary Powers, president of the UT chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, at 419.530.1954.

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