Tag Archives: award

BYU’s Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi: Pushing for the Platinum


Platinum is the highest level of Phi Kappa Phi’s Circle of Excellence awards; Image provided by Phi Kappa Phi

By Lyndee Johns

Members of BYU’s Division I chapter of Phi Kappa Phi don’t just go for the gold—they push for the platinum.

Phi Kappa Phi is, as the BYU pamphlet boasts, “the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines.” Juniors in the top 7.5 percent and seniors and grad students in the top 10 percent of their classes are invited to join Phi Kappa Phi, where they are encouraged to participate in chapter activities and be on the student board.

And, as chapter president and college assistant professor Dr. Deborah Himes puts it, BYU’s chapter is “doing something right.”

The BYU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi has recently received the 2019–2020 Circle of Excellence Platinum award. This prestigious award shows that BYU has met chapter requirements, has both social and service events, and has an active student board.

And according to Himes, it is the student board that makes the chapter what it is.

“It’s a student-driven organization,” says Himes. “As the faculty members, or more the faculty/staff, we help keep things running. But we try to help them set the vision . . . We have some of the brightest students on campus, and they can make a lot happen. So we will give them opportunities to do that.”

Run by two elected vice presidents, the student board plans chapter activities. Last year, Phi Kappa Phi partnered with My Story Matters to meet refugee families living in Utah, and to record their stories. The families were later given a bound book that contained their stories, and a family picture. “It was very impactful for the kids to see them realizing that their story matters, their story is important,” says Himes.

Phi Kappa Phi’s current plans for the semester include an interdisciplinary Jeopardy event, and partnering with Dahlia’s Hope—an organization that helps victims of sex trafficking transition back into healthy living.

One of the chapter’s goals for the new year includes running a successful initiation banquet, where the Circle of Excellence award will be announced. Their other goals? “Supporting the students and their service and social activities, and, you know, trying to find ways that we can do good in the world,” says Himes.

Here’s to BYU’s Phi Kappa Phi, and may their programs stay platinum.


Nursing Students’ Posters Win International Competition

By Quincey Taylor


Caitlin Ferderber presenting her poster at the conference. Photo courtesy of Ferderber

BYU nursing students Chelsea Van Wagenen and Caitlin Ferderber had the chance to attend the International Association of Forensic Nurses Conference of 2018. Held in Reno, Nevada from October 24 to 27, these students mingled with top tier Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) of the nation. Each student entered a medical poster they had created to be judged, informing viewers about a certain topic within SANE nursing. They represented BYU well, bringing home not only first place but also a second place win.

Van Wagenen entered a poster informing viewers about strangulation during sexual assault:

Poster 1

Judges were impressed with the poster and the high quality research. Van Wagenen’s entry won second place.

She enjoyed the conference and says about the experience, “I just have felt very blessed to have the opportunity to go and participate in this conference as an undergrad. The conference was an amazing opportunity to learn about SANE nursing. It made me realize that there is so much more out there to learn and the importance of continuing to educate ourselves beyond nursing school. The conference also made me realize the impact research has on nursing and how it is important to stay up-to-date on the current practices.”

Ferderber’s poster educated viewers about characteristics of male sexual assault victims, and won first place.

Poster 3

She comments on the experience, “I was just honored to have been accepted to present my poster and hadn’t expected to win anything for it. I also felt extremely grateful to have been able to work with Julie Valentine, Leslie Miles, and Linda Mabey on their study. They are amazing, and I have learned so much from working with them.”

Ferderber explains about her choice of topic she put on her poster, “One of the major differences we found between female and male victims was that males are more likely to be assaulted by a stranger or person in authority. Men are also less likely to have a CODIS eligible profile developed, which can hurt their case if they decide to prosecute. I really enjoyed the conference and learned more about forensic nursing as well as how to better care for victims of sexual assault. The ugly truth is that sexual assault, abuse, and other forms of violence are far too common. I hope to take what I’ve learned and apply it to my practice so that I can help victims as they go through these traumatic experiences.”