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April 16, 2021

SIU Carbondale inducts 24 students into Phi Kappa Phi honor society

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Twenty-four Southern Illinois University Carbondale graduate and undergraduate students were inducted into the university’s chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society during a virtual ceremony on April 14.

Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines with chapters at more than 325 select colleges and universities. Phi Kappa Phi annually inducts approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni, with membership by invitation only to the top 10% of seniors and graduate students and 7.5% of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved distinction also qualify.

Meera Komarraju, SIU’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, welcomed students and Terry Mathias, former university staff member and SIU Phi Kappa Phi official, spoke at the ceremony.

The SIU Carbondale chapter was chartered in 1956 with the last installation ceremony in 2016.

Students inducted into the chapter for 2021, listed by hometown, major and year in school are:


Anna: Erica J. Stearns, senior, psychology.

Ashland: Emily A. Koch, senior, dental hygiene.

Carbondale: Maryam Makhdoom, senior, public health.

Carbondale: Lana Sawar, senior, microbiology and chemistry.

Carpentersville: Alyssa Taylor Roimiser, senior, communication studies.

Carterville: Billy R. Matthews, graduate student, workforce education and development.

Chicago: Katya J. Saldana, senior, cinema and photography.

Coulterville: Vicki L. Brown, graduate student, health care management.

Harrisburg: Travis Dobrey, graduate student, social work.

Jerseyville: Ross A. Speidel, junior, architectural studies.

Mattoon: Jasmine N. Katz, graduate student, psychology.

Murphysboro: Aedan J. Wright, senior, psychology.

Rockford: Gregory M. Carter, graduate student, history.

Springfield: Alexis K. Power, senior, microbiology/pre-medicine.

Staunton: Malissa Ann Huddleston, junior, radiological sciences-diagnostic medical sonography.

Villa Grove: Gabriella G. Agius, junior, fashion design and merchandising.


Springboro: Maryanna K. Catrine, graduate student, physician assistant studies.


O’Fallon: Kathleen Maria Shuffett, graduate student,  architecture.


Ravenna: Rachel Nozicka, graduate student, English.


North Augusta: Carla Williams Lacombe, graduate student, health care administration.


Kingsport: Madelyn G. Fox-Defago, graduate student, rhetoric and composition.


Army Post Office: Steven A. Fasko, graduate student, health care management.


Syangja: Suraj Rimal, graduate student, computer science.


Kandy: Lakshika N K Dissanayake, graduate student, microbiology.

The chapter’s revitalization started in 2020 with installing new officers. Officers for the 2020-2021 academic year are:

Chapter president: Gary Kinsel, vice chancellor for research, professor, analytical chemistry.

President elect: LaShonda Stewart, director, Chancellor’s Scholar Program, professor, business.

Secretary: Scott Hamilton-Brehm, assistant professor, microbiology.

Treasurer: Elizabeth Donoghue, assistant director, University Honors Program.

Awards and grants coordinator: Jyotsna Kapur, director, University Honors Program, professor, cinema and photography.