McFerron Awarded Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship

Ross McFerron of Advance, Mo., a senior political science major at Southeast Missouri State University, has been awarded a $5,000 Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship for graduate study as he continues his education in law school during the 2004-2005 academic year.

McFerron was recognized April 4 at the annual Phi Kappa Phi induction ceremony in Academic Hall.

McFerron is a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society, has a 4.0 grade point average and is a candidate for spring 2004 commencement. He served as Student Government president during the 2002-2003 academic year at Southeast. He was Student Government vice president in 2001-2002. He has been active on the University Budget Committee, Emerging Leaders and the National School-to-Work Advisory Council, and has been a Presidential Ambassador, Man of the Year finalist on the Homecoming Court, and a columnist with the Capaha Arrow, Southeast’s student newspaper.

McFerron currently is completing a legislative internship with Rod Jetton, speaker pro-tem with the Missouri House of Representatives. Last summer, he completed an independent study project with Dr. Russell Renka in the Southeast Department of Political Science, Philosophy and Religion, updating online text.

McFerron has been the recipient of the President’s Spirit of Southeast Award, the Regents Scholarship and the Missouri Bright Flight Scholarship. He has been named to the Dean’s List for academic achievement every semester from fall 200 through fall 2003.

McFerron, who is completing a minor in mass communication, was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi honor society at Southeast last year. Phi Kappa Phi is one of the oldest national honor societies in the nation, and is open to men and women of all disciplines. The chapter charter is extended only to schools meeting rigorous membership standards.

From its humble beginnings in 1929, the Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellowship Program has become of the largest and most respected scholarship programs in the country, allocating more than $380,000 to outstanding students for first-year graduate study.

Each year, Phi Kappa Phi offers 100 national fellowships — just 60 fellowships of $5,000 each and 40 fellowships at $2,000 each. Every Phi Kappa Phi chapter has the opportunity to submit one nominee, and each person nominated receives a one-year membership in the society. Since the Fellowship Program’s inception, more than 2,200 students have benefited.

In addition to the national fellowship, McFerron was honored Sunday with a $500 award from the local Phi Kappa Phi chapter at Southeast to apply towards his law school costs next year.

Sharing the local chapter honor with McFerron was Julie Probst of Cape Girardeau, a senior majoring in communication disorders at Southeast. Probst, who also received a $500 award to apply towards her graduate school costs, is expected to graduate with honors in May from Southeast. In addition to her research in language impairments of children with autism, she has worked for Habitat for Humanity, is a gymnastics coach, has participated in medical mission trips to the Dominican Republic and runs her own house cleaning business. Probst plans on become a speech language pathologist.

Southeast chartered its Phi Kappa Phi chapter in 1992. In just a decade, Southeast has now had three students who have been awarded the Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellowship and one who has received an award of excellence.

The multidisciplinary nature of Phi Kappa Phi is reflected in its Fellowship and Award of Excellence recipients. Awardees represent a variety of fields, including biology, chemistry, engineering, political science, mathematics and psychology. Likewise, the professions they select are equally diverse: law, medicine, business, education, science of the arts.