Southeast Student Honored with National Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship



July 14, 2006 – Daniel Huff of Annapolis, Mo., a May 2006 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, has received a 2006 Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi for the 2006-2007 academic year.

Huff graduated from Southeast in May with a bachelor of science degree. He graduated magna cum laude with a major in environmental science and minors in chemistry and geosciences. The fellowship will enable him to pursue a graduate degree in environmental biology at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He is the son of Lawrence Huff and Juliann Huff.

Huff holds an associate of arts degree from Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Mo., where he participated in the honors program, was on the Dean’s List for five semesters, was listed on the National Dean’s List and Who’s Who Among American Junior College Students, and graduated magna cum laude.

At Southeast, he worked with Dr. Lucinda Swatzell, assistant professor of biology, on the threatened marginally aquatic plant, Thalia dealbata. This species once grew abundantly throughout the lowlands of southeast Missouri, Huff said, but has been forced into roadside ditches through habitat destruction. He received a $450 grant from Southeast’s Grants and Research Funding Committee for research in this area, and he presented his findings at Southeast’s Student Research Conference in April.

Huff also has participated in research with Dr. Michael Aide, Southeast professor of geosciences, concerning heavy metal contaminated soils in St. Joe State Park in Park Hills, Mo. During this work, Huff studied the cadmium, lead and zinc concentrations in the soil horizons surrounding the abandoned mining operation at the park. Huff co-authored the preliminary report on this research to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. He plans on participating in similar research during his graduate studies.

At Southeast, Huff was on the Dean’s List, received the Southeast Honor Student Award and twice was honored with the Junior College Scholarship. He was a tutor for math and science classes through Southeast’s Learning Enrichment Center. He also was employed on campus in Student Support Services and the College of Science and Mathematics. He was president of the Southeast Biology Club and previously served as club vice president.

Huff has done volunteer work and participated in activities with the Southeast Missouri Regional Museum’s, the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Upon completion of his graduate studies, Huff said he hopes to pursue a career in environmental and resource management.

The fellowship counts Huff among 100 students nationwide to receive the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship and Award of Excellence. Since its creation in 1932, the Fellowship Program has become one of the Society’s most visible and financially well-supported endeavors, allocating nearly $380,000 annually to deserving students for first-year graduate study. Currently, 60 Fellowships of $5,000 and 40 Awards of Excellence of $2,000 are awarded each year. The awards are to assist members entering their first year of graduate or professional study.

Huff’s fellowship award totals $5,000. He was selected for the award based on his undergraduate academic performance; leadership and service on the campus and in the community; evidence of his graduate potential; a personal statement of his educational perspective, purpose and objectives; and evaluation reports from three individuals attesting to his performance, citizenship and character.

Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective all-discipline honor society. Phi Kappa Phi inducts annually more than 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni. The Society has chapters on nearly 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines, including  Southeast Missouri State University. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors.  Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify.

Since its founding, more than one million members have been initiated. Some of the organization’s more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, writer John Grisham and Netscape founder James Barksdale. The Society has awarded about $12 million since the inception of its awards program in 1932. Today, more than $700,000 is awarded annually to qualifying members and non-members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad scholarships, member and chapter awards and grants for local and national literacy initiatives. The Society’s 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.”

For more information on Phi Kappa Phi, please call (800) 804-9880 or visit