Center for Communicating Science (CCS) faculty were thrilled that the CCS was Virginia Tech’s nominee for the 2020 Phi Kappa Phi Excellence in Innovation Award. Although the center did not win the prestigious nationwide award, just being nominated and having the opportunity to submit an application package was a tremendous honor.
The Phi Kappa Phi Excellence in Innovation Award is given to a college or university each biennium for achievement in innovation. Universities that are chapter campuses may nominate a single project that “demonstrates innovation and has led to large-scale transformative change.”
According to the Phi Kappa Phi website, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Since 1932, Phi Kappa Phi has awarded fellowships and grants to members and students. The Excellence in Innovation Award was first awarded in 2016 to Tulane University. It is Phi Kappa Phi’s only award for institutions.
We congratulate Texas State University, this year’s award recipient, and the two other finalists, Nazareth College and Widener University.
Nazareth College was nominated for its interprofessional education program for students in health and allied programs, a program that originated in 2012 with a foundational academic course and expanded in 2015 with the opening of the York Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute. “[T]rue interprofessional education requires students to develop a deep understanding of and respect for the knowledge, skills, and contributions of all team members,” their application states.
Widener University was honored with finalist status for its 10-year-old student-run pro bono physical therapy clinic for local patients in need. Serving the uninsured as well as those whose insurance coverage of physical therapy has been exhausted, the clinic provides a wide variety of experiential learning opportunities for physical therapy students, including patient care, scheduling, fundraising, presenting at national conferences, serving on the clinic’s advisory board, and more.
The 2020 award recipient, Texas State University, was honored for its NASA Future Aerospace Engineers and Mathematicians Academy (FAMA), a “highly innovative project in STEM education and bilingual community outreach” launched in 2013. FAMA is a program of Texas State’s LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research and provides integrated year-round STEM programming to economically disadvantaged and historically underrepresented student populations.
Congratulations to all nominees, semi-finalists, and finalists!