Murray State University’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter welcomes 17 new members

By Shawn Touney | Apr 16, 2021

Phi Kappa Phi logo

Murray State University’s chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi welcomed 17 new members during a virtual induction ceremony held recently.

MURRAY, Ky. Murray State University’s chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi welcomed 17 new members during a virtual induction ceremony held recently.

The virtual induction can be viewed on YouTube at

Phi Kappa Phi is the highest academic honor society at Murray State. Membership is by invitation only to the top 7.5 percent of juniors and 10 percent of seniors and graduate students. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. 

New student members are:

Olivia Adkins - Kailua, Hawaii

Arielle Admonius - Treasure Island, Florida

Hamoud Alkhater - Kuwait

Sierra Carlton - Kuttawa, Kentucky 

Madison T. Cohoon - Murray, Kentucky 

Edward P. Cole Jr. - Bainbridge, Georgia

Rachel E. Crawford - Hopkinsville, Kentucky 

Malcolm Mathison Fife - Bowling Green, Kentucky

Alissa Gott - Smithland, Kentucky

Renee Harre - Nashville, Illinois

Annagrace Marie Ligons - Murray, Kentucky

Evan C. Massamore - Madisonville, Kentucky

Samantha Poat - Madisonville, Kentucky

Lexis C. Wiegmann - Breese, Illinois

Three faculty members who achieved high scholarly distinction also were inducted. They are Dr. Antje Gamble, assistant professor of art history; Dr. Christine B. Lindner, assistant professor of history; and Dr. Maeve McCarthy, assistant dean in the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology and professor of mathematics and statistics.

Officers for the 2020-21 academic year were Dr. Melony Shemberger, president; Professor Ashley Ireland, vice-president/president-elect; Dr. William H. Mulligan Jr., immediate past president; Dr. Miranda Terry, secretary; Dr. Renee Fister, treasurer; Madelyn E. Eisele, Elizabeth Erwin, Merrick Johnson, and Allison Lyman, student vice presidents; and Dr. Alicia Carthell, at-large representative. 

Chapter 302 was chartered on Nov. 28, 2007, and has inducted several hundred outstanding Murray State students into membership since then. The chapter seeks to recognize and encourage excellence in all academic disciplines and promote discussion of important issues across disciplinary lines. 

Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Phi Kappa Phi inducts annually approximately 32,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni. The Society has chapters on more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. 

Since its founding, more than 1.25 million members have been initiated. Some of the organization’s more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist David Baldacci and YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley. The Society has awarded approximately $14 million since the inception of its awards program in 1932. Today, $1 million is awarded each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, member and chapter awards and grants for local and national literacy initiatives. 

The Society’s motto is “Let the love of learning rule humanity.” For information on Chapter 302, contact chapter president, Dr. Melony Shemberger at

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