Honor society inducts 39 new UHV students, faculty members

Katherine Rocha, center, receives her Phi Kappa Phi membership certificate April 19 from Sandy Venneman, a UHV psychology and biology professor. Dmitri Sobolev, an associate professor of biology and president of the UHV chapter of the honor society, announced the inductees during the honor society’s induction ceremony. Rocha is one of 39 new members and will serve as a student vice president in the UHV chapter.

The University of Houston-Victoria chapter of an international honor society recently welcomed 39 new members, its largest group inducted in the university’s history.

The new members were invited to an induction ceremony on April 19. Three faculty members and 13 students were able to attend, and those who couldn’t were sent their membership certificates by mail.

The Phi Kappa Phi UHV chapter, which has been in existence since 1982, annually invites students who have demonstrated academic distinction in each of UHV’s schools: Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development.

“Phi Kappa Phi is a selective honor society that provides a welcome boost to a student’s resume,” said Dmitri Sobolev, an associate professor of biology and president of the UHV chapter. “I applaud these students for earning a place among such an excellent group, and I wish them well as they continue to work toward success.”

In addition to adding new members, UHV’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter also passed the baton to a new group of officers. The president is Sobolev, and Sandy Venneman, a psychology and biology professor and the previous Phi Kappa Phi president, will serve as vice president. The secretary will be Jerry Hu, assistant professor of mathematics, with Hsin-Hui Grace Lin, an assistant professor of education, serving as publicity officer. The treasurer is Daniel White, assistant professor of biology. Two new members – Katherine Rocha, a psychology major, and Ashley Yaws, a psychology and history major – will serve as student vice presidents.

To be invited to join Phi Kappa Phi, students are required to complete 72 credit hours and rank in the top 7.5 percent of their class. Seniors and graduate students also must rank in the top 10 percent of the students in their school. Phi Kappa Phi members are eligible to apply for a variety of grants and awards for further education and professional development.

The new inductees and their hometowns are:

  • Rosemary Thompson, Austin
  • Laura Rhiannon Bertsch, Bay City
  • Melanie Reneé Giuffré, Bellville
  • Zachary Koenig, Cuero
  • Danielle Christa Lonis, Cuero
  • Jeffrey Todd Mosley, Cypress
  • Ashley M. Yaws, Edna
  • Regina M. Chovanec, Ganado
  • Chelsea Barnett, Goliad
  • Joy Remmers, Gonzales
  • Morgan Elaine Collier , Harker Heights
  • Joseph A. Giuffre, Houston
  • Prasanth Kumar Kodali, Houston
  • Kyndall Paige Krist, Houston
  • Stephanie Renee Kelley, Katy
  • Hsin-Hui Lin, Katy
  • Daniel Moore, Katy
  • Alma R Rodriguez, Katy
  • Shannon Shoemaker, Katy
  • Michael D. Wells, Katy
  • Kayla Sturm, Port Lavaca
  • Ashley R. Merwin, Richmond
  • Donna E. McMullen, Rosenberg
  • Chad Janak, Shiner
  • Maribeth L. Lagendyk, Spring
  • Jamie Stevens, Sugar Land
  • Amando Raul Cantu, Victoria
  • Ethan L. Gross, Victoria
  • Sarah M. Hammack, Victoria
  • Manuela Salazar Harper, Victoria
  • Desmond D. Johnson, Victoria
  • Brittany Proctor, Victoria
  • Katherine J. Rocha, Victoria
  • Jarrod R. Rodriguez, Victoria
  • Nichole Renae Trevino, Victoria
  • Daniel W. White, Victoria
  • Karla N. Lara, Wallis
  • Victoria Pena, York
  • Vicki Samantha Niemeier, Yorktown

For more information about Phi Kappa Phi, email Lin at

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.