Honor society inducts new members, swears in new leadership

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Kimberly Marie Varela of Cuero, left, receives her Phi Kappa Phi membership certificate April 11 from Sandy Venneman, UHV associate professor of psychology and the honor society’s president, during the society’s induction ceremony. Varela was one of 18 students who joined the society.

An international honor society recently welcomed 18 University of Houston-Victoria students to its local chapter and acknowledged their academic excellence during a special ceremony.

The Phi Kappa Phi UHV chapter induction ceremony welcomed eight new members. Fifteen family and friends also were present at the April 11 ceremony. Members who were unable to attend will receive their certificates by mail.

UHV’s 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.

Hsin-Hui Lin

“Phi Kappa Phi is dedicated to honoring and bringing together people who have achieved excellence in pursuing their education,” said Hsin-Hui Lin, UHV professor of education and the society’s public relations officer. “It’s always exciting to acknowledge these students for their hard work and offer them the opportunity to join with other high achievers so they can network and continue to reach toward excellence and success.”

In addition to inducting new members, the society also swore in a new group of officers. The new president is Sandy Venneman, associate professor of psychology; and Dmitri Sobolev, associate professor of biology and last year’s president, will serve as vice president. The new treasurer is Daniel White, associate professor of biology, and Jerry Hu, assistant professor of mathematics, is the new secretary. Lin will continue serving as the public relations officer. Kimberly Marie Varela, a UHV student from Cuero, will serve as the student vice president.

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:

  • Kimberly Varela, Cuero
  • Kelly Aldmon, Houston
  • Brittany Berger, Inez
  • Gaurav Srivastva, Katy
  • Rebecca Hendrix, Magnolia
  • Jonathan Schnitzer, Missouri City
  • Valyn Antrick, Needville
  • Sierra James, Porter
  • Uwe Meye, Richmond
  • Tyson Lopez, Rosenberg
  • Aaron Steinberg, Sugar Land
  • Chad Hawkins, Victoria
  • Emily Kucera, Victoria
  • Kevin McCollough, Victoria
  • Joel Morales, Victoria
  • Kevin Sanderson, Victoria
  • Macey Turner, Victoria
  • Ethan Krause, 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.