Three College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS) doctoral students were recently named as inductees to the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Alexis Briley, of Greenville, North Carolina; Jerian Dixon-Evans, of Plainfield, Illinois; and Marisol Perez of Chicago, will join an elite group of members in the honor society which recognizes and encourages superior scholarship without restriction to area of study and promotes the “unity and democracy of education.”
“This honor means a lot to me as a student and healthcare professional,” Briley said. “It’s a result of how hard I’ve worked to reach my research goals and achieve academic excellence throughout each semester while balancing work, school, and home life.”
Dixon-Evans shared the sentiment.
“When I received an invitation to join Phi Kappa Phi, I was overjoyed,” said Dixon-Evans. “I felt a great sense of accomplishment as I have worked very hard in the doctoral program at NIU.”
For Perez, a first-generation college student, this recognition is significant.
“I felt very proud to receive the invitation to join Phi Kappa Phi,” Perez said. “This honor means that my hard work and achievements toward my doctoral degree are being recognized.”
Melani Duffrin, professor of Health Sciences, NIU School of Interdisciplinary Health Professions, said Briley, Dixon-Evans and Perez are deserving of this honor as they each exemplify the membership characteristics of academic excellence and service to others.
“As a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, I am delighted and proud that three NIU Health Sciences doctoral students will be inducted into the society this April,” Duffrin said. “I have had the pleasure of working with them and have observed the outstanding quality of their professional and academic endeavors.”
Briley and Perez both said they are looking forward to using the honor society’s resources to network and build strong relationships with other students and professionals. Dixon agreed, adding that she is looking forward to opportunities to share, learn from and grow with talented individuals from a variety of disciplines.
“As a woman of color, I hope to inspire the next generation of women and minority leaders especially in the STEM fields,” Dixon-Evans said.
NIU’s Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences program emphasizes an inter-professional orientation to research and practice. Along with seeking to educate a wide range of individuals to teach, conduct research and practice in an ever more complex inter-professional world, it also seeks to respond to an increasing demand for faculty and practitioners who are prepared to function in fields grounded in information-driven, evidence-based practice.