Jackson, MS – Steve Meier of Florida and Larry Polk of Texas have received Phi Theta Kappa’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Awards for their service and leadership. The awards were presented at Phi Theta Kappa’s Annual Convention in Nashville.
This marks the first year the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented. The award recognizes exceptional dedication to the mission and programs of Phi Theta Kappa and efforts to support student success over an extended period of time.
Meier retired June 30, 2011 after serving as an instructor of social science at St. Petersburg College and advisor of the Eta Nu Chapter for 35 years. Polk also retired last summer after 38 years of service as a counselor and professor of human development at Richland College and advisor of the Alpha Alpha Xi Chapter.
Phi Theta Kappa’s Executive Director Dr. Rod Risley credits Meier with the success of what has become one of the most engaged chapters in the organization’s history. Meier also received the 2011 Southern Regional Faculty Member Award from the Association of Community College Trustees in October, 2011.
Since 1982, the Eta Nu Chapter has ranked number one in the state of Florida 21 times. The chapter has also ranked number one internationally five times since 1986 and has received numerous awards throughout its 62-year history.
“Because of Steve’s leadership, the Eta Nu Chapter not only holds many records for awards and honors, but also pioneered the concept of student success through engagement in projects to support and sustain the college and local community,” Dr. Risley said.
Dr. Risley said Polk was being singled out for recognition because of his engagement in Phi Theta Kappa on the local, regional and international levels. “For decades, Larry provided guidance and mentoring to members, International Officers, advisors and the Headquarters staff,” he said.
Polk served on Phi Theta Kappa’s Board of Directors, two terms as an officer of the Association of Chapter Advisors, and as a speaker and Faculty Scholar at the Society’s Honors Institutes. In addition, his chapter has received international recognition, produced International Officers and international scholarship recipients over the years.
“Larry lent his skills and genius to countless regional meetings, Convention pre-conferences, Educational Forums, and Honors Institutes,” Dr. Risley said. “Phi Theta Kappa owes him a huge debt of gratitude for his selfless dedication to our Society.”
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,280 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, plus Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and the U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.