Three Faculty Advisors Receive $15,000 in Professional Development Stipends

Jackson, MS – Dr. Sauda Underwood-Smith, Director of the Humanities, Social Sciences and Communications Department and principal lecturer at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, Tortola, Virgin Islands, has received Phi Theta Kappa’s 2014 Marshall Award, which carries a stipend of $5,000 for personal leadership development. Dr. Patricia Scott West, Professor of Communication Studies at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College-Jefferson Davis Campus, and Dr. Sarah K. Nichols, Quality Enhancement Plan Director, Chair of the Psychology Department, and Coordinator of Student Organizations at Hinds Community College, Vicksburg Campus (Mississippi), received the 2014 Mosal Awards, also receiving stipends of $5,000 each for personal professional development.

Dr. Jo Marshall presents Dr. Sauda Underwood-Smith with the 2014 Marshall Award.

Phi Theta Kappa Board Member Cindy Carbone presents the Mosal Award to Dr. Patricia Scott West.

Board Member Dan Bailey, a former Mosal Scholar, presents Dr. Sarah K. Nichols with a 2014 Mosal Award.

The awards were presented during NerdNation 2014, Phi Theta Kappa’s Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida, April 24-26. Each scholar received a commemorative medallion in addition to the funds to complete their proposed projects.

The Jo Marshall Leadership Award (Marshall Award) is named in honor of Somerset Community College President Dr. Jo Marshall of Kentucky. She also served as long-time advisor to the Pi Pi Chapter in Alabama and as Alabama Regional Coordinator. In addition to serving as Leadership Development Certification Program Facilitator, Dr. Marshall is also Vice Chair of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation Board of Trustees.

The Marshall Award was created to encourage the professional growth of Phi Theta Kappa advisors by providing a $5,000 stipend for the completion of a project that leads to personal leadership growth beyond the completion of professional degrees.

Dr. Underwood-Smith received the Marshall Award for her proposal, “Leadership Dialogues: Building Better Communities Through Family Discourse in the British Virgin Islands.” The stipend will allow her, through a series of dialogues and experiential exercises held on Virgin Gorda, Tortola, and Jost Van Dyke, to expose parents and their teens to concepts of ethical and servant leadership.

Mosal Awards, named for the Society’s late Executive Director Emeritus, Dr. Margaret Mosal, are presented to faculty advisors with at least five years of service who have submitted project proposals. Only outstanding, well-reasoned and intellectually substantive proposals are selected by a panel of scholars for funding.

Dr. West was selected as a Mosal Scholar for her proposal “Contested Realities: The Rhetorical Constructions of Antebellum Perspectives,” which will allow her to recreate in a documentary film the rhetorical worls of Ohio farmer Garrett Sharp and North Carolina farmer Albert Ingle, two men who lived 500 miles apart in the tense decade preceeding the American Civil War.

Dr. Nichols received the Mosal Scholarship for her proposal, “An Autobiographical Case Study of Nature vs. Nurture Through the Eyes of an Adoptee,” which will allow her to research her biological parents and, through that journey, garner information about the roles nature and nurture play in human development. She will share what she learns with her Human Growth and Development students.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 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 U.S. territorial possessions. Nearly 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 131,000 students inducted annually.

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