Commencement 2024 Information

Commencement 2024 Information

Students, Faculty Inducted into Phi Kappa Phi

Stacie Waters and Barbara Salazar

Photo: Margaret McKinney/Highlands University
Stacie Waters, left, and Barbara Salazar hug after being inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi academic honor society May 9. Waters and Salazar both earned their master’s of social work at the Highlands main campus, graduating May 10.

Las Vegas, N.M. — The New Mexico Highlands University chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi academic honor society inducted 30 students at ceremonies May 8 and May 9.

Students from Highlands’ main campus, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe centers were inducted as well as one faculty member and two alumni.

Teresita Aguilar, provost and vice president of academic affairs, was the keynote speaker at the induction ceremony. Her talk focused on what she called the “HIPE” of Phi Kappa Phi: honor, integrity, perseverance and excellence.

“By your presence here, you’ve all been judged by the faculty to be excellent,” Aguilar said. “Never lose sight of what excellence is, and that excellence requires practice and doing your homework.”

Phi Kappa is the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines in higher education. The Phi Kappa Phi students represent the top 5 to 7.5 percent of the students in their discipline.

“Phi Kappa Phi offers the benefit of lifetime membership, which is valuable for networking,” said Lisa McBride, student vice president for the chapter. “It also offers the opportunity to collaborate with students from other disciplines, as well as meaningful community service work like participating in the local literacy fair.”

McBride was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi in 2013. She graduated May 10 with a B.S. in biology, earning magma cum laude. She will begin her biology graduate studies this fall at Highlands.

The following were inducted into Phi Kappa Phi:

Graduate Students:

  • Robert Ortega, biology
  • Casey Taylor, biology
  • Jose Griego, biology
  • Christopher McGinn, counseling psychology
  • Lisa Esquibel-Guerin, education
  • Chelsea Stoinski, psychology
  • Beth Leitman, psychology
  • Nicole Ault, social work
  • Julie Gray, social work
  • Sylvia Sadler, social work
  • Kevin Moeller, social work
  • Erin Doerwald, social work
  • Exequiel Arellano, Jr., social work
  • Roslynn Gallegos, social work
  • Sera Nolan, social work
  • Chelsea Roberts, social work
  • Crystil Rosas, social work
  • Barbara Salazar, social work
  • Stacie Waters, social work

Undergraduate Students:

  • Melecio Perea, chemistry
  • Sabrina Garcia, education
  • Marc Estrada, forestry
  • Janice John, social work
  • Cassandra Walters, social work
  • Christopher Weathers, social work
  • Jessica Koppel, special education
  • Daniela Gurule, business administration
  • Anthony Sánchez, accounting
  • Gail Tansey, education
  • La’Arnie Tise, education

Faculty and Alumni:

  • Ali Arshad, faculty, economics
  • Julia Camacho, alumni, social work
  • Dennis Groblebe, alumni, criminal justice

The university’s leadership for Phi Kappa Phi includes education professor Carolyn Newman, president; biology professor Maureen Romine, vice president; campus life director Margaret Gonzales, secretary; and biology professor Sarah Corey-Rivas, treasurer/public relations.

Laurel Carr is another student vice president for the Highlands Phi Kappa Phi chapter. Carr graduated with her bachelor’s degree in health May 10, with minors in chemistry and psychology.

The Highlands University Phi Kappa Phi chapter was chartered in 1968. The honor society was established in 1897, and includes more than 300 chapters in the United States. Its motto is “Let the love of learning rule humanity.”