Skip navigation

USM Assistant Professor, Students Receive Love of Learning Awards

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 12:09pm

An assistant professor and two graduate students from The University of Southern Mississippi recently were awarded a Love of Learning award worth $500 each from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi — the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. The awards were given to 80 Phi Kappa Phi members nationwide.

Those from USM receiving awards include:

  • Dr. R. Eric Platt
    Platt, assistant professor of higher education, will use funds from the award to finalize his book manuscript titled “For the Sons of Sugar: Jefferson College and the Creole Planter Class of South Louisiana, 1831-1931."
  • Anna Bethea
    Bethea plans to apply funds from the award toward the cost of applied clarinet lesson fees required for the Master of Music in Clarinet Performance.
  • Piyawan Charoensap-Kelly
    Charoensap-Kelly, Ph.D. student, used funds from the award to travel to the National Communication Association Conference in Las Vegas, Nev.

The Love of Learning program, implemented in 2007, grants 160 awards annually in support of graduate and professional studies, doctoral dissertations, continuing education, career development, and travel related to teaching and studies. In addition to the Love of Learning program, the Society's robust award programs give more than $1 million each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, member and chapter awards, and grants for local and national literacy initiatives.

To learn more about these award programs, visit

About Phi Kappa Phi

Founded in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Phi Kappa Phi inducts annually approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni. The Society has chapters at more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of second-term juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. The Society's mission is "To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others." For more information about Phi Kappa Phi, visit