Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Phi Kappa Phi Convention 2016

Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Phi Kappa Phi Convention 2016

Article excerpt

Excellence shone at Phi Kappa Phi's 2016 biennial convention in Atlanta.

More than 250 chapter delegates, students, members, guests, sponsors, and speakers gathered at the Marriott Marquis July 28-30 to conduct Society business, celebrate scholarship, network, and learn how to grow their chapters. Attendees were also treated to a night at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum, where they strolled through gardens and exhibits about the Phi Kappa Phi member's life and presidency.

GOVERNANCE

Not only did the Society get a new president in Gypsy Denzine, it also elected a new board and voted to accept changes in the bylaws. Missy Hopper was chosen as the president elect and Dan Sandweiss is the new vice president for chapter development. Other positions chosen include five directors, two student representatives, and five regional vice presidents.

SPEAKERS

Plenary Lunch speaker Lou Heckler, who parlayed a television journalism career into teaching, coaching and motivational speaking, didn't have a lot to work with at the Venice, Florida, hospital where he was asked to speak - due to a misunderstanding - as a nutritional humorist.

Which, of course, he is not.

He is, however, an expert on leadership and displayed his talent in fine form with occasional bouts of humor. Effective leaders, he said, make good choices, and do three things: have a vision that can prompt action at every level; take responsibility for their organization; and listen to feedback. But, he warned, "excellence doesn't mean perfection." Perfection can stop people, he said, and gave an example your neighborhood fitness guru who spends his free time jogging and doing pushups. When faced with him, the average person may feel less inclined to get outside themselves. A good leader understands that.

They also listen to fresh voices in their organization and look for inspiration in unexpected places. "Listen to those fresh voices," he said, and tap into all the constituencies in your organization. "Are you willing to enlist others and give up some of that control?"

Keynote speaker Buck Goldstein believes universities have a higher calling.

"You all are on the front lines of one of the most important conversations that's ever taken place in the United States," said the entrepreneur in residence and professor in practice of economics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Goldstein says universities and colleges are the "true front door to the middle class," and that he considers the United States' low ranking in higher education "scandalous."

College degrees are worth the doing, he says, for the opportunities they can unlock.

But higher education is going to need to change how it thinks and moves, he said, to better serve a student population that doesn't look like it used to. More students are older, more have children, and more have financial aid. Another challenge facing higher education is simple math. The business model of most institutions just doesn't work. "The arithmetic is daunting," he said. Seventy percent of colleges are staring financial crisis in the face. But crisis can create change, and often for the better.

Technology can help institutions weather the storm. Goldstein encouraged the room to think about new ways of teaching that are scalable and more efficient than the lecture. …

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