Out of 25 students nationwide, junior communication studies and Spanish double major Lakelyn Taylor from Long Beach received a $1,000 grant to study abroad.
Taylor won the grant from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the oldest collegiate honor society in the nation. The grant will fund Taylor’s study abroad experience in Rome.
The honor society has distributed more than $750,000 in study abroad scholarships since 2001. More than 400 students applied for the grant. Members and nonmembers of various disciplines from different institutions with Phi Kappa Phi chapters applied for the grant.
“Lakelyn demonstrates the qualities of a Phi Kappa Phi award recipient through her superior academic excellence and leadership both on and off the University of Southern Mississippi campus,” said Hannah Breaux, director of the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi Hannah Breaux.
After being encouraged to join and receiving an invitation to join Phi Kappa Phi, Taylor applied for the grant.
Taylor thought her chances were slim when she applied for the grant but was delighted when she found out she had in fact been awarded.
“I was positive going into it that there was a great chance I would not receive it,” she said. “I don’t think that I can adequately describe how blessed and thankful I am.”
Taylor said that for the grant, she submitted an online application with her resume, transcript, recommendation letters and a personal statement.
“Dr. Weinauer, dean of the Honors College, told me that the committee chair said that my personal statement was one of the best ones they have ever read,” she said.
Taylor will take the political science course titled Christianity and Law in Rome while learning about the ways that religion has played a role in law and politics.
Phi Kappa Phi grants are designed to support undergraduate students seeking expand knowledge and experience in their academic fields by studying abroad.
Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine. The society has chapters on more than 300 college and university campuses in North America and the Philippines.
Only the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of second- semester juniors are invited to the honor society.
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.”