Southeastern student receives prestigious Phi Kappa Phi fellowship for second consecutive year
Contact: Christina Chapple
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HAMMOND – For the second consecutive year, a Southeastern Louisiana University student is one of the 60 recipients nationwide of a fellowship for post-graduate study from the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
Craig Alton Thomas of St. Catherine, Jamaica, a senior kinesiology-exercise science major and track and field student-athlete, was nominated for the prestigious fellowship by Southeastern’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.
Thomas plans to use the fellowship’s $5,000 award to pursue a career in biomedical sciences. He hopes to enroll following his graduation in May in the graduate program at the Medical University of South Carolina, where he currently is serving a senior year internship. His goal is to earn a doctoral degree in biomedical sciences followed by a medical degree.
“We are extremely proud that Phi Kappa Phi has selected a Southeastern student for this prestigious honor for the second year in a row,” said President Randy Moffett. “Craig Thomas is an outstanding and well-rounded student who, while also competing as a sprinter on the Southeastern track and field team, has excelled as a scholar, a researcher and a student leader and mentor. This honor is a personal tribute to him as well as a testimony to the quality of students who are making Southeastern their university of choice.”
“The Southeastern chapter is absolutely thrilled,” said Southeastern Phi Kappa Phi President Cary Berthelot, an instructor in the Kinesiology and Health Studies Department’s athletic training program. “Having been one of Craig's teachers, I know that he is not only deserving of this honor, but also exemplifies the ‘Love of Learning’ that Phi Kappa Phi strives to encourage.
“It is important that we continue to reward academic excellence at Southeastern and this is yet another way to recognize outstanding students,” she added. “This fellowship will allow Craig to further his education in pursuit of his graduate degrees, which will in turn allow him to further contribute to society.”
Thomas is the fifth Southeastern nominee to receive the Phi Kappa Phi fellowship. Previous recipients have included Albert “Snapper” Poche of Ponchatoula in 2007, who is enrolled at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy; Sean Patrick Kerrigan of Kenner in 2004, who enrolled in medical school at Louisiana State University; David Edward Thomas in 1969, now professor of mathematics at Centenary College of Louisiana; and Richard David Ramsey of Hammond in 1968, who is a professor of general business at Southeastern.
Thomas came to Southeastern on a track and field scholarship and has competed for the past three years in the 100m, 200m and 4 by 100m relay. He has expanded his educational experience beyond the classroom as a student worker in the Kinesiology and Exercise Science program, where he has worked on vascular occlusion research under the direction of Southeastern’s internationally known researcher Robert Kraemer. The research resulted in a publication in the “Journal of Applied Physiology.”
Thomas also participated in the Louisiana Biomedical Network in summer 2006 where he was involved in genetic engineering research projects. He also had the opportunity to travel to Australia as part of the International Scholar Laureate Program and represented Southeastern at the 2005 NCAA Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla.
Thomas is president of Southeastern’s chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and is secretary of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He was also a resident assistant with University Housing and a private math and science tutor.