LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 16, 2020) — Recent University of Kentucky graduate Matthew Melton has been awarded a fellowship worth $8,500 by The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (PKP) — the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Melton is one of 58 recipients nationwide to receive a Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship.
Melton, a Robinson Scholar from Stanton, Kentucky, received a bachelor's degree in public health in May 2020. As a Phi Kappa Phi Fellow, Melton will pursue a doctor of medicine at UK’s College of Medicine.
“This fellowship will be used to assist me in paying for the financial burden that accompanies medical school,” Melton said. “With this assistance, I will be able to have less stress as I am attempting to complete an extensively rigorous education to become a medical doctor.”
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Matthew since he was inducted into PKP during his sophomore year,” said Pat Whitlow, director of Nationally Competitive Awards. “In 2018, I had an opportunity to travel with him to the national conference where he represented the UK chapter as a student vice president. Matthew has continued to progress in his leadership in Phi Kappa Phi, taking on a new role as a member of the PKP national student advisory board. Under his leadership, the UK chapter was awarded a 2019 Fall Service Project award and the Circle of Excellence Award for our local chapter.”
Since its creation in 1932, the fellowship program has become one of the society's most visible and financially well-supported endeavors, allocating $615,000 annually to outstanding students for first-year graduate or professional study. This year’s program awarded 50 fellowships of $8,500; six $20,000 Marcus L. Urann Fellowships, named for the society’s founder; and two new awards at $35,000 each, the 1897 Fellowship and the Sherrill Carlson Fellowship.
The selection process for a fellowship is based on the applicant's evidence of graduate potential, undergraduate academic achievement, service and leadership experience, letters of recommendation, personal statement of educational perspective and career goals and acceptance in an approved graduate or professional program.
Phi Kappa Phi Fellowships are part of the society’s robust award programs, which give nearly $1 million each year to outstanding members and students on chapter campuses through study abroad grants, dissertation fellowships, funding for post-baccalaureate development, member and chapter awards, and grants for local, national and international literacy initiatives.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.