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University of North Alabama Named a Finalist for Phi Kappa Phi Excellence in Innovation Award

May. 7, 2018

FLORENCE, Ala. - Today the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi announced that the University of North Alabama (UNA) has made it to the finals and is in the top three for the 2018 Excellence in Innovation Award.  Just last month they announced that UNA was one of six semifinalists for the $100,000 award. The Excellence in Innovation Award recognizes institutions for achievement in finding powerful answers to important local, regional, national or global challenges.

The finalists, selected by a jury of emeritus presidents and provosts, were chosen from a pool of six semifinalists representing multifaceted projects at institutions across the nation. Each institution was assessed on the project’s ability to achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes to created systematic large-scale change.

The three finalist institutions are:

·       The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

·       University of North Alabama

·       Western Michigan University

“The semifinalist institutions presented our jury with six fine examples of innovative projects they have successfully implemented on campus, in their community, or globally.  Each distinct in its own right, all showcased creative approaches to the problem solving so essential in these times,” said Society Executive Director Dr. Mary Todd. “Phi Kappa Phi is pleased to recognize the three finalists as well as extend congratulations to the semifinalists whose projects merit honorable mention.”

The three semifinalists receiving honorable mention are Elon University, Marquette University, and California State University, Fresno.

“Our Shoals Shift project in collaboration with Shoals Entrepreneurial Center, Shoals Chamber of Commerce, and Florence Lauderdale Public Library continues to garner national attention as a leading example of the transformative power of an innovative directive,” remarked Dr. Ross C. Alexander, UNA’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. “Being named a finalist for this prestigious award is notable in itself. We look forward to hearing the announcement of the winner later in the month.” 

The recipient institution will receive $100,000 in tangible recognition of its best practice in response to the changes and challenges facing higher education in the 21st century. The award will be announced on May 21 and presented at the Society’s biennial convention on August 3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Since 1932, Phi Kappa Phi has awarded fellowships and grants to members and students on its chapter campuses. Currently, $1.4 million is awarded each biennium through programs that last year recognized over 350 individuals. The Excellence in Innovation Award, first awarded in 2016 to Tulane University, is the Society’s only award for institutions.

For more information about the award, visit

For more information about Shoals Shift, visit





The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business,Education and Human Sciences, and the Anderson College of Nursing. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Tuscumbia, Sheffield and Muscle Shoals. UNA Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN and Big South Conferences.  The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age or national origin.