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University's newest Phi Kappa Phi fellow dreams of being rural librarian leader

Friday, June 28, 2019


MANHATTAN — Kansas State University's newest Phi Kappa Phi graduate fellow dreams of a career helping rural youth interact with literature and technology as a way to address a growing rural-urban divide. 

Macy Davis, May 2019 bachelor's degree graduate in English, Lyons, Colorado, receiveda 2019 Phi Kappa Phi graduate fellowship for $8,500 to work toward dual master's degrees in children's literature, and library and information science at Simmons University in Boston. Davis said the fellowship will help with the cost of the advanced degrees and help her to eventually become a youth services librarian and leader at a rural library — her career goal.

"While rural youth may lack opportunities given geographical limitations, they are often surrounded by strong, supportive communities," Davis said. "I want to bring together community and information to provide rural youth with the best possible youth services because I had that done for me, and I know the power libraries can play as community institutions."

During summer 2017, Davis interned at the Library of Congress Young Readers Center and is currently working at Camp Kawanhee for Boys in Weld, Maine, where she also worked in summer 2018. Advised by Sara Kearns with K-State Libraries, Davis used her work at the camp as the basis of her honors project, "A Space for Engagement and Exploration: The Role of the Camp Library at Camp Kawanhee for Boys."

Seeking multiple undergraduate research experiences, Davis also interned at the university's Chapman Center for Rural Studies where she produced "The Legacy of Manning, Kansas: The Manning Jayhawkers 4-H Club" and "What We See and Why We Stay: Place Studies Through Windshield Surveys of Scott County, Kansas. Davis also writes a blog, "Contextualizing the Classics."

"Given her energetic love of learning over the last four years, Macy represents our Phi Kappa Phi chapter and Kansas State University exceptionally well," said Jim Hohenbary, director of the university's Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships. "Knowing how diligently she has worked during her time at K-State, it is very gratifying to see her goals and accomplishments affirmed in the competition."

Davis' leadership roles at the university include serving as the 2017-2018 president of Alpha of Clovia 4-H Cooperative Living House; president of Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society; culture editor and assistant culture editor of The Collegian; and ambassador for the English department. She also was a member of the Children's and Adolescent Literature Community and K-State Speech Team.

In addition to the Phi Kappa Phi fellowship, Davis placed third in 2019 for national impromptu speaking and was a national qualifier for four years for the All-America National Speech Tournament. She also was the 2019 winner of Texas Christian University's eleven40seven journal's chapbook contest for "The Transitory Plane" and has published her poems in Kansas State University's Touchstone magazine. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society and Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. She has received an Undergraduate Leadership and Service Award and Lamb Memorial Scholarship from the English department; Patti Johnson Wilson Foundation Scholarship from the Chapman Center; Kansas State University's Kassebaum Scholarship; and the KSU Foundation Plus Scholarship.

A graduate of Scott Community High School, Scott City, Davis is the daughter of Mark and Stacy Davis, Lyons, Colorado.

"I have experienced firsthand the way interacting with literature and programs at a local library can impact a person," Davis said. "I am incredibly thankful for my childhood in Scott City, Kansas, for helping me arrive at this perspective and passion."


Macy Davis

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Jim Hohenbary

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Scott City, Kansas; Lyons, Colorado

Written by

Stephanie Jacques