Tommy Carroll Is Inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Academic Hall of Fame

May 3, 2012

The Department of History is proud to announce that Tommy Carroll has been inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Academic Hall of Fame.  Students are nominated by their departments and meet certain academic requirements.  Once nominated, the candidate submissions are reviewed by the committee and three students are selected each year.  Recipients are selected on the basis of their genuine love of learning as well as their academic record. The motto of the interdisciplinary Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi is: May the love of learning rule humankind.  Here is some of what the History faculty had to contribute:

      “Tommy is one of the most intelligent and skilled students I have worked with in my 18 years at Bradley.  He is a natural historian.  What I mean by this is that he has a gift for analysis and research; he is relentless in pursuing his topic and absolutely thorough in conducting research.  For his senior research seminar he explored the relationship between the Catholic Church and the antislavery movement.  He developed a sophisticated thesis that highlighted fine distinctions; he eschewed overgeneralizations and his evidence supported all of his main points.  His bibliography was prodigious – he dug up articles, books, and primary sources that a skilled historian would have found difficult to unearth.  His writing is concise and precise.  The final paper is a beautiful example of historical creativity and thoroughness and is certainly publishable.

     Tommy is involved in activities and organizations outside of the classroom, making him a well- rounded young man.  He serves as a research assistant for both the History Department and Special Collections, making himself indispensable to all of us.  He has held both of these positions throughout his four years at Bradley.  He also volunteers every Wednesday evening to teach children in grade school the basics of Roman Catholicism as they prepare to receive the sacraments of Baptism, Euchrist, Confirmation, and Reconciliation.  Last summer he spent nine days in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, as a part of a medical mission.  This is a compassionate young person.” Dr. Stacey Robertson

      “Tommy is a student par excellence:  intelligent, creative, enthusiastic, dedicated, and kind.  As an aspiring researcher and a committed scholar, he has my highest recommendation.  Tommy is one of the best students that I have had the pleasure to work with in my five years at Bradley University—this includes students who have been accepted to graduate programs at Notre Dame University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Brown University, the University of Virginia, the University of Illinois, and others.  His academic accomplishments at Bradley and his active research plans in the field of political science should make him an ideal candidate for Bradley University’s Phi Kappa Phi Hall of Fame.” Dr. Amy Scott

      “Mr. Carroll’s demeanor is similar to his writing—very reflective and probing; deliberate and scholarly without being pedantic.   In class discussions he is an outstanding listener.  When he does contribute it is often to ask a student for clarification or connect ideas mentioned from different students.  In a class of 28, discussions can easily become students taking turns giving and defending their viewpoints—Tommy is primarily there to listen, consider and help us all reflect on what was said.   Thomas Carroll was an auto-didactic in the best sense.    In a class that most students take “because they have to,” Thomas eagerly engaged some of the difficult issues—ranging from the Religious Revolution of Amenhotep IV to nomads in China.   Of particular importance is his ability--  in writing and in conversation--  to instantly see the implications of some of an issue— the “why” questions in history are the most challenging and, Thomas embraces them and does not need to have them pointed out or formulated for him.  It is very easy to see that Thomas simply loves the process of learning.” Dr. Randy Kidd