Published on August 4, 2021 by Sean Flynt  
Justin Young
Justin Young

Samford University math and computer science alumnus Justin Young ’20 is one of only 54 students in the U.S. selected as a 2021 Fellow of the Phi Kappa Phi national honor society. Established in 1932, the fellowship has become the Society’s signature award, providing $8,500 to support the first year of graduate or professional study.

"Phi Kappa Phi Fellows represent the most promising graduate students in the nation,” said acting Society Executive Director Traci Navarre. “We’re proud to partner with our local chapters to recognize these impressive emerging scholars and help support their academic journey.”

Dennis Sansom, chair of Samford’s Department of Classics and Philosophy, leads the university’s chapter and also knows Young as a philosophy minor. “The officers of Phi Kappa Phi are extremely happy for Justin Young,” Sansom said. “He is deserving of this great recognition and scholarship.”

Howard College of Arts and Sciences associate dean and former Math and Computer Science Department chair Emily Hynds praised Young as an all-around outstanding student. She noted that he shared important information about a foundational computer science course when the professor who taught it died and Hynds stepped in. “I knew Justin had taken the course the year before and I reached out to him to talk it over with him,” Hynds said. “There are not many students over the years I would have trusted to assist me in this way.”

“I have been blessed by the many wonderful professors I’ve had the pleasure of working with, both in the Department of Math and Computer Science and in my various interactions with other departments,” Young said. “My experience at Samford and the people here have helped me grow and be prepared for my future studies.” Those studies next take Young to the University of Florida, where he will be a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics, with a special interest in logic.

After earning his Ph.D., the former Samford math and computer science tutor would like to join a university faculty. “I hope to be a math professor so that I can continue guiding students and helping them grow just as well as the professors at Samford did for me.”

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.