AU opens Pi Sigma Alpha chapter

Wed, 2012-05-09 07:55 -- univcomm
May 9, 2012

There is a new honor society at Anderson University. Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, recently opened on campus, thanks to the Department of History and Political Science.

political-sciencePi Sigma Alpha began in 1920 to encourage interest in the area of political science for college students and to promote honesty and integrity in the field. AU is now the 738th chapter.

Dr. Daniel Allen, assistant professor of political science and member of Pi Sigma Alpha, and Dr. Michael Frank, associate professor of political science, established the chapter.

“Dr. Frank got the whole process started. It took just under a year from start to finish,” said Allen. “Provost Marie Morris and President James Edwards helped us out extensively, along with many other faculty and staff members. Dr. Frank and I have added several course offerings to the major in the past couple years and decided to add this chapter as the next step in building our program.”

On Tuesday, March 22, five AU students were inducted into the new chapter.

[Photo: Anderson University recently inducted five students into Pi Sigma Alpha, the newest honor society on campus. Pictured from left: Mackenzie Scholte, Erin Ladd, Brittany Stafford, and Ben Herrick. Not pictured: Ryan Daugherty. Photo credit: Lauren Freitas]

“Dr. Allen spoke to us about honor and how it is not something easily achieved, but it is desirable,” said Erin Ladd, junior political science and history major. “He also reminded us of the high standards the honor society holds and that we should be proud of ourselves for attaining those. It not only shows that we put forth effort in our political science classes, but all of our classes at AU.”

AU administrators were supportive throughout the process. “I was fully confident AU would be supportive,” said Allen. “I knew that the administration would feel as we do, that it's a great thing to recognize the academic accomplishments of our political science students.”

As a member himself, Allen saw the benefit that Pi Sigma Alpha will bring to the political science students. Allen joined as a graduate student, where he experienced the profession of political science and attended his first academic conference.

“The first major benefit for me was it allowed me to learn more about the research and teaching that political scientists actually engage in,” said Allen “The second major benefit is being around people who value hard work and academic excellence. When you surround yourself with strong students, your appreciation for giving your best effort grows and you are more likely to excel at whatever you set out to do.”

Ben Herrick, a junior political science major, is looking into the possibility of publishing one of his journals to the Pi Sigma Alpha database. “I’ve been working on a paper regarding the death penalty for over a year now. I started writing it for Dr. Frank for the political science research methods class,” said Herrick. “Dr. Allen has been encouraging me to submit it to the Pi Sigma Alpha undergraduate academic journals. I am really excited to see what this opportunity could lead to.”

Ladd is also taking advantage of the significant benefits of Pi Sigma Alpha. “There are academic journals that members have access to and ways to connect with members who are now professionals. I am excited that AU has given us this opportunity to have a chapter in this honor society. It might even help me get a job someday,” said Ladd.

Pi Sigma Alpha has stimulated a lot of excitement for both students and faculty. “Overall, I think this honor society will open a lot of doors for all of us,” said Herrick. “I’m so excited about the relationships I will build through Pi Sigma Alpha with students, professors, and members in other chapters. I’m also excited about the opportunities that may arise. I feel so honored to be a part of a group that values honesty, integrity, and good character.”

— Kelli Oxley is a sophomore from Muncie, Ind., majoring in communication arts. Oxley is an associate with Fifth Street Communications, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.