Anderson, Indiana

Whitacre claims regional Alpha Chi award

Tue, 2012-08-21 08:00 -- univcomm
August 21, 2012

Recent Anderson University graduate Andrea Whitacre, an English major, achieved success in numerous ways at AU, including her membership in the honors society Alpha Chi and her leadership as the co-editor of the Andersonian, AU’s student-run newspaper. This spring, Whitacre achieved another award acknowledging her academic accomplishments; she was awarded a fellowship for her graduate school plans at the regional Alpha Chi convention.

Alpha Chi is a national honors organization for undergraduates of all majors. The honors group inducts the top 10 percent of each junior and senior class and hosts conventions every year varying between regional and national competitions.

Each semester Dr. Blake Janutolo, dean of the College of Science and Humanities, inducts approximately 50 AU students to the program.

“We are very proud of Andrea and all of Alpha Chi for their accomplishments in this school year,” said Janutolo.

Four students, Whitacre, Benjamin Herrick, Eva Tan, and Abbie Mason, chose to attend the Alpha Chi convention in Baltimore.

“Attending the convention was like going to class while on vacation,” said Whitacre. “Part of it was very academic, and we each gave presentations of our work to a group of peers and faculty sponsors, which was exciting but stressful. I got to attend presentations from other students on topics in psychology, literature, and anthropology. We also had a great time seeing the sights in Baltimore and talking to students from other schools.”

Whitacre presented a paper titled, “Social Ethics and the Fall of Heroism: Myth, Magic, and Religion in Gisla saga Surssonar.” Her paper included an analysis of supernatural elements in a medieval Icelandic saga, determining that ancient authors used elements of paganism and Christianity to help order society. She competed against four other students in the category of world literature, which included students from across the Midwest. The judges saw Whitacre’s work on the subject and awarded her the $1,000 fellowship prize, which she plans to use for graduate school at Indiana University in her pursuit of a Ph.D. in medieval literature.

“Not many people even within Alpha Chi know how beneficial attending the conference can be and how easy it is to attend,” said Whitacre. “If you have a passion, whether it's for a ministry program or for another academic subject, you should consider attending the Alpha Chi conference because it gives you the chance to present that passion to an interested group of students and professionals — and you might even win some money.”

For more information, visit the Alpha Chi national website at

— Cody Poor is a junior from Middletown, Ind., majoring in communication arts and minoring in marketing. Poor 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, music, nursing, and theology.