student group earns national honor
University’s Theta Gamma Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha won the “Best Chapter” award
for the just completed 2011-2012 academic year.
Pi Sigma Alpha,
the national political science honor society, is the only honor society for
college students of political science and government in the United States,
according to its website. The group has more than 740 chapters on campuses in
every state and one in Canada.
According to Dr.
Alison Dagnes, associate professor of
political science and chapter adviser, the award is especially meaningful
because only three were given
nationally to schools of Shippensburg’s size. Shippensburg was in the middle-sized category of universities of enrollment from 6,000 to 15,000 students.
The selection is based on chapters’
annual reports to the national office and other evidence of extraordinary
levels of activity, according to the national organization’s website. According to Nancy McManus of Pi Sigma Alpha's national office,
Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, was founded in 1920
at the University of Texas-Austin and has since grown to nearly 750 chapters
nationwide. Collectively those chapters initiate between 8,000 and 8,500
new student members into the society each year. As with all the honor
societies that make up the Association of College Honor Societies, only
students who meet rigorous academic criteria are eligible for membership in Pi
The Shippensburg chapter was involved
in a variety of projects during the past academic year, including:
- Hosting a cookout for all political science
majors and minors to encourage membership and outreach to politically-minded
a tent at Homecoming to connect department faculty, alumni and current students
seminars in both the fall and spring semesters in which alumni presented information to students
about important post-collegiate topics such as planning for graduate school,
resume building and internships, and gave current students opportunities to
network with alumni in the field
- Hosting the Second “Shippensburg Caucus” at the home of University President Bill Ruud
at which 70 students participated in a mock Republican caucus which allowed
students to experience this type of election first hand.
- Hosting the “Pi Sigma Alpha Winter Gala” program
to raise nearly $3,500 for the chapter through a silent auction and a fashion
show featuring students as models.
- Traveling to
Washington, D.C., to visit the Republican
National Committee headquarters and meet with an alumni to discuss about
a $900 Hilkert Scholarship to a deserving and accomplished junior political science
major. The scholarship is named after Joan Hilkert, a Pi Sigma Alpha student killed
in a car accident.