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University’s Alpha Chi honor society wins chapter of the year award

Members of Alpha Chi and their faculty sponsors pose with the President's Cup. (Photo provided)

Members of Alpha Chi and their faculty sponsors pose with the President’s Cup. (Photo provided)

The university’s Indiana Beta Chapter of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society won the President’s Cup for the Outstanding Chapter of the Year at the Alpha Chi National Convention in Chicago March 19-21.

The group won the President’s Cup for the second time since 1987, when the award was first presented. Only one other college has won the award twice since then.

The university’s students were presented with a trophy and a $200 honorarium.

“This is the most prestigious chapter award,” Paul Michelson, Ph.D., Alpha Chi sponsor, said. “There are 300-plus chapters in Alpha Chi, so it represents a significant achievement by the HU chapter.”

To be eligible for the award, Alpha Chi chapters have to host community activities, campus activities and have students presenting at conferences, among other requirements.

Luke Batdorff, Bronwen Fetters, Esther Higginbottom, Alex Hoffman, Jannea Thomason, Andrew Wickersham and Yang Wu all presented papers with topics ranging from F. Scott Fitzgerald to pornography addiction.

Fetters’ paper, “Pivotal and Puzzling: The Indian Boy in A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” won a Shakespeare presentation award.

“The other Shakespeare papers were excellent, and one long-time chapter sponsor commented on the Convention App’s live feed that the Shakespeare session, as a whole, was one of the strongest she had ever heard,” she said. “It is an honor to be selected for this sort of award from an organization like Alpha Chi and getting a little money for a critical essay is not a bad gig either – especially since I love writing research papers, like any good nerd.”

Clarissa Hunter and Hoffman earned Alpha Chi scholarships. Hunter won $1,500 and Hoffman won a Region V Fellowship scholarship.

“HU students and the HU chapter of Alpha Chi represented HU well at the convention,” Michelson said. “Our presentations were first-rate, our students have been leaders in Alpha Chi and active at the conventions, and we have contributed significantly to AX service projects. A couple of years ago, members of our chapter even appeared on the cover of the National Alpha Chi magazine. In the last decade, HU students have won seven national AX scholarships or fellowships, eight Regional grants and published two papers in the national magazine.”

The Indiana Beta Chapter was also recognized as the Star Chapter of Alpha Chi for 2013-2014. The chapter is one of four out of the more than 300 other chapters to win the award every year since 1996.

“Alpha Chi is a highly recognized and revered honor society that has been in existence since the 1920s,” Fetters said. “When HU students go to a convention like this, they show other schools from across the nation that Huntington has strong academic competency. Like having successful sports teams and theater performances, academic endeavors are achievements for which we should give our peers laud and commendation.”Sponsors at the convention included Michelson, Jean Michelson, circulation coordinator at the RichLyn Library, and Ruth Nalliah, professor of chemistry.

To be on Alpha Chi, students have to be in the top 10 percent of the junior or senior class, be nominated by faculty and staff, attend the university for at least two semesters and have outstanding character, Michelson said.

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