New honorary societies recognize 'excellent' students
Published: Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
As graduation approaches, it’s not just the seniors who are reflecting on their time here at DePaul. Faculty and staff are also reflecting on what worked for their students and what didn’t.
Joseph Ferrari, a Vincent de Paul professor of psychology, helps bring DePaul's honorary societies together. He said the fall and spring meetings are an opportunity for problem solving.
The faculty advisors for each of the 35 societies along with some of the student leaders in those societies gathered together for their biannual meeting May 7. They formally recognized two new societies and discussed ways to enhance the visibility of the societies.
Ferrari and Peggy Burke, associate vice president for student development, began convening the honorary societies six years ago. They didn’t know how many there were, what kinds of activities they were doing or what resources they needed. Ferrari and Burke thought, why not bring them all together to share ideas and boost visibility?
The honorary societies, some of which are discipline-specific and some value-specific, have more similarities than differences, according to Burke. “We’re a pretty big institution and there is excellence all over DePaul,” she said. It is the excellence that binds the different organizations together.
Most of the societies require members to have a certain GPA and number of applicable classes. The only other caveat is the membership fee, which is usually a one-time payment that helps bring in more resources and speakers.
The most recent addition to DePaul’s honorary societies is the National Society of Leadership and Success. The new president of the organization, senior Haneen Efein, and the faculty advisor, Annette Towler, a psychology professor, attended the meeting for the first time.
Efein found out there wasn’t a chapter at DePaul and decided to start one herself. She and Towler began building DePaul’s chapter, which now has around 500 members.
The other honorary society that received recognition at the meeting was Gamma Theta Upsilon, the International Geographic Honor Society. President Faith Kohler, a senior, and the faculty advisor, Euan Hague, were also present at the meeting.
Geography is an underrepresented discipline at DePaul and deserves more visibility, Hague said.
In addition to furthering study, the honorary societies exist to make connections between students and alumni or professionals in their fields. The intangible benefits include recognition of deserving students.
“DePaul values that kind of excellence,” Burke said.
Students interested in joining one of the societies can contact the Office of Student Involvement.