ACU’s chapter of Alpha Chi national honor society was awarded the President’s Cup as the outstanding chapter in the nation out of 328 colleges and universities.
The award was presented at Alpha Chi’s national convention April 6-7 in Louisville, Kentucky. Nine students and two sponsors gave presentations at the convention, and two students won individual awards.
The President’s Cup winner was selected based on three years of data looking at chapter involvement and academic contributions, as well as a nomination at the regional level.
“We did a few extra things that I think helped us win the award,” said Dr. Jennifer Huddleston, assistant professor of biology and Alpha Chi sponsor. “We really made strides to include our online students, especially in our induction ceremony. We held a Facebook Live event for online students to stream in and listen to their names being called.”
Dr. Ken LaSota, chair of the selection committee, said ACU’s chapter also was singled out for its commitment to publishing the research of undergraduate members. Though each nominee aggressively contributed to Alpha Chi's academic journal Aletheia, “ACU easily surpassed all challengers in this new, yet vital, component of what makes an Alpha Chi chapter truly stellar,” LaSota said.
In the individual award categories, the Bill Short Prize in World Literature went to senior English major Valerie Kocsis for “To Wring Tears from the Stars: The Suicides of Emma Bovary and Hedda Gabler.” Adam Lubbers, a senior with a double major in history and Bible, took home the Patricia Graham Prize in World History for “The Medicine of the Dead: A Scholarly Examination of the History of Medieval and Early European Spiritual Medicine.” Kocsis also won the Alfred H. Nolle scholarship for $2,000.
“We had the best of the best ACU students at the convention presenting research,” Huddleston said. “They represented ACU very well.”
ACU’s chapter was revived in 2010 and has flourished under the leadership of several faculty sponsors: Dr. Mikee Delony, associate professor of language and literature; Dr. Lynette Austin, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders; Dr. Tracy Shilcutt, professor of history and global studies; and current sponsor Huddleston.
Alpha Chi is a national college honor society that admits students from all academic disciplines. Membership is limited to the top 10 percent of an institution's juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Invitation to membership comes only through an institutional chapter.