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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, Online Learning Tips
The APUS chapter of Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society in Social Sciences was recently named to the society’s 2018 Roll of Distinction. This international honor society encourages and promotes excellence in the social sciences and nurtures scholarship, leadership and service.
The APUS West Virginia Iota Chapter was one of only eight of the 150 active chapters in the United States and overseas to earn the annual award from the Pi Gamma Mu International Board of Trustees. The board annually recognizes the most active chapters and the top-performing students’ academic accomplishments in the field of social sciences.
These types of awards are beneficial to chapters and their members. For instance, they often enhance resumes when members graduate and begin their career.
Allison G. S. Knox is an instructor for the Emergency Management & Fire Science programs in the School of Security and Global Studies. She has been the Iota Chapter sponsor and faculty advisor for APUS since 2011.
“When I started, we had about 125 members and we have grown to over 2,700 members,” Knox said. “That makes us one of the largest chapters in all of Pi Gamma Mu and in a relatively short amount of time.”
The Iota Chapter was named Pi Gamma Mu Chapter of the Year In 2013.
Pi Gamma Mu Iota Chapter Officers Can Serve from Any Location Worldwide
“Our chapter is special because as an all-online university, we do everything virtually, creating projects that any member can do from anywhere in the world,” Knox noted. Chapter officers have served simultaneously from Hawaii, West Africa, Washington, D.C., and Germany. “We have also developed positions where each officer is in charge of one aspect of our chapter,” she added.
Some of the activities the chapter participated in last year included:
- The “Greenlight” service project in support of veterans
- The Teal Pumpkin Project for Halloween
- Wreaths Across America at national and other cemeteries during the Christmas holiday
- The Homeless Donation Box Service Project
- The Animal Shelter Donation Box Service Project
- An Iota Chapter members’ get-together at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland
- Three research presentations by Iota Chapter member students at the 2017 Triennial Convention in Kansas City, Missouri
The Background of Pi Gamma Mu
Pi Gamma Mu was founded in 1924 at Southwestern College in Kansas with the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, assisting in chapter development. As such, it is the oldest honor society in the social sciences on U.S. college campuses.
The honor society annually awards up to 10 scholarships — three at the $2,000 level and seven at the $1,000 level. These scholarships go to students who have demonstrated academic excellence and who represent the highest ideals of Pi Gamma Mu in terms of leadership and social service.
Prominent members have included President Lyndon B. Johnson, Senator Charles “Chuck” Grassley (R-IA), Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), and Margaret Mead, pioneering cultural anthropologist and 1956 Pi Gamma Mu Convention keynote speaker.