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Alpha Chi observes excellence

Katy Murray
Managing Editor

   The Alpha Chi honor society observed Academic Excellence Week April 4-8. Events that occurred during the week included the annual banquet, Academic Olympics and a trip to St Louis, Mo.

   At the April 4 recognition banquet, the society awarded plaques and certificates for academic excellence. Members of Alpha Chi nominated, actively campaigned for and voted on faculty and staff members in four different categories by a secret ballot. Winners included the following:
Photo by Amanda Haught
Best of 2004-05 -- Alpha Chi winners show off their plaques at the banquet, including assistant professors John Hunt and Angela Marsh, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs David Ray and Admissions director Mary Whiting.

  • Staff Person of the Year - Mary Whiting, director of Admissions
  • Rookie of the Year - John Hunt, assistant professor of Biology
  • Teacher of the Year - Angela Marsh, assistant professor of Computer Information Systems
  • Administrator of the Year - David Ray, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs

   “I do not let anyone know the winners until the night of the banquet,” said Alpha Chi adviser Kate Stewart, professor of English.

   The members can nominate anyone to the honor categories and these nominations usually occur a month before the event. The winners receive engraved plaques and the runners-up receive Alpha Chi paperweights; however each nominee receives a certificate recognizing their work. The runners-up this year included: admissions representative Brooke Rodgers for Staff Person, instructor of Social Work Alyssa Vougas for Rookie, professor of Biology Ed Bacon for Teacher and dean of the school of Math and Natural Sciences John Annulis for Administrator of the Year.

   At the event the seniors were presented with their society medallions and tassels for graduation. Stewart also announced the new president of Alpha Chi for the upcoming school year. A nominating committee of graduating members chose junior agriculture major Christine Bryant for the office.

   The day following the banquet, the preliminary rounds of the Academic Olympics were held on the first floor of the Memorial Classroom Building during the activity period. Students competed in the categories of their majors. First-year students and sophomores could partake in a general studies category. According to Stewart, usually 5-10 people compete in each academic unit division with 11 division competitions total in the preliminaries. The winners from the first round moved on to the finals April 14 in the auditorium of the MCB and in the event of a division tie, all winners moved on to the finals.

Photo by Amanda Haught
Alpha Chi officers -- President Rebecca Bevill, Vice President Will Whiting and Secretary Christine Bryant pose at the Alpha Chi dinner banquet.

   “We had more students compete this year than we have ever had,” Stewart said. 

   Winners from the first round included:

  • Demetrius McDonald - Music

  • Peter and Ester Granderson - General Education

  • Matthew Patoka - Math/Science

  • Lacie Pullin - Nursing

  • Jennifer Erin Anthony - Arts and Humanities

  • Hannah Hackney, Jennifer Cobb and JaMarkus Fobbs - Business

  • Matthew Adams - Computer Information Systems

  • Matthew Baumgarten - Social/Behavioral Science

  • Samantha Greer - Education

  • Lance Vickers - Forestry

  • Tracie Montgomery - Agriculture

   In the finals the students competed in the general education category for scholarship money. They could win a year’s paid tuition for first place, a semester’s paid tuition for second place and a $200 bookstore credit for third place.

   “What’s unique about the competition is that there is no grade point average requirement to compete,” Stewart said. “For most scholarships you have to meet certain requirements. This is an opportunity to be judged on what you have actually learned.”

   Prize winners included:

  • First Prize - Matthew Baumgarten
  • Second Prize - Lance Vickers
  • Third Prize - Peter Granderson

   “We really appreciate the support of the administration on this; they have helped us for almost 15 years now,” Stewart said.

   In between the preliminary and final rounds of the Academic Olympics, Stewart and three members of Alpha Chi (Will Whiting, Christine Bryant and Abby Trites) attended a convention in St. Louis, Mo. Upon arrival they went to a dinner banquet followed by two mornings of listening to scholarly papers being presented.

   The group also conducted a workshop entitled “With Honor and Dignity: A Meaningful Induction Ceremony.”  

   “I was so proud of the UAM students in the way they conducted their workshop,” Stewart said. “They were poised, professional and made UAM look like a capable university.”

   Before departure they were also able to attend a Cardinals baseball game at Busch field and still return home on time the evening of April 9.

   To become a member of Alpha Chi, a student must have completed 62 hours of course work (if a transfer student, 27 of those hours must have been at UAM) and have a 3.6 grade point average. Members invited represent the upper 10 percent of the junior and senior classes combined. Students campus-wide can become members as the requirements do not specify a major.

   “When you are active in Alpha Chi at UAM, there are some really nice scholarships you can compete for on the regional and national levels,” Stewart said.

   Invitations to join the society for the next school year will be sent out the first week of October and initiation will be Nov. 8.

Photo by Will Whiting
Show Me State -- Alpha Chi visited St. Louis, Mo., where they saw the Arch (pictured above) and Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals.

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The Voice, 2005
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