Jun 26, 2022  
2010-2011 General Catalog 
2010-2011 General Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: To search archives, use search box above. See current catalog at catalog.usu.edu.

National Honor Societies with Chapters at USU

Beta Gamma Sigma

Beta Gamma Sigma international honor society was founded in 1913 to recognize superior scholarship in business. It is the highest international recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive. The USU chapter was established in 1975.

Membership is by invitation only and is limited to the top 20 percent of business graduate students, the top 10 percent of seniors with business majors, and the top 7 percent of juniors with business majors. Candidates must have completed one year of study at Utah State University.

Chapter Advisor: Lindsey Thurgood, Academic Advisor, Business 309, (435) 797-3736

Golden Key

Golden Key International Honour Society is an academic honor society which recognizes academic excellence among all sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students in the top 15 percent of their class. With more than 25 years of tradition, Golden Key remains committed to scholarship, career development, leadership, and service.

Members are connected to exclusive career opportunities through Golden Key’s partnerships with major corporations and graduate programs. The society provides campus and community service, as well as leadership and networking opportunities, enabling personal growth and leadership development. A minimum of two scholarships are awarded annually to outstanding members at Utah State University.

Chapter Advisor: Lisa Vaughn, Community Service Coordinator, Student Involvement and Leadership Center, Taggart Student Center 326, (435) 797-1740, lisa.vaughn@usu.edu

National Society of Collegiate Scholars

The National Society of Collegiate Scholars is an honors organization founded on the principles of scholarship, leadership, and service. Each plays an important role in one’s personal development. Society members are encouraged to pursue each of these ideals  with a sense of passion and dedication. The society’s mission is to:

  1. Recognize and celebrate high achievement among first- and second-year college and university students across all academic disciplines.
  2. Encourage and promote high standards throughout the collegiate experience.
  3. Provide opportunities for personal growth and leadership development.
  4. Organize and encourage community service.
  5. Foster an overall appreciation for the value of higher education.

Chapter Advisor: William J. Popendorf, professor of Biology, Biology-Natural Resources 323, (435) 797-2566, popendorf@biology.usu.edu

Phi Alpha Theta

Phi Alpha Theta is a professional society whose purpose is to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. It seeks to bring students, teachers, and writers of history together, both intellectually and socially; and it encourages and assists historical research and publication by its members in a variety of ways. The History Honor Society, Inc., Phi Alpha Theta, was organized at the University of Arkansas on March 17, 1921. Since that time, it has grown to more than 820 chapters and has initiated more than 275,000 members. The USU chapter was established in 1952.

Membership is open to those students who have completed 12 credits of history courses, with a 3.1 GPA in history coursework. A 3.0 overall GPA is required. Students need not be history majors to become Phi Alpha Theta members.

Chapter Advisor: Victoria M. Grieve, Assistant Professor of History, Main 321M, (435) 797-0145, victoria.grieve@usu.edu

Phi Kappa Phi

Phi Kappa Phi is a national honor society, founded in 1897 to recognize and encourage superior scholarship in all academic disciplines. Membership is based upon academic achievement and is proffered to undergraduate and graduate students who obtain a grade
point average in the highest 10 percent of those graduating from each college at USU. The national organization awards 50 graduate school fellowships each year to students from throughout the country and sponsors undergraduates for internships and study abroad programs. Each year, the USU chapter also awards two to three scholarships to outstanding juniors and recognizes faculty members for their achievements.

Chapter Advisor: Mary E. Leavitt, secretary/treasurer, (director, Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Advising Center), Taggart Student Center 302, (435) 797-3883

Phi Sigma Iota

Phi Sigma Iota is an international foreign language honor society for juniors, seniors, and graduate students who excel in a foreign language, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and have earned a grade of B or better in a 3000- or 4000-level language course. Copies of transcript must be verified by the chapter advisor.

Phi Sigma Iota recognizes outstanding ability and high standards in the fields of foreign language, English as a second language, literature, and culture.

As the highest academic honor in the field of foreign lanuages, Phi Sigma Iota promotes international communication and understanding, as well as a sentiment of unity among nations. The society also helps students learn about themselves and their cultural heritage as they increase their understanding of other people.

Phi Sigma Iota stands for freedom of mind and democracy of learning. The society stimulates and supports scholarly programs nationwide, and also offers scholarships and graduation honors nationwide. To help members to further their training in foreign languages, the society promotes trips abroad. The USU chapter provides a job and internship list.

Chapter Advisor: Sarah Gordon, Assistant Professor of French, Main 002L, (435) 797-8213, sarah.gordon@usu.edu

Pi Sigma Alpha

Founded in 1920, Pi Sigma Alpha is the national honor society for undergraduate and graduate students of political science. There are now more than 600 chapters established in colleges and universities in the United States, and Pi Sigma Alpha is one of the largest academic honorary societies in the U.S. The USU Alpha Iota Chapter was inaugurated in 1947. The purpose of Pi Sigma Alpha is to stimulate scholarship and interest in the subject of government by providing recognition and benefits to students who have excelled in the field.

Benefits of Membership. Membership in an honor society is a worthy distinction in itself, and as a measure of academic achievement can provide a tangible advantage in a competitive world. All members, regular and honorary, receive a certificate of membership and permanent enrollment on the society’s membership rolls, maintained by the national office. Members may apply for scholarships for both graduate study in political science and Washington semester programs, as well as for Best Paper awards. Pi Sigma Alpha gives students opportunities for valuable administrative experience as chapter officers or organizers of chapter activities.

Membership Eligibility. Minimum standards for admission for juniors and seniors are completion of at least 12 semester credits of work in government, political science, international relations, or public administration, including at least one upper-division course, with a 3.2 GPA.

Programs. Pi Sigma Alpha activities are carried on mainly at the chapter level and include presentations by visiting scholars, talks by USU professors, socials, internship and graduate school preparation, service activities, career guidance, best paper competition, and much more.

The Alpha Iota Chapter has been recognized for excellence by the national office. The chapter has received several best chapter awards, as well as the best chapter advisor awards.

Chapter Advisor: William L. Furlong, Main 328B, (435) 797-1311, bill.furlong@usu.edu


Pinnacle was founded at Murray State University in Kentucky in 1989 for the purpose of recognizing the achievements of adult and nontraditional students. The USU chapter was established that same year, and the first members were inducted in 1990. Initiates must be 26 years of age or older, must have earned an overall USU GPA of 3.0 or higher, and must have been involved in campus and/or community activities. (Membership is open to no more than 15 percent of the junior and senior student population.) Applications are available in the Reentry Student Center.

Chapter Advisor: Michelle R. Bogdan, interim director, Reentry Student Center, Taggart Student Center 315, (435) 797-1728

Psi Chi

Psi Chi is an international honor society whose purpose is to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship for the individual members in all fields, particularly in psychology, and to advance the science of psychology.

The intrinsic value of membership is rewarding to the achiever, in that recognition of excellence leads to self-fulfillment and thus to selfrealization. By recognizing that what they do does make a difference, students are motivated to achieve higher productivity. When shared with others, accomplishments are enjoyed more. Furthermore, the contacts made through Psi Chi will be valuable throughout the student’s educational and professional career.

Membership is open to undergraduate students who have completed a minimum of 3 semesters and have registered for major or minor standing in psychology or for a program which is psychological in nature. Undergraduates must rank in the upper 35 percent of their class (sophomore, junior, or senior) in general scholarship. For graduate students, an average grade of B or better is required in all graduate courses, including psychology.

Faculty Advisors: Melanie Domenech Rodríguez, Associate Professor of Psychology, Education 425, (435) 797-3059, melanie.domenech@usu.edu; Renée Galliher, Associate Professor of Psychology, Education 479, (435) 797-3391, renee.galliher@usu.edu

Sigma Tau Delta

The central purpose of Sigma Tau Delta, National English Honor Society, is to confer distinction upon students of the English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies. Sigma Tau Delta also recognizes the accomplishments of
professional writers who have contributed to the fields of language and literature.

With more than 750 active chapters located in Europe, the Caribbean, and the United States, there are more than 1,000 faculty sponsors, and approximately 8,500 members are inducted annually. Members of the society have the opportunity to be recognized for their outstanding achievements, enrich their education, and advance their careers through scholarships and publication. Members are also assisted in making career choices.

The Rho Tau chapter was organized at Utah State University in 1996. Membership requires completion of at least three semesters of college coursework, completion of at least two English courses beyond the General Education requirements, and an average grade of B or better in English classes.

Further information about Sigma Tau Delta can be found at: http://www.english.org/sigmatd/

Chapter Advisor: Susan Nyikos, Lecturer, English Department, Ray B. West 103A, (435) 797-0599, susan.nyikos@usu.edu