Ouachita’s chapter of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society has recently been named a Star Chapter for the 2014-15 academic year. Members of Alpha Chi are among the top 10 percent of juniors and seniors at Ouachita. In order to qualify as a Star Chapter, members must meet individual academic requirements as well as group requirements.
“I believe that receiving the Star Chapter Award really signifies that our chapter is active and that we are trying to fulfill the mission of the Alpha Chi organization – making scholarship effective for good,” said chapter co-sponsor Dr. Lori Hensley, professor of biology and holder of J.D. Patterson chair of biology. “We are active on campus and in our community, providing educational programs and scholarly activities to promote academic excellence. I’m proud of our members and especially proud of the officers.”
Alpha Chi sets six different criteria for Star Chapters. Among these, groups must send at least one sponsor and one student to the organization’s annual national convention, with at least one student presenting at the event.
At last year’s National Convention program in Chicago, three Ouachita students received first place and a $5,000 prize for their research presentation, “Too Tired to Think Outside the Box? An Analysis of Ego Depletion’s Effects on Creativity.” The student team, led by Dr. Allyson Phillips, assistant professor of psychology, included Stoni Butler, a junior psychology major from Camden, Ark.; Jessie Little, a senior biology major from Woodway, Texas; and Dustin Walter, a senior biology and chemistry double major from Marion, Ark. Sarah Stiles, a senior biblical languages major from Aubrey, Texas, also delivered an individual presentation, “Samson, His Parents and the Woman.”
In addition to these requirements, Alpha Chi chapters must also sponsor at least one scholarly or academic program on campus during the academic year. Last year Ouachita’s chapter hosted programs including a Book Club campus event as well as several community events in area primary and elementary schools.
Dustin Walter served as chapter president during the academic year in which Ouachita won its Star Chapter Award. Stoni Butler is the current president.
“I am honored to be the president of a Star Chapter,” Butler said. “Our sponsors work hard to ensure that our chapter receives star chapter status year after year, and I certainly plan to do my part to obtain that status once again.”
While Ouachita’s Alpha Chi chapter has approximately 90 members, it has not always been an active organization on campus. In 2004, Dr. Lori Hensley became the club’s official sponsor and worked to build the organization into what it is today. She and Dr. Justin Isenhour, assistant professor of music, currently serve as co-sponsors.
More students will be invited to join Alpha Chi during the spring semester and will take part in a public induction ceremony during Scholars Day. In addition to the programs offered by the club, Alpha Chi members receive blue and green cords to wear during their commencement ceremony and a T-shirt bearing the society’s name.
For more information, contact Dr. Lori Hensley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5529.
By Katie Smith & Cimber Winfrey
Photo Above: Stoni Butler (left) and Jessie Little presented research at last year’s Alpha Chi National Convention, helping earn Ouachita’s chapter Star Chapter recognition.