Society News
K.sessions photo
Past Grand Historian Kyle Sessions Dies at 80

Past Phi Eta Sigma Grand Historian (from 1994 to 2004) Kyle Sessions, 80, passed away December 27, 2014. A highlight of his tenure as Grand Historian was the writing of the 75th anniversary history of Phi Eta Sigma and he also served as chapter adviser at Illinois State University for most of his career.

A memorial service for Dr. Kyle C. Sessions is planned for Friday, July 10, 2015, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. at the Illinois State Alumni Center, Room 116, 1101 North Main Street, Normal, Illinois.

Midwest Area Regional Conference at the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

We are so excited to announce the dates of the Phi Eta Sigma 2015 Midwest Area Regional Conference being hosted by UW-Green Bay!

Contact [email protected] with any questions you may have.

Founders Fund Scholarship Recipients Announced

Phi Eta Sigma is pleased to announce the Founders Fund Scholarship recipients for the 2015-2016 academic year.  Forty-seven scholarships and awards, totaling $275,000, are being distributed this year to outstanding members nationwide to help fund graduate and undergraduate studies. A scholarship committee of three chapter advisers carefully reviewed in excess of 150 applications to make their selections. Current recipients are listed here.

2015-2016 Tau Beta Pi Fellows Include Three Phi Eta Sigma Members

Tau Beta Pi, founded at Lehigh University in 1885, is the world's largest engineering honor society. The Fellowship Board of the honor society has announced the selection of 30 engineering students from 370 applicants for graduate fellowships during the 2014-2015 academic year. These scholars receive $10,000 cash stipends for advanced study.

The list of Tau Beta Pi Scholars includes the following Phi Eta Sigma members:
David LaPorte - South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Devin Stranford - University of Tulsa

Jonathan Timcheck - Ohio State University


Congratulations to all the Tau Beta Pi Fellows! See the details here.

Best colleges online most beautiful campuses 300x287
Many Phi Eta Sigma Chapters Have Most Beautiful College Campuses in the South

Thirty Most Beautiful College Campuses in the South features 17 of our active chapters. Congratulations to the University of Virginia, Furman University, College of William & Mary, Elon University, University of Richmond, Vanderbilt University, University of Mississippi, Emory University, University of Alabama, Tulane University, Mercer University, Louisiana State University, University of Louisville, Florida State University, Washington & Lee University, Western Kentucky University (home of the Phi Eta Sigma national office), and Florida Southern College.

Phi Eta Sigma Members Honored with Phi Kappa Phi Awards

Congratulations to Alex Belisle, Boise State University chapter member and Executive Committee student member, who was recently awarded a Study Abroad Grant worth $1,000 from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Belisle is one of 50 students nationwide to receive the award. Currently a junior majoring in international relations at Boise State University, Belisle will use the grant to study abroad in Florianópolis, Brasil.

Phi Eta Sigma would also like to recognize former Virginia Commonwealth University chapter adviser Carrie Connolly, recipient of a 2014 Love of Learning Award from Phi Kappa Phi. LoL Awards help fund career development and/or post baccalaureate studies for active members.

Phi Eta Sigma Celebrity Spotlight: Kira Kazantsev

Kira Kazantsev, Miss New York 2014, was crowned Miss America 2015 on September 14, 2014, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at age 23.

Kira is fluent in Russian and Spanish. She has had summer internships at political consultancy Solidarity Techniques in Washington, DC, served as a volunteer for Kirsten Gillibrand's United States Senate re-election campaign, waited tables, written a food blog, and served as a hostess.

Kira received bachelor’s degrees in political science, global studies, and geography from Hofstra University in 2013. She will pursue a J.D. degree after she completes her year as Miss America and hopes to become a U.S. Ambassador. Kira was inducted into the Hofstra University chapter of Phi Eta Sigma on September 25, 2010.

Mortar board color hires jpeg
Two Phi Eta Sigma Members Awarded Mortar Board Graduate Studies Fellowships


The Mortar Board National Foundation proudly announces that more than $30,000 has been awarded to eight outstanding Mortar Board members to support their graduate education during the 2014-2015 academic year. Annually, members are chosen to receive these competitive fellowships based on a demonstrated record of academic excellence, strong recommendation, scholarship promise and Mortar Board involvement.

This year’s Mortar Board Fellows include these Phi Eta Sigma members:

Ryan Cross is pursuing a career in neuropharmacology with an ultimate desire to “contribute to the prevention and treatment of debilitating neurological diseases through a lifelong scientific career of cellular and molecular neuroscience.” Cross is already an established researcher, having conducted undergraduate studies in the field of avian visual ecology at Purdue University, from which he earned his baccalaureate degrees in 2014 in neurobiology and physiology, and also in genetics. In addition to a heavy academic course load and work as a teaching assistant, Cross held numerous leadership roles in his co-curricular activities, including serving as president of several major student organizations. As the Zelma Patchin-Oklahoma State/Washington State Fellow, Cross will continue his academic pursuits at Purdue University to earn his doctoral degree in medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology.

Emily Issler is an aspiring social worker whose goal is to “encourage people to reach out for services and help make those services more accessible to all.” A 2014 graduate of San Diego State University with a major in psychology and a minor in Spanish, Issler learned about the importance of understanding different cultures and backgrounds through participation in a semester-long Spanish immersion study abroad program in Madrid. She also traveled to Ghana to teach math and English at a school for orphaned or impoverished West African children. In addition to her experiences overseas, Issler co-authored a scholarly research paper that was presented at two undergraduate research conferences. Named the Ruth Weimer Mount Fellow, Issler is working toward a Master of Social Work at San Diego State University.

Mortar Board is the premier national honor society recognizing college seniors for outstanding achievement in scholarship, leadership and service. Read more about Mortar Board Fellowships here.

2014-2015 Tau Beta Pi Scholars Include Ten Phi Eta Sigma Members

Tau Beta Pi, founded at Lehigh University in 1885, is the world's largest engineering honor society. The Fellowship Board of the honor society has announced the selection of 242 Tau Beta Pi Scholars for undergraudate study during the 2014-2015 academic year. These scholars receive $1,000 or $2,000 cash awards for their senior year of engineering study.

The list of Tau Beta Pi Scholars includes the following Phi Eta Sigma members:
Nicholas Allen - University of North Dakota
Dustin Arvola - Trine University
Jennifer Boudreaux - Tulane University
Travis Buse - South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
Nicholas Civetti - The Catholic University of America
Christie Hasbrouck - Trine University
Samuel Moffat - Brigham Young University
Justin Vogel - University of Illinois
Devin Wortman - University of Nebraska
Ryan Wu - Binghamton University

Congratulations to all the Tau Beta Pi Scholars! See the details here.

Jill conway
College of Charleston Chapter Adviser Jill Conway Shares Details About Our National Philanthropy Project WINGS for Kids

Greetings, fellow Phi Eta Sigma chapter advisers!

I am the Phi Eta Sigma chapter adviser at the College of Charleston, and I am excited that Phi Eta Sigma’s National Convention is taking place in Charleston on October 10-12, 2014.  If you attend, I am certain you will see for yourself why Charleston is consistently chosen as one of the best cities in the country and the world to visit.

And, I am really excited that Phi Eta Sigma’s national philanthropy will be after-school programs and will focus on Charleston-based WINGS for Kids. My own daughter was in the founding group of WINGS in 1996. At that time it was called WINGS for Girls and was conceived to encourage girls to remain strong and smart and to feel good about themselves as society begins putting pressure on them to be concerned with their appearance and popularity.   Because of the positive results WINGS for Girls was having, the program was expanded to include boys and is now called WINGS for Kids. To date, WINGS has impacted more than 3,800 boys and girls in several cities and states. WINGS’ programs are in Title I schools as an after-school program, giving kids who are growing up in poverty the life lessons they need to succeed, make good decisions and build healthy relationships in a safe and fun place.   And, because of organizations like Phi Eta Sigma, there are no costs or fees to attend WINGS.

I would like to encourage each of you to learn more about WINGS at and to enthusiastically encourage your chapter to hold creative fund-raising events to support WINGS or other quality after-school programs in your community.

I am looking forward to meeting many of you in Charleston in October. Phi Eta Sigma national headquarters has planned a phenomenal time here. Please introduce yourself to me and my colleague, Maria Richardson, when you see us.   We love to see visitors enjoying the city we adore! We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about Charleston. It’s hard to come up with a question one of us can’t answer, but you’re welcome to try to stump us!


Jill Conway

[email protected]

Assistant Director for Student Services

Honor College

College of Charleston

Founders Fund Scholarship Recipients Announced

Phi Eta Sigma is pleased to announce the Founders Fund Scholarship recipients for the 2014-2015 academic year. Sixty-six scholarships and awards, totaling nearly $300,000, are being distributed this year to outstanding members nationwide to help fund graduate and undergraduate studies. A scholarship committee of three chapter advisers carefully reviewed in excess of 150 applications to make their selections. Current recipients are listed here.

Phi Kappa Phi Forum Article | The Role and Value of Honor Today

As one who has worked in honors education on several college campuses, I’ve spent a fair amount of time thinking about honor — the word holds different meanings in different contexts: “I’m honored to be here ...,” the Queen bestowing birthday honors, Scouting pledges that begin “on my honor,” or marriage vows to love, honor, comfort and keep are just a few examples. Since even before accepting this position, I have been thinking about the value of honor to those we invite to membership and the sustained value of remaining an active member. We are currently working with membership consultants who ask those same questions. Continue reading...

Jw dresbach
Phi Eta Sigma Alumnus killed in WWII inducted into Military Hall of Fame

Phi Eta Sigma alumnus John William Dresbach has been selected as a member of the 2014 class of the Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor at the Ohio Statehouse. Navy Lt. John W. Dresbach was inducted into Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society at the Miami University chapter in March 1936. Dresbach was just 23 when killed on Aug. 6, 1943, during a 10-hour battle from the air with an enemy submarine in the Caribbean. He posthumously was awarded both the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Read the story here.

David lampton
Phi Eta Sigma Alumnus Spotlight: David Michael Lampton

David M. Lampton is Hyman Professor and Director of SAIS-China and China Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, having also served as Dean of Faculty from 2004-2012. Formerly President of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, he is the author of many books. Dr. Lampton headed the China Studies programs at the American Enterprise Institute and at The Nixon Center (now The Center for National Interest), having previously worked at the National Academy of Sciences and having started his teaching career at Ohio State University. He has an honorary doctorate from the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Far Eastern Studies, is an Honorary Senior Fellow of the American Studies Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was the inaugural winner of the Scalapino Prize in July 2010 awarded by the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and is a Gilman Scholar at Johns Hopkins.

His newest book, Following the Leader: Ruling China, from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping, was published in January 2014. He consults with government, business, foundations, and is on the board of several non-governmental and educational organizations, including the Executive Committee of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and Colorado College’s Board of Trustees. He was a fireman at Stanford University in his undergraduate days and was in the enlisted and officer ranks of the U.S. Army Reserve.

David received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University. David was inducted into Phi Eta Sigma at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon on May 6, 1965.

Phi Eta Sigma Members Honored with Phi Kappa Phi Awards

Phi Eta Sigma national scholarship honoree Laura Tenpenny is one of 51 recipients of a $5,000 Fellowship from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. She is pursuing a M.Sc. in gender, media, and culture at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Laura is an alumnus of the University of Tennessee chapter of Phi Eta Sigma, having been inducted April 20, 2008. She received a $6,000 Charles Burchett Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship from Phi Eta Sigma National for the 2010-2011 academic year. Laura has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Tennessee. She is interested in serving disadvantaged women at a nonprofit or government agency, according to the Phi Kappa Phi Forum.

Another Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society Scholar, Leah Barbera, received a $1,000 Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grant. She is a senior psychology major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She spent the fall term studying Swedish culture and politics at Karlstad University in Sweden. Leah received a $6,000 James E. Foy Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship from Phi Eta Sigma National for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Phi Eta Sigma congratulates these distinguished members on their Phi Kappa Phi awards!

Mary barra new gm ceo 2
Phi Eta Sigma Celebrity Spotlight: Mary Barra

In January 2014, Mary Barra became the first female CEO of a major global automaker, General Motors. Prior to this, Mary was most recently Senior Vice President, Global Product Development since February 2011. Mary began her career with GM in 1980 as a co-op student at the Pontiac Motor Division. She has held several engineering, human resources, staff, and management positions.

Mary received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) in 1985 and an M.B.A. degree from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1990. Mary was inducted into the General Motors Institute chapter of Phi Eta Sigma on November 11, 1981.

Mayim bialik
Phi Eta Sigma Celebrity Spotlight: Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik is best known for her lead role in the 1990’s NBC sitcom Blossom, as well as for her portrayal of the young version of Bette Midler’s character in Beaches. She currently stars on CBS's The Big Bang Theory. Mayim’s character, Amy Farrah Fowler, is a neurobiologist, which corresponds to Mayim’s real-life educational pursuits. Mayim’s performance in The Big Bang Theory earned her Emmy Award nominations in 2012 and 2013 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

Mayim authored Beyond the Sling, a book on holistic parenting, and Mayim’s Vegan Table, a cookbook of 100 of her favorite recipes.

Mayim received bachelor’s degrees in Neuroscience and Hebrew and Jewish Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2000 and also earned a Ph.D. degree in neuroscience from UCLA in 2007. Mayim was inducted into Phi Eta Sigma at UCLA on April 28, 1996.

Erika harold
Phi Eta Sigma Celebrity Spotlight: Erika Harold

Erika Harold, Miss Illinois 2002, was crowned Miss America 2003 on September 21, 2002, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at age 22.

Erika is currently an attorney at Meyer Capel, Champaign County Illinois’ largest law firm, and a Republican candidate for the 13th Congressional District seat in the state of Illinois. She also serves on the board of directors of Prison Fellowship, the national outreach to prisoners and their families. Additionally, Erika is a spokesperson for Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree, a program that provides Christmas gifts to children who have an incarcerated parent. Athena International honored Erika as one of its 2011 Global ATHENA Leadership Award Recipients.

Erika received a B.A. degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2001 and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 2007. Inducted into the University of Illinois chapter of Phi Eta Sigma on March 3, 1998, Erika served as chapter president. She was also the 1999-2000 recipient of a Phi Eta Sigma National Distinguished Member Scholarship, the Gaylord F. Hatch Endowed Scholarship.

Alan kazdin
Phi Eta Sigma Celebrity Spotlight: Alan Kazdin

Alan Kazdin is the John M. Musser Professor of Psychology and Child Psychiatry at Yale University and director of the Yale Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic ( Alan’s research has focused primarily on the treatment of aggressive and antisocial behavior in children. His approximately 700 publications include 49 books that focus on interventions for children and adolescents, cognitive-behavioral treatment, parenting and child rearing, and interpersonal violence. Additional information can be found on his website,

In 2008, Alan was named president of the American Psychological Association. His work on parenting and child rearing has been featured on CNN, NPR, PBS, BBC, and he has appeared on Good Morning America, ABC News, 20/20, The Dr. Phil Show, and the Today Show.

He received a B.A. degree in psychology from San Jose State University and a Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology from Northwestern University. Alan was inducted into the San Jose State College chapter of Phi Eta Sigma on November 9, 1964.

Dsc 0153
Executive Committee Meeting in Philadelphia

At the end of May, members of the Phi Eta Sigma Executive Committee gathered in Philadelphia for their off-convention-year meeting. The national officers, at-large adviser members, and student members of the Committee discussed numerous topics regarding the Society’s operations. They assessed the actions and recommendations from the 2012 national convention and made plans for the 2014 national convention in Charleston, South Carolina. Most impressive were the insights and work ethic of the three student members as they shared ideas, made motions, presented proposals for the upcoming convention, and volunteered for various projects.

Chapter Events

Chapter events
Learn about events going on at Chapters across the nation.


Browse and download Phi Eta Sigma publications.