By Nizhoni McDarment
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The University of Kentucky’s Delta Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honors Society, recently received a Best Chapter Award for the 2021-22 school year.
The UK chapter was one of six institutions, similar in size, to receive this award out of more than 800 Pi Sigma Alpha Chapters in the United States.
“These awards are intended to recognize local chapters that are particularly active in their institutions and communities and embody our society’s mission to stimulate scholarship and intellectual interest in political science,” according to the National Pi Sigma Alpha Organization.
The honors society hosts panels, speakers, debates, workshops and political science mixers to engage students in the UK College of Arts & Sciences community.
“Our group was formed with the intention and goal of growing students personally, professionally, and academically,” said Sophia Marcolla, a former president of the group and UK alumna from Quincy, Illinois.
The organization was re-chartered in the summer of 2021 when faculty advisers Tiffany Barnes and Clayton Thyne reached out to interested and involved students in the political science field.
“When I saw they had won an award, I was pleasantly unsurprised because they put so much time and effort into it,” Thyne said. “The exec team was full of proven leaders.”
The award includes a $500 prize for the chapter with an additional $200 for both faculty advisers.
“Our team was driven to produce an organization that could create a legacy on this campus through student engagement, student development and student community,” Marcolla said.
The chapter’s executive team consisted of Sophia Marcolla, Benjamin Neal, Emma Thyne, Savannah Myers and Zach Streicher.
“The executive team members put their whole hearts and energy into making this organization something all students would want to feel a part of, and proud to join,” Marcolla said.
Grace Gerst, the current president, said Marcolla immediately made her feel welcomed.
“I wanted to become president in order to help people find Pi Sigma Alpha and feel as comfortable as I felt when Sophia welcomed me in,” said Gerst, a senior from Orland Park, Illinois..
Gerst said the current executive board has lot in store for the organization including participating in event fairs and emphasizing the honors society as a resource for political science students.
Pi Sigma Alpha also won the Collaboration Award at the Lead Blue: Student Organizations Celebration, hosted by The Office of Student Organizations and Activities, for its debate series with the College Republicans and College Democrats.