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Freshman Honor Society Inductees Celebrate First Year Excellence

phietasigmaThe University’s chapter of Phi Eta Sigma inducted 288 students into the Honor Society on March 28 at Pollack Theatre. The event featured a description of the society, the expectations of the members, and distinguished guest speakers.

Phi Eta Sigma is a freshman Honor Society that celebrates students who earn a 3.5 GPA or higher in their first college semester. 

“Being inducted into Phi Eta Sigma is a very important honor for first year students,” said Lisa Henry, Office Coordinator of First Year Advising. “A lot of students struggle during the transition from high school to college, so it is important to celebrate those that achieve stellar grades.”

The ceremony began with an introduction by Chapter President Taylor Bernosky, a junior mathematics and music performance major. 

Bernosky told the inductees of the great honor they were receiving and reminded the students to always abide by the Phi Eta Sigma expectations, that is, living an education-filled, healthy lifestyle.

Then, Bernosky introduced Dr. Golam M. Mathbor, Faculty Advisor for Monmouth University’s Phi Eta Sigma chapter. Mathbor explained the significance of the award and encouraged students to continue their excellent academics. He stressed the importance of knowledge in the development of an individual.

“Of the 1066 students in the graduating class of 2018, the 288 of you here today are the cream of the crop,” said Mathbor to the inductees.

The society board then called each student onto the stage to receive their official Phi Eta Sigma certificates. Students were awarded with a pin that reads “Knowledge is Power” in Greek.

“Being in the Honor Society means that academic excellence can be achieved through hard work and persistence,” said freshman Caroline Alvarado. “The transition from high school to college can be a difficult one, and Phi Eta Sigma provides motivation for students to strive for excellence.”

Next, special guest speaker Dr. Rekha Datta, a professor of political science and sociology, was introduced. Datta told the inspirational story of her educational journey that began India. 

She attended Presidency University in Kolkata, India and graduated with honors. Upon receiving her diploma, she wanted to continue her education in America. 

When Datta arrived in the United States to attend the University of Connecticut, she had no friends and was not well acclimated to the new environment. 

Eventually, she began to meet new people and started to blossom. Datta urged struggling students to persevere and let their true potential shine forth.

“I really liked Dr. Datta’s story and accomplishments in her life,” said freshman business major Tommy Chung. “She really motivated me to always do my best in whatever I do.”

Datta noted that being a member of Phi Eta Sigma also extends outside of the classroom. She recalled the time when she stood up for a cleaning woman that was being harassed by other resident students. Eventually, Datta and the woman became best friends.

“The ceremony was wonderfully put together,” said Alvarado. “Dr. Datta spoke immensely about the power that each individual person has to make significant changes in our world.”

During the closing remarks, Mathbor and Datta were honored with plaques that celebrated their tremendous contributions to academics. Inductees were urged to act as inspirations for the other students on campus, as their academic achievements are encouraging. 

“The inductees of Phi Eta Sigma can serve as role models for the rest of the student population,” said Pattiann Heimbuch, secretary of the University’s First Year Advising. 

“The official induction encourages students to keep striving toward success and is a great addition to a resume,”said Heimbuch.

“Phi Eta Sigma is a constant reminder to keep working hard and to keep pushing toward my goals because I know it will be worth it in the end,” said freshman art student Ava McClendon. 

“Phi Eta Sigma is not only about how smart you are, it’s about your character and your will. The ceremony was a very eye-opening experience that made me realize that education is extremely important and provides a sense of community full of wonderful opportunities to make an impact,” said McClendon.

The society was founded in 1923 at the University of Illinois as a male-only fraternity that included a secret password and a complex handshake. 

Over time, the fraternity morphed into an Honor Society to praise both male and female students with outstanding academic achievements. Today, the society has over 370 chapters across the United States. Once a member of Phi Eta Sigma, students are members for life.

PHOTO TAKEN by Richard Felicetti