Peru, NE - The Eta-Delta chapter of the Phi Alpha Theta honor society at Peru State College has been selected as the recipient of the 2023 Best Chapter Award for Division 1 by the Phi Alpha Theta National Committee. Phi Alpha Theta presents Best Chapter Awards to those chapters that excel in promoting the mission of the honor society on their campus and in their community. The Division 1 award is for colleges with less than three thousand students. There are at least one hundred Division 1 chapters in the United States according to www.phialphatheta.org. Chapter advisors are Dr. Kathi Nehls, Associate Professor of History, Dr. Jason Phillips, Assistant Professor of History, and Erik Davis, Assistant Professor of Political Science. 

“I am very proud of the students and their involvement in the organization, and so proud to see them get this award,” said Nehls. "I believe Phi Alpha Theta recognizes student scholarly achievement and builds an intellectual community in the major.” 

Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society, is an American honor society for undergraduate and graduate students and professors of history.  To be eligible for undergraduate membership, students must complete at least 12 semester hours in history, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.1 in history, and a 3.0 GPA overall. A student interested in membership does not need to be a history major to apply. Membership in Phi Alpha Theta is a lifetime membership.

To be eligible for the Best Chapter Award, the Peru State chapter submitted a cover letter and digital scrapbook to National Headquarters, which highlighted the chapter’s activities during the 2022-2023 academic year. Chapter member, Sarah Davis-Kovarik created the digital scrapbook from information provided by other members. The chapter was notified of its award on November 3, 2023. 

"It is an honor to receive such a distinguished award from a national honor society like Phi Alpha Theta,” said Phillips. “The award is the result of the hard work put in year after year by our wonderful Bobcat students. Whether presenting research at a conference or getting involved in Peru's Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Brunch, they have earned a strong reputation evidenced by this award. I am incredibly proud of them."

The Eta-Delta chapter at Peru State is highly active. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. The chapter completes various community service activities, hosts speakers, visits museums, has an annual holiday party, and conducts new member initiation during the fall and spring semesters. The chapter also has plans to travel on a “Civil Rights South” tour from March 2-8, 2024.

The Eta-Delta chapter will be recognized for their award at the next biennial convention to be held in 2025. In addition, Phi Alpha Theta will award a maximum of $250 toward purchasing books selected by the chapter and department for the Peru State College library.