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PAT VP Dan Arndt, Pres. Micca Metz, and Sec. David Sprung, at CAS Awards Reception

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WIU participants at PAT Regional Conference

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PAT's new initiates for 2010, with Dr. Brice

News

Phi Alpha Theta Receives 2010 Student Organization Award from CAS

May 10, 2010

The WIU History Department's Omicron-Omicron Chapter of the Phi Alpha Theta (PAT) History Honor Society received the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Student Council's 2010 Departmental Organization Recognition Award, CAS Associate Dean Jim Schmidt announced. Three of Phi Alpha Theta's officers, President Micca Metz, a senior History major from Fairbury, Vice President Dan Arndt, a senior History Teacher Certification major from Naperville, and Secretary David Sprung, a History graduate student from La Moille,, together with the organization's Faculty Advisor, Dr. Lee Brice, Associate Professor of History, were honored at the CAS Spring 2010 Awards Reception on May 7.

Phi Alpha Theta is the national honor society for history. Undergraduate students are invited to become members of Phi Alpha Theta if they have maintained a 3.1 or better grade point average in at least four History courses and have maintained a 3.1 cumulative GPA. Graduate students are invited to become members of Phi Alpha Theta if they have maintained a 3.5 or better grade point average in at least four History courses and have maintained a 3.5 cumulative GPA. PAT members must also be in the top 35 percent of their undergraduate class after having completed 12 semester hours of History coursework. PAT's membership includes students from each WIU college, although most members are majors and minors in the College of Arts and Sciences, especially History majors and minors. In the last three years, the organization has initiated more than sixty-five lifetime members, and while many graduate, WIU's chapter currently has forty members enrolled at WIU.

WIU's Phi Alpha Theta chapter has, during the 2009-2010 academic year, engaged in a variety of activities that have contributed to the intellectual climate and community spirit of the Department, College, and University. The student leadership started the school year by initiating the second volume of PAT's refereed journal, the Western Illinois Historical Review. The mission of the journal is to publish the best student work from the History Department. The two student editors for 2009-2010, Bridget Quinlivan, a History graduate student from Quincy, and Sarah Garmer, a senior History major from Mendon, received ten nominations for articles for the second issue of this journal, which will soon appear online. In the fall the WIHR was officially recognized by the Library of Congress as a stand-alone journal and assigned an ISSN designation to aid libraries in finding its materials.

PAT's student leadership chose to kick-off the year with a guest speaker, Dr. Issam Nassar of Illinois State University, who spoke in October on "Palestine and the Palestinians in Early Photography." The talk was well attended by students and faculty and also attracted interested members of the general public.

Throughout Fall and early Spring semesters, WIU's chapter of Phi Alpha Theta prepared to host the Illinois Regional Conference for Phi Alpha Theta in March 2010. This conference is the annual meeting for all chapters in the state and is held at a different campus every year. Participation is open to any student from any member institution regardless of major or membership affiliation on that campus. WIU's chapter sent out invitations and a call for papers to every member institution in Illinois and also arranged for some departmental and college funding assistance. In January, PAT Treasurer Abi Johnson, a senior History Teacher Certification major from Chicago, organized and held a book sale to raise additional funds for conference expenses. Thirty-three papers were submitted from nine universities from across the state. The papers were judged by a panel of historians who had no connections to any of the speakers and were from two different universities. Students and faculty from ten Illinois colleges and universities attended the conference and participated in the panels and meetings. Six students from four schools won prizes, including three from WIU, which won the top honors.

Phi Alpha Theta ended the year with its initiation of new members in April. This event provided a chance to not only induct new members, but also to recognize outstanding students in History.

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