Phi Alpha Theta awarded national honors

October 13, 2016

Starla Gatson

Staff Reporter | sjg021@latech.edu


Louisiana Tech’s history honors society, Phi Alpha Theta, received national honors after winning the organization’s Best Chapter competition for the 2015-16 academic year.


In addition to being named Best Chapter, Tech’s Lambda-Rho Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta was also the recipient of the Nels A. Cleven Award, an award reserved for chapters that have held the title of Best Chapter more than five times.


The awards mark Tech’s 31st Best Chapter award and 13th Cleven Award.


V. Elaine Thompson, the chapter’s faculty adviser, said each chapter is considered for the Best Chapter award based on a scrapbook sent to the organization’s national office.


“The scrapbook should incorporate all of the different things the chapter has done during the year,” she said. “Our scrapbook included things about the symposium, about black history month and women’s history month. It’s just a way to document your activities throughout the year. Without that scrapbook, we would not be competitive.”


Thompson said she believes the driving force behind Tech’s numerous Best Chapter awards is the chapter’s successful history.


“We have tradition,” she said. “Students like being a member of an organization that has this history of winning, and they don’t want to let the university or themselves down. Our students are also bright and dedicated, just like most Tech students, and we’re fortunate enough to have them aim that dedication at Phi Alpha Theta.”


Julia Vanchiere, Lambda-Rho Chapter’s secretary who compiled the award-winning scrapbook, said she believes Tech’s chapter is unique because of the active history department and the group of students who make up the organization.


“Phi Alpha Theta has many opportunities to cosponsor events through the history department and the School of History and Social Sciences,” she said. “The students of our chapter are also very eclectic and make our chapter very rich in new ideas and outside influences.”


Emeterio Flores, Lambda-Rho Chapter’s former president, said he believes Tech’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta stands out because of its interest in serving the community.


“I feel that one of the qualities that make us one of the better chapters is our commitment to providing services for and interacting with the community and its history,” he said.


Flores said he wishes more students knew Phi Alpha Theta focuses on more than just history.


“It’s very social and has a wide variety of interests,” he said. “In one meeting, we tried to develop a presentation on the social impact of Star Wars.”


Flores said he feels privileged to have served as president of Phi Alpha Theta and hopes to see it grow during the year.


“I feel honored to have been a part of such a great organization and help lead it,” he said. “My expectations are that the PAT keeps pushing to be more and do more.”


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