2016 Induction Press Release

Phi Eta Sigma Welcomes 31st Class of First-Year Honor Society Students at Spring Induction Ceremony

KENNESAW – One hundred and eighteen anticipatory first-year students crowded two rooms of the Student Center at Kennesaw State University on Saturday, March 19 for the 31st installation of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society induction ceremony.

Before volunteers and distinguished faculty and staff announced the official start of the ceremony at 6 p.m., soon-to-be members were in for a monetary surprise. Four bookmarks were randomly selected through the use of color-coded stickers that coordinated with a scholarship prize. The Crest award and Black and Gold award of $50 each were presented to Joceyln Escobedo and Jackson Emery, respectively. The Dr. Liza Davis Scholarship Award of $100, named after the founder of the KSU chapter of Phi Eta Sigma and current director of the undergraduate honors program, was presented to Larson Hodge. Savana Chapman received the Dr. Ralph J. Rascati Scholarship Award of $200 in recognition of the founding dean of the Honors College.

Honorary faculty members, as part of induction tradition, also received membership into Phi Eta Sigma after being nominated by their current or previous students. The late Diane “Dee” Grindell, first-year studies lecturer, was honored at the ceremony by University College Dean Keisha Hoerner. NEST Advisor Teresa Dize, Engagement and Community Outreach Manager at the Center for Student Leadership Kirsten Economy, Associate Professor of English and Assistant Director of Distance Education for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Laura McGrath, Bioinorganic Chemistry Assistant Professor Janet Shaw and Associate Professor of Psychology Lauren Taglialatela were also inducted alongside the first-year students who were conferred lifelong membership. Professor McGrath was nominated by her online student and Phi Eta Sigma member Toni-Ann Hall. They met for the first time face-to-face as Hall presented McGrath with her certificate of honorary membership, a testament to the impact that professors have on their students inside and outside of a traditional classroom setting.

Among the 365 new members with an impressive scholastic record who received and accepted their invitation to join this honor society, 23 were legacy students who share Phi Eta Sigma affiliation with a family member. The tradition of adhering to the Phi Eta Sigma motto, “Knowledge is Power,” was represented by the cohort of family members inducted in this year’s ceremony. Twins Ross and Brett Dammicci, electrical engineering majors with a fall 2015 GPA of 4.0, represented a portion of the first class of inductees from the Marietta campus of the newly consolidated university. The membership of triplets Kimberly, Katherine and Jonathan Soulis along with the Dammicci twins highlights the importance of longstanding relationships and support seen in Phi Eta Sigma members as they maneuver through college.

The ceremony was concluded with a reception staged by Phi Eta Sigma members that included several dessert items, beverages and the perfect time for new inductees to socialize with faculty adviser Kathy Matthews, current members and the 2015-2016 executive board.

Phi Eta Sigma is a national honor society for first-year students with a GPA requirement of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. The values of this society are a well-disciplined mind, well-cared-for body and an unimpeachable character. Phi Eta Sigma hosts an array of social, service and educational events throughout the academic year that are open to members, the university and the community.