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East Central University’s Pi Sigma Alpha is the recipient of the one of the Best Chapter Awards in the country for 2017-2018, it was announced by Pi Sigma Alpha Executive Director Sean Twombly.

Pi Sigma Alpha is the National Political Science Honor Society.

The award recognizes chapters which are particularly active in their departments and exhibit high levels of energy and creativity in furthering the goals of the honor society.

“(ECU) Professor Dr. Christine Pappas serves as faculty advisor to the chapter and should be recognized for extraordinary leadership and dedication to the political science students who are members of the chapter,” said Twombly in a letter to the university.

Of the 840 Pi Sigma Alpha chapters, only four were recognized in each of the four size categories, according to Twombly. ECU’s Rho Beta Chapter was chosen as one of the four best chapters in institutions with enrollments of fewer than 5,000 students.

“We feel strongly that the kind of activity demonstrated by East Central University’s chapter deserves special commendation from the National Office,” Twombly said.

The award carries a $500 cash award to the ECU chapter and an additional $100 for Pappas. In addition, the winners will be announced across social media platforms and in the American Political Science Association’s quarterly journal PS: Political Science and Politics.”

“The award is a testament to the work of my students,” said Pappas. “There are two major activities I am especially proud of. Members sponsored nearly 50 Christmas gifts through the Angel Tree program for children of incarcerated parents. They also raised thousands of dollars to fund our DC Internship Experience 2018.” 

During the DC Internship Experience, students heard US Supreme Court oral argument, visited the Environmental Protection Agency, interned on Capitol Hill, and attended the Pi Sigma Alpha National Undergraduate Research Conference. Three ECU students presented research at the conference.

Ryleigh Cooper, an Ada senior double majoring in legal studies and political science, was vice president last year and will become president this year.

 “I think it’s so great that our chapter won best chapter. We have an amazing group of people in our organization and everyone is working hard to be the best. In keeping with ECU’s new vision and mission, Pi Sigma Alpha’s aim is to educate and empower the students at ECU. Our chapter is best because that’s who we are and who we strive to be,” Cooper said.


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