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Honors for Poli-sci Honorary

Ohio Northern University's Pi Iota chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, was recently chosen to receive one of the honorary's Best Chapter Awards for 2008-09.

Each year, Pi Sigma Alpha selects four schools with enrollments less than 6,000 to win the award. Winning schools must exhibit exemplary activity in their departments and universities. According to Pi Sigma Alpha's national office, the award recognizes chapters that "exhibit high levels of energy and creativity in furthering the goals of the honor society."

To date, Pi Sigma Alpha has been active both in their field and in their department. Since the 2000 presidential election, the chapter has gathered data on presidential electors, an under-researched field according to chapter president Kelly Morman. The study involved sending out surveys to all presidential electors for a given election year in order to attain demographic and political participation data. "We also sought to find if they had been contacted to be an unfaithful elector and change their vote from their pledge," said Morman.

Additionally, they have hosted fall and spring picnics in the department of history, political science and criminal justice, as well as parties on debate and election nights. They have received numerous grants from the national office for their activities, and Dr. Alexander, faculty advisor of Pi Sigma Alpha, recently published an article titled "Getting the Most from Pi Sigma Alpha Chapters: Exploring the Chapter Activity and Grant Program and its Multiplier Effects."

"Mostly, the award is reinforcement that we are doing a good job with our chapter," Morman said. "It is really a continuation of the good work others have started before us, and we are continuing that for the next generation of Pi Sigma Alpha members."

The Pi Iota chapter received an additional cash prize of $250 and mention in the fall issues of Pi Sigma Alpha Newsletter and PS: Political Science & Politics. Winners will also be featured in Pi Sigma Alpha's display at the American Political Science Association's September convention in Toronto.

The Ohio Northern chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha last won the Best Chapter Award in 2005. Pi Iota was first established in 1987.

Brian Hohmeier
Senior in creative writing from North Royalton, Ohio