Joseph Lehmann, associate professor of English at Grace College, has recently been elected as the Region V president of the Alpha-Chi honor’s society, a nation-wide program that encourages academic prestige among junior and senior undergraduates. Lehmann was elected to this title at this year’s convention in Baltimore, MD.
In addition, Lehmann recently revealed that he has been nominated to run for an “at-large” position on Alpha Chi’s National Council. Being elected to the seat will mean that he will have a part in the planning of national conventions, the awarding of scholarships and awards, and the recognition of new chapters in his region. Elections will run in April of 2013 next year.
As Region V president, Lehmann’s main responsibility will be working with the other region officers and the Grace chapter’s student representative to the National Council, Alysha Mrockza. Together they will encourage and assist some of the inactive chapters in the region to become active again by inducting new members, participating in service projects and attending the National and Super-Regional Conventions.
“The most significant reason to have an Alpha Chi chapter at Grace … is that it encourages our students to pursue original research and professional work while they are still undergraduate students,” says Lehmann, who has been the primary campus sponsor of the society since 2006. “We have consistently had students win awards, scholarships and fellowships on the basis of their research, and this success has encouraged other students to attempt original work of their own. This directly links to [Grace’s] new emphasis on applied learning—the work these students are presenting is applied learning in the academic setting,” he adds.
The society has not only been dedicated to scholarship, they have also spent quality time on campus and in the community encouraging students, raising support and being active in a broad pursuit of academic excellence. Thus far the chapter has designed and administered a student survey on academic integrity, compiled the data it received over a three-year period and presented its conclusions to the faculty and administration; provided after school tutoring at local elementary and middle schools; collected money to provide books to under-privileged children; and conducted a book-drive in conjunction with Tree of Life [campus] bookstore to benefit inner-city ministries.
Lehmann is very optimistic about the chapter’s future and said that he hopes to see growth go hand-in-hand with continued dedication to excellence. “I would like to see more of our members presenting their work both locally, and at the Alpha Chi national convention,” he says, adding that he is also hoping the chapter’s officers will become more involved with other chapters and continue our commitment to providing books to low-income families in the community. “We are therefore working to raise funds to help put books in the hands of under-privileged children in association with Reading is Fundamental.”
Under Lehmann, the Alpha Chi honors society at Grace continues to thrive as they pursue a multiplicity of individual and community-building priorities. Lehmann continues to uphold standards of integrated higher education that focus not only on how students can move their own academic careers forward, but how they can help others to do so as well.