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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Iota Mu earns seventh Best Chapter award from national society

Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, has once again recognized UALR’s Iota Mu chapter with the Best Chapter Award for universities with enrollments of 6,000-15,000 students.

This is the seventh such award for Iota Mu, which honors a chapter’s energy and creativity in furthering the goals of the honor society. The award was announced by the American Political Science Association.

The chapter will earn a cash award of $250 to be used for any activity. The selection is based on chapters’ annual reports to the National Office, and other evidence of extraordinary levels of activity.

Iota Mu

Iota Mu initiate, Jessica Ashun, visits with former U.S. Rep. Ed Bethune, who spoke at the Iota Mu chapter meeting last May. Bethune and his wife, Lana, are distinguished alums of UALR.

UALR Professor Emeritus Art English, who serves as chapter faculty advisor and has previously earned a Best Advisor award, is responsible for overseeing the chapter’s activities.

“It was kind of nice to realize we have won seven of the last 10 or 12 for our category, especially considering we competed against several hundred other universities and colleges,” English said.

Some of the activities in which Iota Mu members are regularly involved include voter registration drives and attendance at the Political Animals Club. The club was founded by Skip Rutherford, dean of the Clinton School of Public Service, and enables UALR students to rub shoulders with prominent state and federal officeholders.

The organization has also sponsored numerous political forums including congressional debates and school board forums.

Initiates to the organization have heard from such politicians as Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Morris Arnold, former U.S. Rep. Ed Bethune, and former U.S. Rep. Mike Ross.

The 2013 Iota Mu officers are President James Sturch of Batesville, Vice President Ashley Baker of Little Rock, and Secretary Joseph Kramer, also of Little Rock.

Since 2007, Iota Mu has also awarded the Jim Garison scholarship to a student with exemplary public service and academic excellence. It was established in 2006 to honor the memory of Garison, an Iota Mu member and officer who was shot and killed in a Christmas holiday bank robbery in 2005.

Iota Mu was chartered at UALR in 1978-79 and was the third chapter chartered in Arkansas.

Membership in Pi Sigma Alpha is open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students currently enrolled in programs of political science. It is the only honor society for college and university students of government in the United States.

For more information about Iota Mu at UALR contact English at ajenglish@ualr.edu or Tina Tipton in the Department of Political Science at 501.569.3331.