By Karen Vargo
Phi Eta Sigma and The National Society of Collegiate Scholars are teaming up to increase service and awareness, achieving far more than academic excellence.
Some say it”s a way to improve service opportunities. “It”s a good opportunity for the people in both organizations to work together,” said Andrea Nordgren, 20, a senior, from Sandy, Salt Lake County, majoring in marriage, family and human development.
Nordgren is also the co-president of Phi Eta Sigma.
Phi Eta Sigma and The National Society of Collegiate Scholars are honors organizations that focus on academic excellence, service and leadership, Nordgren said.
To be invited to join Phi Eta Sigma a student must have a freshman GPA of 3.8 or higher, Nordgren said.
To receive an invitation to be a member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars a student must have a freshman GPA 3.4 or higher, according to Cullen Williams, president of The National Society of Colligiate Scholars.
Nordgren and Williams said they are excited about the new partnership and are looking forward to the results.
“Some happen to be called NSCS, some happen to be called Phi Eta Sigma, but we all have the same goal, so why not join together and really make a difference,” said Williams, 23, from Winter Park, Fla., majoring in business management.
The two societies are planning to have joint service projects, creating more opportunities to serve and learn from each other.
“There comes a point in time when competition needs to subside, and you need to come together to feel the unity, the purpose of what you”re doing. I think that”s what The National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Phi Eta Sigma are doing right now,” said Dain Brinkerhoff, 23, a junior, from Dallas, majoring in international business.
Brinkerhoff is also the executive vice president of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
According to Williams, The National Society of Collegiate Scholars is planning to have Phi Eta Sigma join them in their new program called “Planning for College Success.”
Their goal is to hold a workshop to assist middle school students in making the decision to attend college.
“The Planning for College Success Program is what I”m most excited about, especially if we could get the other honor societies to join with us,” Williams said.
A factor previously binding the two societies together was the focus on younger classmen.
“Our overriding goals are to celebrate academic excellence among freshman and sophomores, and to motivate them to have the drive to be better,” Nordgren said.
The purpose of being inducted as a member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars or Phi Eta Sigma is not to simply recognize that the student is an honor student but to serve, Brinkerhoff said.
“Our hope is that we can work and strive to serve, that we can reach out to the youth and those in our community and make a difference,” he said.
For students at BYU, service is usually a fundamental part of everyday life. Helping others with a common cause, building on each other”s strengths and learning from one another is what it”s all about, Nordgren said.
“Whether we”re part of an organization or not, we have to have that desire in our hearts to serve others and impact people for good,” Williams said.
Students are doing what they would do as church members, but as a part of these societies they have a specific emphasis to let their knowledge serve the people, he said.