Alpha Iota Sigma (AIS), an international organization established to recognize outstanding academic achievement in the field of interdisciplinary studies, was founded at North Greenville University (NGU) in February. Induction into Alpha Iota Sigma is a prestigious distinction awarded only to the most outstanding students.
"I am very excited about the launch of our Interdisciplinary honor society because it is the sixth honor society housed in our College of Humanities and Sciences. I am proud of the achievements of each of these inductees, and this honor society is a way to recognize their academic excellence," said Dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences Dr. Paul Thompson. "I am thankful for Dr. Bruce's initiative in starting this society. It is one more way that our interdisciplinary program is leading the way on campus."
AIS's goals are to promote the benefits of interdisciplinary work and provide a forum to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration with students, faculty, and local community members. It also investigates and promotes interdisciplinary learning methods, enhances understanding and application of interdisciplinary knowledge among the general public, and creates a sense of community among interdisciplinary students and graduates of interdisciplinary programs.
Distinguished Professor of English and Faculty Advisor for NGU's chapter of Alpha Iota Sigma Dr. Gregory Bruce said in the twenty years he has directed the interdisciplinary program, a large percentage of their students graduate with honors designation, but it is particularly satisfying to now have an honors society just for "interdisciplinarians."
"Given what I have seen in the newsletters from the Association of Interdisciplinary Studies, we must have set some kind of record by inducting 13 students during this first year of hosting a chapter. I am proud of what this moment represents regarding the high level of curricular and extracurricular work that these students have achieved. I am thankful for their becoming 'integrators for Christ,' poised to take the next step in being creative problem solvers in a complex world," said Bruce.
Interdisciplinary Studies majors must meet the academic requirements of the honor society, together with endorsements by faculty members, to be selected to induction into this respected society.
Adelaide Dickens, a senior interdisciplinary studies major from Boiling Springs, is an AIS inductee.
"When Dr. Bruce first approached me with the opportunity, I thought of it just as a piece of paper to add to my resume, but after attending the meetings and induction, I was struck by the common ground of all the chapter members," said Dickens.
"In interdisciplinary studies, we all have the same major, but our disciplines vary vastly from the arts to biology and business, so everyone has different class schedules. However, in the honor society especially, there's this shared pursuit of excellence in a way that honors and brings glory to God through whatever skills we've been given," Dickens said.
Dickens said the chapter's vision statement is to strive to exemplify what biblical community looks like, impact the world around us with the love of Christ, and remain academically sound.
"During the induction ceremony, Dr. Bruce took time to reflect and offer personal encouragement to each inductee. That has been one of my favorite things about the interdis program: the level of care Dr. Bruce puts into helping every student find their voice which makes the program genuinely feel like being part of a family. I believe God has used this to help grow me more into His calling for me during my academic journey at NGU," she said.
In addition to Dickens, other inductees were John Barham from Monroe, NC; Elizabeth Davis from Greer; Matthew Easler from Gaffney; Drew Golden from Travelers Rest; Meredith Greene from Greer; Karson Harsey from Beech Island; Linley Hawkins from Westminster; Austin Meyer from Simpsonville; Leslie Meyers from Travelers Rest; Lauren Quick from Marshville, NC; Rachel Stanley from Greer; and Sarah Wylie from Pickens.
Alpha Iota Sigma members have the opportunity to be acknowledged for their outstanding scholarly achievements, community engagement, and leadership in solving complex problems.