UIC History inducts first class into Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society

Students wear masks and hold red roses as they are inducted into Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society.

The UIC Department of History honored some of its best students Thursday, April 15, by inducting 28 of them into the Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society during an afternoon ceremony. Department Chair Kevin M. Schultz welcomed the students, several faculty members and friends to 950 University Hall, as the students received ceremonial red roses and engraved certificates welcoming them to the prestigious national honors society. They were joined by a special guest Jonathan Scott Perry, professor at the University of South Florida and current executive director of the national honors society.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for our students and our department,” Schultz said. “Joining the remarkable people involved in Phi Alpha Theta will allow our students to talk to a nationwide network of people interested in history and provide our students with access to awards and scholarships for which they might not otherwise have been eligible.”

After several years of discussions, this marked the first time UIC’s history department has been a member of Phi Alpha Theta, an honors society that dates back to 1921. The society hosts an annual conference at which many students present their research for the first time. It also grants scholarships and prizes and invites students into a nationwide network of similarly inclined students.

“Welcome to Phi Alpha Theta!” Perry told the students, going on to explain the symbolism of the Greek society and emphasizing its ideals, including the “belief in the community of all persons which renders abhorrent all ideas that tend to foment national hatreds, racial and sexual discrimination, and all forms of injustice.” Perry underscored these values in our times, discussing especially the war in Ukraine.

After the students gave a roaring affirmation to “accept the challenge of striving to live up to these ideals,” each student received the red rose (symbolizing beauty, charm, and fervency), a certificate, and a handshake from Schultz. Seniors will wear special Phi Alpha Theta cords at graduation, courtesy of the history department. The ceremony was followed by beverages, snacks and much merriment.

The inaugural initiates of UIC Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society includes Fiza Anwar, Lucy Nely Arias, Samuel Cangelosi, Emilio Diaz de Leon, Chris Doll, Maximillian Raven Gambony, Joshua Gibson, Priyanka Kaushal, Nathan La Mantia, Dylan Maldonado, Harini Marchadi, Christopher Mathew, Seamus McNamara, Ian Meimaris, Robert Montenegro, Jannet Moreno, Olivia Oberheu, Madison Piekarz, Bernadette Pitt-Payne, Lily Sauceda, Grace Scully, Alyssa Sowell, Emily Spalding, Jason Ward, Nevin Wood, Dimitrios Yiannopoulos, Lesly Zavala, and Yicel Zermeno.  Faculty advisers include Schultz and Junaid Quadri, professor and director of undergraduate studies.

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