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Student Spotlight: Pi Sigma Alpha Returns to Northwestern

Northwestern Reactivates Political Science Honor Society Chapter

Northwestern's Department of Political Science inducted 49 members to Pi Sigma Alpha last Thursday, for the first time in nearly two decades.

Formed in 1920, the prestigious honor society recognizes and connects students who have demonstrated an interest and achievement in political science. Northwestern’s chapter, known as the Nu Mu Chapter, was formed in 1982, led by Emeritus Professors Kenneth Janda and Jerry Goldman. The chapter stopped initiating new members after 1999, until this February.

The road to reactivate the Nu Mu Chapter began in 2017, when Professor Jamie Druckman (Weinberg ’93), who was inducted to Pi Sigma Alpha in 1992, suggested to Professor Andrew Roberts that students may be interested in joining the organization. They reached out to the national office and covered the cost for the students’ lifetime membership fees.

Roberts, who served as master of ceremonies last Thursday, said he hopes students take advantage of the opportunities Pi Sigma Alpha offers, such as attending the Pi Sigma Alpha national conference, submitting articles for award consideration and applying for research grants.

“We’re just getting started,” Roberts said, “but the hope is that it could be something larger than just a recognition of these student’s achievements. That it could also start doing productive things for themselves, and help their education.”

In order to be initiated into Pi Sigma Alpha, students must be in their junior or senior year, have taken 5 political science classes, with one at a 300-level or higher, have an average GPA of 3.0 or higher and a standing in the top 1/3 of the entire undergraduate class.

Both juniors and seniors were initiated, making this year’s induction class one of the largest in the Nu Mu Chapter’s history. 


Written by Sophie Stern '19


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