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PhiAlpha 1292-EditPhi Alpha National Honor Society New Member Induction

USC Xi Tau Chapter of the Phi Alpha National Honor Society for Social Work inducted 102 new members to their organization. Phi Alpha chapters strive to encourage social work ideals through service, professional development, and education. This local chapter works to help students develop professionally through practice and experiences outside of the classroom.
Phi Alpha offers or co-sponsors over 170 unique service learning opportunities throughout the year, such as the Second Tuesday Series, and promotes advocacy and service around Columbia, Charleston, and Greenville through events such as the Pride Rallies, Walk a Mile, and Disability Advocacy Day. Upcoming events include the Walk in our Shoes 2014 Homeless Awareness Tour on April 26th and a cookout sponsoring Epworth Children's Home May 3rd.

In addition to service learning opportunities, the chapter meetings feature guest speakers; recent topics include, "Cultural Competence with the Hispanic Community: What Social Workers Should Know" and "Green Social Work.”

For MPH and MSW Candidate Vice President Aaron Guest, the annual induction ceremony is the highlight of the year. Guest said, “The induction ceremony is one of the only opportunities for the whole chapter to come together.” Having the membership together allows for the organization leadership to reflect on what their members have accomplished. Inductees must have 15 credit hours of MSW coursework and at least a 3.5 GPA. This induction ceremony includes a large number of inductees who bring varied experiences to the organization and the COSW.

Phi Alpha President and MSW Candidate Meghan Hill sees the breadth of the community as a huge asset: “The social work student body is so diverse. Between part-time, full time, advanced standing, dual degree, and distance campuses, all of our new inductees have a variety of experiences that have made them great members, and will make them great social workers. I could not be prouder of the cohort of new inductees. I know they will make their marks after graduation.”

Along with the member inductions, the ceremony includes two honorary memberships acknowledging outstanding work for the program or the community. This year’s honorees are Dr. Maryah Fram and Dr. Aidyn Iachini. In addition, The Outstanding Member Award, which is given to a member who exceeds membership requirements and represents the organization in a positive way, was presented to Shaida Blackmon. She currently serves as the Charleston Cohort Representative and helped establish the regional Phi Alpha cohorts at the COSW’s satellite campuses in Greenville and Charleston. Dean Anna Scheyett said, “The entire COSW community is proud of Shaida and all of the new inductees. Phi Alpha is a great opportunity to gain professional development experience and to provide community service.”

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