Political Science Honor Society Started at Benedictine College


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Benedictine College officials were please to induct 11 students into the new Rho Xi Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha (PSA), the national political science honor society, on April 23, 2015. Absent from the Benedictine campus since 2003, PSA was reinstated with the new chapter, another indication of the growth and success of the college and its students. PSA is the only honor society for college and university students of political science in the United States with over 600 chapters. It is not a social fraternity or club, but recognizes and promotes high academic achievement in the field of political science.


"The study of politics and government is one of the noblest of academic pursuits because a deep understanding of the principles by which we govern ourselves contributes directly to the quality of our lives and the well-being of future generations," said Dr. Bill Raymond, associate professor in the Political Science Department and the PSA chapter advisor. "The Rho Xi Chapter of PSA was last active at BC in 2002. With the continued growth of the Political Science Department, it only made sense to revive our chapter here at Benedictine College."


Raymond said that being inducted into an honor society is not just recognizing students for their past academic achievement, but also inspiring them in their continued growth as scholars and citizens to be the best they can be.


Dr. John Settich, chair of the Political Science Department, welcomed everyone to the ceremony and dinner and challenged the new inductees to be "exemplary citizens to create a civil society."


"I joined PSA because I viewed induction in such a society as both an honor and a challenge," said Erin Daugherty, a senior political science major. "Those in the field of political science have opportunities to have roles of political power, but with great power comes great responsibility. As a member of PSA I feel challenged to use my education to fulfill my responsibility to act for the betterment of others."


Another one of the inductees, Stanton Skerjanec, said Political Science at Benedictine College helps educate and form future generations of political leaders with one of the best departments in the nation, while under the guidance of the Church and Rule of St. Benedict.


"I think it's important to recognize the legitimacy and validity of this very important social science that strives to provide better information to our political leaders," he said.


Dr. Kimberly Shankman, Dean of the College, reminded the students that "Aristotle said the most authoritative organization is political." And as future leaders, she told them that she expected they would "impact the world for the good."


"Politics is all about people, processes and power," concluded Raymond. "And leaders are what bring them all together so we can have a civil society and functioning government."


Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America's Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.