LRU’s Delta Mu Delta Chapter honored as a STAR Chapter Award Winner

By Madeline Riccardi, Editor-in-Chief

Eta Psi, La Roche’s Chapter of the Business Honors Society, Delta Mu Delta, received its fifth STAR Chapter Award.

This year, the STAR Chapter Award recognized La Roche University’s Chapter of Delta Mu Delta for having exceeded the standards of the prestigious business honors society.

Delta Mu Delta “recognizes and encourages academic excellence of students at qualifying colleges and universities to create a community that fosters the well-being of its individual members and the business community,” according to its internationally recognized website.

Dr. Michaela Noakes, Associate Professor of Information Systems and Technology and current advisor of Eta Psi, said the group was honored for its hard work during the pandemic, which she attributed as a difficult impact on the group.

“The STAR Chapter Award recognizes La Roche University’s Eta Psi Chapter as having met and exceeded the standards the Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society has for managing the Chapter and its activities,” Noakes said.

“Our University was recognized with a post on the Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society’s website and in Social Media, giving us a global presence for this recognition among other colleges and universities,” the Director of Instructional Design and QM Coordinator said.  

“Our Eta Psi Chapter received a certificate of achievement which is framed and hanging in the faculty area and on our Eta Psi bulletin board on the third floor of HAC,” she continued.

Dr. Noakes began teaching at La Roche University in 2014 and the former Chapter advisor, Dr. Harry Strickland quickly inducted her as an honorary member of Eta Psi.

“I was inducted as an honorary member of the Eta Psi Chapter by our former founding Advisor and our dear colleague, Dr. Harry Strickland, in the later part of 2014,” Noakes said. “After leading our Chapter for more than 15 years, Dr. Strickland asked me to become the advisor in 2015. In his final act as advisor, he gave me his gavel to chair our membership meetings and call them to order.”

Dr. Strickland played a key role, according to Noakes, in establishing a Chapter of Delta Mu Delta at La Roche University more than 20 years ago.

Since its creation as an honors society at La Roche, Eta Psi has honored student presidents and vice presidents as they graduated. Currently, both positions are open for induction into the group.

“Our most recent President,” Noakes said, “was Kasey A. Baronick, and our Vice President was Jesse Nakamura. Both have since graduated. We are in the process of inducting new members into our Chapter to fill these and other officer roles.”

Over the last few years, Eta Psi has hosted the largest sock drive in La Roche University history, according to Noakes.

“We had the largest sock drive in the University’s history for the homeless by collecting over 1,726 pairs of socks for the homeless men, women, and children in our area,” Noakes said. “Clean socks are an essential piece of clothing for this population as a means to reducing infections that primarily occur in the feet.

“We also cleaned the grounds of the cemetery and planted flowers at the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, located on Sixth Avenue as a community outreach initiative. The cornerstone for this church was laid in 1903 and the church was built in 1905,” Noakes continued.

She went on to say that a current goal of the Chapter is to host a food drive for the families that reside in Sto-Rox School District.

It is because of their work giving back to the community that along with their STAR Chapter Award came an award gift card.

Noakes said, “In the past, the award gift card was used to buy lunch for our officers for their dedication to our chapter and in celebration of their contributions to its success.

“During the pandemic,” she continued, “our chapter agreed to use the 2020 gift card in Memory of Dr. Harry Strickland for his many years of service to our Eta Psi Chapter. We purchased and had a brick at La Roche University engraved with Dr. Strickland’s favorite saying. The award this year will be used for a gathering of recent inductees in celebration of their efforts.”

Although Eta Psi worked hard to keep the Chapter alive during the pandemic, Noakes said they felt the effects in their volunteer work.

“We chose to pivot and refocused on energies into those areas where we could be successful by encouraging our inductees to begin their membership with Delta Mu Delta, to seek virtual opportunities to donate to others, to ensure our fiscal responsibilities were in order, and the required annual reports were accurately prepared and submitted in a proximal manner to our international headquarters,” she said.

“I would like to acknowledge the team effort,” the faculty advisor for the American Association of University Women said, “of Stephanie Marks and Barbara Bencsics in completing the annual reports with me.”

Dr. Noakes would like the La Roche Community to know that Eta Psi “represents lifetime recognition for excellence and superior academic achievement in your degree pursuit,” she said. “It is the highest international acknowledgement a business major at La Roche University can attain.

“Membership also includes networking opportunities with over 150,000 international members, participation in our scholarship program, and federal employment prospects at a G-7 higher starting salary level,” Noakes said.

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