NKU’s Alpha Beta Phi chapter of Phi Alpha Theta (PAT), has won their 19th consecutive Best Chapter Award. Overall, this is their 23rd time winning this award since colonizing on campus in 1985.
As claimed by the Phi Alpha Theta website, PAT is a national history honor society that is dedicated to recognizing students that excel academically and harbor a love for history.
The Best Chapter award is given to the chapter that best promotes excellence in everything they do, including research, publication and service.
Katie McDonald, senior history and Spanish double major and PAT president, said she feels honored for receiving the award.
“It is great and humbling to get that recognition, and this year as president I want to continue with that tradition because it pushes us to do even more,” McDonald said.
According to senior history major and PAT’s Vice President James McManus, NKU’s chapter is unique because of the dedication that members have toward learning history.
“The sheer activity we have truly sets us apart,” explained McManus. “We have a multitude of meetings and a multitude of projects so that members can choose what they want to participate in.”
According to McDonald, PAT is highly committed to community service. Some of the projects they heavily focus on are involvement with veterans, historical expositions, and Adopt-A-Family.
In addition to service, McDonald also admires the opportunities the chapter offers for academic growth.
“We look great on a resume but I feel like we are more than that,” McDonald said. “We give you the experience. I have learned so much by being involved, leadership, fundraising, community service, writing and publishing, and all of that is going to help me beyond college.”
The chapter continues to publish its highly-regarded peer-reviewed journal titled Perspectives in History. The annual journal, put out by NKU’s Department of History and Geography, began publishing scholarly papers from collegiate students and faculty nationwide in 1985. According to McManus, the journal is a great chance for members of PAT to do much more than learn history.
“There is so much to learn from writing. It is honestly one of my favorite aspects and I am grateful for the chances I have had to work on papers and use the resources that only we have to offer to complete them,” said McManus.
PAT uses different approaches to learning history; these approaches are what McDonald considers the fun side of the chapter.
“We like to go on field trips,” explained McDonald, remembering a trip where they saw a live reenactment from the regiments of the U.S. Colored Troops at Camp Nelson’s annual Civil War Days.
Earlier this year a team of six members went to a national conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico where they presented papers. PAT considers this an accomplishment because they had one of the largest groups in attendance.
McDonald explains that the benefits of joining PAT include networking, faculty communication and publishing opportunities.
PAT faculty advisor Dr. Robert Wilcox feels that the support each member gets from the faculty is one of the best features of the fraternity.
“It is apart of our tradition that students can work closely with faculty,” said Wilcox. “Everyone is a part of a team in Phi Alpha Theta, and that team is history.”
To join PAT, prospective members must have taken at least 12 credit hours of history with a 3.1 average GPA in those courses. They also need to maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.