Phi Beta Delta hosts virtual meeting for new members, encourages participation in virtual international conference

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NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s chapter of Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars held a virtual welcome session for new members and general membership meeting April 19 in lieu of the Eta Mu chapter’s annual induction program.

A special guest at the Zoom meeting was Winnie Brophy, a representative of the National Phi Beta Delta board.  Brophy is director of the Center for Global Engagement at the City University of New York-College of Staten Island.

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Members of Phi Beta Delta include faculty, staff and students who are selected on the basis of their international orientation, scholarship accomplishment and/or contribution to international exchange.

“While the formal induction will take place in the fall semester when school reopens, the NSU Phi Beta Delta Board wanted to honor the eight new members and welcome them into this international honor society,” said Sharon Joy, president and chapter coordinator.

New faculty/staff members are Dr. Sarah McFarland, professor of English; Dr. Karen Walker, assistant professor in Child and Family Studies; Leah Jackson, director of Public Information and Media Relations; Dr. Terrie Pohl, associate professor in curriculum and instruction, College of Education, and Terrie Marshall, instructor and advisor in Student Support Services.  New student members include graduating senior in Business Technology Jared Boystun, Aura Hernandez Canedo of Colombia, a graduate student in music, and Isabelle Ming Lao Vivien of China, a fine and graphic art major.

Phi Beta Delta’s goals are to increase the recognition, credibility and importance of the international experience and create a catalyst for international academic-based programming on college campuses while providing support and recognition to those individuals on campuses who are involved in international endeavors.

The Northwestern State University Chapter of Phi Beta Delta was chartered in April 2010 with the mission of supporting international students, domestic students who are interested in international travel and affairs and faculty and staff who engage in international research and travel.  Phi Beta Delta is interdisciplinary in nature and includes individuals from all content areas. The chapter awards an annual scholarship for international and domestic students.

Earlier this year Phi Beta Delta hosted Chinese and Hindu language and culture lecture series with proceeds benefiting the scholarship.

Joy encouraged members to participate in this year’s international Phi Beta Delta annual conference that was already scheduled to be held online May 14-15. The conference website is: http://www.phibetadelta.org/conference/2020/conference2020.php

“Several of our NSU faculty will give presentations at this conference,” Joy said.  “This conference will include Phi Beta Delta news, an interesting keynote speaker and many fascinating presentations from university faculty and researchers from around the globe. I serve on the conference proposal submission committee and I am impressed with the diversity of topics on the theme ‘International Education in Our Changing World.’”

NSU’s Phi Beta Delta board voted to pay a chapter registration fee for the conference, which will allow members, students and anyone in the NSU community to attend, Joy said.  Those who plan to participate should notify Joy so she can include all names on the Eta Mu access list.

“If faculty teach a course with an international focus, they may want to encourage their students to participate, even though May 14-15 is after our school semester ends. This is a wonderful opportunity for our NSU community,” Joy said.

To cover the conference fees, the Phi Beta Delta board members created a MobileCause system to provide an optional donation portal. The portal allows users to make a donation for the conference or scholarship fund and members to pay renewal dues. Donors can also text PHIBETADELTA to 91999.

For more information about Phi Beta Delta or supporting the Eta Mu Scholarship, Joy at joys@nsula.edu or (318) 357-5754.  Information on the 2020 conference can be found at http://www.phibetadelta.org/.