Dr. Sharon Joy installed as international Phi Beta Delta president

87

NATCHITOCHES – Dr. Sharon Joy, associate professor of music at Northwestern State University, was installed as the international president of Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars this week during the 35th Annual Conference of the Phi Beta Delta. Joy has served as the Phi Beta Delta chapter president and coordinator at NSU for 11 years and has served on the international board for two years as southwest regional vice president and most recently as president-elect.

This past week Joy coordinated and chaired the annual international online conference that included over 30 presentations of research by international and domestic university faculty, staff and students.

“It is a pleasure and an honor to work with these dedicated people from many institutions around the globe, united in their commitment to international education and global awareness,” she said.

Phi Beta Delta is the first honor society in the United States to recognize scholarship achievement in international education. It was established in 1987 and has chartered over 200 chapters at universities in the United States and around the world. Its 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.

Joy was inducted as a member of Phi Beta Delta at the University of Houston in 2001. In 2005, at the annual conference in Washington, D.C., she was awarded the Phi Beta Delta Yvonne Captain Faculty Award for Outstanding Contribution to International Education, primarily for her work founding, facilitating and participating in Palestinian-Jewish Dialogue groups in Houston and in Israel/Palestine.

“I remember receiving that award in 2005 and thinking that I had only begun my work in this area,” she said.

She has attended and presented at many of the annual PBD conferences since that time and shared research as diverse as “The Music of Al Andaluz,” “Music and Theater Arts in the Palestinian-Israeli Peace Process,” “International University Partnerships at NSU” and “The Arava Institute of Environmental Sciences: An Educational Oasis for Israel/Palestine/Jordan.” Joy has lived abroad and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. She is fluent in Hebrew, speaks some French and Spanish and is learning Arabic and Korean.

There was no Phi Beta Delta chapter at NSU when she arrived in 2005. With the support of then Provost Dr. Lisa Abney and President Dr. Randy Webb, Joy gathered like-minded individuals that included the late Dr. Jean D’Amato-Thomas of the Louisiana Scholars’ College, Dr. Greg Granger, Dr. Steve Horton and library director Abbie Landry. The Northwestern State University Eta Mu Chapter of Phi Beta Delta received its charter in April 2010 with the induction of 25 faculty, staff and student members. It continues to be an active, vibrant force at NSU, inducting new members each year and providing lectures, study abroad panels, scholarships and other activities that bring together faculty, staff, administrators and students who are committed to internationalism. Phi Beta Delta is interdisciplinary in nature and includes individuals from all content areas.

“When we sit around the table at a board meeting or other function, we have the opportunity to form relationships that transcend disciplinary and university ‘roles,’” she said. “There is a camaraderie in working together on this human level that exemplifies our support of collaboration in our diverse world.”

Northwestern State University had been scheduled to host the 2021 Annual Conference, but the in-person conference was moved to a virtual format due to COVID-19 protocols.

“NSU will host the 36th Annual Phi Beta Delta Conference May 20-21, 2022. For more information about Phi Beta Delta, contact Joy at joys@nsula.edu.