Communications honor society receives national Chapter of the Year Award

Elon's chapter of Lambda Pi Eta was recognized by the National Communication Association for several programs, including an annual “How to Succeed as a Communications Major” campus event.

Lambda Pi Eta officers include (from left): Kara Malone, secretary; Alex Zubak, president; Associate Professor Frances Ward-Johnson, adviser; Grace Martin, event coordinator; and Baron Smith, vice president.
The National Communication Association recently named Elon University’s chapter of the Lambda Pi Eta communications honor society its national Chapter of the Year.

Elon seniors Alex Zubak, president of the Eta Gamma chapter of Lambda Pi Eta; Baron Smith, vice president; Grace Martin, event coordinator; and Frances Ward-Johnson, associate professor in the School of Communications and adviser to the honor society, were presented the awards at a ceremony during NCA’s 99th Annual Convention in Washington, D.C.

“I am proud to represent such a talented group of students,” Zubak said. “Each individual’s achievements fuel the success of the Eta Gamma chapter.”

In addition to an award plaque, Elon’s chapter received a $200 cash prize in recognition of the successful execution and adherence to the honor society’s principles and mission.

As an accredited member of the Association of College Honor Societies, Lambda Pi Eta has more than 400 active chapters at four-year colleges and universities worldwide. The honor society recognizes, fosters and rewards outstanding scholastic achievement while stimulating interest in the communication discipline.

“We are excited to present the Chapter of the Year Award to Elon, which has clearly demonstrated and facilitated the goals of Lambda Pi Eta,” said Megan Moore, NCA director of Academic and Professional Affairs. “The chapter that best exemplifies each of the honor society goals receives the Chapter of the Year Award.”

Elon’s chapter was recognized for its successful programs, including its annual “How to Succeed as a Communications Major” event, which invites first- and second-year students from across the campus to learn about various majors in communication. The fall semester event was started by the chapter in 2008 and encourages participants to interact with communications professors and includes a mentoring session with honor society members.

In addition, the chapter was noted for its Outstanding Senior Awards program, in which one or two senior honor society members receive a competitive award each year. Since the program began, the chapter has awarded more than 10 scholarships, totaling more than $5,000.

“The students have worked hard at making the honor society more visible in the department and on campus,” said Ward-Johnson. “I am pleased that they are being recognized at the national level.”

Other Elon chapter projects recognized by the awards committee included:

  • the annual initiation ceremony involving inductees and a communications faculty as keynote speaker
  • Communications Week launched last spring, which included a “Thank You” campaign to faculty and a showcase of honor society members’ capstone research projects.
  • honor society officers who served as members of the national Bateman Case Study Competition team, the highest contest for public relations students in the country sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America. Elon has placed third in the nation twice and received several honorable mentions in the contest. 

The Elon chapter of Lambda Pi Eta was organized in 1998 by founding adviser Associate Professor George Padgett to recognize the outstanding achievement of communications students. Currently, 75 juniors and seniors are members of the Elon chapter.