Phi Eta Sigma

SUNY Potsdam Chapter

Grand President

Grand Vice President


Mr. John Harrell

Dr. B.J. Alexander


Indiana University

Tarleton State University








Grand Secretary-Treasurer

Chapter Advisor


Dr. John Sagabeil

Dr. Jason Schreer


Western Kentucky University

SUNY Potsdam


Stylish and scholarly is our motto!

2002-2003 Chapter Officers:

President: Lisa Robinson


Vice President: Jodie Munger




Secretary: Alicia Ottaviano


Treasurer: Janelle Bruso




Chapter Historian: Troy Soukey


Senior Advisor: Open

The 2002-2003 academic year provided several highlights for the national chapter with which we may all be especially pleased:  More than 32,000 new members and a Founders Fund scholarship program that awarded $150,000 to more than 100 deserving members.

It was also a good year for the SUNY Potsdam Chapter:  We inducted 58 new members.  More than 25% of the freshman class qualified for induction.  Our core officers worked hard to prepare for continued success and to provide a stirring induction ceremony for the new members.

Eligibility Information:

First year students (i.e. freshmen) who have carried a normal academic load (i.e. 12 or more credit hours) and earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher in either their first or second semester here at SUNY Potsdam are invited to join the SUNY Potsdam chapter of Phi Eta Sigma. Lifetime membership is conferred upon induction, and maintaining the grade-point average is not required. Please note that students who transfer to SUNY Potsdam with more than 15 credit hours are not eligible to join our chapter.

In addition to a one-time local chapter membership fee of $15, a one-time national membership fee of $15 pays for an academic key or tie tac, membership certificate, and a copy of the national magazine, "Forum of Phi Eta Sigma." The fee also pays a portion of the expenses for a chapter delegate to attend the national convention; and a portion goes to the Founders Fund, which provides approximately fifty $1,000 awards and twenty-seven $2,000 scholarships each year to members of Phi Eta Sigma for undergraduate study. Five $2,000 scholarships are also available for the first year of graduate study.

The induction ceremony is held at the end of the spring semester. A reception follows the ceremony. Parents and friends are encouraged to attend.

Scholarship Information:

Statute VII of the Phi Eta Sigma Constitution provides that all of the income from the Founders Scholarship Fund shall be used to grant one or more Distinguished Member Scholarships of  $2,000 for the first year of full-time graduate or professional study, one or more Distinguished Member Scholarships of $2,000 for full-time undergraduate study, and one or more awards of $1,000 for full-time undergraduate study. Applicants must be members of Phi Eta Sigma. Those applying for undergraduate scholarships or awards must be nominated by their chapters. Any Phi Eta Sigma member may apply for a graduate scholarship. Fund income available for the 2001-2002 scholarships was $150,000, making it possible to award five $2,000 Distinguished Member Scholarships for the first year of full-time graduate or professional study, twenty-nine Distinguished Member Scholarships for full-time undergraduate study, and eighty-two $1,000 undergraduate awards.

The members of the Scholarship Committee were: Ms. Molly Lawrence, Chairperson, The University of Alabama; Ms. Mary Jo Custer, Syracuse University; and Dr. John Sagabiel, Phi Eta Sigma Grand Secretary-Treasurer. The committee used the following criteria in selecting recipients: 

1. High scholastic record with a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA. 

2. Participation in local chapter activities. 

3. Evidence of creative ability. 

4. Potential for success in chosen field. 

5. Letters of recommendation, not to exceed three. 

All applications for undergraduate scholarships should be submitted to the chapter adviser for approval by the local deadline date given on the application form. Each chapter of Phi Eta Sigma may submit at least one undergraduate application. Chapters that inducted 150 or more members last year may submit two undergraduate applications, and those that inducted 300 or more members last year may submit three undergraduate applications. Chapters may submit as many graduate applications as they deem appropriate. Applications for graduate scholarships may be sent directly to the secretary of the scholarship committee at the National Office address or may be submitted to the chapter adviser so that all chapter applications may be sent to the national office in one mailing. All scholarship applications must be postmarked no later than March 1. Applications may be obtained from the chapter adviser or from the national office (a stamped self-addressed envelope should be enclosed).

The SUNY Potsdam chapter of Phi Eta Sigma annually awards a monetary prize to the most active senior chapter member(s) at the time of graduation. To honor our colleague and friend, the senior prize is now known as the Shane T. Shaul Memorial Senior Prize. Shane was an active member of Phi Eta Sigma during his time at SUNY Potsdam. In January of 1998, just a day before the spring semester began, Shane was tragically killed in an automobile accident. We miss him terribly.

Graduating seniors are also reminded that official honor cords and medallions are available each spring. The colors are black and gold. The cost is $8 for each, payable by cash or check to "Phi Eta Sigma." Please note that we order these directly from the national organization and not from the College Store.

Recent Chapter Activities:

Each fall our chapter traditionally has a Welcome Back BBQ. Plan to attend and bring along a friend. Admission for members is always free, with a $2 fee for non-member guests.

Each spring we poll the students to determine the Outstanding Faculty Award. This award is important because it is based on student confidence and success. The winning faculty member receives a plaque to display gives the keynote address at our annual induction ceremony for new members.

Criteria are:

  1. The ability to transmit knowledge
  2. The ability to make classes interesting
  3. Taking a personal interest in students

Our chapter helps to sponsor the Giving Tree on our campus every Christmas. At a present-wrapping party in December, we typically wrap 200-300 presents that are then donated to local needy families. Last year we wrapped over 250 presents!  The annual wrapping party includes special treats and the usual holiday music.

Links to other Phi Eta Sigma chapters:

Phi Eta Sigma -- national organization
Purdue University
University of Western Florida
SUNY College at Plattsburgh
Texas A&M
University of New Mexico
University of Oregon
Indiana University
Northern State University

For further information about our chapter of Phi Eta Sigma at SUNY Potsdam, please contact our chapter advisor, Dr. Jason Schreer.

(315) 267-2290

Last updated: 5/6/03