Phi AlphaDecember 7, 2020 (Jackson, Miss.) - Belhaven University's chapter of Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society inducted nine new members at a virtual ceremony on Monday, November 16, 2020.

The 2020 Phi Alpha inductees from Belhaven University are Shannon Carson, James Greer, Rebecca Martin, Mary Kate Nobles, Rebekah Reese, Chloe Thaggard, Rebekah Veldhorst, Porsha Welch, and Charity Williams

Sigma Xi Chapter of Phi Alpha is under the advising of Dr. Patricia Cruz, chair of Belhaven's Social Work Department. She said, “The virtual ceremony reflects our current environment, yet the occasion is proof of our students' commitment to excellence in their personal and professional achievement. Considering the many challenge students have faced this year with COVID-19, we did not want to miss this opportunity to shine a light on their scholastic accomplishments,” said Cruz.

Phi Alpha is the nation's premier social work honor society, established to provide a closer bond among social work students and promote humanitarian goals and ideas. Phi Alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers and recognizes students who achieve academic excellence.

The concept of a national social work honor society came from a group of undergraduate social work students at Michigan State University in 1960. Investigation revealed that local chapters existed at three schools. Those three schools along with a few other schools formed a National Honor Society Committee in November of 1960. For more than a year, this committee worked on the constitution and other administrative matters. The name Phi Alpha was adopted from the local chapter existing at Florida State University. The constitution and formal organization were completed in 1962, and 6 chapters qualified to become “charter chapters.” The charter chapters were Florida State University, Michigan State University, Ohio North University, Central State College, University of Dayton, and the University of Tennessee. Over 450 chapters are now in existence, and the addition of new chapters is continuing.