Honors portal opensBy Lauren Lane | 02/09/2015 9:56pm
To fix this issue, The University of Alabama’s Office of Information Technology, along with the Coordinating Council for Honor Societies, created a portal for students seeking membership into honor societies who are confused as to which ones are legitimate. The new portal provides one central application and shows students which legitimate societies they qualify for.
Sean Ross, president of the Coordinating Council for Honor Societies, said the new portal is a drastic improvement from the resources students used to have and will hopefully encourage them to get more involved.
“Honor societies at the Capstone strive to better the University of Alabama and Tuscaloosa communities,” he said. “Many of them focus on community service, philanthropy, leadership, scholarship and civic involvement when looking for members. Not only are exemplary students recognized for practicing these values, but honor societies bring groups of high-achieving and ambitious students together to promote common missions and build a better future for the University and the community at large.”
Ross said being involved in honor societies, such as Lambda Sigma and Cardinal Key, has allowed him access to networking opportunities and community projects.
Ryan Caselton, a sophomore majoring in chemical engineering, said he is grateful to have been selected to be a part of Lambda Sigma this past year.
“I would say Lambda Sigma has provided me with a group of friends in many different respects of life,” he said. “We have a great amount of diversity within our majors, hometowns and personalities. We have all come together to learn from each other and to work together and do service as well.”
Caselton said he was recently elected vice president of Lambda Sigma and is excited to begin planning new service projects for the upcoming members.
“It is an easy way to meet people your age and an easy means to get a group of people to do service with you,” he said.
Mary Lowrey, director of career education and development at the Career Center, said she encourages students to take advantage of this new portal as they get to choose what they gain from an experience as an honor society member.
“The benefits can depend on the opportunities provided to members and the initiative taken to be involved,” she said.
The dozen or so honor societies at The University of Alabama offer programs that help members with professional development and networking opportunities by getting plugged in on campus through leadership positions and providing events for community service and philanthropy.
“Generally, employers are going to be interested in experiences students have had developing and demonstrating their skills,” Lowrey said. “These experiences can include involvement in honor societies. If students join and do nothing more than put the name of the organization on the resume, it will not mean as much to the employer.”
The portal for applications closes Friday and will continue to be developed into a permanent portal in 2016.