The Alpha Beta Upsilon chapter of Lambda Pi Eta at Temple University inducted its newest members on Dec. 10 at McCormick & Schmick's restaurant in Center City. The national honors fraternity, which is overseen by the National Communication Association, accepts the top scholars in communication studies programs at more than 500 active chapters nationwide. This semester's induction of 17 new Alpha Beta Upsilon chapter members was the first to ever include students from Temple's main campus in Philadelphia, Temple's Rome campus and Temple's Tokyo campus. This international recognition of Klein College of Media and Communication students points to exciting developments in the organization and the communication studies program as a whole.
"We're a national communications honors fraternity whose mission is to promote communication and foster the well-being of communication studies at Temple as well as working in community service-based initiatives," says Max Eagle, president (an appointed position bestowed by the director of the communication studies department) of the Alpha Beta Upsilon chapter.
But that mission is tasked to the best and brightest. Nationally-recognized members of Lambda Pi Eta who are inducted in the Alpha Beta Upsilon chapter's official ceremony must be communication studies students with a 3.5 grade point average in their core department classes and a 3.25 grade point average overall.
However, the fraternity also functions as a campus organization that makes "club" membership available to Temple students outside of the communication studies program. This allowance gives all Temple students a chance to experience the opportunities that Lambda Pi Eta affords to the communication studies community. One of the organization's most ambitious initiatives is its mentorship program, in which active members of Lambda Pi Eta mentor students who are interested in academic and professional development. Other priorities for the chapter include involvement with New York City Pride, Philadelphia's chapter of the homelessness awareness nonprofit Back on My Feet Philadelphia and Klein College's high school workshop program Klein Futures Pathway Partnership.
According to new inductee and incoming president of the Alpha Beta Upsilon chapter Tommy Hernandez, the tightly woven bond between Lambda Pi Eta and the communication studies department broadens the reach of the chapter.
"The goal at the end of the day would be to make sure that everybody who pushes themselves to do more and more in the field of communication has the ability to join," Hernandez says.
This is especially evident when considering the newest class of Alpha Beta Upsilon chapter members of Lambda Pi Eta. Although 14 of the students attend Temple's main campus, one student was inducted while in Rome and two students were inducted while in Tokyo. New nationally-recognized members must be sworn into the organization at the same time, so arrangements were made for the international students to conference call into the induction ceremony. Despite the difference in time zones, the chapter leadership made it happen.
This tenacity and commitment to communication studies students is a core value of Lambda Pi Eta members. Eagle, who is graduating this spring, is happy that the newest members of the organization are a diverse group with ideas that will certainly increase the activity of the chapter.
"In my three years as a communication studies major at Temple, I've never seen the comm studies program in such a great position to provide so many students of so many different backgrounds and identities the opportunities to be so successful in a multitude of different areas," he says.
Hernandez is already looking forward to the projects Lambda Pi Eta and the communication studies department have underway and the ones they will take on in the future. He hopes that the shared social media platforms for the organization and the department, the development of a communication studies class focused on the history of Pride and an upcoming transfer student ambassador program will help students become more aware of the avenues available to them as future leaders in their fields of choice.
"What really matters to me in [the role of president] or any role is to make sure the students are successful," he says. "Every student should be, whether they're in Lambda Pi Eta or not."
For more information on Lambda Pi Eta or the communication studies department, follow @kleincollegecommstudies on Instagram.