FPU students took home the largest number of firsts nationally at the Alpha Chi National Honor Society convention held April 4-6 in Cleveland, OH.

Rachel Anderson, junior biology major, won The Clark Youngblood Prize in Philosophy and World Religion for her paper, “Descartes' Dreaming Dilemma.” Loren Friesen, senior communication major, won The Brown’s Graduation Prize in Communication for his paper, “A Space of Deviance that Refuses to Other: How Reading Physical Space Helps Us Understand Our Culture of Othering.”

Two other FPU students also presented at the conference. Catherine Jalomo, junior chemistry major, presented “Sustainable Production of Bioplastics and Biofuel,” and Maranata Zemede, senior communication major, presented “New Blacks on the Block: How Children of African Immigrants Negotiate Black Identity in the U.S.” Jalomo also served as student delegate.

"We have been proud of how Fresno Pacific has outperformed its small size at the conferences over the years. This year was the second year we received the most firsts nationally, though other delegations were much bigger," said W. Marshall Johnston, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the history program and one of FPU's Alpha Chi sponsors.

The Alpha Chi National Convention is a multi-disciplinary conference of academic student presentations attended by 400 delegates from across the country. FPU regularly sends delegates to attend the conference. For more than 10 consecutive years, FPU’s California Zeta Chapter of Alpha Chi has been designated a Star Chapter because of the high level of student engagement and faculty leadership in the society.

Alpha Chi National College Honor Society invites juniors, seniors and graduate students from all disciplines in the top 10 percent of their classes to be members. Active on nearly 300 campuses nationwide, chapters induct more than 11,000 students annually.

Marshall Johnston and Pam Johnston, Ph.D., associate professor of history, accompanied the students and served as conference judges and moderators. Marshall Johnston also serves as the region VII president of Alpha Chi and is the coordinator of the University Scholars Program at FPU.

Alpha Chi is among several honors societies available at FPU as part of the University Scholars Program (USP). USP is the hub for honors programming at FPU, which includes honors societies, honors classes across the curriculum and a range of scholarly events and travel opportunities. Eligible FPU students can earn University Scholar status upon graduation through a combination of honors coursework, honors society membership, attendance at USP-sponsored activities and by presenting or publishing scholarly work. For more information about Alpha Chi or USP, contact Marshall Johnston, chair of the honors council and USP coordinator, at marshall.johnston@fresno.edu

PHOTO: From left—Marshall Johnston, Loren Friesen, Maranata Zemede, Rachel Anderson, Catherine Jalomo and Pam Johnston.


Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations