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College communications honor society hopes to increase visibility

| Thursday, March 7, 2019

Saint Mary’s College promises its students an opportunity to discover the world and find their place in it, and the Lambda Pi Eta honor society hopes to further these lofty goals for communications majors as they study and pursue their field now and after graduation

The four seniors who serve as board members — president Kerry Rose McDonald, vice president Jordan Cockrum, treasurer Maura Newell and secretary Ellen Kilian — said their goal was to expand the presence of the honor society on campus and bring communications studies majors together.

Editor’s Note: Jordan Cockrum is the Saint Mary’s Editor at The Observer.

There are various stipulations students must meet to be eligible for Lambda Pi Eta (LPH), including holding at least junior status as a communication major and maintaining an overall minimum GPA of 3.0.

McDonald said there are numerous benefits for those looking to enroll in the club.

“The point of that is you get to be involved with the National Communication Association. You’re able to submit research, go to their conference — they have an annual convention — you basically get access to all of that and all of their resources,” McDonald said. “You get a certificate; you get honors cords at graduation. It’s actually pretty selective to get into because I was looking at spring enrollment, and a lot of students applied, but only a few were actually eligible. It’s really selective to get in. You need to be [in the top] 35 percent of all of your class, and the GPA requirements really get people.”

Though they’ve been met with some unexpected obstacles, McDonald said she believes the club is doing better than it has in the past in terms of involvement.

Killian said she realizes the advancements LPH has made and attributes them to McDonald’s leadership.

“Even as juniors last year, there wasn’t really much participation or events that we could be a part of,” Killian said. “That’s why it’s something special to have Kerry Rose as our leader because she’s definitely made some good steps into actually creating a club that’s worthwhile and being a part of and doing things within the club.”

Killian said LPH’s progress serves as a positive reflection on communications majors as a whole.

“I feel like communications majors are very underestimated, so that’s partially why having this grow is beneficial and helpful for us because we want this to grow,” she said. “We don’t want this to be like, ‘Oh, another communications club? Sure.’ We really want people to know who we are and what we do.”

LPH will host its induction ceremony after spring break, and the executive board will choose its predecessors in the following weeks. McDonald said she hopes to share her experiences with new members.

“Our plan for the rest of the year is to lay down a framework for the leaders who take over for the next year, like our ideas, things that worked for us, things that didn’t,” McDonald said. “One of our ideas was — for professional development — we wanted to have a networking event with communication alumnae. They need to do some fundraising and things like that, but we want to put some things in place so they can pick up where we left off. We got some stuff started, but there’s so much more they can do.”

Newell said she is pleased with the progress LPH has made this year. She said the society can serve as a new layer to one’s friendship onion, and hopes Saint Mary’s students can find a new sense of community within the group.

“Your friend group may not necessarily be in your major, but these people understand — especially now with the job hunt and all of that stuff — where you’re coming from when it comes to that,” Newell said. “It’s a different group of people that are there to support you like everyone in the Saint Mary’s community is.”

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About Maria Leontaras

Maria Leontaras is a senior at Saint Mary's pursuing a student-designed major in Interactive Journalism with minors in mathematics and Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. Maria used to serve as the Editor-in-Chief of The Observer when she wasn't busy tweeting about movies and One Direction.

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