Gamma Sigma Alpha (GSA) exists to recognize the academic accomplishments of students nationwide. As Greeks, we want our students to be proud of their accomplishments; and, the Gamma Sigma Alpha National Greek Honor Society, since its inception, has rewarded its members with/through:
- GSA Honor Cords for Graduations
- Scholarships for Undergraduate and Graduate Study Opportunities
- Chapter Programming Grants
- GPA Chapter of the Year and Honor Roll Recognition
- Nationwide Network of Fellow and Alum Initiates
With thousands of initiates across the country and hundreds of chapters, Gamma Sigma Alpha members are positively impacting their campuses and communities each day.
We encourage you to tell others about Gamma Sigma Alpha, start or reactive your campus’ chapter, or host a GSA event today. Our National Office stands ready to assist you. Feel free to contact us any time to learn how best to recognize the students on your campus.
The October Mini-Grant deadline has been extended until October 15, 2012. Don’t pass up this opportunity for Gamma Sigma Alpha to help fund your event.
To make sure your organization is eligible, please see the reminders below.
Please consider the following when applying for the Gamma Sigma Alpha mini-grants:
- 1. Any school that hosts an active Gamma Sigma Alpha chapter is eligible to apply for a mini-grant. An active chapter is defined as a chapter that has initiated students into Gamma Sigma Alpha during one of the most recent three semesters.
- The completed application form must include signatures by the originator and approval from the Department of Student Life and/or Fraternity and Sorority Life.
- The Mini-Grant Committee will review proposals and may recommend funding at, below or above the request based on review committee consensus.
- The minimum request amount will be $100 and the maximum-awarded amount will be $500.
- Projects in progress or completed are not funded. Project start date should be AFTER notification date and within six months of the notification date.
Compensation to individual student, faculty and/or staff will not be considered.
To apply, download the application here.
Questions: Contact director(@)gammasigmaalpha.org
Social media can be one of the biggest distractions students face when studying for exams, writing papers and working on final projects. It’s more difficult than ever before to focus on the task at hand when Facebook, Twitter, Linked In employment news, YouTube videos and everything else is at their fingertips! If you are an advisor or admin a group Twitter account, now is a great time to incorporate some study tips into your social media. It might be just what they need to read in order to bring their focus back to studying. For your convenience, we’ve listed some of our favorites below to get you started. Use hashtag #gettingthegrade and/or #gammasigmaalpha if you add your own and we’ll compile a longer list for future use!
- Study Tip: Create a fact sheet for each of your classes a few weeks before exams and review regularly. #gettingthegrade #gammasigmaalpha
- Study Tip: Protein is better than caffeine and it won’t leave you jittery! #gettingthegrade #gammasigmaalpha
- Study Tip: Discuss issues with your prof/ TA PRIOR to exam week. They can help! #gettingthegrade #gammasigmaalpha
- Study Tip: Use campus resources: writing lab, tutoring services, stress counseling, etc. #gettingthegrade #gammasigmaalpha
- Study Tip: Avoid fast food, it will make you lethargic-munch on almonds & whole grains instead. #gettingthegrade #gammasigmaalpha
- Study Tip: Enlist a study buddy-set study goals 2gether & reap rewards after-success is best shared! #gettingthegrade #gammasigmaalpha
- Study Tip: Move! Break up study sessions with brisk walks. Helps w/fact retention & alertness. #gettingthegrade #gammasigmaalpha
- Study Tip: Study actively-read, hear, see, say & do. Flash cards, discussions, outlines etc. #gettingthegrade #gammasigmaalpha
- Study Tip: Make a checklist or calendar and plan your study attack. #gettingthegrade #gammasigmaalpha
- Study Tip: Vary the time of day you study, this can help with retaining the material. #gettingthegrade #gammasigmaalpha
- Study Tip: Use the power of positive thinking & get some rest prior to test day! #gettingthegrade #gammasigmaalpha
Our Regional Awards have been announced at the Central Fraternal Leadership Conference/National Black Leadership Conference and the Northeast Greek Leadership Conference. Men from fraternal communities in the Southeast region gathered this week for SEIFC and Gamma Sigma Alpha announced the Regional GPA Awards for this region today.
Congratulations to the fraternal community that was awarded our top academic achievement award for this region. This award is measured by the differential between the all-undergraduate mens GPA and the all-fraternity GPA. The fraternity GPA on this campus was consistently above the all-mens average and proves this community is putting academics first. The winner of the Spring 2011 semester award is also the winner for the Fall 2011 semester award and that school is the University of Miami! Go Hurricanes!
Our Honor Roll Schools in this region were recognized for having higher fraternity GPA statistics than the all-mens GPA statistics on their respective campuses. Congrats to these schools:
|Jacksonville State University|
|University of Alabama|
|University of Central Florida|
|University of Louisiana at Monroe|
|University of Miami|
|University of South Carolina|
|Valdosta State University|
Do you think your fraternity community should be added to our Honor Roll? We’ll continue to take GPA submission through the end of the semester, send us your information here.
Begun in 2000, the Gamma Sigma Alpha regional GPA competition seeks to recognize those schools within the Central region whose fraternity and sorority GPA is the greatest above their undergraduate GPA. Schools who have already submitted their GPA information are featured on our Honor Roll and provided a certificate. If the Fraternity/Sorority GPA on your campus is higher than your all-undergraduate GPA, you can submit your grades through the end of the semester to be included in the HONOR ROLL. Submit grade information here.
Awards were announced today at the Northeast Greek Leadership Association in Hartford, CT. The institution receiving the highest academic award for the Spring 2011 academic period is Saint Francis University. Our winner for the Fall 2011 academic period is Washington & Jefferson College. Congratulations!
The 2011 Honor Roll Recipients for the Northeastern region are:
|Saint Francis University|
|Washington & Jefferson College|
We highlighted the Fraternity/Sorority Community Academic Report Card on our website and blogged about the process of creating a scholarship plan. Below are some “Best Practice” examples we’ve compiled that have been shared with us from Gamma Sigma Alpha chapters across the country and through our Regional Academic Award Submissions. We have categorized them in the same way we did for the report card so they can be easily added to your scholarship plan that outlines activities in that way.
Standards and Policies:
- At Case Western Reserve University the Gamma Sigma Alpha chapter assists the Greek Life office and handles peer appeals when Greek officers, both within the chapters and the officers of the governing councils are academically ineligible to hold office.
- Working in conjunction with the Academic Centers for Excellence office, each Greek-letter organization is paired with a graduate academic coach to help with academic presentations and/or individual member issues at the University of South Carolina.
- Many fraternity/sorority chapters across the country, including those at Muhlenberg College and Clemson University, are required by the Greek Life office to have an annual scholarship plan that includes measures to address low achievers and new members as well as a reward system for high achievers
- We encourage you to find a way to recognize all 4.0 students. Communities around the country do this during a Greek Awards Ceremony, Scholarship Tea with the President, Free coffee voucher, newspaper ad, etc.
- Oklahoma State University hosts a scholarship chair chapter office training to share successes & challenges.
- Butler University hosts a Midnight Breakfast each finals week—free breakfast in dining halls served by faculty & staff, learning resource center is on-site distributing study tips, give-aways and tutoring opportunities.
- Missouri State University’s fraternity/sorority life office implemented a tutoring program for students struggling academically.
- We encourage all chapters that have physical chapter space to expand quiet space availability on campus and encourage enforcement in chapter houses during mid-terms and finals week. Indiana University’s large chapter houses do this each semester.
Faculty Advisors/Faculty Relations:
- University of Central Florida hosts roundtables for advisors with a topic of scholarship each semester.
- The Gamma Sigma Alpha chapter at the University of Iowa created a faculty/staff appreciation award for individuals who help contribute to the academic success of their members, chapters & community.
- The Gamma Sigma Alpha chapter hosts quarterly faculty dinners with students at Northwestern University.
- Elmhurst College hosts a Faculty Appreciation Day throughout the Fraternity/Sorority community, encouraging students to send thank you notes, post signs in faculty lounges, tweet or utilize social media to spread appreciation.
- Many communities, including the University of Louisiana at Monroe, publish grade ‘rankings’ of Greek-letter organizations as a way of recognition, we encourage you to incorporate these statistics into recruitment materials.
- Do not only recognize highest GPA—also recognized most improved and encourage chapters to recognize individuals for most improved in their chapters
- Brenau University hosts a Study-a-thon each semester. The University of San Diego does this with free chair massages to increase student attendance. We encourage all communities to host a social freeze during ‘dead’ week which NO SOCIAL EVENTS may be scheduled.
- Integrate an academic focused event into Greek Week (tutoring circles, study hours with snacks, Greek Assembly with speaker on tips to be a better student
- Conduct a “Letters in the Library” campaign—encouraging members to wear their lettered attire to study in the library and record their study hours in a binder at the library desk. At the end of the semester, award the chapter that had the most study hours to member ratio. Drake University did this and the program was so successful they now also host ‘Letters in the Gym” to encourage healthy lifestyles!
Eva Ryan is a recipient of a Gamma Sigma Alpha Graduate Student Scholarship for the 2011-2012 academic year. She is currently a full-time graduate student at the Manhattan School of Music taking classes towards a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Flute. Ryan was an undergraduate student at Northwestern University where she served as president of the Beta Tau chapter of Gamma Sigma Alpha. She is a proud member of Kappa Kappa Gamma and was recognized at Northwestern as a Greek Emerging Leader.
An accomplished musician, Ryan decided to forgo the opportunity to attend a conservatory or traditional music school in order to attend Northwestern. One of the reasons she made this choice was to be involved in fraternity/sorority life and other campus activities. She volunteered her time at local schools and retirement homes throughout her undergraduate career.
During her time as President of Gamma Sigma Alpha, Ryan coordinated the first-ever Leadership Reception with the University President. She also continued the tradition of hosting intimate faculty dinners with Gamma Sigma Alpha members each quarter. In addition to playing a pivotal role for Gamma Sigma Alpha, Ryan co-taught the Greek Emerging leaders class. Her co-teacher in this role, wrote her recommendation letter and stated, “Eva believes in the values of Kappa Kappa Gamma and the true purpose of sisterhood…She did not shy away from challenging topics and on many occasions would speak about how she has combated hazing, alcohol abuse and stereotypes within fraternities and sororities.”
The Board of Directors of Gamma Sigma Alpha recognized Ryan as an extraordinary student, leader, scholar and role model. We wish her continued success. For information on the graduate student scholarship application process, please visit our website and plan to apply by April 1, 2012.
Council leaders & advisors, these tips can be distributed periodically via social media sites over the course of the semester or presented during an “academic focus” portion of a council or chapter meeting. It may be a great way to get Gamma Sigma Alpha initiates involved in helping the academic culture of the campus.
Students occasionally make the mistake and ‘learn’ to study when exam time comes around, but the best time to make changes to your schedule and preparation activities comes at the early part of the semester to allow you to get ahead of the game.
Here’s how you do it…
Consistent Preparation–Needs to happen throughout the semester and is the MOST important:
- Go to class (we know you knew that)
- Take notes in class. Know the kind of notes you should take…do you learn best sharing notes with a friend to review the ‘take-away’ lessons? Do you like flash cards? Hand-written or electronic? Make these choices and stick with them.
- Take notes as you read. Highlight the book, or use your classroom note-taking strategy as you review the text.
- Participate in class. Close facebook and listen!
Preparing to get the grade:
- Reverse planning: Take a look at the course schedule and work backwards. Make your own plan to spread out the assignments and readings so that you don’t get overwhelmed or behind.
- Make lists: This is a great way to consolidate your responsibilities in each class and know which topics you should focus on each week leading up until mid-terms, then final exams. Include a ‘goal sheet’ that you can reference over the course of the semester to see if you are on target.
- Know your professors: Discuss class issues throughout the semester. Do not wait until after grades are released. If you are struggling, ask for resources. An introduction early in the semester can go a long way.
- Every day is important. It’s easy to fall into that habit of ‘blowing off’ the first couple weeks of the semester, but when you do, you’ll spend the remaining time just trying to stay afloat. Do the opposite and work just a bit everyday.
Maximize your study time:
- Use active studying techniques: flash cards, online tutorials, roundtable studying with friends.
- Know your memorization strategies: You may find success reading out loud, using acronyms, trying to visualize what you are learning or using association to tie the new subject with something you already know in your mind. All these techniques can be found in online resources with a quick internet search and may make the difference for you.
- Focus on the goal sheet: keep it updated and use it to know if you are keeping pace with what you want to accomplish this semester. Think about doing a buddy syster so that you have a friend keeping you accountable and you do the same for them.
- Keep alert: There’s a reason teachers forced you to do calisthenics in middle school. Take a brisk walk or break to stay alert and on task when studying.
Follow these tips for a successful semester & don’t forget to join Gamma Sigma Alpha!
Our thanks goes to The Student Academic Resource Center at the University of Central Florida for sharing some of these tips with us.
We love this video posted by our friends at the National Panhellenic Conference last week.
Notice the first descriptor is STUDENT. This, I’m sure, was very intentional. Let’s not forget! Good luck with end of the semester exams, papers, presentations and all!
1. Publish grades
2. Conduct assessment with university research office
3. Assign interns, graduate students, or practicum students to work on academic projects or initiatives
4. Help fraternity/sorority community showcase their academic achievements to the university community
5. Obtain budget incentives from tutoring companies
6. Begin to impose initiatives
7. Reach out to headquarters
8. Email grade reports to the chapters
9. Create resource packets on academics for chapters
10. Contact NPHC chapter advisors if members/chapters are below 2.5
11. Ask Counseling Center to assist with academic support
12. Put grade report on website
13. Provide chapters with academic workshops
14. Set community wide academic goals
15. Share the Fraternity/Sorority Community academic report card with all chapters
16. Empower the student leaders in this area
17. Provide job descriptions and resources for faculty advisors
18. Talk with chapters about their academic profile and performance
19. Show students how to hold their peers accountable academically
20. Meet regularly with all chapters about scholarship
21. More incentive based plans
22. Hold academic integrity conversations
23. Work with schools/departments to recruit/designate chapter faulty advisors
24. Publicly “brag” on exceptional chapter/student academic achievement (newspaper, facebook, twitter, etc)
By the Councils
25. Host special event for scholarship chairs whose chapters met or exceeded the respective all-campus GPA
26. Chapter challenges for grades/grade improvement
27. Have stakeholder discussions
28. Have an academic aspect of recruitment
29. Post chapter GPA’s during orientation and/or recruitment
30. Co-host fraternity/sorority awards and faculty appreciation dinner
31. Talk with chapters about their academic programs
32. More faculty recognition programs, especially for influential faculty
33. Hold scholarship banquets
34. Select a faculty member of the month
35. Set an academic goal together
36. Improve Council academic programs
37. Voluntary round tables at Starbucks or other on-campus location
38. Re-allocate budget for scholarships
39. Establish chapter standards and requirements
40. Skills workshops for scholarship chairs
41. Take officers on tour of campus resources
42. Faculty/staff advisor recognition
43. Council to council contests
44. Establish peer expectations
45. Raise standards by council
By the Chapters
46. Allocate a percentage of the budget on academic enrichment
47. Put academics into recruitment conversations and expectations
48. Recruit new members with high GPA’s
49. Ask for input from the student leaders on new member programs and what is working and what is not
50. Make sure new members achieve good grades during new member period
51. Assess chapter time spent on academics as related to time available, budget and values
52. Elicit ideas from members
53. Develop an individual member academic probation period, have those members file an action plan with scholarship chair
54. Enforce quiet hours in the house—all semester or during exam periods
55. Help every chapter maintain or raise its GPA
56. Help chapters with academic achievement awards
57. Give faculty recognition
58. Assessment of academics/academic achievement to peer averages
59. Training for chapter scholarship chairs
60. Reach out to faculty advisors
61. Budget for academic programming
62. Start/support a Gamma Sigma Alpha chapter
63. Strengthen the faculty/staff programs; create relationships
64. Improve cultural aspects
65. Share academic research with chapters
66. Share honor society information
67. Support fraternity/sorority campus office on what they are trying to do
68. Parity in message about academics is important
69. Create a list of faculty and staff with their fraternity/sorority affiliations
70. Appreciation baskets to colleges/departments/faculty
71. Photo opportunities with deans and/or senior administration
72. Academic excellence dinners
73. Develop individualized chapter plans—one size do not fit all
74. Create point systems & incentives
75. Use the Academic Achievement Report Card to evaluate & improve (Available: HERE)