Spring 2017 Update

Sigma Zeta Key Graphic

January 27, 2017

 Dear Sigma Zeta Friends:

I hope your 2017 is off to a good start!  Our 2017 National Convention is just two months away, March 23-25, and will be hosted by one of our newer chapters, the Gamma Eta Chapter at Marian University in Indianapolis, IN.   

Even though there has only been a chapter at Marian since 2012, the Gamma Eta chapter is an experienced participant at the national convention, having attended each year since their chartering.  Other evidence of their ability to host an outstanding convention was their selection as the Founder’s Cup winners in 2014, an honor awarded to the chapter deemed most outstanding in combined local and national activities.  The chapter advisors, Steve Dougherty and Joyce Horton, and their experienced student members have already made many of the preparations for what looks to be a great convention.  Please see the 2017 Convention page at sigmazeta.org for many details, including registration.  One of the biggest highlights of the 2017 Convention will be the election of the first ever Student Representative to the Executive Council of officers.  A change to the Sigma Zeta Constitution passed at the 2016 Convention created this new position, and the final details of how to elect the student representative were ironed out at the National Officer’s meeting in November.  You will find the Student Representative nomination form, including qualifications and requirements of candidates, at the Convention page.  Please note that the deadline for nominations for Student Representative is the same as for convention registration, March 10, and that nominees must attend the convention.

As just mentioned, the National Officers met November 5, 2016 in Tampa, FL for their annual business meeting.  The many excellent discussions at that meeting were highlighted by the awarding of a record 21 student research awards, an increase by thirteen over the previous year!  Visit our website for a description of their research proposals.  Congratulations to these young scientists!  We hope to hear presentations about their research at the March 2017 or spring 2018 conventions.   The day before the meeting, several of the national officers dropped by six universities in the Tampa area to speak with faculty and administrators about our organization.  These recruiting visits generated interest and one of the schools, Warner University in Lake Wales, FL, submitted an application for charter membership over the holiday break, which will be voted on soon by the national officers.  This good news adds to that of the charter application by Miami Dade College, InterAmerican campus in Miami, FL, which is also under review by the national officers.

One more MAJOR item of importance to include in this letter.  The only Webmaster that Sigma Zeta has ever had, Bob Kistler of the Beta Iota chapter, is retiring at the March convention after 17 years of truly outstanding service.  As hard as the other officers have twisted his arm in an attempt to delay his retirement, Bob will be turning over the job to a newly elected webmaster at the convention.  To assist us in soliciting nominations for this position of crucial importance to our organization, Bob has placed an announcement on the website detailing the duties and needed skills for the position.  Please contact me if you have experience in our organization, including attendance at multiple national conventions, and are interested in this position or know of someone you feel might be a good fit for this position.   Again, please see the announcement at the website for more details.

Included with this mailing is a copy of the rubric that judges will use to help choose the award winners for the best poster and oral presentation, and this rubric is also available at the Convention link at the website.  Advisors, please distribute this rubric to your student presenters and their faculty mentors.  Also enclosed with this letter and at the website is the 2017 Convention mileage allotment for each chapter, based on round trip mileage to Indianapolis, and calculated at the rate of $0.40/mile.  Mileage has been determined using Google Maps.  Check these amounts against your calculations and please contact me if you feel there is an error.  The allotment listed is for 3-5 attendees.  For 1-2 attendees, the reimbursement is the cost of travel, not to exceed the amount for 3-5 attendees.  Double the amount listed for 6-10 attendees, triple the amount for 11-15, etc….  Mileage checks will be available at the convention. 

All of the National Officers encourage your chapter to attend this meeting to meet your colleagues from other chapters.  These conventions are always a good combination of professional and social activities.  We also encourage your chapter to consider nominating one of its members for the Honor Award, a graduated member for the Harold Wilkinson Alumni Recognition Award, and to consider nominating your chapter for the Founder’s Cup award.  Information and application procedures for all of these awards are found at the website.

A friendly reminder -- please do not delay in setting a firm deadline by which students who are eligible and interested should pay their membership fees, followed quickly by the advisor submitting through the website or by emailing to the National Office the spread sheet with the new members, even if the installation ceremony isn’t until near the end of the semester.  The spread sheet on which new memberships are sent to the National Office (see website for spread sheet and instructions) allows the chapters to specify the date, so the actual date of the ceremony can be printed on the certificates, even if the order is processed weeks before. 

*The National Office cannot guarantee timely delivery of certificate and jewelry requests received after March 1 – our campus has spring break the week of March 13-20; the National Convention follows a week later and preparations for it will also interfere with processing orders, as will the Easter holiday April 13- 17.  Final exams begin on our campus on May 5.  The National Office will likely not be able to process certificate and jewelry orders after the administrative assistant, the only paid member of Sigma Zeta, finishes her year May 5.  My schedule in the summer is not set at this point, so please don’t count on orders being processed during the summer, which begins May 5. 

*New orders will not be processed from chapters with an unpaid balance.  Reminders will go out in the next couple of weeks to those few chapters which have unpaid balances.

*Please give the National Office a three week lead time on all orders.



 Jim Hall, Executive Director