PGM
International Honor Society in Social Sciences
The mission of Pi Gamma Mu is to encourage and promote excellence in the social sciences and to uphold the ideals of scholarship and service.

VIEW FROM THE PODIUM

Revitalizing Pi Gamma Mu

The Nigerian proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” became well-known in the United States when then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton used it as a theme of a 1996 book about society’s obligations to children.  My theme in this column is that it also takes a lot of cooperation involving a lot of people to cause Pi Gamma Mu to be healthy‑‑in terms of finances and the manpower and womanpower to deliver high-quality service‑‑so that it remains a highly regarded collegiate honor society.

The members of the international Board of Trustees and of our professional staff at our Winfield, Kans., headquarters are working constantly to generate products and services that will satisfy our members and to conceive of new ways in which to contribute to the academic and scholarly lives of social scientists and social-science students.  Please allow me to review some of the products and services that we offer.

  • Beth BiddleSo that chapters can present these items to initiates during initiation ceremonies, we create truly elegant membership certificates, as well as membership cards and lapel pins.  If we are given several weeks of lead time, office manager Beth Biddle will ensure the timely delivery of accurately personalized certificates to chapter sponsors.  I see how excited my chapter’s initiates are to receive their beautiful certificates, and feel delight to be able to give them the recognition that they have earned and that reinforces their determination to do outstanding work.  Our very attractive blue-and-white honor cords are very popular with students.  The staff at headquarters gladly fills orders for honor cords, and I enjoy seeing my students wearing them as they collect their diplomas during our commencement ceremony.
      
  • Sue WattersPi Gamma Mu publishes what I believe is one of the most attractive and informative newsletters distributed by the various national/international honor societies.  Executive director Sue Watters writes most of the newsletter’s content and compiles each edition conscientiously in an effort to appeal to our chapter officers, other student members, alumnus members, chapter sponsors, and other professors.  Thus, we connect and re‑connect with our members regularly.  Connecting and re-connecting with members were also the purpose of our 2010 membership directory, Pi Gamma Mu:  Members Today.  In the process of the effort to track down all of our living members, the publisher and we compiled a list of about 20,000 E‑mail addresses, which we entered into the Pi Gamma Mu Listserv.  We now distribute editions of our newsletter to everyone whose E‑mail address is contained in the Listserv’s subscription list.
      
  • Pi Gamma Mu publishes what I consider to be a truly outstanding peer-reviewed journal, the International Social Science Review.  Our editor, Dean J. Fafoutis, likes to refer to the ISSR as the “face of Pi Gamma Mu.”  I take pleasure from his metaphor, because it makes me happy to envision people judging our honor society by the quality of our splendid journal.  While any scholar is eligible to submit a manuscript, and the peer-review process proceeds without bias, I admit that the society’s officers are especially gratified when the scholarship of members of Pi Gamma Mu‑‑including our student members‑‑appears in print in our journal.
      
  • Pi Gamma Mu awards three $2000 scholarships and up to seven $1000 scholarships each year to members who are about to enter graduate programs in the social sciences or law school.  In this way, we send a signal to our student members that advanced study in the social sciences is a productive method for deepening one’s understanding of social science and making an enhanced contribution to society later on as a professor, researcher, or specialized professional.
      
  • Pi Gamma Mu awards lectureship grants to chapters.  Each grant, in an amount up to $300, helps a chapter to pay an honorarium to a speaker (who is not an employee of the college or university) at a chapter-sponsored event.
      
  • Every three years, we invite our members to a triennial international convention, and spare no effort to provide an enjoyable, enriching program.  Our most recent convention, held in October 2011, occurred in the Washington, D. C., metropolitan area.  The attendance of 160 members set a record.  We wish that hundreds more members would have been there!  The presentations of research papers by 35 of our members (along with posters by five members) in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building will not be forgotten by the attendees.  Visit our Web page at www.pigammamu.org/conventions.html for more information.  I am pleased to announce that our 2014 convention will be held at the Crowne Plaza Charleston in Charleston, S. C., from October 16 to 18.
      
  • We are always evaluating other opportunities to serve our members.  We have partnered with Experience to provide students and alumni with exclusive member-only access to jobs, internships, and other opportunities‑‑job shadows, informational interviews, webinars, networking connections, competitions and more.  Editions of our newsletter often announce educational programs and internships that are available exclusively to members of honor societies (like ours) that are affiliated with the national Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS). 

As committed as our board members and employees are to ensuring the continuation of those services and the development of new ones, we would be spinning our wheels were it not for the array of chapter-level volunteers who enroll new members and collect initiation fees, without which our activities would run out.  As international officers do from time to time, I respectfully encourage our chapter officers and sponsors to make an effort to increase the size of their groups of initiates‑‑say, by 10 more than the previous year’s number per chapter‑‑this year, to help increase the overall pool of resources that our international office has available for enhancing the set of products and services that we offer.  Some ideas for doing that appear on a Web page entitled “Advice for Sponsors,” available at www.pigammamu.org/sponsor-assistance.html.

Angela ShearThe revitalization of Pi Gamma Mu also necessitates the development of new chapters and the reactivation of inactive chapters.  This must occur on a regular basis.  I solicit your active participation in this chapter-building process.  If you are willing to be a volunteer in this essential effort, the first step is to examine the list of Pi Gamma Mu chapters that appears on the Web page at www.pigammamu.org/chapters.asp .  Perhaps you were initiated to membership at one college, but you are now a graduate student at an institution that is not listed on that Web page.  Please, could you discuss Pi Gamma Mu with your professors, and report their willingness to organize a chapter to our international office?  Our chapter-development officer, Angela Shear, would love to hear from you and receive the names of the professors who would be willing to spearhead the organization of a chapter.  Perhaps you are a faculty member, and you know faculty members at other universities at which there are no Pi Gamma Mu chapters.  Please contact Mrs. Shear and give her the names and contact information for these individuals, so that she can send information about Pi Gamma Mu to them.  Another way of helping us is to refer students and professors at colleges that do not have chapters to our Web pages entitled “Message to Students” at www.pigammamu.org/students.html and “Message to Professors” at www.pigammamu.org/professors.html, respectively.

My summary is that Pi Gamma Mu’s products and services do not arise from a vacuum.  It takes a village to ensure the continued flow of revenue into our transformational process and the persistence of the valuable outputs from that process, so that our mission of encouraging outstanding scholarship in social science may continue without interruption.  My experience suggests to me that participating in the effort to support this undertaking is well worth it.  Do you have ideas about how to maintain Pi Gamma Mu as a productive resource for the social-science village?  If so, please send a message to me at [email protected] .  If Pi Gamma Mu is important to you, as it is to me, I would like to hear from you and learn about how you think we can ensure the organization’s continued success.  I will share your thoughts with the members of the Board of Trustees when we meet on October 19‑20 in Memphis, Tenn.

Barry D. Friedman
International President

 

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CHANGE OF ADDRESS

Anytime you move, such as after graduation, please notify the Pi Gamma Mu office immediately. This will prevent your mailings from being interrupted or discontinued. The International Social Science Review is returned to us by the post office, which is an additional expense for headquarters to absorb. Just mail a change-of-address card, post card, or letter; send an E‑mail message (executivedirector@pigammamu.org); or go to our Web site (www.pigammamu.org/contact.html) to inform us of your address information. We need your name, as well as your old and new address. Thank you very much for taking a few minutes to keep your information current.

Mailing address: Pi Gamma Mu, 1001 Millington, Suite B, Winfield, KS 67156.

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Front Page

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WELCOME NEW CHAPTERS

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OBITUARY - Hugh C. Bailey

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VIEW FROM THE PODIUM

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SHADOW PRESIDENT UPDATE

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HALL OF FAME AWARD

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OBITUARY - Teri Jo Reese Hull

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CHAPTERS IN ACTION

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SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITES

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MEMBERSHIP REPORT - August 2012

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CALL FOR PAPERS

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PI GAMMA MU SOLICITS YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT

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IDEALS OF PI GAMMA MU

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