Formed in 1920, Pi Sigma Alpha is the National Political Science Honor Society. Students who a) have taken at least 12 credits of politics and international affairs courses at Wake Forest, excluding AP and transfer courses, b) have a 3.3 GPA in those courses, and c) have a 3.0 GPA overall are eligible for membership. Wake Forest’s Nu Zeta chapter has been active since 1981, acknowledging academic achievement while also furthering the interests of its members and the Department of Politics and International Affairs through a variety of activities.
Each year the society hosts a variety of events. Past events have included forums on graduate school and internship opportunities. In previous years, the organization has also sponsored receptions welcoming newly declared majors and encouraging faculty-student interaction. Pi Sigma Alpha partnered with College Democrats and Republicans to host a campus debate before the 2012 presidential election. Additionally, the society co-hosted a presidential debate viewing event for students. Every spring, Pi Sigma Alpha holds a special event to honor new members and present them with their certificate of membership.
The officers for the 2015-2016 academic year are Nick Burroughs (president), Juliet Beckstrand (vice president), and Daniel Sechtin (secretary).
The faculty advisor for Pi Sigma Alpha is David Coates.
Alex Buchholz, 2015 president of the Wake Forest chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, presented a paper at the 2nd Annual National Student Research Conference sponsored by the national office of Pi Sigma Alpha and held at Georgetown University in February 2015. In presenting his paper, “The Geopolitics of Energy: Conflict and Cooperation in Caspian Sea States,” Alex joined students from 40 Pi Sigma Alpha chapters from around the country.
Twice in a Row: Award for WFU Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha
The Nu Zeta Chapter at Wake Forest received one of Pi Sigma Alpha’s Best Chapter Awards in 2013 and 2014. These awards are intended to recognize local chapters that are particularly active in their departments and universities and exhibit high levels of energy and creativity in furthering the goals of the honor society. Congratulations! To be rewarded this honor twice in a row is testimony to the vibrant Pi Sigma Alpha community on Campus. Special thanks to the officers of the organization and Professor John Dinan for their leadership.
PSA Initiative: Connecting Students and Alumni
Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society began an initiative with Mr. Karl Haigler (Class of 1970) and his wife, Rae Nelson, to provide career insight to students majoring in Politics and International Affairs. Utilizing Mr. Haigler and his wife’s fourteen years of combined experience in federal and state policy positions, the project exposes students to the options available to them outside of Wake Forest. In unison with the Department of Politics and International Affairs, the Pi Sigma Alpha initiative will offer students a broader perspective on occupations and internships within the public service sector.
Mr. Haigler believes that this student-alumni initiative will develop “a long-term relationship with both the students and faculty of the Politics and International Affairs department as part of a growing network of alumni and friends who share interests in American public policy, civic engagement, and leadership.” Pi Sigma Alpha is excited about this opportunity to work with Mr. Haigler and his wife and looks forward to building further relationships with alumni of the Politics and International Affairs Department.