Honors society gains recognition for leadership, service within area


It is not often the achievement of high grades could have a direct impact on one’s community. With the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, however, high grades allow students to be involved with an organization that promotes and encourages community service.

This year, the K-State chapter of NSCS was awarded a Bronze Star status at the 2010 Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.

The chapter earned this national recognition by going above and beyond in the field of leadership and community service around Manhattan for the 2009-10 school year.

Several activities that helped the group receive the bronze status included tutoring middle school students, working and making meals at the Manhattan Emergency Shelter and holding a spirit week in the spring.

“We tried to really have an important impact on the community,” said Tommy Lawler, junior in dietetics and last year’s community service officer.

“Last year we were really getting the program up and running for the first time in a while,” Lawler said. “We were pretty proud of that, just because we had no standing the year before.”

The NSCS is an honors organization available to students who show high academic achievement in their freshman and sophomore years of college. According to the society’s website, its mission is “to recognize and elevate high achievers.”

To receive an invitation to join the organization, students must attain a grade point average of a 3.4 on a 4.0 scale, as well as rank in the top 20 percent of their class.

Unlike other honor societies, NCSC not only encourages academic achievement, but it also encourages community outreach and leadership.

Casie Adams, senior in nutritional sciences and president of the K-State chapter, said she does far more community service than she would if she was not involved in the organization.

“I like the community service because it gets us more involved in the community,” she said.

Adams said she has also seen the effects of being an executive officer in the group.

“Being the president has made me be more responsible, because all of these people get good grades, and … I want to set a good example,” she said.

While there are about 2,400 members in the K-State chapter, very few students actually take an active role in the organization.

Adams said the chapter holds meetings once a month, and have on average about 30 students attend.

“A lot of people just want to put it on their resumes,” she said.

Adams hopes the national recognition they received will be a way to get more students to involve themselves in the group.

“I think it will make our members want to come to more events, and they will see how awesome we are,” she said.

Lawler agreed that the status could be good for recruitment.

“I think people look to see what a group has accomplished before they decide to join,” he said.

Although not every member of the society is actively involved with community service and leadership activities, Carol Gould, chapter adviser and executive coordinator of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, said she is very proud of the students who are involved, and is a strong advocate for the efforts of the program.

“I think it’s a wonderful way for freshmen and sophomores to get involved in a very good honor society,” she said. “I’m a strong believer in service and connecting to the community, and that is a pillar.

“The students are very committed and the officers work really hard, they put in a lot of time; they’re very good people.”