Worcester State College has recently established a new international graduate reading and language arts honor society, Alpha Upsilon Alpha, Beta Mu Chapter. This is an honor society of the International Reading Association serving the field of reading and language arts which strives to recognize and encourage scholarship, leadership and service in the field of reading; to stimulate interest in and understanding of reading and related research; to develop an appreciation for importance of reading in society, need for effective teaching of reading and ever-increasing literacy demands of modern society; and to broaden the understanding and enhance communication internationally as it relates to literacy.
This is the first honor society for graduate students at Worcester State College and only the third of its kind in the state of Massachusetts; the other two chapters include Boston College and Framingham State College. Worcester State College hosted an initiation ceremony for candidates, a presentation of the charter and installation of the officers on October 12, 2007. Dr. Elaine Tateronis, Department of Education chairperson, delivered the official greetings and Dr. William White, dean of Graduate and Continuing Education, addressed the charter members and guests. The Chapter Co- Advisors are Dr. Margaret Bouchard and Dr. Mary-Ellen Meegan. The charter members are: Candace Anderson, Norma Baker, Sarah Connly, Robin M. Gibbons, Steven J. LaFountain, Jennifer Laverdure, Susan Lindsay, Laurie Parker, Lisa Papazian, Lisa Remiszewski, Diane M. Saad, H. Beth Thulin, Lynda Waller, Dr. Margaret Bouchard, Dr. Mary-Ellen Meegan, and Dr. Elaine Tateronis. The Officers for this year are; President – Candace Anderson, Vice President – Norma Baker, Treasurer – Dianne Saad, Secretary – Lynda Waller.
In keeping with AUA honor society’s motto “Scholarship, Service and Leadership,” the Beta Mu Chapter has sponsored two service projects. This year, Beta Mu members sponsored the mentorship of WSC undergraduates who were preparing to take the Massachusetts Teacher’s Test in the Foundations of Reading. During the 2008-2009 academic year, the chapter will be participating in a service learning project that includes providing children’s literature and trade books for a Worcester elementary afterschool reading program and Childlife Children’s Medical Center at UMass Medical Center. The afterschool program under the direction of Dr. Margaret Bouchard, includes WSC Elementary Education majors who lead guided reading groups for third to sixth graders who participate by reading books, discussing the books in group and recommending which of the books to donate to a community agency.
Plans for the 2008-2009 year include the Second Annual Initiation Ceremony and Reception in October. The college is very excited about the new honor society on campus and looks forward to seeing its growth and benefits in the years to come.
The Beta Mu Chapter of Alpha Upsilon Alpha Nomination Committee is seeking qualified candidates for membership. Membership is based on character, academic and professional attainment of candidates who have completed at least 50 % of their graduate WSC program in Reading or as an alumni of the WSC Graduate Reading program and have maintained a 3.5 GPA in Reading courses and 3.5 in all graduate coursework.