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Phi Beta Delta inducts 15 into Beta Xi chapter

phi beta deltaThe Phi Beta Delta honor society for international scholars initiated 15 new members, six students and nine faculty members, from Lamar University at the organization’s induction ceremony March 31, marking the 23rd anniversary of the founding of the Lamar chapter, Beta Xi. 

“Beta Xi Chapter of Phi Beta Delta demonstrates the commitment our university has to a globalized view of education, scientific research, and international business opportunities,” said Jesse Doiron, instructor of English and Modern Languages and Beta Xi president. “By recognizing faculty and students for their international achievements in these fields, the Beta Xi confirms to the world that a degree from Lamar University competes well with other institutions of higher learning around the globe.”

Founded in 1986, Phi Beta Delta is the first honor society dedicated to recognizing scholarly achievement in international education.  The organization is both academic and professional, providing a venue for networking among faculty, staff and students involved in international endeavors.

“Membership in Phi Beta Delta provides numerous publishing, networking, and funding opportunities to faculty and students,” Doiron said. “These scholars recognize that the honor society is more than a local club - it is truly an international network of influential relationships that often bring cooperative educational programs into fruition.”

Lamar University’s president, Kenneth Evans, gave the keynote address at the ceremony. President Evans, himself a member of the Phi Beta Delta, offered his views on the importance of international education in our time. 

“Dr. Kenneth Evans delivered this year at the induction ceremony, an excellent overview of the need to keep international ideals and cross-cultural exchanges in focus as he implements further plans for Lamar University,” Doiron said. “Our future efforts will include the support of our study abroad initiatives; development of colloquies to highlight international concerns; invitation of notable speakers who will give workshops on the globalization of markets, science, and art. As always, we will recognize the achievements of our Lamar University students, staff, and faculty who endeavor to make our world more understandable through their scholarly work.”

Students who demonstrate scholarly achievement or excellence in substantial international endeavors must be nominated by existing members, selected by a membership committee and voted for membership by the chapter. In order to be considered for membership, undergraduate students are required to have a grade-point average of 3.2, while graduate students must have a 3.5.

Lamar faculty members were selected based on outstanding scholarly production at the international level including publications in international journals or about international issues, presentations in international forums, and international acknowledgment of their research. 

The Beta Xi chapter welcomed the following new student members: Jeremy Allen, Ian Collier LeMasters and Paul Anthony Rizk, all of Beaumont; Paige Annette Hoyt, Sour Lake; Paige Elizabeth Miller, Port Neches; and Devin Ann Potter, Lumberton.

New faculty members include Sanaz Alasti, assistant professor, Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice; Richard Gachot, associate professor, Family and Consumer Sciences; Diana Rivers, professor, Nursing; Amy C. Smith, associate professor, English and Modern Languages; Maxim Soukhodolets, associate professor, Chemistry; Enrique “Henry” Venta, dean, College of Business; James W. Westgate, professor, Earth and Space Science; Megan Koza Young, assistant professor, Art History and Museum Art; and Victor A. Zaloom, Interim Dean, College of Engineering.