Five Mount Wachusett Community College students were inaugurated into the Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society Thursday as the college became the eighth college in Massachusetts to host a chapter of the honor society recognizing high-achieving college and university students with disabilities.
“You are joining an elite group of honors students across this country,” said Dean of Students Jason Zelesky. “I am proud of MWCC and I am proud of the students being inducted today.”
The students inaugurated into the Epsilon Theta chapter of the honor society not only exemplify excellent academics but have shown in the last year the ability to balance their studies with their work and home life, said Club Advisor Amy LaBarge. By joining Delta Alpha Pi, these students are also committing to being advocates for themselves and others with disabilities. This advocacy and their excellent academics takes a special kind of daily courage and commitment, she said.
“Your courage and kindness has a ripple effect on this campus,” said LaBarge who is MWCC’s Coordinator of Disability Services.
The Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society was founded in 2004 at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania to recognize high-achieving college and university students with disabilities. A review of existing national collegiate honor societies revealed a variety that were based on population-specific characteristics such as: gender, ethnicity, age or veteran status, but none related to disability. Delta Alpha Pi sought to fill that void. In addition to recognizing academic achievement, Delta Alpha Pi seeks to lessen and eventually eliminate the stigma and negative stereotyping that have been associated historically with disability.
The students who were initiated into Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society met the following criteria:
- Present with a documented disability and work with one of the staff members of the Disability Services team
- Demonstrate an interest in disability issues
- Completed a minimum of 24 credits
- Earned an overall Grade Point Average of 3.10
The Delta Alpha Pi inductees for 2018 are:
Michelle Gelpi-Balthazar (Treasurer)
Amanda Robichaud (President)