Last Thursday was a big day for academic excellence at York College. From honors and medals to GPA-improving, cookie-fueled study sessions, students are taking academics to the next level.

Ignite Excellence

At the conclusion of morning chapel Thursday, senior Levi Swenson (Benkelman, Nebraska) announced the start of a new effort from Student Government called Ignite Excellence, which will encourage students to strive to greater academic feats this semester and beyond. This effort began when Swenson saw a Tweet from York College prior to the start of the semester announcing the fall Dean’s List honorees. The list had 87 names on it. Swenson wondered, what would it take to get that number to 100?

After discussion with classmates in his senior communication seminar class and Student Government, “it became a campaign, a vision, a movement,” he said.

Swenson’s announcement encouraged peers to use the hashtag #IgniteYC as a first step in showing their commitment to a greater campus emphasis on academics. They will continue with study activities, posters, social media posts, and other types of outreach to help students help each other. “We’ve heard a lot of positive comments about this,” he said. “Many students are excited.”

Student Government began by hosting a mass study session in McGehee Hall on Monday where they provided coffee and treats, as well as study zones for group work, for solo/quiet work, and a room where music was playing for those that prefer study accompaniment. More than 50 students attended and Student Government is now planning to make it a weekly event. “Many students don’t want to study in their rooms, but there isn’t a good place on campus to go to get work done. Because York College is such as social environment, if you go someplace alone, somebody is always coming up to you to ask how you’re doing,” Swenson said. While an engaged student body isn’t a bad thing, it does sometimes become an obstacle for effective studies.

There are other impediments to getting serious about homework, said Swenson. “York College has a lot of things going for it,” such as successful athletics and performing arts programs, but sometimes students are over committed. “We want to remind them to be students first,” he said.

At the end of the semester, Swenson and classmates in the senior communication seminar class will present their research, process, and results of this effort. Swenson is planning for the #IgniteYC movement to last long after this semester and his graduation in May, by turning over all of the group’s processes and concepts to Student Government to perpetuate.

Alpha Chi Inducts new members

On Thursday evening in the Prayer Chapel, the York College chapter of Alpha Chi academic honor society inducted eight new student members. The formal ceremony included a piano performance from current member Caleb Magner and a message from Dr. Shane Mountjoy, provost. New members inducted at the Thursday ceremony included both undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate inductees were Tre' Bradley (Riverton, Wyoming); Deidre Freitas (McCool Junction, Nebraska); Melissa Strong (Giltner, Nebraska); and Kelcie Swink (Laguna Vista, Texas). Graduate student inductees were Shaylee Carlock, Veronica Miller, and Brianna Perez (all of York, Nebraska); and Barbara Shantz (Cary, North Carolina). (Bradley, Miller, and Shantz were not present for the ceremony.)

Alpha Chi recognizes and promotes excellence in scholarship among college and university students of good character. Classified as a general honor society, meaning that it accepts members from all academic fields, Alpha Chi inducts no more than the top 10 percent of junior, senior, and graduate students at member institutions. Members receive recognition as distinguished students and members of one of the largest college honor societies in the world.  

Sponsors of the York College chapter of Alpha Chi are Dr. Terry Seufferlein, professor of Bible, and Dr. Terence Kite, professor of Physics.

Current members of the York College chapter of Alpha Chi are Alyssa Brown (Lusby, Maryland), Brittany Eckerberg (Gering, Nebraska), Abigail Gonzalez (Buffalo, Wyoming), Grady Johnson (Great Falls, Montana), Caleb Magner (York, Nebraska), Ainsley Mountjoy (York, Nebraska), Kory Slaughter (Junction City, Kansas), Robert Thompson (Vinton, Iowa), and Jacob Wirka (Wahoo, Nebraska).