Phi Alpha Honor Society Welcomes New Members

On February 4 the Phi Alpha Honor Society at the NYU Silver School of Social Work hosted its spring induction ceremony. Beth Diesch, MSW '13, president of Phi Alpha, gave new inductees a warm welcome. Lyla Schwartz, BSW '13, vice president, internal affairs, and Beth Holzman, MSW '13, secretary, also welcomed new members.

The Silver School's Pi Pi Chapter of Phi Alpha was established in 2009. Phi Alpha members make the commitment for professional development, to volunteer in the community, and to meet other students involved in service. Current members must commit to attending one meeting and one volunteer event each semester. Graduate students must have a 3.9 GPA to become a member and maintain a 3.75 average. Other officers include Coecellia Zazove, MSW '13, vice president, external affairs; Nora Clifford, MSW '13, Staten Island representative; and Kassandra Raux, MSW '14, treasurer.

Raux described why she became a member. "It's more about community for me," she said. She strives to change students beliefs that the Phi Alpha Honor Society is an "exclusive" group. One memorable experience for Raux was when she and other members of Phi Alpha educated students about voting last year, manning the main table in the Bobst Library.

"People benefit from the great learning opportunities," she said. The Phi Alpha Honor Society offers professional development events during the semester, such as a lecture by University Professor Jerome Wakefield on the upcoming changes to the DSM-5. She and Diesch both feel that what students want should be incorporated into the planning for the semester's activities.

On her commitment to the group, Diesch stated, "It's a place where I feel I can do a lot of good for people who have an active interest in the field."

At the induction ceremony Diesch encouraged new members to share their interests. New student members expressed a desire to volunteer with children with mental illness. Diesch also plans on creating a volunteer event for students to assist with Hurricane Sandy efforts in the Rockaways.

As a closing to the induction ceremony, newly pledged members answered with a resounding, "I do" to Phi Alpha's pledge "to improve and further the goals of social work."

Students interested in learning more can contact the Phi Alpha Honor Society at