Baylor University NSCS Awarded Gold STAR Award

Sept. 29, 2011
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Baylor University's chapter of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) was awarded the Gold STAR Award at the 2011 NSCS Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The chapter, founded in 2002, also received a $250 scholarship and NSCS sent a commemorative letter to Baylor President Ken Starr.

"Although NSCS is not very well known on campus, I am glad that I can be a part of an organization that has a positive impact outside of our campus and in our community," said Philip Paul, chapter president. "Receiving this award is encouraging to us and should be an encouragement to all those that serve our Waco community."

NSCS is an honors organization for high-achieving first- and second-year students with more than 300 student-run chapters at universities across the country.

NSCS chapters can attain one of four STAR status levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum, the highest honor. Gold STAR status is awarded to chapters for holding an induction ceremony for new members, creating a student mentoring program, holding campus-wide events to support NSCS' integrity initiative, creating an on-campus membership recruitment campaign and engaging a campus office in a chapter event.

Lisa Asher, faculty adviser of the Baylor chapter and associate editor of the Baylor Line, said she is proud of the chapter and its strong group of officers. She said one of the group's best events last year was "March to College Day." NSCS chapters host the event every March and invite local high school students to experience life in higher education.

During their day at Baylor, high school students were given a campus tour, had the opportunity to sit in on a class, ate at a campus dining hall and were treated to a performance from one of the Stompfest groups, Paul said.

"At the end of the day representatives from Baylor University, McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College met with the students to tell them more about their schools and encourage the students to pursue further studies," Paul said. "At NSCS, our main goal is recognizing and elevating high-achievers, and one of the ways we do that is by encouraging high school students to attend an institute of higher education."

Asher, who has been faculty adviser since 2002, said this is the chapter's third Gold STAR award. They also have received Chapter of the Year and Asher has been awarded Advisor of the Year.

This year, the chapter has been encouraged to apply for platinum status, Asher said.

Paul said the chapter is working on starting a tutoring and mentoring program in the Waco community for middle school and high school students. The group has approached Communities in Schools - Heart of Texas and is getting involved with their mentoring program.

"We are continuing to look for other opportunities to partner with local high schools and reach the high school students of our community," Paul said. "That is our goal at NSCS, as it incorporates the three pillars of NSCS that we are committed to: scholarship, leadership and service."

For more information, visit the chapter's NSCS page or Facebook page.

by Katy McDowall, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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