The College of Staten Island (CSI) recently held its second annual induction ceremony of students, faculty, and staff into the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars.

The Eta Lambda chapter at CSI—the first ever for a CUNY campus–inducted 59 scholars from all walks of life, but the tie that binds them together is their commitment to spreading their knowledge and experience across the globe, eliminating cultural and geographic borders.

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“The emphasis of the honor society is to bring a unique, international quality to CSI,” commented Ann Helm, Executive Director of the Center for International Service and the coordinator of the Eta Lambda chapter.  “We are dedicated to extending the boundaries of the campus.”

The reciprocal nature of CSI’s multiple international exchange and ambassador programs ensures that the CSI campus community will grow well beyond Victory Boulevard and reach out to nations across the globe.

The honor society’s goals break down into four categories: (1) to recognize the scholarly achievement of students and scholars who come from other countries to study at CSI or who study abroad while enrolled here; (2) serve as a vehicle for the development of academic-based international programming; (3) provide a network on campus involved in international endeavors; and (4) extend this network in chapters across the world.

“It is important to recognize people who help students earn an international education as well as the students themselves,” said CSI Professor of Business, Alan Zimmerman of the value of having a chapter on campus.  The newly elected president of the Eta Lambda Chapter also spoke about why international education is more important now than ever before. “Many corporations are looking for international experience in students,” said Zimmerman.  “In order to be a fully rounded student you must be exposed to other countries.”

Each student, faculty, staff, visiting scholar or alumni member was nominated by the Eta Lambda Chapter Board based on his or her work in supporting an international community.  Students who were inducted all had international experience either as international students attending CSI or as domestic CSI students studying abroad.  The faculty and staff all must show some evidence of performing international research, teach internationally, or provide a comparable service to the international community.  No matter the requisites, all inductees must show a dedication to spreading their wealth of knowledge internationally.  “The honor society stands for excellence and requires excellence,” said Helm.

The success of CSI’s international programs was validated during the induction ceremony as 34 students were inducted this year, all from different cultural as well as academic backgrounds.  The students were joined by 20 members of the CSI faculty or staff, all of whom added valuable international experience to this culturally rich and vibrant campus.

Having a CSI chapter of the Phi Beta Delta honors society “shows CSI is making its ‘world class, right here’ slogan a reality,” said Meagan Derbyshire, Political Science and Philosophy major and honors society inductee.  The class of 2013 Macaulay Honors College student was inducted for her study abroad work in the Galapagos and London as well as for her coursework as a Political Science major with a heavy international focus.  As a student hoping to pursue a career in global medicine, Meagan believes having the Phi Beta Delta honors society on campus “further emphasizes the importance of global education.”

The induction ceremony was sponsored by the CSI Alumni Association, the Student Government, and the CSI International Business Society.

PHI BETA DELTA is an organization dedicated in recognizing scholarly achievement and is comprised of 168 chartered chapters worldwide.  It is the first honor society dedicated to recognizing scholarly achievement in international education.