Clarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society was named the best chapter in the nation earlier this month, but the announcement didn’t come as much of a surprise. The APSU chapter, Theta-Delta, has won the best chapter award six years in a row.
“I have to admit, I’ve become somewhat accustomed to Theta-Delta winning,” Joe Weber, director of library services at APSU, said.In fact, it has reached the point where Weber looks forward to the fall semester every year because he knows the announcement of the national award will mean more books for the University’s Woodward Library.
“The national Phi Alpha Theta organization will buy $250.00 worth of books for the chapter that wins,” Dr. Minoa Uffelman, APSU associate professor of history and the chapter’s adviser, said. “We’ve donated up to $1,500 worth of books in the last six years. I allow the students to pick the books to buy.”
Uffelman said the students often select texts they’ve found insightful and will help future students in their research. The Woodward Library now owns several books about ancient Egypt, women in the Civil War, nurses serving in World War I and the whaling industry of the 19th century.
“Over the past five years, Theta-Delta has donated 40 books and three DVDs to the library, and I am highly appreciative of their contributions,” Weber said. “The materials they have chosen have really added to the diversity and depth of the library’s history collection. If it weren’t for Theta-Delta, it’s unlikely the library would have these valuable and fascinating works in its collection.”
In addition to providing money for new books, the best chapter award recognizes another busy year for the club, which hosted or attended more than 50 events in the fall and spring semesters, including academic conferences and volunteer opportunities.
In May, the group also published the fourth volume of Theta-Delta, a scholarly journal featuring academic papers by APSU students who had presented at conferences in recent years.
Uffelman admitted that she feels more pressure these days for the club to keep winning the award, but her students continue to impress the national PAT organization.
“I keep waiting for us to have an off year, but you know, they’re all so smart,” she said.