Tau Upsilon Alpha National Organization for Human Services, an honor society for top students in the human services field as well as other helping profession fields, is coming to Troy University.
Sheryl Matney, the faculty adviser of the organization and assistant professor of human services, founded Troy’s chapter of Tau Upsilon Alpha this past May. However, the organization was recognized as an official organization by the SGA this past October.
In 2013, Matney was named to Troy University’s “Faculty Senate Excellence Award Hall of Fame,” which “recognizes excellence in faculty achievement in all of the three standards of our profession: research, teaching and service,” according to www.trojan.troy.edu.
Winners of this award receive a stipend along with the placement of their names in the Faculty Senate Excellence Award Hall of Fame.
Upon receiving this award, Matney decided to use the money to charter the organization for her students.
“One of the things I’m really committed to is having a way for students to become involved and the way that students can take advantage of some of their academic accomplishments,” Matney said.
The organization wishes to shine a light on the academic achievements of those in the human services department as well as those in other helping profession majors, such as social work, counseling, case managers, etc.
“We really didn’t have anything like that within our major, and I think that’s what really sparked my interest in it,” said Candice Butts, a senior social work major from Luverne and president of Tau Upsilon Alpha.
According to the national website for Tau Upsilon Alpha, the purpose of the organization is, “to honor academic excellence; to foster lifelong learning, leadership and development; and to promote excellence in service to humanity.”
Matney hopes to incorporate this purpose into all the organization does.
“Sometimes we get so wrapped up in serving others that we forget to celebrate our own achievements, and I believe that this is a way that we can do that,” Matney said.
Though the organization is just getting started, it hopes to help the community in a number of ways, to include helping with the local Boys and Girls Club.
The officers, along with Matney, also hope to bring awareness to various causes to campus.
The organization has already selected officers and is hoping to see tremendous growth and participation over the next few semesters.
“Its a good way to meet people on the same level as you and that want to achieve the same goals, as far as reaching the community and grade-wise,” said Camela Alexander, a senior human services major from Birmingham and treasurer of Tau Upsilon Alpha.
To qualify for membership, students must currently hold and maintain a 3.25 GPA, provide an official transcript, have completed at least 36 credit hours and display evidence of leadership qualities and experience.
In addition, an applicant must compose an essay outlining his professional goals; community service work; participation in volunteer activities; and memberships held in other organizations, clubs or professional organizations. Also required is a statement demonstrating commitment to the field of human services.
“I encourage everyone to apply … it’s always a good thing to interact with people in your department,” Alexander said.
Applications can be picked up from and submitted to Sheryl Matney in McCartha Hall or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Wednesday, Dec. 7.