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Pi Gamma Mu, the international honor society for the social sciences, recently named UMUC's Maryland Theta chapter to its Roll of Distinction. It is the highest honor that the society grants.

"We were surprised and honored to be named to this prestigious honor roll," said Katherine Humber, program chair for Gerontology and Social Sciences, and collegiate associate professor in The Undergraduate School at UMUC. She serves, along with UMUC adjunct faculty member Kristen Suthers, as a Maryland Theta chapter faculty adviser.

The competitive Roll of Distinction award is given only to chapters that are highly active, effective, and efficient. Maryland Theta earned recognition for its student outreach efforts across the globe, sponsorship of UMUC's social science essay contest, and annual travel grant for graduating students who journey long distances to attend commencement, explained Humber.

In addition, Maryland Theta recently became a credentialing body for the federally sponsored President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA); chapter members can now log their service hours and earn recognition. The impetus for applying to become a PVSA credentialing organization came out of a recent survey of chapter members which found that students are donating tens of thousands of hours of service within their own communities. "Collectively, our members are making a difference," Humber said.

About Pi Gamma Mu

The mission of Pi Gamma Mu is to encourage and recognize superior scholarship in social science disciplines and to foster cooperation and social service among its members. Currently, there are about 150 active chapters in the United States and overseas.

At UMUC, students studying anthropology, criminal justice, economics, gerontology, history, political science, social psychology, sociology, and women's studies may be invited to join the Maryland Theta chapter in their last 60 hours of undergraduate work. They must have completed at least 20 hours of social science credit and have a grade point average in the upper 35 percent of their class.