Rider University’s newly formed chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, the international honor society of the counseling profession, formally inducted its inaugural class on April 11 in the Mercer Room, on the Lawrenceville campus.
Family and friends turned out to see 80 students become the first class of Rider students to be affiliated with the prestigious society, which was formed in 1985 to provide recognition for outstanding achievement as well as outstanding service within the profession. The new inductees in the Rho Upsilon Beta chapter join more than 14,000 active members from 277 chapters across the United States, Europe and the Philippines.
Rider’s Chi Sigma Iota chapter was formed to promote the excellence in counseling and recognize the outstanding academic achievements of the graduate students in the University’s Counseling Services program. To meet Chi Sigma Iota’s rigorous academic standards, inductees must be enrolled in counselor education programs leading to a degree, have achieved a 3.5 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) in their graduate work, have completed the equivalent of at least one full academic term of qualifying counseling courses, and meet standards of professionalism as determined by program faculty. Rider’s Chi Sigma Iota members are enrolled in the School Counseling and the Clinical and Mental Health Counseling tracks of the Counseling Services graduate program.
The robust numbers inducted into the first class “speak to the fine academic achievement of the students who were eligible,” according to Dr. Trevor Buser, assistant professor of Counseling Services in the Department of Graduate Education, Leadership and Counseling, who, along with his departmental colleague, Dr. Juleen Buser, serves as a faculty adviser to the Rho Upsilon Beta chapter. “The chapter I was in was half that size.”
Trevor Buser said his own experience with Chi Sigma Iota as a graduate student made him especially receptive to creating a chapter at Rider when a student approached him with the idea.
“He said he’d be very interested in having a chapter here at Rider,” Buser recalled of a meeting with Joseph Feola ’10, who now serves as the Rho Upsilon Beta president. “I know there had been some interest in starting one a few years ago, but now with everybody on board, we figured we could bring it to fruition.”
The Busers, who are also married, formed a faculty advisory panel, and assembled four students to serve as officers. In addition to Feola, the other student officers are Robert Carlisle, vice president; Adrienne Simpkins, secretary; and Pete Ruffini ’08, ’11, treasurer.
Buser said that members of Rho Upsilon Beta use the organization as a channel for providing professional development workshops for all counseling students, social events, service opportunities, and fundraising events to support students’ travel to professional conferences.
Chi Sigma Iota was created through the efforts of leaders in the profession of counseling for counselors-in-training, counselor educators, and professional counselors whose career commitment is to research and service through professional counseling. Its mission is to promote scholarship, research, professionalism, leadership and excellence in counseling, and to recognize high attainment in the pursuit of academic and clinical excellence in the profession of counseling.