The members of Tennessee Tech University’s Tennessee Gamma chapter of Tau Beta Pi, a national engineering honor society, have the right to be proud.
The chapter was recognized by its parent organization at the national convention in Indianapolis. The chapter, which has about 45 active student members, received a secretary commendation award, for organization and timely paperwork and a chapter project award for the past year’s service projects. The chapter received honorable mention recognition as the most improved chapter in the nation during the past three years.
“This is a huge achievement for us because we never get stuff like this,” said chapter president Rebecca Forbes, a mechanical engineering major from Norris, Tenn. “People are noticing that we’re doing more; our chapter is more active than it was in the past.”
As the nation’s second-oldest honor society, Tau Beta Pi is the only engineering honor society that represents the entire engineering profession. The organization has the highest academic eligibility requirements of any engineering honor society.
Only the top 20 percent of students across TTU’s five engineering disciplines are eligible to join the honor society. Of about 40 students who are academically eligible, about 25 will meet the rest of the membership requirements this year, Forbes said.
The group has volunteered to help with the haunted half marathon in Cookeville, as well as campus cleanups and social events for members and tutoring elementary and middle school students.
Two members, including Forbes, and the group’s adviser, civil and environmental engineering professor David Huddleston went to the conference. Representatives came from most of the 237 chapters nationwide in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
The awards are especially important to the TTU chapter because it is much smaller than many of the others, some of which have hundreds of members.
“Since we’re a small chapter, it’s a big deal for us,” Forbes said. “We’re really trying to build awareness of who we are on campus.”