Beyond the Classroom
The Phi Alpha Pi National Honor Society in Social Work
Mu Pi Chapter of Gallaudet University
Gallaudet University became a charter member of this national honor society in social work in 2005, with the initiation of 10 undergraduate students. In 2006 the first group of MSW students was initiated into membership. The Gallaudet University chapter is named Mu Pi. Undergraduate social work majors must have a 3.5 cumulative GPA and recommended by the faculty into the honor society; MSW students much achieve a 3.7 GPA after their first full time semester of required social work courses.
The history of a national honor society for social work students began in the 1960's at the University of Michigan. Now over 360 chapters of Phi Alpha have been established. The national office is located at East Tennessee State University. Phi Alpha's slogan is "Through Knowledge--the Challenge to Serve."
Membership into Mu Pi recognizes students for their academic excellence, contributions to the social work program and adherence to an ethic of service, social change and social justice. Members of Mu Pi at Gallaudet University demonstrate a commitment to social work values and ethics and improving the lives of individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations, and society at large, with a special commitment to deaf and hard of hearing people.
Mu Pi members believe in the ideal of service and "giving back to the community" and have become involved in several service learning projects. They have raised funds for deaf tsunami victims in Sri Lanka, for victims of Hurricane Katrina, and participated in fund raising efforts for such local organizations as Deaf REACH, Washington Urban League, and Deaf Abused Women's Network (DAWN). Recently, they have volunteered to build homes with Habitat for Humanity and plan to continue in partnership with DC Habitat.
Sometimes it is possible to get more experience and enhance your resume by being a research assistant for any one of the Department's diverse faculty who have a broad range of experiences and interests.
You are encouraged to get involved with social work student organizations on- and off-campus. The Social Work Department supports professional and educational development by assisting you financially to attend professional meetings. In addition, you become a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) in your senior year, and purchase liability insurance for social work practice.