Georgia Southern Beta Iota
Statesboro, GA 30460
Charter Date February 28, 2015
Chapter No. 177
Advisor Dr. David Calamas
The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Southern University first received accreditation from ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) in Fall 2013. Shortly thereafter, the Chair of the Department, Dr. Brian Vlcek, approached Dr. David Calamas, an Assistant Professor in the Department, about establishing a local chapter of Pi Tau Sigma. Dr. David Calamas finished preparing the formal petition in Fall 2014 with formal letters of support from the Department Chair, Dr. Brian Vlcek, as well as from the Associate Dean of the Allen. E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology, Dr. David Williams. The petition was also supported by fourteen undergraduate students who were eligible members of Pi Tau Sigma. The petition was submitted to Dr. Alex Moutsoglou, the Secretary Treasurer of Pi Tau Sigma, on December 29th, 2014.
The chapter, Georgia Southern Beta Iota, was unanimously approved on January 23rd, 2015 and is the 177th chapter chartered since the founding of Pi Tau Sigma on March 16, 2015. Georgia Southern Beta Iota was officially chartered on February 28th, 2015 at the Centennial Convection hosted by the Illinois Alpha chapter at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In attendance at the convention were Dr. David Calamas, as faculty advisor, as well as Alexander DeLoach and Robert Wray who represented the fourteen students that supported the petitioning process.
The first formal student President of the Georgia Southern Beta Iota chapter was Jennifer Shaffer who was unanimously elected by her peers in Fall 2015. Under Jennifer's leadership, the local chapter was awarded the "New Student Organization of the Year" by the Student Government Association (SGA) for increasing effectiveness and involvement with campus life during the 2015-2016 academic year. The chapter again won the award for the 2016-2017 academic year. In addition, Georgia Southern Beta Iota was nominated for the Outstanding Service Award at the 2018 Annual Convention hosted by Miami Sigma Upsilon at the University of Miami.
During the 2017-2018 school year, 18 students were inducted in the fall and 13 in the spring. Induction for both spring and fall took place at The CLbhouse howling alley. New and existing members were invited to participate in the induction ceremony and stay for food catered by the Clubhouse and free bowling. Meetings consisted of informational sessions, fundraising events, or food parties to encourage interaction among the members and were held twice a month, every other week.
This past school year we had 30-40 active members participating in fundraising and volunteer activities. During the fall, 8-10 members met for a campus clean up to pick up trash along the sidewalks and pathways around campus. Furthermore, we partnered up with Tau Beta Pi and raised over $200 in donations to be put towards Habitat for Humanity. Students were also granted meeting attendance points by attending the STEM career fairs and EAGLE EXPO career fair or peer tutoring. Some students took the opportunity to visit elementary and middle schools for after school programs to promote STEM fields. This past school year two main fundraisers were conducted. First, a fundraiser night was held at Wild Wing Café where students were encouraged to attend. Out chapter received a percentage of the earnings that day. $253.84 was raised from that fundraiser. We also conducted a pull over fundraiser that earned us $929.89. All fundraiser proceeds were split with Tau Beta Pi.
Due to inclement weather earlier in the semester, we were unable to organize the end-of-semester BBQ. This event was replaced with a pizza party fundraiser. The departmental awards created last year were used to encourage participation and fundraising. The “Golden Wrench” award was given to the professor whom students felt had been the most helpful in the department that semester. The “Departmental MVP” award is given to any person in the ME department who was thought to be the most valuable player in the department. The most popular award is the “Blue Shaft” gag award. The professor voted to have “shafted” students the most was chosen by whomever had the most money “donated” to them. A total of $219.07 was raised by voters of the “Blue Shaft” award and pizza and drink sales.