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State recognizes APSU's history honor society

On a Thursday morning during spring break, several members of Austin Peay State Universitys Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society traveled to Nashville to sit in on a session of the Tennessee Senate.

But the students and professors that morning werent simply spectators interested in the legislative process. Shortly after the sessions roll call, state Sen. Tim Barnes invited the group to join him up front, before the entire assembly.
On a Thursday morning during spring break, several members of Austin Peay State University's Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society traveled to Nashville to sit in on a session of the Tennessee Senate.

But the students and professors that morning weren't simply spectators interested in the legislative process. Shortly after the session's roll call, state Sen. Tim Barnes invited the group to join him up front, before the entire assembly.

“The main reason I have asked our guests to be here today is to recognize that out of 740 chapters nationwide, this chapter was chosen in 2009 as the ‘Best Chapter' of Phi Alpha Theta in Division 3,” Barnes said. “It is because of their participation in the community and all they do for the University, and I am proud to have them.”

The state senator, along with state Rep. Joe Pitts, Rep. Curtis Johnson and Rep. Phillip Johnson, sponsored a proclamation, honoring the club for its achievements. Once Barnes presented Dr. Minoa Uffelman, the club's faculty adviser and APSU assistant professor of history, with a large, framed copy of the proclamation, the entire state Senate applauded the group. Uffelman was joined by student Denise Richards, the chapter's president the year they won the national award, and Dr. David Nelson, assistant professor of history and philosophy at APSU.

“This proclamation brings notoriety and prominence to the Phi Alpha Theta organization at the state level,” Nelson said. “It's nice to be recognized beyond just what we do in the community, but in the state level as well.”

Leslie Crouch, a four-year member and officer of PAT, was also among the students in the state Capitol that morning, and she credited Uffelman and her fellow club members for working hard to earn these accolades.

“I felt honored to be a part of a distinguished group of fellow students, professors and public servants,” she said. “Our chapter has worked very hard to achieve a high standard, and for our legislators to recognize us for dedication to Austin Peay and the Clarksville area shows the willingness of our state government to support hard workers.”

The state Senate session actually took place during APSU's spring break, but several students were able to make the trip to Nashville for the presentation.

“We got up early and went and (APSU) Student Affairs paid for the van and gave us money for lunch,” Uffelman said. “We were honored to be there. Everyone came up to talk to us, and we got a good picture, and they gave us a really fabulous tour of the Capitol.”

For more information on APSU's history honor society or its awards, please contact Uffelman at 221-7704 or uffelmanm@apsu.edu. -- Charles Booth