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Alpha Mu History

In 1986, Dr. Sandra Lopez-Baez gathered five Counseling and Human Development (CHD) graduate students together to discuss the possibility of establishing a Chi Sigma Iota (CSI) Chapter at Walsh University. After many months of meetings, hard work and discussions this group established Chapter By Laws, chapter goals, policies, a basic Leadership Manual and Governing Board.

During that first year, the Officers were:

  • Larry Durian - President
  • Sandy Lombardi - Secretary
  • Patti Becker - Treasurer
  • Peggy Stabholtz - Agency Representative
  • Debbie Garcia - School Counseling Representative
  • Denise McGuire - Graduate School Liaison

These founding members worked diligently the first year and The Chapter was chartered on April 16, 1987. In May of that year, the seven Charter Members were formally initiated, including the above listed members and Paul Petty.

From May 1987 through 1988, the Board Members were essentially the same with the exception that Lisa Crankshaw became the Graduate School Liaison and new Committees were added, as follows:

Initiation Committee - Denise McGuire and Sally Sutterfield

Newsletter - Dianne Mullen

Ways and Means - Bobbie Royer

Program Chairperson - Gerri Humphrey

Over sixty (60) members were initiated into the Chapter on November 7, 1987. Dr. Thomas Sweeney, Chi Sigma Iota, spoke at the Initiation Ceremony about the national organization and counseling licensure. He left the group with the thought: "If you can dream it, you can do it."

Under Dr. Lopez's direction, a Handbook f Counseling Graduate Students was developed. The Newsletter was created to facilitate communication amongst the large membership.

In 1988, the Soup Kitchen entered its second year. There was a wine and cheese social at the Brown Derby. The Chapter assisted in the all-state conference held in Akron. The concept of inducting professional members into Alpha Mu was born.

In the following year, Sandy Lombardi was President and two new officerships were instituted; Vice President and Past President, filled by Patti Becker and Larry Durian respectively. This created a strong connection and continuity within the Executive Board. An Orientation Package was created for new Board Members. Dr. Daniel Zelling presented a program entitled: "Taking Control of Your Life."

According to Sandy Lombardi, this was a period to set some structure to the process of organizing the Chapter and setting a focus on professional development. Her memories include the dedication of the Chapter founders, who gave so much of their time, energy and expertise - caring so much for the counseling profession.

During the next year, 1990-91, Patti Becker became President and Mary Jane Fahrney, Vice President. The fall Program was given by Gerri Humphrey entitled: "Grief Counseling." The first Orientation for graduate students was held this year to welcome students to Walsh University. Alpha Mu met with members from the CSI Chapters of Kent State University, the University of Akron, Youngstown State University and John Carroll University. This network became known as NEON.

Sandy nominated the Chapter to CSI International as Outstanding Chapter, which we did not win. The Chapter nominated Sandy for the Outstanding Service to Chapter Award. The Chapter established a mentor program whereby graduate students could connect with a community professional.

In 1991-92, the Chapter continued to show the evolution and growth as an organization dedicated to counseling excellence. Mary Jane Fahrey was President and Bobbie Royer was Vice President. Dr. Linda Barclay became the acting Assistant to the Executive Director. Dr. Jack Cockran spoke at the February Initiation Ceremony about counseling as a career. Book reviews were published in the Newsletter, which received an award for Outstanding Committee. Dr. S. Lopez-Baez received the Outstanding Leadership Award. The Chapter started scholarships to students for programs sponsored by Alpha Mu. According to Mary Jane Fahrney, this was a time of camaraderie and friendships within the Chapter.

In May 1992, Bobbie Royer became President and Janet Rhodes, Vice President. Walsh College became Walsh University. Walsh's President, Richard, joined Alpha Mu and was the speaker at the Initiation held Feb 13, 1993. This was the first year that Chapter history was compiled, written and read at the Initiation. The Treasury balance was more than $5,000.00. A new committee, Awards and Scholarships, was created this year. The chairperson is the current Past President and all past Presidents are eligible members, thus providing the potential for continuing Past President involvement in Chapter governance and activities.

From May 1993 through May, 1994 Janet Rhodes was President and Rita Smith, Vice President. Alpha Mu nominated Chris Baasten for the Outstanding Service to Chapter Award and our Newsletter. Neither Award was won. Alpha Mu published a brief article in the Walsh Alumni Newsletter.

Rita Smith became President and Ronna Lee Haer, Vice President in May 1994. Rita recalled this time as one of "connections and mergers," because of the membership dedication and commitment to Alpha Mu. The Chapter Treasury contained over 8,000.00. The Awards and Scholarship Committee established the Dr. Sandra Lopez-Baez Book Scholarship, funding for an officer to attend the annual ACA/CSI Convention and scholarships for students to attend Alpha Mu's workshops

The Newsletter logo was created, as a man, a woman and a child holding hands in a chain across the front page. The Alpha Mu Chapter had approximately ninety (90) members. Janet Rhodes received the Outstanding Leadership Award.

Alpha Mu hosted a Retirement Party for Dr. Ben Hutton in May 1995. We were sad to see Ben leave, but certainly wished him well in future endeavors.

From May 1995 to May 1996, Janet Rhodes served as President and Denise Presseur. The Chapter net worth was about $9,000.00. Treasurer Paul Hess created computerized financial reports to better track Chapter income and expenses. Scholarship criteria for all of the scholarships were finalized. The Chapter issued its first Book Scholarship for $150.00. The Chapter issued awards to:

  • The Initiation Committee for Outstanding Committee
    (Missy Capestrain and Dalene Forgan as Chairpersons)
  • Outstanding Leadership
    (Jody Strickling, Tina McElravy and Janet Rhodes)

The Chapter celebrated its tenth anniversary in 1996.

The Chapter Leadership Manual was updated in June 1997.

On May 16, 1998 President Linda Cohen awarded Dr. Sandra Lopez-Baez the Presidential Citation in recognition of her dedication and service to Alpha Mu.

Janet Rhodes was the recipient of the Outstanding Member, Service to Chapter Award in February, 1999.

Under the direction of President Carolyn Collins and faculty Advisor Dr. Sandra I. Lopez-Baez, the Alpha Mu chapter won the 2001 Outstanding Chapter Award from Chi Sigma Iota. This award is based on criteria of:

  • Percent of membership maintained
  • Number and type of meetings and programs during the year
  • Organizational structure-officers, committees etc.
  • Newsletter and Chapter communication
  • Activities to promote the goals of CSI-scholarship, accomplishments

Since its beginnings in 1986, Alpha Mu and its dedicated membership have experienced many significant changes and tremendous growth. We look forward collectively to a bright and optimistic future, in the continued promotion of counseling excellence. The current Board extends its heartfelt thanks and gratitude to those dedicated members who served on previous Boards, giving unselfishly of their time, energy and generosity.

Our thanks of course, also must include Dr. Sandra Lopez-Baez, whose dedication, devotion, leadership, continued support, personal strength and far-sighted vision helped launch Alpha Mu as a viable Chapter in Chi Sigma Iota and the Walsh University Community. Alpha Mu is also pleased to acknowledge the continued involvement of Dr. Linda Barclay as our Faculty Advisor. Both served as instructors, inspirations, mentors and role models to many of us.

 

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