Momentum for a more fulfilling college career
April 29, 2019   //   By:   //   Achievements, Campus & Community, Campus and Community, Voices

Elizabethtown College holds first induction into Alpha Alpha Alpha

Elizabethtown College recently introduced a campus chapter of Alpha Alpha Alpha (Tri-Alpha) dedicated to honoring first-generation college students. The College was asked to join by founder, Associate Provost and Professor of Music at Moravian College Carol Traupman-Carr.

“This means, moving forward, first-generation students in the Momentum program, alumni and faculty and staff who were first-generation college students will be recognized for their achievements through the national honors society Alpha Alpha Alpha,” Director of Student Transition Programs and Prestigious Scholarships & Fellowships and History Professor Jean-Paul Benowitz said.

Momentum alum Brandon Zapata ’15 connected with Traupman-Carr as he served as her daughter’s sixth-grade teacher. When he learned of the college professor’s work to help first-generation students thrive, he shared the efforts being made at E-town with her. Brandon’s brother, Giovanni Zapata, also is currently a sophomore in the Momentum program.

The Tri-Alpha induction ceremony was held April 15, where students and faculty alike were accepted into the society. Professor of Engineering and Physics Kurt DeGoede was a prominent faculty member inducted who was a first-generation college student during his time at the small liberal arts college from which he graduated.

“As a first-generation college student myself, I can relate to some of what today’s first-generation students are working through at E-town,” DeGoede said.

“By joining the society and visibly identifying as a first-generation student, I will be in a better position to mentor students from a similar background.”

One of the students inducted into Tri-Alpha was senior Mikenna Lehane, who is grateful for the Momentum program and its work. She shared the support from the program has been helpful for her as a first-generation college student, especially since her parents did not have a college background since a degree was not a requirement for many jobs, unlike today.

“I wanted to be inducted into Tri-Alpha because being a part of the Momentum program has been a huge blessing in my life, especially coming to E-town and getting to know the campus and community better, and I got to know so many people through that experience,” Lehane said.

Junior Amity Radcliff also shared that her family was an incentive for joining Tri-Alpha since she was searching for a community with which to share her college experience.

“I wanted to be inducted because I feel like it is an honor to be a first-generation college student and to realize all the achievements I have made now that I’m going into my fourth year,” Radcliff said.

“I also feel like I want to be inducted for my family, and I feel like sharing my experiences from school with my family has made them really proud, and to be able to be inducted will help show them how much the experiences here are helping shape me for my future.”

About the Author :

Emma Knight is an honors sophomore mass communications major and graphic design minor. She is the Campus Life Editor on the Etownian, works in the Office of Marketing and Communications as a student writer and is a writing tutor in The Writing Wing.

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