Calculating how many hours Theta Tau members spend volunteering in the community is difficult for chapter president Christopher Guirlanda. “It’s hard to tell,” he said, “because our members are always doing great things.”
That commitment to community is just one reason the Theta Tau chapter of Eta Kappa Nu, a national honor society for electrical and computer engineers, has earned the Outstanding Chapter Award for the 2011-2012 academic year.
Only 20 of nearly 200 national chapters received the distinction this year. Judges based their decision on chapter activities, with service programs carrying the most weight.
Guirlanda said the service projects are a way for him and other Theta Tau members to make a difference while reaching their own full potential. Last year, members volunteered at Gleaners Community Food Bank and tutored high school students in math and physics.
“There’s a lot more to school than just the grades you earn, and that is why service is so important,” he said. “Through my time in this chapter I have seen some incredible growth of the people who have participated in service projects.”
Guirlanda’s goal for the chapter is to connect with the community as well as with local industry. Recruiting events, technical seminars and networking opportunities all work to strengthen the student experience.
“We want not only to honor our members for their great academic accomplishments and character, but to bring them opportunities through the network we’ve established through our members.”
Yi Lu Murphy, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will receive the award on behalf of the chapter next Monday during the annual meeting of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association
University of Michigan-Dearborn previously won Outstanding Chapter for the 2009-2010 academic year.