Three Illinois State University School of Social Work students have been recently inducted into the Phi Alpha Honor Society. Seniors Alyssa Bennardo, Shannon Marcum, and Elissa Spetz were all notified in March that they were eligible for membership in Phi Alpha, which fosters high standards of education and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work. The Illinois State University School of Social Work has had a chapter of Alpha Phi for over 25 years and many of its students have been inducted over the years.

The purpose of Phi Alpha Honor Society is to provide a closer bond among students of social work and promote humanitarian goals and ideas. To qualify, students must have declared a major in social work, have completed nine semester hours of required social work courses and at least 37.5 percent of the total hours/credits required for the degree, whichever is later achieved, and rank in the top 35 percent of their class.

All three social work seniors explained why social work is their passion.

Alyssa Bennardo: “During my adolescent years my family received help from social workers as we faced a time of darkness and they were able to give me a glimpse of hope. I chose social work to help others find a sense of hope during their darkest times.”

Shannon Marcum: “I chose social work because of the impact that social workers make. My experience in the social work program has connected me to so many amazing individuals and friends that will last a lifetime. I found my passion through the program, and I intend to make the difference that so many other social workers make to our world.”

Elissa Spetz: “I decided to become a social worker because I want to help people live more enjoyable lives. Coming to ISU and being surrounded by other students and professors who had the same goal made me feel like I belong. The social work department has become my family, and the lessons I’ve learned are invaluable. I’m looking forward to going out into the world and making a difference using the skills I learned at ISU. I am so grateful for the opportunity I was given and anticipate a long happy career in social work.”


Social Work