SBCC’s student chapter of Sigma Chi Eta, the national honorary society for two-year communication undergraduates, recently was named Chapter of the Year by the National Communication Association.

The club, made up of 30 active members, conducted a number of projects — often partnering with outside organizations — to further the goals of Sigma Chi Eta’s national constitution, including outstanding scholastic achievement, professional development in the communications field, faculty and students relationship building, and options for further undergraduate and graduate studies.

“To receive a national award such as this is such validation that our Sigma Chi Eta chapter is making a real difference in our community and elsewhere,” SBCC Superintendent/President Dr. Andreea Serban said. “I am so pleased and proud of this hardworking group of communication majors and all their achievements. I also want to recognize faculty adviser Sarah Hock for providing the students with the leadership and inspiration they needed to succeed.”

“Last year’s projects reflected outreach efforts both local and global in scope and impact and demonstrate the ability to use communication principles to motivate and inspire others for good,” Hock said. “The students have been encouraged by this award to continue doing the difficult work of trying to make a difference in the world.”

Specific projects SBCC’s Alpha Beta Chapter of Sigma Chi Eta performed in 2008-09 included:

» Fall 2008 fundraising event partnering with Esperanza, a local Santa Barbara organization focused on ending gang violence

» World Malaria Day including a spring 2009 fundraising event and a campuswide drive to raise funds to purchase mosquito nets for people in high-risk counties. The chapter also partnered with TOMS shoes, a company that gives a pair of shoes to children in need for every pair sold. The club offered personalized painting for all shoes purchased during its Style Your Sole event.

» Sponsorship of Debate Watch, a voter education program of the Commission on Presidential Debates

In the 2009-10 academic year, the chapter is partnering with Transitional Youth Services of Santa Barbara to raise awareness of the needs of foster children and teenagers in Santa Barbara County.

— Joan Galvan is a public information officer for SBCC.