JACKSON, Tenn. – Jan. 22, 2014 – Stephen Carls was elected as the national president of Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society Jan. 4 during the society’s biennial convention in Albuquerque, N.M.
Carls, university professor of history at Union University, became the first Phi Alpha Theta president from a college or university in Tennessee.
“Serving as president of Phi Alpha Theta will give me a chance to show my deep appreciation to the society for all that it has done for students, faculty and me over a long, long period of time,” said Carls, who was inducted into society in 1970 through the University of Minnesota’s Phi chapter. “I am very excited about the contributions I will be able to make as the society’s president during the next two years.”
As the society’s president, Carls will be responsible for a variety of tasks, including writing a column for the society’s newsletter, helping plan the 2016 convention and representing the national office at regional conferences.
Carls has served as the faculty adviser of Union’s Delta-Psi chapter for nearly 31 years, during which time he has helped lead Delta-Psi to win the Best Chapter Award for 11 consecutive years. He also received Phi Alpha Theta’s Outstanding Service Award in 2010 and again this year for his dedication to the organization.
The society provides an opportunity for students to present papers at national and regional conferences and win prizes and scholarships, Carls said. In addition, students have the opportunity to learn about local history through community service projects, museum visits and historical reenactments.
“I’ve had a wonderful relationship with the organization through the years,” Carls said. “I’ve seen how important the society is in providing students with significant opportunities to learn about the history profession and to develop as historians.”
Carls became the vice president of Phi Alpha Theta in 2012 and served in that position until becoming president. His presidential term will continue until the conclusion of the 2016 biennial convention.
By Beth Knoll