Golden Lions Induct Twelve Student Athletes into Chi Alpha Sigma

Courtesy University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Athletics Department

Pine Bluff, Ark- On Wednesday, one the highest honors that can be given to a student-athlete, with the exception of a degree, was bestowed upon 12 University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff student-athletes as they were inducted into the National College Athlete Honor Society, Chi Alpha Sigma.

“Anytime you have an opportunity to honor students for achievements in the classroom, whoever they may be is a great thing. The fact that this is an organization which recognizes student-athletes for their excellence not only in the classroom but also in athletics, moral character, and contributions to community it’s a tremendous honor for those individuals being honored, the team they represent and our athletics program in general”, stated Athletics Director Lonza Hardy, Jr.

The National College Athlete Honor Society, Chi Alpha Sigma, was founded on May 17, 1996 at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Its founding father was Nick Mourouzis, DePauw’s head football coach.

The mission of the NCAHS is to bring honor and recognition to deserving student-athletes, their families, teams, athletics departments and colleges in much the same way as Phi Beta Kappa honors scholastics. The organization recognizes college students who receive a varsity letter in their sport while maintaining a 3.4 or higher cumulative grade point average throughout their junior and senior years. The governing board of the NCAHS represents all levels of competition in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

The Greek letters for the NCAHS are Chi Alpha Sigma. The society’s motto is “Excellence in Academics and Athletics.” Its watchwords are “Athletics, Academics, Achievement, and Attitude.” Its purposes are as follows:

To encourage and reward high academic scholarship of college athletes at four-year accredited colleges and universities;

To recognize outstanding academic achievement by intercollegiate varsity sport letter-winners;

To encourage good citizenship, moral character and friendship among the high academic achievers in college athletics;

To recognize and honor the individual athlete, his/her team, sport, athletics department and college or university; and

To mentor and to provide leadership to other students.

On November 30, 2011, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s petition for membership was approved and UAPB became just the second university in the state to join the NCAHS, earning the distinction of Arkansas Beta Chapter. Twenty UAPB student-athletes were in the university’s inaugural inductions class on April 5, 2012, followed by 12 inductees on April 3, 2013.

With Athletics Director Lonza Hardy, Jr. serving as the Master of Ceremonies, the program started promptly at 6:30 PM. After a short welcome, the inductees were introduced to a small gathering of coaches, teammates and supporters who were in attendance at the S.J. Parker 1890 building auditorium.

After brief introduction by Associate Athletes director Alyse Wells-Kilbert, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Mary A. Benjamin, the keynote speaker, addressed the inductees and those in attendance. Benjamin spoke to the student-athletes about the significance of the honor and she also gave them valuable knowledge as prepare for their lives after college.

“This means that the university as a whole, with all of its various departments and programs put a very high emphasis on academics. And not only do we emphasize it, we take time to celebrate our students when they are successful and meet the high standards set by the university”, said Benjamin. “I think it’s a calling card for students who are undecided about where they want to go to college to understand they will have a challenging but a rewarding education experience at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.”

After the honorees received their certificates of induction into Chi Alpha Sigma, with closing remarks by Elbert Bennett, director of student affairs, a small reception followed where some of the inductees where available for comment.

“It’s a big honor, I’ve just have to keep working hard and striving to reach my goals”, stated Golden Lions football player Anthony Smith.

“It’s a big accomplishment and it’s good that student-athletes can be recognized for what they do in school”, said Fabiola Cardosa, a Lady Lions tennis player.

Listed below are the student-athletes who received this prestigious honor as being the second class inducted into the honor society.



Maria Cabane – Junior, Member of Women’s Tennis Team, Cumulative GPA of 3.914

Fabiola Cardosa – Junior, Member of Women’s Tennis Team, Cumulative GPA of 3.962

Cody De Mera – Senior, Member of Baseball Team, Cumulative GPA of 3.650

Redmond Floyd – Junior, Member of Baseball Team, Cumulative GPA of 3.721

Rachel Hornbuckle – Junior, Member of Volleyball Team, Cumulative GPA of 3.923

Stephanie Jerson – Senior, Member of the Women’s Track & Field Team, Cumulative GPA of 3.727

Stanten Jones – Senior, Member of Baseball Team, Cumulative GPA of 3.452

Nicolas Plaza – Junior, Member of Men’s Tennis Team, Cumulative GPA of 3.427

William Ross – Senior, Member of Football Team, Cumulative GPA of 3.504

Anthony Smith – Senior, Member of Football Team, Cumulative GPA of 3.421

Rachel Tims – Junior, Member of Volleyball Team, Cumulative GPA of 3.897

Jacob Whitney – Senior, Member of Baseball Team, Cumulative GPA of 3.452


“When we decided last year to petition to become a member of the society, we always knew that student-athletes accelerate at a higher pace than regular students, we thought that this would a great avenue to represent that fact and to let the community know that athletes are excelling at a tremendous rate and we’re real proud of the things they’re doing on the field as well as in the classroom”, added Hardy.


Tags: , , ,