Chapter Founders Tell Their Story

01 Abdul Rashid Abdulai

Abdul Rashid Abdulai

Graduated Fall 2016
The City College of New York

My main motivation to bring two other friends on board to help establish a local chapter of NSCS on campus was because of the three pillars of the society — scholarship, leadership and service — were endearing to me when I first learned about NSCS. After about 3 semesters of working back and forth with the national office, we successfully established a local chapter of NSCS on my campus, The City College of New York. Our commitment has been to redefine the college experience for our members through the organization of programs that reflect scholarship, leadership, and service. We have successfully organized career development programs and have been involved in community service programs, such as the Relay for Life Event. Currently, with more than 400 members, we are seeking a bright and enthusiastic group of leaders with original ideas that reflect scholarship, leadership, and service and who will help our chapter to grow.

02 Christopher Canavan

Christopher Canavan

Graduated Spring 2019
University of Tampa

As a freshman, starting an organization at the University of Tampa was really intriguing to me because I felt that it was a way to get known on campus and start something that could help other students get involved as well. NSCS has impacted my college career because it has helped me hone leadership skills, which are essential for future jobs and careers. My favorite part about being an NSCS officer at UT is leading a group of hardworking students with the same end goal in mind — achieve academic excellence and get ready for life after college.

03 Carly Fields

Carly Fields

Early Childhood Development
Graduated 2017
East Tennessee State University

My experience as a founding officer of NSCS at East Tennessee State University began in April 2016. In less than a year, I have had a multitude of experiences that have impacted my time in college. Holding the position of president is a consuming task, but it is very rewarding. Our Society began with five founding members and has now grown to approximately 200 members in less than 12 months; I consider this a great accomplishment. I never imagined that our chapter of NSCS could be so hands-on within its inaugural year, but it has surpassed expectations with the help of the 2016-2017 Officer Board and encouragement from the National level. I was granted many opportunities to speak to large crowds of new members and upcoming freshman students, as well as participate in campus-wide service projects. These events made my college experience extraordinary and were magnified at the ETSU Summit Awards, where I was honored with the Outstanding Academic Organization President award.

04 David J. Smith

David J. Smith

Graduated 2018
Seminole State College of Florida

I founded our chapter because I saw a large gap in representation from the other honors society at our college. I immediately went into research mode to find a solution, and the one organization that came across repeatedly was NSCS. With a stellar reputation and a powerful national presence, I knew that NSCS was the answer. I immediately set about our chapter’s creation. It was a process that required patience and creativity. After all, you are trying to blend two well established organizations with different protocols and methodology. With that being said, I found champions in both Chapter Development at NSCS and Student Life at Seminole State College of Florida. Without their tireless support, I could not have succeeded. From officer recruitment to event planning as a new chapter, we faced challenges that I could not foresee, and I have become a better person, student, and leader as a result. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. The friends I have made and the lessons I’ve learned will serve me well for the rest of my life. Unless you have founded a chapter, it is difficult to convey the profound experience. One thing is for sure: I am NSCS for life!

05 Raymond Blaha

Raymond Blaha

Graduation 2015 and 2018
Florida SouthWestern State College

First, I would like to thank the Founding VP Denise Ruiz, adviser Dr. Chase, and Sankaya Hall of the National Office, because without their help I would not have been able to create the National Society of Collegiate Scholars chapter at Florida SouthWestern State College.

I wanted to start the NSCS chapter at FSW because NSCS is about making a large difference not only in the lives of the students who are a part of NSCS, but also the community that NSCS is a part of. In conjunction, NSCS focuses on academic achievement, which is imperative to inspire and encourage students to reach their academic goals; NSCS was the perfect platform to satisfy both objectives. Furthermore, there was nothing at FSW that really captured the passion and the values that NSCS has for the students and community. The actual process of making an official NSCS chapter at FSW was not easy. I faced a great deal of resistance from Student Life, because at the time I was the President of the Student Economists Union, Founder and President of the Creative Writing Club, and Vice President of Rotaract. Even though I faced a great deal of resistance from Student Life, words cannot explain the elation and sheer joy that I had when I received the email stating that NSCS at FSW had become an official chapter. Once it finally became official, it was about time for me to graduate from FSW, but that did not stop the NSCS FSW chapter from completing amazing things and touching many lives. For instance, the chapter has hosted a fundraiser for Santa Julia, a coffee collective community in Nicaragua; hosted the Maria Film Festival; and even helped the local Act Shelter. Though I did not play a large role in the accomplishments previously mentioned, I am proud, honored, and forever touched knowing that this chapter impacted a community in such a positive way. Knowing this has only kindled my passion for making the world a better place. I hope the next administration continues to take these values of Scholarship, Leadership, and Service to continue to go above and beyond.

06 Renee Murat

Renee Murat

Business Administration
Graduated Summer 2017
Tidewater Community College

Starting out at my local college, I knew I wanted to pursue extracurricular activities but didn’t find anything that really seemed to fit. That’s when my current chapter adviser told me about NSCS. She said it would be a great opportunity for me, so I decided to start a chapter with the help of my adviser and a couple other fellow students at Tidewater Community College. We started out really excited about the possibilities of what starting this chapter would mean. Being an officer, and a founding officer at that, helped me in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined. Not only did it make me a more confident and interactive student, it helped me get my current job by gaining real world experience. I learned the importance of teamwork and creative ways for planning events. NSCS has become an integral part of my life and is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I plan on starting a chapter at my new college and am excited for all of the new opportunities NSCS will bring me.

07 Sophia Pin

Sophia Pin

Music Production
Graduated 2017
Full Sail University

Being part of the first NSCS chapter at Full Sail University was truly an amazing experience that I am extremely grateful for. I had the opportunity to start an amazing tradition at the university and see talented, determined, and creative individuals work together for the first time thanks to the events hosted by NSCS. Thanks to NSCS, I had the chance to grow my leadership and communication skills, and I also got to network with students and professionals in different areas of the industry I would have never met before. NSCS is about uniting and teaching students essential skills the will only benefit them in the real world, and I am happy I got the chance to be a part of that.

08 Kristian Rivera

Kristian Rivera

Forensic Science and Spanish Education
Graduating 2020
Utah Valley University

When I first got involved with NSCS, I was a senior at Utah Valley University’s pre-college high school, UCAS. I found out about NSCS through a friend who heard about it from a member at a different university. At that time, UVU didn’t have an active NSCS chapter. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to help get it started again at UVU, and thus far it has been an incredible journey. I’ve gained wonderful friends from our current members and officer board. NSCS has allowed me to learn and helped me grow and build my leadership skills and abilities. It’s not an easy job and can be stressful at times, but I’m thankful for the opportunity because I am confident that it has helped me become the leader I believe myself to be. NSCS has truly helped me survive college! It’s provided an amazing experience to help others develop themselves in all aspects.

09 Michael Romero

Michael Romero

Biomedical Science
Graduated 2017
Liberty University

The main reason why I wanted to start an NSCS chapter at Liberty University was to create a supportive community for students as they go through their studies. I’ve had the blessing of being part of other honor societies on campus; however, I never felt a true sense of community in any of those clubs. Starting an NSCS chapter at Liberty has had a profound effect on my life by giving me the ability to network with students across various majors. Thanks to this chapter, I’ve had the opportunity to reach out to students who need that extra push of motivation, and I’ve been able to refine my social and leadership skills. The most memorable event for me would have to be when we took our members to the safari park to relax before finals. I will forever remember my chapter adviser, fellow officers, and all the awesome members.

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