New national criminal justice honor society on UTPA campus inducts new members
Posted: 05/15/2003
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Criminal justice students at The University of Texas-Pan American will now have a national venue to be recognized for academic achievement in their field when a new chapter, Omega Phi, of the Alpha Phi Sigma national criminal justice honor society was reactivated with a formal induction ceremony held Tuesday in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Building.

Twelve students and three faculty members were inducted recently into The University of Texas-Pan American chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, a national criminal justice honor society. Inductees shown here with Dr. Homero Garcia (lower right), Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, are top row, left to right Mary Angeline DeCock, Amanda J. Carlow, Dalia Gonzalez and John Jacob Rodriguez. Bottom row left to right are Sandra Gonzales, Andres G. Rivas, Beatriz Gonzalez, Maricela Almanza, Daisy Ulloa, Jose A. Ramirez, Ernesto F. Ramirez, and Dr. Dan Dearth, faculty adviser. Not pictured are George Bell, Dr. M.L. Dantzker, and Dr. S. George Vincentnathan. Alpha Phi Sigma has more than 250 chapters and is a nationally recognized honor society for students in the criminal justice sciences.
Twelve students were inducted in the ceremony presided over by Dr. Homero Garcia, dean of the Social and Behavioral College, and Dr. Dan K. Dearth, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and student adviser for the chapter. Inductees, including the current chapter officers, are Maricela Almanza, George Bell, Amanda Carlow, Mary Angeline DeCock, Beatriz A. Gonzalez (secretary), Dalia Gonzales, Sandra Gonzales (treasurer), Ernesto F. Ramirez (vice president) Jose A. Ramirez, Andres G. Rivas, John Jacob Rodriguez and Daisy Ulloa (president). M. L. Dantzker, S. George Vincentnathan and Dearth joined as faculty members.

According to Dearth, the UTPA chapter has been dormant four years. He said it needed reactivation to give criminal justice students a higher profile and more recognition for their accomplishments.

"Membership in such an honor society is recognized by federal agencies like Customs or the Border Patrol and they allow a Government Service (GS)entry-level of GS 7 instead the normal of entry level of GS 5 if they hire a person who is a member of Alpha Phi Sigma. This means a higher entry level salary and an approximate two-year equivalent career boost for a beginning employee," Dearth said.

Membership in the honor society also provides cooperative education opportunities with criminal justice agencies.

Ulloa, a senior criminal justice major, says she is very proud to be a member.

"I plan to further my education and eventually pursue federal law enforcement. As Dr. Dearth pointed out my membership will allow me to get further ahead than normal and that is good," she said.

Alpha Phi Sigma has over 250 chapters and is a nationally recognized honor society for students in the criminal justice sciences. Eligible students must be criminal justice majors or minors and can be undergraduate or graduate. The undergraduates must maintain a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in all courses, a 3.2 GPA in criminal justice courses and have completed 36 semester hours with a minimum of 12 semester hours in criminal justice. The graduate students must maintain an overall 3.4 GPA and in criminal justice graduate courses. Qualified faculty members may also join.

For more information on the local chapter contact Dearth at 956/381-3566 or email