OU professor selected as president-elect of PSA Honor Society


Photo courtesy of Terri Towner

Terri Towner, professor of political science and former advisor of Nu Omega, has been nominated as president-elect of Nu Omega’s national office — Pi Sigma Alpha (PSA).

Terri Towner, professor of political science and former advisor of Nu Omega, has been nominated as president-elect of Nu Omega’s national office — Pi Sigma Alpha (PSA).

PSA is the only national political science honor society in the United States. Officially chartered in 1920, PSA now hosts nearly 850 chapters on college campuses across the country — including Oakland University’s chapter, Nu Omega.

Towner has had a long history with PSA. She first started as Nu Omega’s advisor in 2010, with the chapter named as best chapter six times under her supervision. She then served as the faculty advisor of the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics for nearly eight years.

When Towner stepped down as advisor of Nu Omega, she then served on the executive council for the national office of PSA. She said it felt like a natural step to be nominated as president because of her long history with the honor society.

“I was very honored to be nominated as president,” Towner said. “The council [recognized] my service to not only our chapter at Oakland University, but to the journal and beyond, so I was very, very pleased to accept that nomination and then be elected by all of the faculty advisors nationwide.”

When Towner was nominated, she knew that it would be a big commitment — an eight-year one, at that. She will serve as president-elect for two years, president for two years and then past-president for four.

Towner is passionate about the growth of the honor society and hopes to drive its success and engagement by giving back to PSA students.

“One of the top things we’re doing this fall is strategic planning,” she said. “We really want to make sure the honorary stays healthy, and ensure that we are serving our students and those with academic excellence. Our role is to recognize and promote students who have very high academic achievement in the field of political science.”

Whether students want to go to graduate school, law school or even become a lobbyist — PSA provides internships and grant money for internships, graduate school or for travel. 

“[Providing internships and grant money] is probably, to me, one of the most important things we do,” Towner said. 

Although Towner is no longer the advisor of Nu Omega, she recommends that juniors, seniors and graduate students that meet the GPA requirement and are political science majors or minors join OU’s chapter. 

“You [have] to pay a lifetime national due [of] $35, and once you pay the $35, you’re in for life,” she said.

For non-Nu Omega members, there are other opportunities to get involved with the chapter — such as attending one of the various events they host on campus.

“We bring speakers to campus,” Towner said. “We did a book club all during the pandemic, which was amazing. We had a pizza party welcome event [recently.] We had history, sociology [majors there] — I mean, all [different kinds of] humanities [majors] there.”

If you’re interested and believe you meet the requirements to join PSA’s OU chapter, Nu Omega, please contact Nicole Mathew, PSA’s current chapter advisor at OU, at [email protected].