Press release: GRCC starts state’s first community college national German honor society chapter

Contact: Kathy Mullins

Executive Deputy to the President and Board Liaison


February 4, 2013, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Epsilon Phi Delta, a national German community college honor society, is forming its first state chapter at Grand Rapids Community College.

Aleta Anderson, associate professor in German and Spanish at GRCC and head of the Language & Thought Department, is a member of an American Association of Teachers of German subcommittee that created the national Epsilon Phi Delta organization this year. She knew right away that she wanted GRCC to have a chapter, saying, “We have great students in German here, and they deserve to be recognized.”

Invitations to the new Michigan Alpha chapter are going out this semester, and Professor Anderson plans to start small, with 10 students. Their first tasks will be planning a Foreign Language Awareness Week and organizing a Deutschverein, a German club, for the campus. Epsilon Phi Delta members are then required to give five hours of service to the institution’s German Department. At GRCC, members will do a service project, reading children’s stories in German to area elementary school children to expose the younger students to the German language.

“The members of Epsilon Phi Delta will bring attention to why the study of foreign languages is important and also make students aware of the many possibilities that are open to them with German,” Professor Anderson said.

Students accepted into Epsilon Phi Delta will receive not only a certificate, but also the honor society pin and an honor cord that can be worn at commencement. To be eligible for induction, students must have completed at least one semester of German and be enrolled in the second semester course. They must have a grade-point average in German of 3.5 on a 4-point scale.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.