IOTA SIGMA PI

National Honor Society for Women in Chemistry

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RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION

Recruiting and retianing members has become a challenge for Iota Sigma Pi. During the 2005 Convention, the Chapter Program Development Committee recommended that National Council create an invitation for membership letter that chapters or MAL could use to send to organizations (industry, academia, government) soliciting qualified women to be nominated for membership.

A letter has been written by the National President that chapters, MAL or anyone can use to recruit new members. It is written as a letter to be sent to organizations directly. You or your chapter can request copies of this letter by contacting the National President. Please take advantage of this opportunity to recruit more women into Iota Sigma Pi! Mail these letters along with brochures to your local industry, high schools, government labs, etc. Be sure to pass along local chapter contact information if applicable. This can be done by placing a label with chapter information on the membership brochures.

Below are a list of other things you can try to increase and maintain membership.

Member recruitment:

  • Each member invite 5 or more nonmembers to social gathering to introduce them to Iota Sigma Pi
  • Host breakfast for all new graduate students during orientation
  • Contact government people for membership
  • Contact high school teachers for membership
  • Hand-deliver personal invitations to join

Member retention:

  • Host a variety of events; lectures, social and outreach events
  • Request a list of active chapter members from the Records Chair and send reminders to each when it's time to pay dues
  • Nominate members for awards often

CHAPTER STRATEGIES

AURUM IODIDE, the Chicagoland chapter, is primarily composed of professional members. Monthly meetings involve social time and dinner at an area restaurant followed by a speaker. The frequency, locations, and time (Friday evenings) are chosen based on a member response to a survey. However, this meeting structure is less than ideal for undergraduate members. The meeting locations range over all of Chicagoland and attendance requires a fee that depends on the location. Undergraduate initiates, therefore, do not attend regular meetings and generally are not retained.

In an effort to grow and maintain student membership, the undergraduate members at Lewis University have started a Women in STEM club on campus. They hope to become a hub for student membership in the western suburbs and to act as a pilot for other informal university-based subchapters in the Chicagoland region. Current plans for their first year include:

  • a table at the University's Organizational Fair and a Meet-n-Greet event with mocktails to introduce the club to incoming freshmen.
  • a panel discussion with professional members scheduled jointly with Aurum Iodide's October meeting.
  • a holiday party.

They intend to repeat the introductory process at the beginning of each semester, hand-deliver invitations to prospective members, nominate members and nonmembers for Iota Sigma Pi awards, coordinate a at least one professional development event and participate in outreach opportunities each year. Keeping the students active will hopefully help to maintain their membership status and improve student retention in Aurum Iodide.