HPU Inducts New Members into Phi Beta Delta

High Point University inducted 13 new members into Phi Beta Delta on March 27. Eight out of the 13 inductees attended the ceremony. Pictured from left to right are Emily Dillon, HPU sophomore; Ella Cusano, HPU junior; Dr. Matthew Sayre, chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology; Madison Hinson, HPU senior; Adelia Singleton, HPU senior; Tara Shtayyeh, HPU sophomore; Nicholas Kirby, HPU sophomore; and Dr. Meredith Malburne-Wade, founding director of HPU’s Office of Fellowships and Awards.


HIGH POINT, N.C., March 28, 2019 – High Point University inducted 13 new members into Phi Beta Delta on March 27.

Phi Beta Delta is the first honor society dedicated to recognizing scholarly achievement in international education. Student members must rank in the top 20 percent of their class and have a grade point average at or above 3.2; they must also participate in cultural enrichment activities and study abroad.

Faculty or staff who are invited to join must have been involved in recognized international endeavors such as research, teaching, program development or service. In addition, they must demonstrate commitment to the values espoused by the organization, which include the love of knowledge, the valuing of human life and the quest for excellence. 

“We are very happy to welcome these new members, all of whom represent excellence in international scholarship,” said Dr. Marjorie Church, director of International Student Affairs and president of HPU’s chapter of Phi Beta Delta. “Our goal is to continue to raise awareness of the value of global education by providing the HPU community with additional opportunities to learn about and engage with world cultures.”

The 2019 inductees are as follows:

Dr. Matthew Sayre, chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, joined HPU’s faculty in 2018. He teaches anthropology, archaeology, career development and courses on cultural heritage. His focus areas include ancient agriculture and long-term human relationships with the environment. Sayre conducts research abroad in Peru and has extensive experience working with international students as well as students going abroad.  His work has been published in various publications including Latin American Antiquity, Anthropological and Archaeological Sciences, Culture, Agriculture, Food, and Environment (CAFÉ). He served as a leader and developer of faculty-led programs at previous institutions and is excited to work with HPU faculty and staff to develop international programming for students.

Dr. Meredith Malburne-Wade, founding director of HPU’s Office of Fellowships and Awards, guides students in pursuing scholarships and fellowships such as the Fulbright, Rhodes, Marshall and Truman Awards. Fifty to 60 percent of the more than 90 awards she advises involve international experiences. Malburne-Wade believes wholeheartedly in the importance of international education, including sending students from the U.S. abroad and interacting with international students on campus. Her research often takes her abroad, including conference attendance in Mexico, France, Wales and the Netherlands. Malburne-Wade works to raise the international presence of HPU faculty. She is in the process of having her first Global Experience Maymester approved, which will take honor students to France and Italy. In 2018, she was a semifinalist for a Fulbright IEA grant.

Benita VanWinkle, associate professor of art, developed and implemented the course Revolution in Paris: Art at the Turn of Two Centuries. She has taught three Global Experience Maymester courses. In May 2019, she will travel to Africa with Dr. Joanne Altman, HPU’s director of undergraduate research, for a global experience titled Animal Behavior in Southern Africa. In fall 2018, she wrote a cultural program grant, which funded Latino photographer and Pulitzer Prize winner José Galvez to HPU, coordinating events with both the art department and the Spanish club. In 2017, VanWinkle presented research at a conference on Architecture and Photography at the University of Navarro, in Pamplona, Spain. At the Creative Circus, a professional portfolio school in Atlanta where she served as the admissions director for eight years, she was also the international student advisor, coordinating the paperwork and acting as a liaison for students from over 15 countries. VanWinkle is deeply committed to the cultural depth and humanistic understanding that studying abroad brings to individuals and their communities.

Mara Alvarado, a second-generation American from Guatemala and a dual citizen of Latvia, is a junior studio art major and a resident of the U.S.

Alyssa Babcock, a senior elementary education major from Connecticut, is currently enrolled in the fifth-year master’s program in elementary education with a specialty in literacy. She studied abroad three separate times during her time at HPU. These include going to Australia as a freshman, France, Italy and Switzerland as a sophomore, and South Africa as a junior.

Ella Cusano is a junior double majoring in marketing and international business and double minoring in sales and Italian. Cusano studied abroad twice in both summer and semester global studies programs. She also participated in the Italian club.

Morgan Davis, currently studying abroad this semester in Australia at the University of New South Wales, is a junior majoring in entrepreneurship and minoring in sales. She is from Philadelphia, and she participated in the marketing in Spain Global Experience Maymester last year.

Emily Dillon, a sophomore from Charlotte majoring in marketing and minoring in sales, participated in the 2018 marketing in Spain Global Experience Maymester at the Universidad of Salamanca.

Gina Figliozzi, a junior from Long Island, New York, majoring in studio art and minoring in strategic communications, has been a Global Education mentor and studied abroad in Italy in 2018.

Madison Hinson, a senior majoring in neuroscience and minoring in Chinese, participated in the Global Experience Maymester in China in 2018.

Nicholas Kirby, a sophomore from New Bern majoring in chemistry and minoring in Spanish, is on the pre-med track. He went to Spain on a Global Experience Maymester in 2018.

Tara Shtayyeh, a sophomore from Palestine majoring in psychology and minoring in dance, has been involved with multiple international activities at HPU and is currently the president of the Global Students Association.

Adelia Singleton, a senior from Sumter, South Carolina, majoring in business administration, has been involved in cultural and international events throughout her time at HPU.

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