National leadership society expands to USM


USM will host its first Sigma Alpha Pi induction ceremony in Thad Cochran 218 on May 4. The university will recognize 53 sophomores for their accomplishments during the event as they are inducted into the society.

“There’s not [another] organization like this,” said Johnny Brumfield, founder and president of USM’s Sigma Alpha Pi chapter. “We are the third in the state of Mississippi to be established and the first leadership society here on campus. I knew there was a need because there [aren’t] a lot of other societies that are really looking for your heart and goals.”

Sigma Alpha Pi is the “National Society of Leadership and Success.”

According to its website, it is the nation’s largest leadership honor society and has 590,483 members in 506 chapters nationwide. Members are nominated based on academic standing or leadership potential.

Before nominated students can be inducted, they must go through a step-by-step program in order to build leadership skills.

This program begins with orientation, during which new members learn about the society and its origins, as well as steps of the leadership development program. They also receive a schedule of events for the semester.

Students then participate in leadership training day, an interactive video training session during which new members “identify goals and overcome obstacles” in a seminar that helps them “identify true passions and strengths while creating action steps to achieve their goals,” according to the website.

After leadership training day, new members must participate in three- speaker broadcasts, livestreamed events during which the members must listen to famous leaders speak about topics such as leadership, identifying goals, facing challenges, personal growth and transitioning from college to career.

New members must then attend three success networking team meetings to set goals for future success.

“Members hold each other accountable using a highly specialized formula proven to produce results,” reads a description on the society’s website. “After each meeting, students submit a selective journal entry online, providing advisors the opportunity to coach and mentor in a format which actively engages students.”

“When you get inducted into the society, we want you to participate in all of those programs,” Brumfield said. “You should learn something about yourself. You should have a grip on your drive to unlock your goals.”

Upon completion of the program, members receive leadership certificates and are inducted into the society during a formal induction ceremony.

Brumfield, a psychology major, has many ambitious goals for USM’s Sigma Alpha Pi chapter and believes he can set it apart from the national organization.

“Of course, you’ve got to [follow] the national program to get inducted,” he said. “But we want to deviate from the program a little and
create our own program.”

Brumfield hopes to collaborate with other leadership-based organizations on campus in order to create a stronger leadership presence.

“We want to do a leadership panel, where we invite other executive board members from other organizations and have them talk to students and tell them how they overcame adversity or how they overcame certain problems that they faced in their organizations,” he said.

Vice president Bruce Kirkwood said this year’s inductees are capable of great things.

“I think it’s amazing how we’ve already had such a big impact on the students,” Kirkwood said. “I know we can only go higher from here. We have a great executive board. We have great, resourceful people — everyone’s always willing to hop on board for something that’s very impactful.”