Rho Sigma Kappa honors society is an association of primarily collegiate chapters whose purposes are to recognize and encourage high academic scholarship and/or leadership in some broad or specialized field of study.

The society...

  • Honors and recognizes those students and members of the safety sciences profession who distinguish themselves through academic achievement and exemplary character.
  • Fosters scholarship and promotes student leadership.
  • Contributes to the advancement of professionalism in safety.

Rho Sigma Kappa - IUP Alpha Chapter

In 1993, the Alpha Chapter of Rho Sigma Kappa was inaugurated at IUP. This honor society recognizes exemplary performance in the safety sciences. Membership is based on nomination by program faculty and requires completion of at least 12 credits in the major and meeting minimum grade point averages, as well as other evidence of superior performance. Typically, only between 5 and 10 percent of safety sciences students qualify for membership in Rho Sigma Kappa.


Membership in Rho Sigma Kappa is open to individuals without regard to race, color, creed, handicap, or national origin. Members are selected based upon the following rules for eligibility:

  • Undergraduate students are eligible for membership as early as their junior year. To be eligible, undergraduate students must have successfully completed 57 semester hours, which must include at least 12 credit hours of Safety Sciences courses. Students must have a cumulative overall grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and a 3.2 grade point average in all safety and health classes, which includes physics, biology, and business electives. Selection is based on academic achievement, leadership, character, and professional involvement.
  • Graduate students are eligible for membership upon completion of 12 semester hours of graduate work (or its equivalent) and having a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Doctoral students are eligible for membership upon completion of 12 semester hours of coursework and having a minimum grade point average of 3.75 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Faculty and professional safety and health practitioners may be elected as faculty members and honorary members respectively, having proven themselves outstanding professionals in the field.


The officers of this organization shall include the president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer.

Election of Officers

The officers of Rho Sigma Kappa are elected by a majority vote at a meeting of this organization held during the spring semester. Officers serve for the following school year. To be eligible for nomination as an officer, a student must be currently enrolled in good standing at IUP and have two semesters remaining at IUP prior to graduation.

Duties and Powers of Officers

The president presides at meetings, initiates the formulation of organizational objectives for each year, establishes committees to carry out organizational activities, and appoints committee chairpersons as necessary. The president chairs the executive committee.

The vice president assumes the duties of the president whenever deemed necessary by the executive committee and serves as a member of the executive committee. The vice president also manages the nomination process and oversees the selection of new members.

The secretary records the minutes of all meetings of this organization, executes all organizational correspondence, and keeps a roster of all present and past members of Rho Sigma Kappa. The secretary serves as a member of the executive committee.

The treasurer collects all membership dues, manages the financial affairs of the organization, and, at times designated by the executive committee, prepares a financial statement that properly reports the complete financial state of Rho Sigma Kappa. The treasurer also serves on the executive committee.


The advisor to Rho Sigma Kappa must be a faculty member of the organization and will serve as an ex-officio member of the executive committee. The advisor serves as a mentor and consultant to the officers of Rho Sigma Kappa as needed. The advisor for the alpha chapter at IUP is Wanda Minnick.

Executive Committee

The executive committee plus appointed committee chairs manage the activities of Rho Sigma Kappa. The executive committee is empowered to replace any officer of Rho Sigma Kappa, but this may only occur following a majority vote of the entire committee. The executive committee will select and may select to change faculty advisors whenever needed. The executive committee should meet at least monthly during the Spring and Fall school terms.

Financial Obligation

An established one-time induction fee of $15 is required of inductees. Honorary members and professional members shall not be assessed dues.

Removal from Membership

Members whose conduct is found to have violated professionalism standards may be removed from membership with a two-thirds vote of the current members. The executive committee must review the circumstances of said conduct and allow the member in question a hearing to discuss these circumstances. The executive committee must, through a majority vote, bring a recommendation for removal from membership and present this to the membership at a business meeting.

Recommendation for removal of professional members shall be reviewed by the executive committee, to be followed by a two-thirds vote of all officers from existing chapters.


Official business of Rho Sigma Kappa is to be conducted at business meetings. These meetings must be announced and publicized, although attendance is not mandatory. To take formal action on such matters as dues increases or disciplinary action requires that a business meeting be held. The quorum necessary to conduct a business meeting is 50 percent of the currently enrolled student membership.