Members of the Alpha Alpha Alpha (Tri-Alpha) Honor Society

Members of the Alpha Alpha Alpha (Tri-Alpha) Honor Society with Lehigh University President Joseph J. Helble '82 after being sworn in earlier this month. Tri-Alpha recognizes the achievements of first-generation students, alumni, staff, faculty and administrators. 

Lehigh Students, Staff Among New Inductees into First-Generation Honor Society

The ceremony of the Tri-Alpha Honor Society was held April 7 on campus.

Story by

Mary Ellen Alu

Photography by

Christa Neu

Lehigh inducted 17 students and five faculty and staff members into the Alpha Alpha Alpha (Tri-Alpha) Honor Society, which recognizes the achievements of first-generation students, alumni, staff, faculty and administrators.

The ceremony was held April 7 at the Rauch Business Center. 

"This honor society provides an opportunity for celebration and recognition of our bright, intelligent, first-generation student scholars and leaders at Lehigh,” said Denise Beautreau, director, Center for Student Access and Success. “It also serves as a source of inspiration for not only the first generation students at Lehigh, but all students.” 

At the ceremony, inductees received a pin that incorporated the organization’s logo: a star in the center of several circles. The circles indicate the various communities of which the inductees are a part—the Lehigh community, the nearby geographical community and the wider world. The star, meanwhile, represents individual inductees—beacons of light for others to follow.

“Alpha Alpha Alpha has created an avenue for students, faculty, staff and alumni to connect via a shared identity as well as connect with those who may not be first generation scholars but support, encourage and advocate for first-generation students,” said Beautreau, who was among the Lehigh staff members inducted into the honor society. 

“I am humbled and proud to be inducted this year and to be a part of the membership of an organization like Alpha Alpha Alpha and be connected to so many inspirational students and the extended society membership,” she said.

The Tri-Alpha Honor society is a preeminent organization dedicated to recognizing first-generation students’ academic achievement and empowering them to become well-rounded in different facets of life.

Robert Flowers, Herbert J. and Ann L. Siegel Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

The initiation pledge for the students reads, in part, “Being first can be hard. Being first can be scary. Being first can be exciting. As part of the first generation in your family to go to college, you are a source of pride and guidance to others. By accepting membership in the Tri-Alpha honor society, you recognize your responsibility to your family and to future generations of first, to finish what you started, to be their compass leading them to their destination when the way seems uncertain, to be their light in darkness, and to support others in their own journeys of firsts.”

“The Tri-Alpha Honor Society is special because it recognizes the determination and drive these students possess, both academically and personally,” said Robert Flowers,  Herbert J. and Ann L. Siegel Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and faculty advisor to the group. “The students come from a broad range of majors, and it is gratifying when I hear of their successes and the achievements. The breadth of experiences of our first-generation students is one of the critical elements that shapes Lehigh’s character.”

Student inductee Norman Zvenyika ’24, who is majoring in computer science and biocomputational engineering, said he was “excited” to be inducted into the organization.

“The Tri-Alpha Honor society is a preeminent organization dedicated to recognizing first-generation students’ academic achievement and empowering them to become well-rounded in different facets of life,” he said. 

Amber Brose ’24, who is double majoring in political science and women, gender, and sexuality studies, also was among the student inductees. Since recognizing that she is a first-generation student, she said, she has been able to find support and community.  “It is very comforting to have others who also have to work to support themselves while at school,” she said, “and [who] understand the feelings of imposter syndrome that can sometimes pop up when one is surrounded with others that come from a different perspective than oneself.”

Students inducted included:

  • Raihan Alam ’23, psychology/political science, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Amber Brose ’24, political science/AGSS, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Isabella Cammisa ’22, psychology/journalism, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Karla Contreras ’23, psychology, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Jennifer Domenick ’23, business information systems/decision & tech analytics/supply chain management, College of Business
  • Steven Escobar-Mendez ’22, political science/global studies, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Genesis Genao ’23, psychology/global studies, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Allison Graham ’22, psychology,  College of Arts & Sciences
  • Zihan Mao ’24, mathematics,  College of Arts & Sciences
  • Mericel Mirabel ’22, sociology/Latin American & Latino studies,  College of Arts & Sciences
  • Lesly Montano Garcia ’23, accounting/supply chain management, College of Business
  • Cassidy Rubio ’24, English,  College of Arts & Sciences
  • Hajer Sabil ’23, political science, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Adrian Suarez ’22, theatre,  College of Arts & Sciences
  • Hejia Wang ’25, economics, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Zihan Wang ’24, computer science and business, College of Business
  • Norman Zvenyika ’24, computer science and bioengineering, College of Health

Faculty and staff inducted included:

  • Denise Beautreau, director, Center for Student Access and Success
  • Christopher Herrera, assistant director of marketing and graphic design, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Heather Johnson, associate professor, sociology,  College of Arts & Sciences
  • Patricia A. Johnson, vice president, finance and administration
  • Gérman Cadenas, assistant professor, counseling psychology program, College of Education
Story by

Mary Ellen Alu

Photography by

Christa Neu

Related Stories

Nathan Urban and Chris Cook

Lehigh’s Strategic Planning Process: A Conversation with Nathan Urban and Chris Cook

With ‘Our Lehigh, Our Future’ in full swing, Lehigh’s provost and its vice president of strategic planning and initiatives talk about the themes, process and generating ideas.

Tarana Burke

Founder of #MeToo Movement Delivers 42nd Tresolini Lecture

Tarana Burke recalls the moment her movement went viral and says, "We still have so far to go.”

Club Hub rendering

Reimagining the Clayton University Center

Lehigh will begin extensive renovations to the iconic Clayton University Center at Packer Hall that will create a dynamic environment for student life while preserving the building’s historic grandeur.