VMI Alpha Psi
Lexington, Va. 24450
Charter Date April 23, 2007
Chapter No. 168
Advisor Dr. Robert McMasters
The VMI Alpha Psi Chapter was founded in 2007 under the leadership of Dr. Michael Sexton, who had been originally inducted into the Virginia Tech Upsilon Chapter in 1965. The following year, Dr. Robert McMasters became the faculty advisor, who had originally been inducted into the inaugural Naval Academy Delta Psi Chapter in 1978.
The VMI Alpha Psi Chapter has provided student volunteers to serve as guides for tours of the Mechanical Engineering laboratories to prospective students in an effort to recruit top candidates during six annual Open House Weekends at VMI. Many members also serve as tutors through the VMI Mechanical Engineering Department’s “Peer Study Session” program.
ANNUAL SUMMARY REPORTS
2020-2021 Robert McMasters, Advisor
During the past year, the Alpha Psi chapter inducted nine new members, all but one of whom were juniors. An induction ceremony was held on April 13, 2021. Membership certificates and membership cards were not awarded at that time since the ceremony was conducted online; they were handed out later during class periods when face-to-face classes were in session.
The criterion for selection into the Pi Tau Sigma chapter at VMI is the student’s major GPA in mechanical engineering courses. This is distinguished from the chapter of Tau Beta Pi, a general engineering fraternity, also sponsored by VMI along with the Pi Tau Sigma chapter. The procedure for the initiation ceremony follows the script from the Rituals of Pi Tau Sigma.
A reception including pizza, cake, and soft drinks, was planned but had to be set aside due to the remote nature of the ceremony. All of the current chapter members were invited to the induction ceremony.
All of the graduating Chapter members this year were designated as being “distinguished in academic merit,” as determined by the Virginia Military Institute, which allows them to wear gold-star insignia on their uniforms.
All graduating chapter members successfully passed the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination, administered by the State of Virginia for the official designation of Engineer in Training (EIT).
Chapter members Sergio Aparicio, Logan Baarlaer, Michael Bangert, Daniel Carlson, Jerry Haste, and David Lutes all completed a mathematics minor in addition to the curriculum for the mechanical engineering major.
Chapter member Sergio Aparicio, Logan Baarlaer, Michael Bangert, Daniel Carlson, Brad Davis, Bill Osteen, and David Lutes completed a concentration in nuclear engineering, in addition to the curriculum for the mechanical engineering major.
Chapter member Sergio Aparicio and David Lutes completed a physics minor, in addition to the curriculum for the mechanical engineering major.
Chapter member Logan Baarlaer, Michael Bangert, Jerry Haste, Patrick Higgins, and David Lutes completed a concentration in aerospace engineering, in addition to the curriculum for the mechanical engineering major.
Chapter members Jerry Haste, Bill Osteen and Logan Baarlaer each completed an Institute Honors project, earning this designation upon graduation.
Chapter President Dan Carlson received the William H. Milton, Jr. Class of 1920 Award, given to the first-standing graduate in mechanical engineering. He also received the Naval Submarine League Admiral Frederick B. Warder Award, presented to recognize superior professional and academic performance by an outstanding NROTC graduate selected for submarine service, Makenna Moore received the Faculty Scholarship for Merit.
Pi Tau Sigma members occasionally conduct tours of the mechanical engineering laboratories. The tours are for high school students who express interest in mechanical engineering as a potential academic major. The tour-guides lead the students throughout the laboratories and classrooms of the Engineering Building during open house events which are conducted on six designated weekends throughout the year. They also participate in Group Study Sessions (GSS) where underclassmen are afforded the guidance of upperclassmen in small groups, so as to improve their performance in freshman and sophomore mechanical engineering courses. Additionally, Pi Tau Sigma members assist instructors in reviewing homework submissions from underclassmen in order to ease the grading burden on the faculty.