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Ouachita Stories


Ouachita graduate named Alpha Chi H.Y. Benedict Fellowship fourth alternate

Ouachita NewsAugust 10, 2021 - Mandy Halbert

Alpha Chi National College Honor Society named Sidney Salyers the $3,000 H.Y. Benedict Fellowship fourth alternate at the Alpha Chi National Convention in April. Salyers graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication sciences and disorders from Ouachita Baptist University in May.

The H.Y. Benedict Fellowship is awarded to nominees for their first year of graduate study at any institution. Nominees must complete their undergraduate degree in the year of their application for the fellowship and must enroll in a full-time graduate or professional program for the following semester. Applicants for the fellowship are ranked according to overall academic performance within their area of study, service and extracurricular work, work within Alpha Chi and their submitted work samples.

Sidney Salyers

Sidney Salyers

“For Sidney to be an alternate means that she was one of the 14 seniors from across the country that Alpha Chi’s Scholarship Committee decided was deserving,” said Dr. Myra Houser, associate professor of history and faculty advisor for Ouachita’s Alpha Chi chapter. “She is in a very elite group.”

As an alternate, Salyers would receive the graduate scholarship should another honoree decline the award or not enter a graduate program.

For Salyers’ application, she submitted a paper titled “Impacts of language intervention on the prognosis of selective mutism” from her Cognition course taught by Dr. Allyson Phillips, assistant professor of psychology.

“The fact that a paper I wrote about something that I am extremely passionate about was among the top submissions out of so many papers from so many other amazing Alpha Chi members from across the entire country was very empowering,” Salyers said.

“Going from undergraduate to graduate school, it can sometimes be overwhelming trying to decide where exactly you want to go in your field,” she added, “but seeing that others also appreciated my passion for working with children with selective mutism was a very validating experience and has given me the confidence to go into graduate school knowing exactly what I want to pursue.”

Salyers served as president of Ouachita’s chapter of Alpha Chi during her senior year. She will begin a master’s program in speech pathology at the University of Houston in the fall.

“One thing that always impresses me about Sidney is her smile and just enjoyment of doing planning and service work within the organization,” Houser said. “She is a very hard worker.”

For more information about Ouachita’s Arkansas Beta chapter of Alpha Chi, contact Dr. Myra Houser at houserm@obu.edu or (870) 245-5547.