Alpha Phi Sigma- Pi Nu Utah Valley University & Club

In September 1941, Dr. Vivian Anderson Leonard was asked by the president of Washington State University if he would accept the directorship of a Police Science Academic Program at Washington State. Dr. Leonard accepted the offer and became responsible for developing a four year curriculum which would lead to a Bachelor’s Degree in Police Administration.

Upon his arrival at Washington State, Dr. Leonard began to realize how important it was that a Police Science Honorary be established. The purpose of this honorary would be to promote excellence in scholarship and performance. In January 1943, Dr. Leonard met with seventeen Police Science majors at Washington State and Alpha Phi Sigma was established. Glenn Hill was elected the first president and appointed a committee to draft the first Constitution and By-laws.

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During its initial years, Alpha Phi Sigma experienced only limited growth but on March 24, 1976 in Dallas, Texas the Executive Board of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences voted unanimously to designate Alpha Phi Sigma as the National Criminal Justice Honor Society. There are now over three hundred and sixty chapters nationwide.

Alpha Phi Sigma recognizes academic excellence of Undergraduate and Graduate students in criminal justice or a related field. The goals of Alpha Phi Sigma are to honor and promote academic excellence, community service, educational leadership, and unity. Alpha Phi Sigma is the only Criminal Justice Honor Society which is a certified member of the Association of College Honor Societies and affiliated with the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

In spring 2015, a group of criminal justice students approached Dr. Marcy Hehnly to discuss Utah Valley University having an honors program. These students, Errol Flynn, Brieanne Vandergraf, Camille Houghton, and Jeremy Baker saw a vision to grow our criminal justice program and to recognize the outstanding achievements of their fellow classmates.

In March 2015, Utah Valley University was accepted in to Alpha Phi Sigma and given the chapter name of Pi Nu.  The first induction ceremony was held April 2015. Students who met the following guidelines began submitting their paperwork to become a part of the very first group of students to be inducted in to this honors program:

Undergraduate Students: Undergraduate students shall be enrolled in an institution represented by a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma. They must have declared a major, minor or equivalent in the criminal justice or related field, have completed three full time semesters or its equivalent. They must attain a minimum GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale in their cumulative and criminal justice classes; rank in the top 35% of their class. A minimum of four courses of the above course work shall be in the criminal justice field.

Graduate Students: Graduate students shall be enrolled in a graduate program in criminal justice or related field; have completed four courses; have a minimum GPA of 3.4 on a 4.0 scale or rank in the upper 25% of their class.

Law Students: Students enrolled in Law school must have completed their first academic year with a GPA of 2.5 or above, on a 4.0 scale. 

Throughout this process students also saw the need to include other students who did not meet the guidelines as set forth by the honors program therefore a “club” was added to the group. This allows the criminal justice program to reach and encourage all students towards receiving a higher GPA so that they can be a part of the honors program. There is no minimum GPA or number of classes that must have been completed for this portion. Students who wish to join the “club” portion simply go to the UVU club page and ask to join the Alpha Phi Sigma Honors Program and Club.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do we do?

We currently have several student leaders in place, however when they graduate we seek to find other students desiring to work in a leadership position. Currently, the program is run by one advisor, a student president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, social director and volunteer director. We have activities that include community volunteer events, various criminal justice and forensic science type organizations that conduct presentations to our group, and have social events where we all spend time getting to know one another forging lasting relationships.

Why should I join?

The average student will walk away from Utah Valley University with a four year degree and students will be competing for jobs with those same people. Why be average? Employers are looking for graduates that go above and beyond to show initiative and motivation. By belonging to an honors program or club while also giving back to the community, students are learning leadership and value traits. This will make a student stand out to employers while allowing students to build their resume.

Who can I talk to?

Students can contact Dr. Marcy Hehnly of the Criminal Justice Department located in EN-101 or email her directly at for more information.

Also find this group on facebook at Alpha Phi Sigma -Pi Nu Utah Valley University or

National Security Studies Society (NSSS)

The NSSS serves to advance study of national security issues that affect United States foreign policy and domestic security. Through researching contemporary issues in foreign relations, international law, and security, students will gain a better understanding of the complex legal and political issues facing our country. Club dues are $5.  Visit the club Facebook page at 

Law Society

Law Society (CJ 290R) is an academic club which students can get college credit for.  This is offered during the fall and spring semester.  During the class, students will bring in guest speakers from the criminal justice field.  Club dues vary from $7-$10 depending on the time paid.


Other Clubs

To find other UVU clubs that interest Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and National Security Studies students use the alphabetical listing of clubs on the following UVU Club page: