Cal State San Bernardino’s chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha has received the highest recognition from the national political science honor society for the fifth consecutive year, the National Best Chapter Award.

“I was profoundly impressed by the initiative and dedication these student leaders exhibited over the past year,” said Christina Villegas, an assistant professor of political science  and faculty adviser of the Theta Iota Chapter. “Our history of winning the prestigious National Best Chapter Award demonstrates our success in encouraging academic excellence and civic engagement – a success made possible by a strong culture of support from administrators, faculty, students and alumni.”

Villegas took over as chapter adviser after the 2015-2016 academic year for Brian Janiskee, chair and a professor in the political science department.

This is the ninth time the chapter has won the award since its inception in 1976, Villegas said. The chapter won national best chapter awards in 2000, 2001, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The chapter received a national best chapter adviser award in 2002.

Monique Lopez, chapter president, said the guidance and leadership from Villegas led to the success of the executive team achieving another award.

“This award is not something we set out to get,” said Lopez. “It was always in our minds, but we did not plan our year around trying to win this award. We wanted to create ways for the students to learn and flourish that usually are not found in a classroom setting. In the end, we succeeded and I could not be more proud.”

Pedro Bravo, chapter vice president, who will be attending Texas A& M University School of Law in the fall, credited the executive team’s leadership and appreciation to the success the chapter continues to uphold.

“I am honored that our chapter was selected Best National Chapter for the fifth consecutive year under the leadership of our excellent executive team,” said Bravo. “Serving as a student leader with Pi Sigma Alpha, Theta Iota Chapter, provided me with a greater understanding of what it takes to maintain an award-winning organization.”

The success of the chapter doesn’t just lie with the leadership of the executive team, but also lies in the support system that Cal State San Bernardino shows for their organizations.

“Getting this award is just another reason why Cal State San Bernardino is an outstanding institution because without the support of our faculty and fellow students, it would not have been possible,” said

Riane Castro, chapter secretary. “Going forward I have no doubt the chapter will continue to prosper and grow as we attempt to stimulate scholarship and intelligent interest in political science.”

The CSUSB chapter was one of 16 chapters to be recognized for a National Best Chapter Award and one of four to be recognized for schools with enrollments between 15,000-25,000.

Sean Twombly, the national administrator for Pi Sigma Alpha, said in the award announcement, that the CSUSB chapter “is a model for all others.”

Founded in 1920, Pi Sigma Alpha is the only national honor society for college students of political science and government in the United States. The honor society has more than 800 chapters on college and university campuses in every state of the United States and one in Canada.

For more information on the national political science honor society, visit the Pi Sigma Alpha website and follow the society on Facebook (search @PiSigmaAlphaNational, LinkedIn at Pi Sigma Alpha, The National Political Science Honor Society and Twitter at @PSANational.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit