Sigma Phi Omega

picture of students

University of Massachusetts – Gamma Upsilon Chapter

The National Academic Honor and Professional Society in Gerontology

Sigma Phi Omega KeyWhat is Sigma Phi Omega?     Sigma Phi Omega (SPO), the national academic honor and professional society in gerontology, was established in 1980 to recognize excellence of those who study gerontology and aging and the outstanding service of professionals who work with or on behalf of older persons. The formation of a society provides a much needed link between educators, practitioners, and administrators in various settings where older persons are served.

SPO seeks to promote scholarship, professionalism, friendship, and services to older persons, and to recognize exemplary attainment in gerontology/aging studies and related fields.

Why Join?
• Your membership helps support the activities of your local chapter, and it is only $25 for students.
• Your membership provides a testament to your academic excellence and looks great on a CV.
• You will have access to networking events, social events, skills building workshops and video recordings of the PhD speaker series with the latest gerontology research.

What are the member benefits?
• Connect with SPO members to build collegiate relationships and receive mentorship.
• All SPO chapter members are invited to our calendar of social events.  Our 2012-2013 events include welcome back party, Alzheimer’s Walk, dinner outings, Duck Tour, bowling, holiday celebrations, comedy night, and the induction ceremony. 
• Expand and develop your skills needed for a successful career in gerontology.  All SPO chapter members will have access to view videos of the PhD speaker series and participate in skills building brown bags.  Topics include: How to Work a Conference, Grant Writing Do’s & Don’ts, Everything You Wanted to Know About Careers in Teaching, Careers in Aging Panel.
• Membership discounts to social events that will cover your annual SPO membership.
• SPO members will receive a discount on honor chords for graduation complements of SPO.
• Members provided with opportunities for leadership (e.g., board membership – local and national)
• Members provided with opportunities for additional recognition of academic excellence (via President’s Paper award)
• Members provided with opportunities for participation in and recognition of civic engagement (via volunteering, service projects, service-learning, association undergraduate and graduate service awards)
• Members provided with opportunities for recognition for professionals (via Professionals award)
• Newsletter keeps members/chapters connected and provides an avenue for sharing ideas (e.g., activities, fundraising, etc.)

How to Join? 
Student membership is open to undergraduate and graduate students who are majoring or minoring in gerontology/aging studies and related fields and are in at least their second term of enrollment. Also, to be eligible for membership in SPO:

• undergraduates must have a grade point average at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale
• graduate students must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Download a membership application

If you would like more information about SPO, visit the national chapter’s website at

If you would like more information about UMass Boston’s SPO chapter contact Emily Gadbois at