Sigma Nu and the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership announce groundbreaking partnership

6 minutes


Sigma Nu


Arizona State University’s Sigma Nu Fraternity is once again forging new paths by creating innovative opportunities for its members. This time, in collaboration with the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership (SCETL) and their founding director, Dr. Paul Carrese, the Sigma Nu brothers have helped form the Dominic Frattura: School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to members who demonstrate ethical leadership in their engagement with the SCETL community. 

Additionally, the fraternity is integrating SCETL as a core element of their existing LEAD (Leadership, Ethics, Achievement, Development) Program. SCETL is a new type of school, one that challenges its students to study classic works and prepares them to become a leader ready to take on 21st-century issues. Established in 2017, the school combines a classical liberal arts curriculum with intensive learning experiences that include study abroad programs, professional internships and leadership opportunities. Students graduate ready for careers in government, law, business and civil society. As of 2023, state governments in seven other states have directly copied the SCETL model, founding new degree-granting departments and institutes on American civic thought and leadership.

Since 1955, Sigma Nu has made it a key mission to be involved and active on campus. The fraternity has created numerous partnerships, events and opportunities for the entire Sun Devil community. From their historic involvement in student government and Devils' Advocates to their philanthropy event “Relays,” which raises over $75,000 annually for Childhelp, to their shuttle service in the 1970s and 1980s that helped escort incoming freshmen to campus, Sigma Nu has always included service as a core part of their purpose.

While community impact is foundational to Sigma Nu, they also focus on investing in their own community through partnerships with academic units like SCETL. As part of this new partnership, Dr. Paul Carrese now regularly speaks to the men of Sigma Nu. Last year, he visited to provide two lectures on civic virtues and American leadership, tying in Sigma Nu’s values of Love, Truth and Honor. He also gave a broader inspirational speech on his leadership philosophy after a decades-long career as an academic and more recently as the founder of SCETL.

Dominic Frattura helped introduce Dr. Carrese to Sigma Nu. “I met Paul when I became actively involved with SCETL in 2017, right around the time that they were established at the institution. Their courses, study abroad programs and lecture series were immensely valuable to me. I continue to stay involved with SCETL as an alumnus and am deeply honored that Sigma Nu named this prestigious scholarship after me,” said Dominic Frattura, Sigma Nu member and ASU alum.

“As an ASU alum, I am incredibly proud of Sigma Nu’s partnership with such an outstanding program,” Frattura continued. “I had the privilege of participating in both Global Immersive Experiences offered by SCETL to India and Israel. These were among the highlights of my undergraduate experience at ASU. I believe strongly in SCETL’s mission and am thrilled to see similar programs emerging at other institutions across the country.”

SCETL, founded in 2017, is ranked fourth in the U.S. for social sciences and explores the possibilities of social changes, political philosophies, economic thought, American history, and politics. Following these key principles, the Dominic Frattura: SCETL Scholarship seeks to reward students who take an active role in developing their leadership skills and exploring new possibilities within the program. With a very interdisciplinary approach, SCETL and Sigma Nu are looking for students who embody leadership that can extend beyond a single field or line of thought.

The scholarship was awarded to two Sigma Nu members: fourth-year astrophysics major Rafael Ortiz III and third-year business major Maxwell Fields.

“As the first Dominic Frattura: SCETL Scholarship recipient, I had the special opportunity to integrate myself into SCETL programming, workshops, and networking this semester,” Ortiz stated. “It has been a phenomenal way to add a unique flavor to my experience as an undergraduate.” This year, Ortiz received three of ASU's highest academic awards, bolstering the chapter's reputation for academic excellence and consistently achieving top GPAs within the IFC community.

Being the first to win this award, Ortiz wants his experience to serve as a representation of his time at Sigma Nu, hoping to inspire others to see what Sigma Nu can do for them.

“Sigma Nu has been the propelling force behind my success as an undergraduate,” Ortiz continued. “Being a SCETL Scholar taught me that being at university is much more than earning a degree. The student experience is also about forging relationships that produce meaningful effects in the communities we find ourselves in.”

“I've learned from Professor Paul Carrese that servant leadership applies anywhere, and having young leaders wrestle with how American ideals and civic virtues fit into their lives is paramount to success,” Ortiz explained. “Though my career is more research-focused, I plan to lead teams and become an asset in the communities I am a part of. I know the SCETL experience will serve me wherever I go next.”

With meaningful impact, the Sigma Nu community continues to uphold the tradition of campus involvement they have maintained since 1955, now further enhanced by this new scholarship.

Max Fields, the outgoing Vice President of Sigma Nu, also shared his thoughts on receiving the award. “Being given the opportunity to learn more about SCETL and involve myself within the SCETL program has granted me even more pathways to expand upon my academics outside of the W.P. Carey School of Business,” Fields said.

“Not only has this allowed me to understand the frameworks of leadership,” Fields continued, “but it has also provided me with a network of successful professionals and academics that have inspired me to continue in leadership roles using the practice of servant leadership.” Fields is also involved as a tour guide on campus through Devils Advocates, and is the founder of the Financial Literacy and Market Economics Club at ASU.

Beyond these events, the brothers of Sigma Nu are committed to continuing the practice of ethical leadership and civic engagement in their future endeavors, striving to achieve even greater impact and success.

Creating community bonds beyond their own brotherhood, Sigma Nu seeks to extend their reach of leadership and community impact. Looking to inspire future leaders, Sigma Nu plans to host more public events like this in the future. They have already established a culture of being leadership incubators on campus by hosting prominent Arizona community leaders such as Doug Ducey, Karrin Taylor Robson, Neil Giuliano, Mark Victor Hansen, and Lydel Manson to speak on the topics of leadership in recent years. 

“It is without a doubt that I say this partnership between Sigma Nu and the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership will continue to inspire young leaders to grow and develop for years to come,” Fields stated.

As more and more young leaders rise up in the world, the Sigma Nu brotherhood stands ready to welcome and nurture thoughtful leaders within their doors. Aligned with Arizona State University's mission to foster innovation, leadership and community engagement, Sigma Nu champions ethical leadership and academic excellence. Through their partnership with the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, they embrace the exploration of civic virtues and Sun Devil ideals. Together, they strive to cultivate leaders who are not only academically accomplished but also grounded in the values of Love, Truth and Honor. This collaboration aims to inspire and equip the next generation to lead with integrity, uphold their shared Sun Devil values and make a meaningful impact on the world.


Lily Thorne, ASU Educational Outreach and Student Services