Sarah Kate Purnell
This fall, UNCG welcomed its first chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa, National Leadership Honor Society. ODK is known for being the oldest leadership society, being over 100 years old and with more than 300,000 members since its founding.
The society strives to recognize leadership across many divisions: scholarship, athletics, campus or community service, social or religious activities and campus government, journalism, speech and mass media, and creative and performing arts, according to the ODK mission, vision and values.
“We’re so excited to have our chapter up and running on UNCG’s campus,” UNCG Chapter President, Catherine Iszard stated. “Through UNCG’s Dr. Bill Johnson, members of ODK will be able to participate in his Life Design Catalyst program.”
With the Life Design Catalyst program, developed by Dr. Bill Johnson, students are able to create a meaningful life and enrich their college experience. Johnson’s program has spread throughout the country, inspiring students to enroll in the program and, in turn, become Life Design Catalyst coaches.
“As a participant, you will spend four days engaged in various introspective and self-reflective activities, many used in the first-year Design Your Life courses (HHS125: What Could I Do With My Life and HHS135: Redesign a Life You’ll Love),” the UNCG Campus Weekly for Faculty and Staff reported. “These courses have not only been found to increase retention and graduation rates, but they have also been found to help students clarify a clear path in life.”
According to Iszard, the ODK society is also prominent throughout the Piedmont area. The society includes members and networks at Guilford College, Elon University and Wake Forest University, where the ODK’s National President Matthew Clifford attends school.
As a member of ODK, students will be able to participate in drive-in workshops to further their leadership skills and meet members from other chapters— a benefit exclusively open to ODK members.
The UNCG chapter of ODK strives to utilize these neighboring resources in order to achieve their goals in the upcoming years.
“Through ODK at UNCG, members will have the foundation to build relationships with nearby colleges, apply for scholarships, attend leadership conferences and have the recognition and honor to be apart of the largest and most prestigious leadership organization,” said Iszard.
Additionally, Iszard expressed her goals for the society. With the society being new to the campus community, ODK is focused on expanding their membership by receiving top students from various departments on campus. Furthermore, Iszard hopes to organize and implement several community service events for the upcoming semester.
“Having ODK at UNCG puts our name on the map. It’s common for big schools to have a lot of honor societies and for honor societies to want to be at those schools. However, as UNCG is growing, adding ODK to the community is a significant honor,” said Iszard
Iszard also shared the importance of a diverse organization on campus. With ODK, not only can students join the organization, but faculty and staff can as well.
“Having this benefit allows students and faculty to better network outside of their departments,” explained Iszard.
At the moment, ODK is recruiting it for its second induction class in its founding year. Membership is available to seniors and juniors in the top 35 percent of their class, as well as graduate students, faculty and staff. In addition, applicants must display values and leadership in the aforementioned skills.
Individuals can apply for membership at the ODK membership form available through the Omicron Delta Kappa website. Applications for consideration to be initiated in the upcoming semester are due by Nov. 7 2017 at 11:59pm.
Applications are reviewed by a committee of ODK faculty, staff and graduate student members.
For any further questions or inquiry, please email UNCG ODK Chapter President Catherine Iszard at cmiszard.uncg.edu