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Education department gains honor society

The Education department recently established a chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society in Education, at John Brown University.

Members will take part in an initiation ceremony later today, when they will join the society that boasts such names as Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein and George Washington Carver.

“The entire department is really excited about this,” Curtis Cunningham, assistant professor of education, said at an information meeting for potential members. “We have the support of the department’s professors and dean. The exciting thing is that our student leaders have really taken ownership of it.”

When Cunningham, who is in his first year at the University, saw that there were no clubs or organizations for education majors on campus, he sought change to happen. The process of starting a Kappa Delta Pi chapter at the University began in July 2015, and education faculty considered high-performing students to serve as leaders.

The chapter’s leadership team consists of president Lucy Hubbard, vice president of programs Emily Hackett, secretary Sarah White, vice president of membership Cassy Melcher and treasurer Ashley Arnold.

“The camaraderie this can build is great,” Hubbard said. Education majors tend to group together by year or by which courses they are taking, Hubbard explained, and she sees Kappa Delta Pi as an opportunity for all students within the major to come together.

“I also like the idea of professional development,” Hubbard said. “Kappa Delta Pi’s mission is outwardly focused, and we can get so bogged down with lesson plans so it’s a good reminder to focus on service.”

Kappa Delta Pi was founded in 1911 and is comprised of more than 1.2 million members worldwide, according to the organization’s website. The society’s mission is to “sustain an honored community of diverse educators by promoting excellence and advancing scholarship, leadership and service.”

The University chapter will host events for education majors, develop service opportunities and benefit members through a variety of resources, scholarships, professional tools and more. Students may continue their membership into their post-graduate and professional lives as well, receiving benefits, networks and resources throughout their career.

To join the Kappa Delta Pi chapter, education students must be of sophomore standing or higher and have a minimum 3.5 grade point average.