Proudly Announcing the 2017-2018 Award Winners

These awards honor individuals and chapters for their significant contributions to Kappa Delta Pi and the education world.

This year’s pool of winners include chapters with inventive and impactful programming, dedicated counselors and officers who are leaving an incredible legacy for their respective chapters, and chapters who serve their institutions well through their overall actions to support the education community both on and off campus. Thank you to all who applied for your thoughtful entries!

Winners will be recognized at Convo 2018 and throughout the KDP Chapter webpages, blogs, and chapter highlights.

Chapter Program Awards

The Program Awards recognize chapters for demonstrating excellence in one of six program areas: service, professional development, fundraising, membership, education for sustainability and communication.

Professional Development

Kean University — Professional Development Workshop: Strategies for Effective Lesson Planning with Practicing Educators
Lindenwood University —Teacher Tips
Mercyhurst University — Teaching and Learning Expo
Rowan University — Mindfulness in the Classroom
Seton Hall University — Praxis Prep!
Shepherd University — Literacy Leaders Conference
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte — Teacher Toolbox Tuesdays
University of Rhode Island — KDP Career Fair Spring 2018


Nova Southeastern University — Membership Initiation – Virtual Ceremony
Stevenson University — KDP Family
University of Nebraska at Kearney — DESIGNING THE FUTURE: Building & Growing Our Legacy

Community Service

Governors State University — Hashtag Lunchbag
Indiana Wesleyan University — Books: The Gift That Opens Minds
Middlesex County College— Hands of Hope Fall Harvest Festival
Rowan University — Annual Pajama Party
University of North Texas — Teach Denton Mentorship

Education for Sustainability

Seton Hall University — ELLs in the Mainstream: A Toolkit for Pre-Service Teachers
Governors State University — Education for Sustainability: A Political Action Event


Kean University – Yankee Candle Fundraiser
Liberty University — Concessions Nights
Stevenson University — 20th Anniversary Celebration Raffle Baskets
University of Rhode Island — URI School of Education T-Shirt Fundraiser


Purdue University Ft. Wayne — Communication Plan to Promote Rho Kappa Chapter
Shepherd University — Kappa Delta Pi – Delta Psi Facebook Page

Phoenix Award

The Phoenix Award recognizes those chapters that have taken significant action to improve their overall level of effectiveness in chapter management and programming.

Alpha Zeta Xi Chapter – Reinhardt University

Distinguished Chapter Officer Award

The Distinguished Chapter Officer Award honors current or immediate-past officers who set positive examples for their chapters by representing the ideals of Kappa Delta Pi.

Alexandra Schrunk, — Membership Chair, University of North Texas
Caitlyn Murphy — President, Kean University
Cassandra Marques-Leach — President, University of Rhode Island
Grace Kibe — President, University of Memphis
Hannah Gaston — President, Liberty University
Jessica Thompson — Treasurer, University of Central Florida
Miranda Rachel Spina — President, Camden County College
Paige Millirons — President, University of South Florida
Yasmeen Anis — President, Flagler College

Regional Chapter Counselor Award

The Chapter Counselors achieving this award are leaders who represent the mission and ideals of KDP and who have achieved excellence in the role of Counselor.

MidwestDr. Susan Beesley, Marian University, Indianapolis
NortheastLeana R. Malinowsky, Kean University
Southeast Dr. Sandra Trotman, Nova Southeastern University
WestDr. Jeanne Tunks & Dr. Ricardo Gonzalez-Carriedo, University of North Texas
Community College/OnlineMrs. Jennifer Souza, American Public University

Literacy Alive! Top Projects Announced


It is with great pleasure that we announce the top projects from the 2015-2016 review cycle.

Gold Projects

  • The University of North Carolina at Charlotte  (Omicron Pi Chapter)
  • Bethune-Cookman University  (Pi Delta Chapter)
  • Fitchburg State University  (Xi Psi Chapter)
  • Madonna University  (Sigma Xi Chapter)
  • Liberty University  (Pi Sigma Chapter)

Silver Projects

  • Ferris State University  (Alpha Alpha Iota Chapter)
  • Kean University  (Delta Rho Chapter)
  • University of St. Thomas – Houston  (Pi Lambda Chapter)
  • Chapman University  (Chi Beta Chapter)
  • University of North Texas  (Alpha Iota Chapter)

Bronze Projects

  • St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn Campus  (Alpha Epsilon Omega Chapter)
  • Armstrong State University  (Nu Zeta Chapter)
  • University of Pittsburgh  (Omicron Phi Chapter)
  • Marian University, Indianapolis  (Alpha Alpha Tau Chapter)
  • Concordia University  (Pi Psi Chapter)

2015-2016 proved to be another awesome year for Literacy Alive! with more than 100 projects submitted, 35,444 people served, and 26,631 books were collected for distribution globally!


To learn how you can participate in the 2016-2017 review cycle, and read a summary of each of the Gold Project award winners, visit the Literacy Alive! homepage on the KDP website.

Proudly announcing our 2015-2016 awards recipients!

Laura Perkins is the director of membership & chapter services.

We are excited to announce the recipients of the 2015-2016 Awards for Education Excellence given by Kappa Delta Pi.

These awards honor individuals and chapters for their significant contributions to the Society and the education world. Since 2014, we have been giving out four (4) of our coveted awards annually. The 2016 recipients of our annual awards are as follows:

Chapter Program Award
The Program Awards recognize chapters for demonstrating excellence in one of six program areas: service, professional development, fundraising, membership, communication, and education for sustainable development. These awards are designed for chapters that have exceptional programming and may or may not qualify for the Achieving Chapter Excellence (ACE) Award.

Phoenix Award for Chapter Improvement
The Phoenix Award recognizes those chapters that have taken significant action to improve their overall level of effectiveness in chapter management and programming.


Distinguished Chapter Officer Award
The Distinguished Chapter Officer Award honors current or immediate-past officers who set positive examples for their chapters by representing the ideals of Kappa Delta Pi.


Regional Chapter Counselor Award
The Regional Chapter Counselor Award recognizes one dedicated counselor from each region that excels in his or her role for that region. The counselors achieving this award are leaders who represent the mission and ideals of KDP and who have achieved excellence in the role of counselor.


All award recipients will be formally recognized at Convocation 2017 in Pittsburgh, PA (October 26-28, 2017) as well as with a certificate and a spot on the KDP website.

Congratulations to all of our award recipients, and we look forward to continuing to recognize you in all of your successes along the way!

Children of Unauthorized Immigrants

Catherine Gonzalez is an Elementary and Special Education double major with Social and Behavioral Sciences with a minor in Psychology at Seton Hall University (SHU). She is currently the Vice President of Kappa Delta Pi, Xi Gamma Chapter at SHU.

SHU_event23jpgThe program I spearheaded was Children of Unauthorized Immigrants, which involved four panelists all with backgrounds in the social sciences and teaching students of unauthorized immigrants. One panelist also spoke from firsthand experience, as a woman who went through school while being undocumented.

SHU_event1During this program, the Seton Hall community got the chance to explore a world that they likely hadn’t put a lot of thought into before now. Students and faculty alike got the chance to step into the metaphorical shoes of people in this country who face struggles and experiences many of us never have to even consider.

It was a chance to catch a glimpse into the firsthand experience of those who come to this country with nothing for the small possibility of building a better life.

SHU_event4When the idea of this program was brought up, I instantly felt drawn towards it.  I was involved in this program because I felt it would spark an important conversation, on a topic that isn’t often spoken about. During this presidential election, the conversation of immigration itself has been a hot topic. With negative and hateful views becoming more publicized and growing in number, we felt as an organization that the best way to combat this would be through providing information. Ignorance is usually based in misunderstanding and missing information, so we thought to combat that in the way we knew best: educating others.

SHU_event6As a first-generation American and college student, this was something that was very near to me, through my personal experience of seeing people go through similar issues. I was pleased to find that, when working with advisors and other students, they shared my opinion of the importance of discussions on this topic. These discussions led to further conversations on topics that many students who are going into teaching or becoming professionals that work with children hadn’t really thought about before.

Kappa Delta Pi instills in its members the values of knowledge, duty and power. This discussion of teaching children of unauthorized immigrants and what we as educators and other professionals can do is important as it emerges into the core values that Kappa Delta Pi stands for, and that we as future educators strive to reach.


You’re Award-Worthy, So Apply!

Recognizing excellence always has been a part of Kappa Delta Pi’s mission, and we consider it a privilege to recognize the important work that our volunteers and chapters do to impact their communities. The Awards for Education Excellence honor those individuals and chapters for their significant contributions to the Society and the education world.

You’re changing the world, so tell us how by applying for one of our many awards below!

To help you with completing the application(s), we are providing you with many resources—including the rubrics by which all submissions will be reviewed and scored. We encourage you to use the rubrics to make your application as strong as possible.

Annual Awards

The annual awards (below) are for the 2015–2016 academic year, and the deadline for submissions is Sunday, May 15 at 5:00 p.m. (EDT). Winners will be notified by June 1, 2016 and will be announced on the KDP blog and social media. Recipients will receive a certificate and will also be recognized in-person at Convocation 2017 in Pittsburgh, PA from October 26–28, 2017.

image1Chapter Program Award

Chapters can submit up to five programs for consideration—one in each of the following areas: Professional Development, Membership, Fundraising, Community Service, and Communication.

Find the eligibility, criteria, and requirements for the Program Award. When you’re ready, submit your application!

image2Phoenix Award for Chapter Improvement

Each year, we work with a number of chapters that find they have room for improvement. We are astounded by the efforts put in by chapter leaders to strengthen chapter-member engagement, establish programs meeting member needs, and identifying leadership opportunities for chapter members. Our intent with this award is to recognize those efforts and thank you for your service!

Find the eligibility, criteria, and requirements for the Phoenix Award. When you’re ready, submit your application!

image3Distinguished Chapter Officer Award

Having a strong, engaged chapter directly correlates with having strong chapter leadership. Among their various other responsibilities, chapter officers plan events, organize service projects, recruit new members, and maintain the sustainability of the chapter. The Distinguished Chapter Officer Award honors current or immediate-past officers who set positive examples for their chapters by representing the ideals of Kappa Delta Pi.

All of our 600+ chapters are eligible to submit one officer for consideration. Whose name will your chapter submit?!

Find the eligibility, criteria, and requirements for the Distinguished Chapter Officer Award. When you’re ready, submit her/his name and nomination!

image4Regional Chapter Counselor Award

Here at Headquarters, we always say (and strongly believe) that the sustainability of our chapters depends on the commitment and leadership of the dedicated Chapter Counselors and the mentoring they provide to the students and members.

How has your Chapter Counselor impacted you individually and the chapter collectively? Submit his/her name for consideration of this prestigious award!

Find the eligibility, criteria, and requirements for the Regional Chapter Counselor Award as well as the officer rating form. When you’re ready, submit her/his name for consideration!

Submissions for the above awards are reviewed by a panel of judges, and award-winning applications will be announced on Friday, June 1, 2016.

Biennial Awards

The biennial awards (below) are for the 2015–2017 biennium, and the deadline for submissions is June 1, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Winners will be announced on the KDP blog and social media. Recipients will receive a certificate and will also be recognized in-person at Convocation 2017 in Pittsburgh, PA from October 26–28, 2017.

image5Achieving Chapter Excellence (ACE) Award

Established in 1995, the Achieving Chapter Excellence (ACE) Awards program recognizes KDP chapters that exhibit outstanding programming, membership, and leadership in support of the Society’s mission and strategic goals. Since its inception, chapters across the country have aspired to offer creative, purposeful programming and a full slate of chapter activities with a hope of earning this coveted award.

Find the eligibility, criteria, and requirements for the ACE Award. We encourage you to print a copy of the submission form and fill it in as you go before applying online. Applications open February 2017.

image6Rising Star Award for New Chapters

KDP welcomes several new chapters each year. The Rising Star Award for New Chapters recognizes these new groups that demonstrate outstanding management and programming in their first biennium following installation.

Chapters installed between June 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014 that have not already won this award are encouraged to apply.

Find the eligibility, criteria, and requirements for the Rising Star Award. Applications open February 2017.

image7O.L. Davis, Jr. Counselor of Distinction Award

This award honors Chapter Counselors with at least five years of KDP service and activity for their service, scholarship, professional development, outstanding leadership of the chapter, and mentorship of the chapter’s student leaders.

Find the eligibility, criteria, and requirements for the O.L. Davis, Jr. Counselor of Distinction Award. Applications open February 2017.

image8Lucinda Rose Counselor Award

The Lucinda Rose Counselor Award, funded by Drs. Vincent and Linda McGrath, honors an exemplary Counselor and chapter leader within Kappa Delta Pi.

Find the eligibility, criteria, and requirements for the Lucinda Rose Award. This is not an open nomination award.

image9Founders Awards

As a tribute to KDP’s founding members and their vision for the Society and its role in the field of education, these Founders Awards honor current educators at the local, national, or global level living these visions today.

For more information, visit the Awards and Honors page.

The Chapter Services staff looks forward to seeing all of your hard work reflected in the award applications! It is a pleasure to read about the chapter successes and about the individuals who have made a positive impact on the chapter.

For more information about the Awards for Education Excellence and to view the recipients of past awards, please check out the Recognition pages of our website.


October is Honor Your Counselor Month

Fall is my favorite season of the year.  The changing of the leaves, cooler temperatures that require hooded sweatshirts, and both football and the school year are in full swing.  These are things I am thankful for each October.

However, more than these things, I am thankful for the wonderful leaders in the field of education that I have the pleasure of working with each and every day.KDP Counselor Thank You

Each biennium at KDP, we set aside the weeks leading up to Convocation as Honor Your Counselor Month.

Please join us in recognizing and thanking your Chapter Counselor(s) for the work they do in supporting and advising your KDP chapter by participating in our “We Couldn’t BEE More Thankful!” program:

  • By donating to KDP in honor of your Counselor, you will purchase your counselor a $5 Starbucks Gift Card and support our Counselor appreciation efforts, (including light snacks and a special Counselor room at Convo 2015 in Orlando, Florida).

We look forward to partnering with you to show our dedicated, volunteer Counselors how much we appreciate all they do for our individual KDP chapters and also the entire Society.

From all of us here at Headquarters, thank you!

Note:  If a donation isn’t an option right now, check out the list of other ideas to Honor Your Counselor posted here.

  Chapin Schnick

Chapin Schnick is Northeast Regional Chapter Coordinator at Kappa Delta Pi.

Stevenson University Members are Real Hallo-winners!

A tiger, a witch, and a robot walk into a library . . .

No, it’s not the beginning of a joke. It’s what happens when members of the Stevenson University Kappa Delta Pi chapter host their annual Boo Bash at the Finksburg Branch of the Carroll County Public Library in Maryland. Each year, these creative and caring students develop and present a Halloween program for Finksburg area residents. And the kids love it. Participants are invited to come to the event in image-2costume. (Hence the tiger, the witch, and the robot from the beginning of this post.) Members of Kappa Delta Pi pick favorite Halloween titles to read out loud for a fun and funny story time. And there is always a host of easy and interesting activities for the young ones. Ranging from paper plate jack o’ lanterns to lollipop ghosts, the children love the opportunity to make festive crafts.

These students provide a great service by coordinating this program at the library. First, the event proves to be a good draw to get folks into the branch. Who doesn’t love a festive autumn story time? And once there,image-1 patrons can begin to see (if they didn’t already know) how the modern library is so much more than just books. It’s story times and crafts and gathering together to enjoy the season. It’s family and friends cherishing time spent together. It’s conscientious college students volunteering their time to help bring laughter and a love of reading to the neighborhood. It’s a focal point for the community to gather and to enjoy.

And so the library is truly grateful for the work of Kappa Delta Pi. We are thankful for their partnership and for the joy they spread to the community. Halloween may be the season for scares, but it’s smiles that are handed out when members of Kappa Delta Pi come to the Finksburg Branch.

The Psi Omicron Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi is being honored at KDP’s 50th Biennial Convocation for multiple Chapter Program Awards from 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. They are also one of 25 chapters receiving the Achieving Chapter Excellence (ACE) Award.

Bryan Hissong is the Manager of the Finksburg Branch Library in Carroll County, Maryland.

Convo Advice from John Lennon

Kadelpian John Lennon is back with his next Convo video blog. John gives you 3 pieces of advice for chapter leaders attending Convo. Email John at

Register for Convo before August 31 to get the early bird rate:

More Than an Award: Words from the 2014 NSTOY

Mandy Jayne Stanley was the 2014 National Student Teacher of the Year. She is in her first year of teaching fourth grade at Charles A. Brown Elementary School in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a graduate of Samford University and member of the Zeta Theta chapter of KDP.

Being a student teacher or intern means more than just observing and performing lessons here and there; when it is done correctly and effectively, it means giving it your all. When you truly give something your all and strive for excellence in a genuine way, life will take you to unexpected places filled with unexpected treasures.

My student teaching experiences and internships were rich in life lessons, professional development, and constructive reinforcement. I participated in over ten internships in various settings ranging from urban to suburban to rural schools across Jefferson County, Alabama, in every grade level K–5, both general and special education. During these internships, I was able to lead professional developments on the topics of technology integration in the classroom, parent-teacher relationships, and other intriguing topics for teachers at various schools and conferences.

I was also a part of the Samford University Orlean Bullard Beeson Leadership Team and Dean’s Advisory Council, which allowed me to help with making various decisions for my peers, plan school-wide events for local young elementary school students, and develop professional and collaboration skills that are imperative to educators. I made it my goal to engage myself fully into every opportunity that arose, even if it meant working at the schools longer than my cooperating teachers. I did not do it for recognition. Honestly, I despise being the center of attention because I prefer to work behind the scenes. I did it because I wanted to make a difference and begin to master my craft as an educator. Practice makes perfect.

Little did I know, my Kappa Delta Pi Advisor, Dr. Amy Hoaglund, chose me to represent Samford University as a National Student Teacher of the Year candidate. Did I believe I had a shot? No. Was it worth the shot? Yes. We all know that you miss 100% of the shots you do not take! So, I submitted my application and videoed lesson (my first lesson’s video was ruined due to technical difficulties…well, actually, I never hit the record button on my iPad, but I did not let that discourage me!) and waited patiently.

Mandy Jayne StanleyWhen I found out that I had received the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society and the Association of Teacher Educator’s National Student Teacher of the Year award in 2014, I cried. I cried mainly because I was humbled. Everything, technical difficulties, late evenings, and all, was worth it. Due to receiving this humbling accolade, I have been able to be a Kappa Delta Pi spokesperson.

I traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, in February to speak at the Association of Teacher Educators conference for pre-service teachers. It was there that I actually received my award. At this wonderful conference, I met seasoned educators who poured their wisdom, experience, and encouragement into my life as an individual and a teacher. This award meant more to me than the prestigious title; this award gave me the encouragement and opportunities to share the importance of education for all students. It was so encouraging to have past teachers and professors cheer me on and share their words of wisdom. They felt the spark that I now feel when I see my students succeed.

Every teacher’s favorite moment is watching their students’ faces light up when they begin to understand a new, challenging concept. It is both exhilarating and encouraging to watch students learn and grow within one’s classroom. I now have 23 children who will hold a very special place in my heart as my very first class. They have all blossomed in their own ways, and their confidence in their intellectual ability has increased. As my mother says, when you become a teacher you must teach the whole child, not just their minds, in order to make a difference. You have to teach their hands to share and give, their hearts to love and show compassion, and their feet to climb the mountains that society is going to place before them.

Becoming the 2014 National Student Teacher of the Year is more than an award or title; it will change your life by growing you, encouraging you, and giving you opportunities. Plan a lesson to video, teach it and video it, and apply! Take the shot. The deadline is June 15. Find out more:

And check out the webinar in the resources catalog titled “Promote Yourself! Steps to Making a Video That Shows You as an Effective Teacher” by Anna Quinzio-Zafran to help you with planning and shooting your video. You can even see parts of my video for my application.

You could be the 2015 National Student Teacher of the Year!


Luke Henderson is the Historian & Social Media Officer for the Mu Delta Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi at the University of Missouri.

U of Missouri 1 Black and Gold donuts, overflowing jars of pennies, and guest speakers are just a few of the joys that can be experienced at the University of Missouri’s Education Week. Ed Week not only allows students to become better educators, it also encourages some healthy competition. Each year, teams can compete for the coveted Ed Week Cup. Teams obtain points through attendance and participation in the events throughout the week. This year events included Penny Wars, which raised $483 for the Be The Change Volunteers, donations to the food bank to create BuddyPacks, an education organization mart, and ended with a keynote presentation by Dr. Jimi Cook.

When our new executive board was elected, we decided one of our goals was to promote and spread our chapter and organization so that more students would be aware of Kappa Delta Pi. We knew by winning the Ed Week Cup, we could accomplish this goal. Exec heavily promoted attendance to all events and encouraged us to be the most spirited organization participating. Our team for the I-Pad challenge, which was a demonstration of any new app to use in a creative way in a classroom, got third place. Our booth for the organization mart was extremely decorated and it helped that there was free popcorn for people who visited. The booth was a huge success! We ran out of informational flyers and many people asked when they would be able to join. Throughout the week, our penny jar was always filled and we made generous donations to create several BuddyPacks.

U of Missouri combo

The week ended with Dr. Jimi Cook, Professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri, who asked the audience to think about a world without educators. Dr. Cook and his wife, Cristi Cook, founded the Be The Change Volunteers that builds schools around the world. Their main goal is to provide students around the world with the opportunity to obtain a better education. They do so by providing the school buildings for the community and then encouraging those students to be the change in their community. It was an inspiring presentation that truly motivated all of us to be the change in our own communities.

U of Missouri 5At the end of the presentation, the envelope was opened to reveal the winner of the Ed cup. We were very excited when it was announced that the Mizzou’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi had won the award!

Pictured: Katie Diven, Kimberlyn Rutledge, Leigh Neir, Lindsay Moshkowsky, and Hannah Bush