Local BVU students inducted into International Honor Society in education

Friday, May 4, 2018
BVU’s Kappa Delta Pi inductees. / Submitted

Buena Vista University (BVU) has officially reinstated Omega Pi Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), an international honor society in education. To mark the occasion, a formal initiation ceremony took place on April 5 on the BVU campus, where 28 education students -- including students from the area -- were inducted into KDP membership.

Local students inducted into KDP include:

• Katie Davidson, an elementary education major from Schaller.

• Sara Eddie, an elementary education major from Storm Lake.

• Isaac Haas, a math education major from Storm Lake.

• Cristena Heschke, an elementary education major from Alta.

• Falisha Ohlson, an elementary education major from Storm Lake.

• Maria Zaragoza, an elementary education major from Storm Lake.

The installation ceremony was held in conjunction with BVU’s Education Career Day, which marked an annual half-day conference for education students that was organized and sponsored by BVU’s Omega Pi KDP chapter and the student organization, Teacher’s Inc.

Becky Hawbaker, a KDP induction officer from the University of Northern Iowa, was present to reinstate KDP at BVU and initiate BVU education students as members. Michelle Helt, BVU alumna and 2018 Nebraska Teacher of the Year, was also on hand to present the keynote address.

“With the society’s role in providing educators with resources to improve their craft, as well as access to peers and leaders in the profession, BVU KDP honors students have access to high-quality publications, leadership and professional development opportunities, service learning projects and field experiences, and an extensive scholarship program,” said Dr. Calle Friesen, Assistant Professor of Education And Faculty Counselor of KDP at BVU’s Storm Lake campus.

The honor society, which was founded in 1911 to foster excellence in education and promote fellowship among those dedicated to teaching, inducts only those individuals who have exhibited the ideals of scholarship, integrity in service, and commitment to excellence in teaching and its allied professions. Selection as a member of KDP is based on high academic achievement, a commitment to education as a career, and a professional attitude that assures steady growth in the profession.

BVU had an active KDP chapter up until about 10 years ago, but at that time, the University’s School of Education was undergoing extensive changes in leadership which led to a period of KDP inactivity and official withdrawal in 2012. However, since then, the School of Education has new administrative leadership in place and a renewed vision for excellence.

“In the past five years, largely due to the hiring of talented and committed faculty members, several of which are now tenured, BVU’s education programs have undergone a renaissance of sorts,” said Dr. Brian Lenzmeier, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at BVU. “We have talented faculty in place to re-establish a strong and vibrant KDP chapter.”

BVU’s reinstatement of KDP will now extend to students who are earning their degrees in education from BVU’s 16 locations across the state. Dr. Jill Tussey, assistant professor of education at BVU’s Creston site, serves as the KDP faculty counselor for Online, Site, and Graduate (OSG) students.

“It was our clear intention to make participation in the KDP honor society a state-wide benefit for all education majors across all BVU site locations,” said Friesen. “This decision unifies our students and creates unique networking opportunities.”

In addition to providing educators with a multitude of resources, KDP offers 37 scholarship opportunities for members, representing assistance totaling more than $44,000.

“Ongoing affiliation provides opportunities for enrichment and lifelong resources for growth and renewal throughout an educator’s career,” said Friesen. “In short, KDP is much more than a traditional honor society; KDP is the premier association for educators.”

Friesen added, “Our students and alumni deserve to be honored for their commitment to the field of education and to have additional development and enrichment opportunities that only a KDP membership can provide.”