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KON Chapter Sponsored Programs - Awards

Award Winning Programs Sponsored by Kappa Omicron Nu Chapters 

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This program was sponsored by the Nu Iota Chapter of East Carolina University.  2005 Program Award

Statement of Need: East Carolina University is located near several high-poverty elementary schools. In Spring 2004 and again in Spring 2005 the Nu Iota chapter sought to introduce groups of 4th graders to what it was like to be a college student, in general and more specifically what would they study and be able to do once they graduate as a student from the College of Human Ecology at ECU. Many of these children are from homes where no adults have completed a college education.

Career Focus: We focused on careers in all the units of the College of Human Ecology by engaging the children in small-group activities with KON faculty and students from each of the units: Child Development & Family Relations (CDFR), Criminal Justice (CJ), Interior Design & Merchandising (IDMR), Nutrition & Hospitality Management (NUHM), and Social Work (SOCW).

Statement of Objectives: The objectives were to introduce 4th grade students to life as a college student, to help them set a personal goal of going to college, and to introduce 4th grade students to majors and careers in the College of Human Ecology.

Description of the Program: In 2004 one 4th grade class was invited to campus for a day-long field trip. In 2005 , because the teacher was co-teaching two classes of 4th graders we invited both classes, totaling 43 children, 2 teachers, and 1 guidance counselor.

Upon arrival on campus from their school we greeted them on the bus, walked through the main part of campus to visit important landmarks on the campus, and then spent the morning engaged in small-group content-oriented activities planned and led by KON faculty and students from each unit within our College. Each year the children participated in three activities. In addition we treated the children to lunch at our beautiful main dining hall where they enjoyed their all-u-can-eat buffet, toured the dining hall kitchens, and then went across the street to an undergraduate dormitory where they viewed a college dorm room and asked questions of the student life representative who met with them.

Small-Group Activities - 2004

CDFR activity had the children creating self-esteem collages from magazines and art materials after listening to a brief PowerPoint presentation on the elements of self-esteem.

IDMR activity had the children designed their own store front windows using dress forms and the historical costumes from the 1970s and 60s. The children priced each item and then conducted "price wars" to entice customers to shop at their store.

CJ instructor invited the 4th graders to his university class where he had his university students help the 4th graders conduct a "Greenville CSI" where the 4th graders had to solve clues to a mystery and along the way learned about how police conduct investigations.

NUHM took the children on a tour of the university kitchens after all of us ate in the dining hall. The children met the baker chef, talked to the head manager, and computed how much it cost to fee the thousands of students on ECUs campus. They also enjoyed fresh-baked treats.

Small-Group Activities - 2005

CDFR activity was conducted by KON child life majors who had the 4th graders involved in a typical activity they would do in the hospital with children preparing for medical procedures. The 4th graders used medical supplies (band-aids, gauze, IV paraphernalia, etc.) to make art work and learn the function of each item.

CJ activity had all the students examining ECU police cars and watching as they teachers were fingerprinted and had a criminal check completed.

IDMR - Same activity as in 2004.

SOCW set up a room with play therapy toys and materials, including puppets, figurines, play dough, art materials, and much more. The 4th graders learned that social workers help people (especially children) and then were encouraged to explore all the materials.

NUHM led an activity on healthy eating habits. The children did a written activity after watching a video and then created trail mix for the entire group.

Target Population: 4th grades from South Greenville Elementary School, an "at risk" population of children from a high poverty area of the city.

Evaluation Feedback: The response both years was overwhelmingly positive from the 4th graders, their teachers, and the KON students who planned and facilitated the activity. After the 2004 event KON members decided that in 2005 they wanted all units to be represented in the activity. That goal was met.

This program series was sponsored by the Omicron Tau Chapter of Penn State University. 2002 Program Award

Statement of Need: Penn State and the College of Health and Human Development promote diversity, effective writing, ethical behavior of students, and research. Although our KON chapter has done a number of programs over the years that were designed to help our members be more sensitive to issues of diversity on campus, we have never had one that focused on issues of diversity in the workplace. Our program on writing last year was excellent but very poorly attended. Our chapter has never presented a program on ethics. Las year we had an excellent chapter activity on research. We decided that, of the four KON area that are of interest to our university and college, three were areas of need within our chapter.

Integration of KON and Academic Goals: When deciding on our spring semester meetings, we looked at the KON initiatives and how we could integrate these initiatives with the goals of Penn State University and the College of Health and Human Development. Three sources document the integration of KON and the academic goals of our University and College. These sources are the "Penn State Principles," the Health and Human Development Strategic Plan, and the Rock Ethics Institute.

We found that the HHD Strategic Plan of 2002 includes a goal to "Amplify the quality of the HHD Undergraduate experience." The strategic action to reach this goal of enhancing and expanding the undergraduate experience is accomplished through the first-year seminars, undergraduate research, and the study of underrepresented and vulnerable populations. The first-year seminars are required by all students at Penn State and include information on academic integrity/ethics, writing, and diversity issues. The Penn State Principles published by PSU in 2001 states, "I will respect the dignity of all individuals within the Penn State Community" and "I will practice academic integrity." This year the brand new Rock Ethics Institute at PSU had it's inaugural symposium titled "Cultivating Moral Awareness and Inquiry" at Penn State March 14-16. The symposium indicated a University commitment to the topic of ethics.

We decided that we would focus on the ethical dimensions of the scholar, promote diversity, and advocate a commitment to writing in our spring general meetings. Our University and College are very supportive of our chapter. Both the Dean and Associate Dean are members of our chapter. They provide the funds that allow the Chapter to send our adviser to Conclave. Therefore, it is important that our chapter use our meetings to both promote the values of KON and also help our institution attain its goals.

New Chapter Activities:

Diversity in the Workplace, February 19, 2002 - Speaker: Dr. Cathleen Love, Assistant Vice Provost for Educational Equity

Writing for Winning, March 19, 2002 - Speaker: Dr. Cheryl Achterberg, Dean, Schreyer Honors College

Ethical Dilemmas in our Future Professions, April 16, 2002 - Speaker: Dr. Douglas Anderson, Associate Professor Philosophy, Penn State Rock Ethics Institute

Statement of Objectives:

The objective for the meeting on diversity was to help our members become more sensitized to the fact that their own background will influence their relationships with others they meet and interact with in the workplace.

The objective of the meeting on writing was to help our members learn how to identify the attributes of effective essays for winning scholarships, awards, and admission to competitive post-graduate programs. Some of these principles can also be used to write grant proposals that are funded for future research as well as to write essays that present their research in such a way as to win scholarships and fellowships.

The object of the meeting on ethics in the workplace was to introduce our members to issues that could confront them in their professional lives and to help them become prepared for the ethical decisions they will have to make.

Narrative Description of the Programs:

Diversity in the Workplace. Dr. Love did a wonderful job of providing members with insight about leadership in a culturally diverse society. She presented a PowerPoint program that was attended by 35 members. Dr. Love held the members' attention and provided opportunities for member interaction. She shared aspects of her own background to help us understand the journey she had taken in valuing diversity. She directed the audience to describe to a partner the significance of her own name because that often reflects ethnic or cultural background. From there she progressed to analogies that illustrated the strength that comes in the workplace when everyone values the uniqueness of each other.

Writing for Winning. This was a repeat of last year; attendance and enthusiasm was excellent. The Honors scholars were invited to join the KON members, and attendance and enthusiasm were excellent. Dr. Achterberg provided handouts with tips for writing essays that will increase the opportunities to win awards and scholarships. She spoke of how the Honors college selection committee reviews applications. The audience was given a chance to read several actual application essays to recognize features of a winning paper. The program was very beneficial and will hopefully encourage members to apply for KON and other scholarship opportunities.

Ethics Dilemmas in our Future Professions. A new institute on campus, funded by Douglas and Julie Rock, was established in 2001 to cultivate moral awareness and inquiry. Our last general meeting features a speaker affiliated with the Rock Ethics Institute. Dr. Anderson gave a general introduction to ethics and then read three case studies that involved ethical dilemmas from each of the three majors involved in our chapter. He then facilitated discussion of each case study which presented issues in each of the respective professions.

Target Population:

Each meeting targeted our members, one also targeted Honors Scholars, and the last one targeted our new members, just initiated 2 days before, to get them involved.

Evaluation Feedback:

All of our meetings were very successful. Surveys distributed at the last meeting indicated satisfaction with the topics but they thought the meetings ran too long. The writing meeting ran long, yet most of the members stayed until the very end. There were twice as many applications for chapter scholarships, so we took that as a positive outcome of our writing meeting. Overall, we were very happy that the members enjoyed that topics that integrated KON and academic goals of our institution.

This program was sponsored by the Omicron Tau Chapter of Penn State University.  2001 Program Award

Statement of Need: While undergraduate students, members of KON should take advantage of the opportunities they have available to them at Penn state University. As an honor society, we feel that it is necessary for us to provide our members with information and means for them to make the best of their time and involvement with KON.

Integration of KON and Academic Goals: Our chapter understands the importance of providing our members with information and skills that will help them succeed in their academic and future careers. Penn State is a large institution, so we wanted to encourage our members to take advantage of the opportunity to work on the research team of faculty in the College of Health and Human Development. Our goal was to promote undergraduate research. Our Dean has signed onto the Undergraduate research Community program; thus our college clearly supports the integration of KON and academic goals.

New Chapter Activity: On February 21, 2001, we sponsored a meeting in which three professors (one from each of the three majors--human development, nutrition, and HRIM) discussed their research, the opportunities for undergrads, and how undergraduate students can get involved, and what they look for when recruiting undergraduates. Next, the students who work for these respective researchers described the research experience from their prospective. An additional benefit to having these professors speak was the enthusiasm they showed for writing skills. Each researcher emphasized the great importance of strong communication skills. Each student spoke positively of his or her time spent doing research and encouraged other students to do the same. The evening concluded with an extensive and animated question and answer period. A handout, "Opportunities for Nutrition Research Experience," was available for participants.

Evaluation Feedback: Attendance was high, members were enthusiastic, and our guests were very generous in providing information and answering questions. We considered it a very successful program. It would be nice for evaluation purposes if we had a way to learn how many members present were motivated to apply for a research opportunity for next year. 

This program was sponsored by the Omicron Tau Chapter at Penn State University. 2001 Program Award

Statement of Need: After research has been completed, it is usually presented or published. Therefore, writing skills are a component to successful completion of a research study.

New Chapter Activity: One week after our undergraduate research night, we presented a writing workshop titled, "Writing to Win." Dr. Cheryl Achterberg, Dean of the Schreyer Honors College, presented a workshop on effective writing skills and approaches to different types of writing. Dr. Achterberg is a KON member and was very gracious about responding to our request. Schreyer Scholars were also invited to attend the meeting.

Dr. Achterberg began with a general presentation about writing styles and techniques for different purposes with an emphasis on writing for awards, scholarships, and applications to prestigious positions. Then she gave copies of three actual application essays for admission to the Schreyer Honors college. She let each person have time to read all three essays then opened up discussion of the strengths and styles of the essays. She did an excellent job of encouraging participants to offer their own opinions and reactions to the essays. Then she provided feedback so the students could understand how the evaluation committee had reacted to the essays and how students could apply that insight to their own letters, applications, essays, and personal statements for awards. She contrasted writing for awards with writing research papers and posters. The writing workshop was developed to provide students with the resources needed to become successful writers. This was an excellent opportunity for members to take home samples and tips on exemplary writing.

Evaluation Feedback: The consensus of everyone who attended was that the program was outstanding. One of our members who is a Schreyer Scholar and the winner of our our College Student Service Award for 2001 said it was the best program on writing he had every attended. Unfortunately the attendance was disappointingly low. We learned that we should not schedule meetings one week apart.

KON Chapters are invited to share examples of integration of KON and academic goals for posting on this site. For further information, contact us at kon.org/contact.html.

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