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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Banding Together to Inspire, Mentor, and Strengthen Female Leaders

The Educational Excellence Committee has three goals for the 2016-18 biennium. The first goal is to empower women through leadership opportunities. One way to achieve this goal is to inspire, mentor, and strengthen member’s growth as leaders. This idea has been marinating in my thoughts, not only as a DKG member, but as a leader in my community. Do women inspire, mentor, and strengthen other women, or is it the opposite?  
In the past weeks, two different groups have emerged in my community that support leadership opportunities for women. The first group is focusing on empowering women to seek political office. The second group is working with and creating financial opportunities for female leaders in business, education, and civic engagement. Key themes in both groups are finding leaders and supporting them.  
Women participating in these groups have listed lack of time, lack of training, and lack of mentorship as hurdles to overcome. Female leaders have shared a sense of isolation when they lead because there isn’t a network of support. I am guessing that these thoughts and concerns are not unique to my community but rather are common across our world. 
Knowing this information, DKG members have a golden opportunity to inspire, mentor, and strengthen women leaders. Ideas include, but are not limited to: 
Words of encouragement to potential leaders 
Financial backing of female candidates 
Creating a leadership forum 
Babysitting someone’s child so that she can attend a leadership forum 
Mentoring new leaders 
Volunteering to assist educational leaders in our schools 
Many of our DKG members are leaders in education and community, so they know the challenges that women face. My hope is that we band together to inspire, mentor, and strengthen female leaders in our midst.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Making a Difference

We Founders wanted to make changes in society that gave women educators the same rights and opportunities given to others. My female colleagues and I were frustrated and disappointed that we were held to a standard different from our male colleagues. We twelve were merely women educators who wanted equal standing. We were like thousands of other women teachers. We did not have extra powers or insight. We were ordinary women educators who seized an opportunity to make a difference. We did not want to be required to work twice as hard and twice as long for less pay to prove that we could chair academic departments, deserve scholarships, lead committees, and make financial decisions. We just wanted to be given equal career opportunities.  

DKG can lead social change by protecting and speaking for the underprivileged, the “different,” the needy, the displaced, the frightened, the unschooled, and the unnoticed. In fact, women educators are the most influential population in making changes that benefit all.   

YOU—the woman reading this—have the same power of resolve and the same spirit of what is fair that the Founders had. Every day YOU have the opportunity, challenge, and right to lead the way for tolerance of others, fair treatment, and strong direction that impacts individuals of vast numbers. I encourage you to seek out situations where you can be an example and a living leader of fairness, kindness, shared resources, and change for the better. It will not be easy, but it will be right.  

The way you approach directions in society is the same way to approach directions in DKG. Know your options, gather your information, form your thoughts, and act on what is right to make a difference for all. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

World Fellowship: Sharing One of Many Success Stories

In 1967, an Icelandic girl who was finishing her studies at the University of  Iceland applied for a Fulbright Scholarship to study in the United States. She received a World Fellowship Award from Delta Kappa Gamma and was accepted to Wayne State University in Detroit. Her name is Sigrún Klara Hannesdóttir. At that time, she did not know anything about Delta Kappa Gamma just that she was told that they would be financing her studies, but later,oh yes, she learned all about our Society and more. 

In November 2017, Dr. Sigrún Klara received an invitation from the Fulbright Foundation in Iceland to attend a reception linked to their Thanksgiving dinner. People from the American Embassy also attended this celebration to honor people who had a Fulbright anniversary this year. Sigrún Klara was the oldest recipient this year because it had been 50 years since she received the scholarship. Isn´t that something! 

It is so important to understand the impact of the World Fellowship Fund. We are truly educating the world, one woman at a time. 

For more information about the work Sigrun Klara has done for the Society, check out the Member Spotlight on the homepage of the Society website.

The Internet of Things

By 2020, the number of “things” (IoT) connected to the internet will be, according to various projections, 25 billion or 100 billion.  
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the rapidly growing network of connected devices (beyond the common computer) that are able to collect and exchange data. 
Devices such as 
  • mobile phones with GPS and a hundred other applications (like the ability to open your hotel room door, bypassing check-in completely) 
  • Fitbits, Apple watches, and smart clothing that gather, transmit, and track your personal health data 
  • thermostats that allow you to adjust your home’s temperature remotely 
  • refrigerators that help you make store lists and have groceries delivered 
  • smart cars that can be summoned via your smartphone and can be ready and waiting for you by the time you hit the road outside! All you need to do is then talk to her” and ask her to take you home while you relax to some jazz music on her music system. The car keeps checking local traffic and takes the fastest route home, while reminding you to pick up groceries that your housemate texted are needed. (Such cars are already here.) 
  • life enhancement devices, such as Amazon Echo, that hear and respond to your commands … and connect with your home, your car, and more. 
  • smart lightbulbs with voice-activated Bluetooth speakers and microphones built right in. Why take up valuable space for a baby monitor on the dresser when a light bulb in the crib-side lamp can do double duty? 
How does IoT’s apply to DKG?  
On the simplest level, all communications must be mobile friendly. All communications! Fewer and fewer members use a computer to get email, texts, and messages. Our members are using their smartphones, tablets, and even devices like smart watches. 
Our Society already has an app filled with all kinds of information about DKG. (Updated app available soon!) App downloaders may have a value-added method of instant two-way communication. For app users, this could include maps, self-guided walking tours, insider information, and more. 
For members who cannot attend a conference or convention, a live or recorded showing could make them feel part of the organization. 
New chapters might hold meetings entirely online using IoT devices. 
You now know a little bit about a new and growing area of technology. If the opportunity presents itself, will you be willing to take the step forward? 

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