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Friday, May 24, 2019

Life-Changing scholarship opportunities for advanced degrees and Doctorate degrees are available for Delta Kappa Gamma members!

Life-Changing scholarship opportunities for advanced degrees and Doctorate degrees are available for Delta Kappa Gamma members! Those seeking an advanced degree and have been a member for at least one year may apply for a $6,000 scholarship. Members who have been in DKG for at least three years and working on a doctorate may apply for a $10,000 scholarship. The scholarship committee is excited to present the application, which has been edited to be more relevant as well as user friendly for all of our member countries. The DKG International Scholarship Application will be available at on July 1, 2019. Applications are due February 1, 2020. Scholarships will be granted to those members who are enrolled for the 2020 -2021 academic year.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Value of Conference Themes: Part I

The themes for the upcoming DKG international conferences were generated from input by members who attended the 2018 International Convention in Austin, Texas. As fate would have it, each of the various sites booked for the conferences well in advance (2-3 years prior!) aligned very well with a particular theme so that the overall “line up” fell into place almost effortlessly! Ultimately, the five themes also align beautifully with DKG’s mission to promote the professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education.

One does not have to be an arts educator to recognize the importance of the arts and humanities to DKG members, who live in a world currently dominated by budget cuts to arts programs and a push for focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Within the broader educational community, many have lobbied to expand STEM to STEAM by adding the “A” for arts! And within the DKG community, development of the DKG Fine Arts Gallery and of the Collegial Exchange magazine has provided members with increased opportunities to stretch and share their talents. The Gallery policy statement notes, “The online Arts & Humanities Gallery shall be maintained so that members of DKG may display their creative arts…and all may enjoy, respect and learn more about excellence in arts and crafts.” The editorial board policy notes that the Collegial Exchange, as “an official publication of the Society, promotes professional and personal growth of members through publication of their writings.” Thus, the arts and humanities clearly have become dear to DKG members both as important components of an excellent education and as media for self-expression and growth.

The same can be said, of course, for the theme of the second international conference: leadership. As teaming and professional learning communities (PLCs) have become more prevalent in education, members need to know how to lead (and follow) effectively, and the second conference will contribute to professional and personal growth in this area. Those who wish to pursue leadership positions within educational hierarchies will benefit from the inspiration of proven leaders and have the opportunity to develop networks to assist their own growth. At the same time, those who choose to lead within the Society will receive training and guidance to help them hone their skills in the relatively safe venue of DKG. Simply put, as the need for quality leadership increases in the profession and in the Society, attendees at the second international conference will find much to meet their needs.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Making an Impact, Part II

Most of us operate under the assumption that members of the U. S. Congress are elected by votes in their home district or state and that the Congressional Representative or Senator listens to the citizens who elected him/her.  We believe that the member of Congress feels a responsibility to these same people so he/she will get re-elected, or simply because they told us in their campaigns that they feel a moral obligation to do what’s right for the constituency.

If the Harvard Kennedy research assumption is true, that we have little voice in what is passed in any of our governments, what then can we do? Let’s not believe the research. Let’s not believe we have little to no influence. Let’s double up on our contacts with our representatives, no matter who they are or where they serve. We must continue to believe that our elected officials really are interested in us, that they will listen to us because we voted for them and that we have influence on them because they were born, raised and educated alongside many of us. They were our classmates, they worked and raised their families in our midst and they know what we need as well as we do.

Let’s not “take this lying down!” All women educators must continue to reach out, contact our representatives at whatever level of government is needed, and remind them that we are their constituents.  Our votes and our voices do count, and we are important to the community and to elected officials. We must speak out about relevant proposals and measures.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Conferences as Internal and External Marketing

I sometimes hear members complain that DKG is not well known in the educational community—that it is a “well-kept secret.” Many attribute this lack of recognition to the rather secretive development of the Society in a time when women were not permitted to belong to professional organizations. The Founders did, indeed, “cloak” Delta Kappa Gamma in the trappings of a sorority, complete with highly personalized invitations to participate and closed-door meetings and rituals. Unfortunately, members initiated some 50-70 years later, at the end of the 1900s, often still retained this sense of secrecy—even though times had changed radically. Only recently are members realizing the need to share the worth of DKG through internal and external marketing.

To be recognized, DKG must be a visible force for professionalism and promotion of excellence in education, and the recent shift in focus for the international conferences—from region to theme—is a long-needed step in this direction. Planners of the 2019 international conferences are devoted to the notion that these events will promote a more professional image of the Society both internally and externally. A quick glance at the lists of speakers and workshops available, for example, suggests the opportunities for members to engage in rich offerings related to professional themes pertinent to their fields and interests. When a member comes away so enriched, she becomes both a recipient of and a force for internal marketing, able to embrace and emphasize what the Society offers to a key woman educator.

For many members, attendance at and reimbursement for DKG conferences and conventions requires approval from professional supervisors. Unfortunately, some members have experienced rejection of their requests in the past because outsiders who looked at proposed programs did not see their professional value. Theme-based conferences will help to address this dilemma, demonstrating a professional focus that will encourage approval by supervisors.

In a similar way, as the theme-based conferences develop in the future, they will have more drawing power for nonmembers who are interested in the topic at hand. In this way, DKG will become known as an educational force promoting professional growth and excellence in education. Such external marketing may also help to attract new members to the Society.

Thus, the new direction for DKG’s international conferences is yet another way that Society leaders envision working to keep us forward moving ever.

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