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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

DKG – An International Society With Many Opportunities For International Exchange

Learn about how two of our members met and how their friendship developed.

Patricia Pemberton, North Carolina

It is with elevated excitement that I received an invitation from Marianne Skardeus in Sweden to join her in writing and sharing a blog of “International Exchange” for the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. This will be my first attempt at writing a blog.

It was at the 2016 DKG International Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, that I connected with Marianne, Europe’s Regional Director. Prior to the convention I had read with interest her article titled, “Europe builds bridges across borders,” which was published in the 2016 May/June issue of DKG News. In her opening paragraph she wrote “The possibilities of international contacts and exchanges are a rewarding aspect of Society membership.” As a chapter president I reached out to Marianne because I wanted to build a bridge of communication connecting Delta Rho chapter in Sanford, North Carolina with her chapter in Skövde, Sweden. It is with this reflection that I open our international blog. I look forward to writing many entries which reveal our cultural exchanges.

Across our five years of communication there have been many exchanges of letters, photos, and emails. Our connection from my home in North Carolina and Marianne’s home in Sweden has been of some magnitude. There are many thoughts to share. Exchanges about holiday traditions, like placing feathers on an Easter tree, have been especially interesting. I attached the feathers Marianne sent to a tree among some of my décor.

I sent Marianne a garland of holly and berries to hang among her Christmas decorations. Among the other items I received was a special soft marshmallow candy in a JuleSkum wrapper as a holiday treat.

Sweden’s Midsummer May Pole festivities brought back childhood memories of dancing around a May Pole in elementary school. In one picture, which I received, I saw a miniature May Pole on the Skardeus dining table.

There are many other holiday traditions to share, but for now, I would like to close my entry with talk of the Crawdad Festival in Sweden during which friends and family gather at a long table where crawdads are served on large trays and eaten while laughter and singing make for celebration under party hats with glasses raised. I received pictures as proof of the frolic. Marianne sent me napkins, bibs, and other crawfish party décor so as to encourage me to boil my own crawdads. Next year the DKG International Convention will be in New Orleans, Louisiana, where Marianne and I will most likely get to eat crawdads while donning colored beads, which are an integral part of the Mardi Gras Festival.

A DKG International Blog is super way for members and friends to make cultural connections. I find this way of communicating exciting.

Marianne Skardéus, Sweden

Every time I am congratulating a friend with a birthday card I go to the box where I nowadays keep my cards. It is a box with the inscription Merry Christmas and reminds me every time of my friend Patricia in North Carolina and her generous Christmas gifts:

an elegant table runner with delicate embroidery, a wonderful Christmas garland, and other Christmas items. And thus, Patricia is often on my mind, not just at Christmas.

It was with great joy that I met Patricia Pemberton at our Convention in Nashville between a general session and a workshop. After one hour it was as if we had known each other for ever. We talked about what I had started at the Local Red Cross division, when I was vice chair: We also discussed using biking and swimming for women with a migrant background as a part of their integration. Patricia gave me stationery which had pictures from her hometown. It turned out that she is a very talented photographer. And throughout the years she has sent me many pictures from her wonderful garden and from her kitchen where she makes jam and bakes pies. 

Patricia has shared her work in her chapter, her love for her grandchildren, and her involvement in her church. Lately a new pastor was installed, and she sent me the program from this event. We have also been exchanging reading recommendations and this is so gratifying.

It has been very rewarding to have these email exchanges with Patricia. I have learned so much about how she is living her life in North Carolina and how she has been coping with life during the covid-19 period. She was very happy when she had her second vaccination shot.

DKG is an international society, and we should take advantage of our huge network! It has been such a joy to get to know Patricia!


Note from the International Educational Excellence Committee: We would love to hear from other DKG members about how you have connected with DKG members in other states and/or countries. Please consider sharing your experiences! Please let us know if we can help with the process.


Thursday, October 21, 2021

Connecting with World Fellowship Recipients

Now that the list of our World Fellowship recipients is available to all members, what can YOU do to connect with these women? You can send them a note via email or regular mail. Share about yourself, your background, interests, and hobbies. Share about your chapter and/or state/province/country. You could ask them if they would like to Zoom with you: putting a name and a face together helps in getting to know someone. Once you make a connection, you may want to send a gift card or something small. The important piece is making that connection and continuing to connect with them throughout the year. Please consider reaching out to one or more of the recipients!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Responsibility for Developing Future Leaders

Who is responsible for developing future leaders in DKG? YOU!

Every member of DKG is responsible for cultivating future leaders for the Society.

Consider the following to determine if YOU are doing your part to nurture future leaders for DKG.

  • Have you nominated an outstanding educator for membership in the last two years?  
  • Have you searched out members who have a specific interest or skill in an area and encouraged them to share it with the members?
  • Have you involved other members in the work of your chapter/state committee, so they become familiar with the work of that committee and feel comfortable in becoming a future leader of that committee?
  • Have you encouraged others to step into leadership roles, assuring that you will mentor them when they had questions or concerns?

Remember, YOU were invited to membership because someone recognized your leadership potential. Now is the time to “pay it forward” and help cultivate future leaders for our Society.


Monday, October 18, 2021

DKG Arts Gallery Blog: Artist’s Spotlight

Rachael Walker, Louisiana State Organization, Rho Chapter

Walking into the art classroom of our Spotlight artist, Rachael Walker, of the Louisiana State Organization, you are surrounded by student work, historical artists, and their expressions and most importantly, constant reminders on the walls to inspire her students.  One such inspirational phrase is a favorite one that has been a constant in her classroom since year one of now ten… “Use your mistakes.”  She is affirming to her students that they can be free and secure in this space to express themselves, and that there are no mistakes, just possible opportunities to take another direction.  The Arts and Humanities Jury Blog interviewed Rachael Walker from our Spring Gallery for her quirky, detailed “Birds with Wigs” watercolor series.  Intrigued, we wanted to know a little more about her evolving interest as an art teacher and conversely, a commercial artist.  Take a moment to enjoy as we delved deeper into Rachael’s art philosophy and her joy in watercolor.

You primarily work in watercolor.  How did you decide upon this medium of art?

After graduating from college with a Fine Arts degree, I began working at an art supply store. I was struggling with figuring out my path as an artist. There was a large professional grade set of watercolors that was damaged and discounted. I purchased that set and began to build on my knowledge of this medium. I still use colors from that set today. There is a forgiving nature to painting with watercolor. Watercolor can be easily manipulated even after it is dry. I love the process of layering, defining, and developing value through this act of editing. I find comfort in knowing what is painted on the page isn’t always permanent as it parallels how we choose to live our lives.

What was your inspiration to paint your “Birds with Wigs” series?

I did most of my undergraduate work on how the life cycle of birds mirrored myself as a woman at that time. Later in life, I was thinking about representing this parallel idea of birds as women in relation to my previous work. I wanted this series to be less of a serious study and more of a joyful characterization of powerful women. From there, “Birds with Wigs” was born.  

In your view, what is the value of the creative arts in education?

When students learn to create and appreciate art, they develop skills that support healthy mental wellness. I find that with teaching art to my students, I am also teaching empathy, social awareness, confidence, and accountability.

What would you say was the best piece of advice given to you as an artist?

I read a quote by the artist, Hunt Slonem, that I think of often. He said, “I decided repetition was not a dirty word.” As educators, there is sometimes a push to start over, reinvent, and try new ways of teaching core concepts. There is a parallel to this idea in the art world. I feel comfort in reminding myself to teach the knowledge that feels right and to paint the subjects that bring me joy. That act doesn’t always have to be reinvented as time passes.

And one more thing we thought you should know….

Inspired by the words of Henri Matisse, “Creativity takes courage,” Rachael admittedly was a shy child who found art as a comforting respite.  Crediting teachers who nurtured her talents, she blossomed and continued her love of art through her career path as an art teacher.  Today, Rachael shares her artwork at local charity auctions supporting non-profit efforts within the community.  She has been featured on the Avid Pen blog site as a budding and “someone to watch” artist for her unique watercolors and designs. Rachael was chosen to participate within the New Orleans art market community and has been asked to exhibit her work locally, most recently in the spring of 2021 at the Slidell Cultural Arts Center in Slidell, Louisiana.  In addition to being an active DKG (a recent LA Southeast Rosebud Awardee), wife and mother of a precocious, four-year old, this junior high art teacher recently held a ribbon-cutting for her new art studio, Rachael Roxanne by Hand.  She has taken a passionate dream, mixed it with her own courage, to become a reality. All inspired by her pure joy of art. 


Let’s keep the conversation going, if you would like to comment or suggest a topic for a future blog post, please let us know in the comment section.  We look forward to posting our fall Art Gallery in the upcoming month.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Bang # 21 Amazon Smile and Bang # 22 Award Concepts


    Do you shop at Amazon? Help DKG while you shop! This site lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping as The difference is that when you shop on Amazon Smile (, 0.5% of your purchase price will be donated to the DKGIEF. This supports many of our funds including scholarship and world fellowship. Just go to and make DKG International Educators Foundation your designated charity. You shop, Amazon gives! For DKG’s last fiscal year (2019-2020) DKG received a total of $1,139 from Amazon Smile. This could be much more with more members participating!

    Support DKG International Educators Foundation by using Amazon Smile!

Award Concepts

    Award Concepts has all of your DKG pins and jewelry necessities! First, you can order a Keypin to show your official membership in DKG. Chapters and states may also want to recognize their presidents with the special President’s Pin.

    What better way to acknowledge and appreciate your members than with a pin denoting their years in the organization. Additionally, there are chapter guards showing chapter initials and also officers’ dangles.

    You may also be interested in shopping for a variety of DKG logo products such as bags, lanyards, pencils, and other branded products. Award Concepts will help you with installation ceremony needs such as candles, candle holders, scarves, banners, and other paraphernalia.

    Last, but certainly not least, are the beautiful necklaces, pendants, and rings that are found in the Founders’ and Silver Collections. Awesome! Award Concepts can help you look your DKG best. Members can order online or downloaded an order form and then mail it. When buying from Award Concepts, a percentage of the proceeds is given to DKG. When you buy, it helps the Society and you show off your DKG membership!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Membership Status Hiding in Plain Sight…

    Active…Reserve…Collegiate…Honorary. You may be very familiar with these four classes of DKG membership. However, there is another membership status that you may not be so familiar with, and the members in this category may be hiding in plain sight.

    What does the member who wants to maintain her membership in DKG do if her chapter unfortunately dissolves? 

    What does the member who wants to maintain her membership in DKG do if she moves to a location that is totally isolated?

    One alternative is that the individual may request state organization status. It is very important to remember, however, that a member MUST have been inducted into the DKG organization as a chapter member first before she can consider requesting state organization status. State organization members continue to receive the benefits DKG offers such as insurance and publications etc., but the member will not be affiliated with any one chapter.

    ISR 3.02:  "An active or reserve member who does not belong to a chapter because of geographic isolation shall be retained as a state organization active or a state organization reserve member.  Status as a state organization member must be requested.  State organization membership refers to the unit to which the member belongs."   


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Announcing Upcoming Communications and Marketing Modules!


    The International Communications and Marketing Committee is excited to announce the upcoming C&M Modules. These modules are open to all members because marketing the Society, within and beyond the membership, is something all members can be comfortable doing. 

    Join the International C&M Committee as the following topics are presented. Module begins at 11:00am CST.

    Capitalizing on the DKG Brand (October 16, 2021)

    Enhancing Communications Tools...Newsletters, Websites, Brochures, and More (November 20, 2021)

    Maximizing Social Media...Digital Newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (January 29, 2022)

    Copyright, Fair Use, and Public Domain...Information for ALL (March 5, 2022 )

    All DKG Members are encouraged to attend. Members can access these events using the link found on the DKG website rotator for members. 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

World Fellowship Blog


    Are you interested in learning who DKG’s new World Fellowship recipients are for this year? The complete list is available from the international website! Log in to with your username and password, then choose Resources (in the top black banner) >  Brochures/Flyers.  Scroll down and click on 2021-2022 World Fellowship Recipients to download the list of recipients for this year! Enjoy reading what these ladies will be studying and at what universities.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Stepping Up to Leadership Roles

    Why is there so much hesitancy to accept leadership roles in DKG? When you were nominated for membership in DKG, it was because someone saw leadership potential in you. If you think of it, as educators you are practicing leadership skills daily in your schools, So, why not use them in a different setting? One of the wonderful things about DKG is how nurturing the members are of each other. Members support their leaders by assisting them in the functions of their chapter/state organization and do not expect their leaders to carry the entire responsibility by themselves. Past leaders in the chapter/state organization are responsible to mentor new leaders and assist them in learning their new roles. You do not have to accept the top post in your chapter/state when first asked but think about at least volunteering for a chapter/state organization committee position until you feel more comfortable in the workings of your group. You can always move up to an officer position when you feel ready! Not only will you develop even more leadership skills in DKG, but you will find that you feel more confident in leading in other areas of your life!

Monday, October 4, 2021

Update on International Conferences

    This past summer, international conferences were held in Portland, Oregon, and San Antonio, Texas. Members attended in-person and virtually, learned from many speakers and presenters, and experienced fellowship with other DKG members.

    During each of the conferences, the International Non-dues Revenue Committee presented a workshop session describing non-dues revenue, duties of the committee, and member benefits such as insurance resources, discounts, and Go Ahead Tours. They also shared possible ways chapters and state organizations can fundraise. A question-and-answer segment helped many members understand the concept of non-dues revenue. Some of the frequently asked questions can be found on the international website: > Home > About Us > FAQ > Non-dues Revenue.

    At the 2022 International Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, the committee plans to present another interactive workshop to give members ideas on how to fundraise and increase future benefits. Suggestions of additional businesses and benefits for the committee to investigate can be submitted in this blog response.

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