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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

A Celebration of Life

Delta Kappa Gamma holds a special place in our hearts. There are many reasons for this. One reason is because of the members and the genuine spiritual fellowship and lifelong friendships that are made. DKG chapter and state organizations set aside a time to remember those who are no longer with us and those times of dedication are very special. We honor their lives and service in Delta Kappa Gamma.
 
The DKG International Membership Committee has prepared a special time of remembrance and are honored to be a part of this meaningful tradition. We would very much like it if you could share it with us.
 
You are invited to attend the DKG Celebration of Life on July 15, 2022, to be held at the DKG International Convention in NewOrleans. Dr. Kay Clawson, WV, 2018-2021 Chair of DKGIEF, Kathy L. Davis, OK, 2018-2020 US Forum Chair, and Dr. Janet Werner Shelver, SD, 1990-1992 DKG International President, will be honored with special tributes.  Each region of DKG will dedicate a white rose in honor and in memory of our sisters who have passed. Special music and inspirational words will touch your heart and rekindle memories. Please make plans to join us.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

DKG Art Gallery Artist Spotlight: ACT Quickly

Judy Rongey, Upsilon, LA

Our spotlight artist, Judy Rongey, hails from the great magnolia state of Louisiana.  When we say that Judy wears many hats at every level in DKG, that would be an understatement.  With a bright smile and infectious enthusiasm for service leadership, Judy has served as President of the Louisiana State Organization and presently shares her gift of organization as state Treasurer.  If that weren’t enough, Judy is presently co-chairing the DKG International Convention in New Orleans this summer.  Along with her leadership capabilities, Judy has a profound talent in photography.  She has shared her work on the DKG Art Gallery many times previously and brings with her an interesting perspective on the visual arts and its relationship to nurturing development. Take a moment to enjoy her wonderful reflection and be sure to catch that easy acronym to ensure that perfect shot.

Tell us about yourself as an educator and an artist.

Being an elementary teacher for 32 years, I utilized photography as a teaching tool to connect my students to the curriculum and to the world. My photographs were used to create stimulating PowerPoints, books, electronic books, ThingLinks, movies, and flipcharts which positively impacted my teaching and my students’ learning. In 2014, I was awarded Early Childhood Educator Teacher of the Year from the LA Association of Computer Using Educators for my use of computers in my early childhood classroom.  I attribute my award to my blending of photographs into technology and into the curriculum.  I really never thought of myself as an artist until I read this quote by Australian photographer Destin Spark. He said, “Photography is the art of making memories tangible.”

What are your inspirations as you are choosing your scenes and how do you go about doing this?   

I have used photographs to capture memories of my vacations, family, flowers, animals and especially my dog. One of my favorite photos was taken in my backyard of my puppy, Shelby Lou, entitled “Puppy Portrait.” I took multiple pictures of her, but this photo was so unique due to the angle and the lighting which illuminated her coat.

What kind of photographic device (camera or phone) did you use in your gallery submissions?  Do you have any tips for our readers?

Throughout my life, I have used many different cameras to make my memories tangible. I began at an early age capturing my memories with a Kodak Brownie.  As a scuba diver, I captured several award-winning sea life photographs using my Nikon Nikonos V 35 mm camera.  My device of choice currently is my Apple iPhone 11 Pro because it is readily available to capture my memories.

What is the best piece of advice given to you as an artist/photographer or that you can give to someone else? 

My photography advice to give others is to recommend “ACT” quickly. The first recommendation is to “A” adjust your angle when taking pictures. Take pictures from all angles including taking a step forward and a step back. The next recommendation is “C” dealing with composition.  I recommend the use of grid lines to help with centering your subject.  Find the grid lines on your iPhone under “Settings” choose “Camera” and slide on the “Grid.” The “T” recommendation is to take lots of pictures. With multiple shots, you get more chances to get the perfect shot. My perfect photo was an award-winning shot of a barracuda.  It was the last picture of several multiple shots. 

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

As an early childhood educator, I realized early on the power of creative arts. When young learners are provided open-ended interactive art experiences, they grow across all developmental domains. Art allows young learners an avenue to express themselves and to practice a variety of skills. Creative arts should be a very important component of early childhood education.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share about yourself or your DKG journey?

One more thing…

We congratulate Judy Rongey on her retirement last school year.  She is settling into retirement life, but something tells us that she may be as busy now as she was when she was in the classroom.  Judy enjoys traveling and exploring new adventures with her husband and is looking forward to welcoming each of you in New Orleans this summer for the DKG International Convention.
Let’s keep the conversation going. If you have ideas or comments for the Arts and Humanities Jury, please let us know.

For more information about the International Convention Member Art GalleryContact Information: Roxanne Lagarde – lagarderoxanne@gmail.com.  Apply to bring art to New Orleans with the application under the events tab and selecting convention related applications on the webpage.


Monday, May 23, 2022

So, what is the Purpose of Color-coded Cards?


Every member registered and in attendance at the International Convention has the right to participate—to debate and to vote. This is important because debate/discussion of the proposed amendments to the governing documents takes place before voting. But, how does that work? Here are some general procedures to be considered:

·      Members must go to one of the microphones set up in the aisles if she wishes to speak. There will be a “microphone monitor” at each microphone.  The monitor will ask what the member wishes to do, such as, speak in favor of a motion, speak against a motion (usually alternating), make an amendment to the motion, etc.

·      The color-coded cards allow the presiding officer to know which motion is in order and to recognize the member holding that card. The member must be recognized before she speaks and needs to identify herself and her state organization.

·      At convention, here is what you need to know:

o   Blue – the speaker is the proposer of the amendment

o   Green – the speaker is in favor of the amendment

o   Red – the speaker opposes the amendment

o   White – the speaker wishes to amend the amendment

o   Yellow – the speaker wishes to address an urgent matter that needs immediate attention

So, take a card and be prepared to use your voice!

Friday, May 20, 2022

Members Share DKG International Speaker Fund Experiences

 

Thoughts from the presenter:

The DKG International Society’s International Speaker Fund (ISF) serves as an excellent program to promote and increase diversity, international experiences, and cultural exchange throughout the organization.

I have had the pleasure of presenting to a DKG group as an international speaker four times. My most recent speaking experiences include Nebraska (2017) and Washington (2018) in person, and in late April 2022 at the DKG California Convention via Zoom, a new experience for me.

I think the experience for a speaker from the International Speaker Fund is almost like a scholarship to get to know DKG sisters in different parts of the world. The experience helps to make new friends, meet them later in the convention, or be in contact with them e.g., by email. The state convention creates a unique experience and excellent contacts among the speakers, the organizers, and the audience.

The virtual meeting is very different because one misses the in person contact. However, it offers another dimension; it makes meeting possible in difficult times. During the DKG California Convention, I gave a talk during the banquet about music, wellbeing, and the brain which are some of my favorite themes. I also presented during a workshop about Finnish education. Since the audience was smaller in the workshop, I could see the participants, create a connection with them, and answer their questions. I hope that was a win-win situation.

I have also had the pleasure as the Finland state president of twice inviting an ISF speaker– one in early 2000’s and one in 2021 online. Those speakers offered the audience enlightening experiences as well and created connections.

The ISF program is great. It is worth applying for the ISF program to be a speaker or have a speaker attend an event. The application time is now so you should send your application in by the 15th of September. I warmly recommend it.

Eija Liisa  Sokka-Meaney, Finland, DKG International Speakers Fund and Member of the International Communications and Marketing Committee

Thoughts from a member of the audience:

When I first discovered that Eija Liisa was going to speak at the DKG California Convention, I was thrilled! Eija Liisa and I currently serve on the DKG International Communications and Marketing Committee. Eija Liisa certainly brought the international spirit to the California convention. Via Zoom, Eija Liisa came halfway around the world to the convention in Burbank to share her life experiences in Finland. She spoke about her favorite themes, including music, well-being and the brain, and offered slides to illustrate her thoughts.

I highly recommend that your state take advantage of the ISF program. The speaker will add depth to your convention through her keynote presentations and workshop, especially if your speaker is able to travel to your location now that travel has opened up.

Julie Drysdale, California, DKG International Communications and Marketing Committee

International Speakers Fund Flyer

Time to share your experiences with the ISF. Leave a comment to this blog to share your experiences.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

World Fellowship Comes to a Close for the 2020-2022 Biennium

As the 2020-2022 biennium comes to an end, the members of the World Fellowship Committee consider it an honor to have served on this committee.                                                   

The team was comprised of Wendy Stephens SE (Chair), BjΓΈrg Nakling EU, Donna Greene Martinez SW, Eileen Little NE, Sheila MacKay NW, Becky Sadowski 2020-2022 International President, and Phyllis Hickey, Strategic Outreach Director.  

World Fellowship scholarships are given to women from many countries. They study in the United States or Canada. The countries represented in 2022 were: Nigeria, Peru, Indonesia, Brazil, Paraguay, Vietnam, Swaziland, India, Argentina, Colombia, Chili, Cuba, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Burma, and Mexico.

This spring, the committee graded 62 applications. 10 candidates were selected from the IIE (Institute of International Education to study in the United States and 5 were selected to study in Canada. The committee also awarded 12 extensions for the 2022-2023 academic year. The contribution of each member on the committee has been huge, although we did not get to meet “face to face”, it was a pleasure working with each other. The outgoing 2020-2022 Committee would like to welcome the incoming 2022-2024 World Fellowship Committee.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

DKG Art Gallery Artist Spotlight

Dana Murphy, Oregon State Organization

1. Tell us about yourself as an educator and artist.

I grew up immersed in a family business of retail florists who “made things”, so arranging flowers, planning window displays, and decorating for elaborate gala events were all introduced to me at an early age. Through Girl Scout Camps and decorating for high school proms, I continued to build on my creative skills and interests. I earned a BA in Art, with an emphasis in Textile Design, from Whitworth University in Spokane, WA. And a MA in Education from Portland State University in Oregon.      

2. What plays an important part in your artistic process?

I experiment with many versatile materials, and they often have some “thoughts” of their own. By designing each piece individually and taking time to step back and evaluate my options, I usually end up with something that I think is worthy. Often, it is my mishaps or mistakes that leads to new learning and possibilities.

3. What is your preferred medium and why?

The majority of my work includes textiles. I weave, spin, felt, sew, dye, paint and embellish with a wide variety of materials. Often, it is the under-utilized materials that spark my interest. Along with decaying sticks, leaves and dried pods from nature, I seek to use natural fibers with a few glittery accents. Unwanted materials such as stripped ivy vines or the trimmings of grape vines make great organic, roughly-styled baskets.

4. Tell us about your selected piece of artwork.

Nature Walk” was made as a sample for a project that I was introducing to children. It started with some twigs that were latched together to make a small loom frame. It was then warped (the foundational threads) to hold the weft (think “over and under” filler threads). It includes found objects from a walk in my back yard where I collected moss, twigs and dried seed pods. Then I used wool and cotton yarns, adding twisted wires, beads, and metallic threads for accents.

When I work with children (and adults), I strive to teach them something new, something they haven’t tried before. I encourage them to experiment and understand that there is no right or wrong way to create their piece. The choices are theirs.

5. What is the best piece of artistic advice you’ve been given?

When I was graduating from high school in California, I thought I wanted to be a textile pattern designer. Several advisors suggested that I needed to pursue those opportunities in New York. I listened to their advice but realized that wasn’t a realistic option for me. Consequently, I decided to stay in the Pacific NW to pursue a liberal arts education. I have never regretted that decision!

6. What does the value of Art in Education mean to you?

I believe the Arts in Education helps to inspire and motivate many students to enjoy learning. The arts also teach children that there are several paths to take when approaching problems and that all problems can have more than one solution, in turn supporting their creative and critical thinking skills that are so highly valued. Creating art is a natural human behavior! It is an instinctual form of healing, communicating, and making connections with the human race.

7. Is there one more thing you’d like us to know?

This was the first time that I have submitted art work to the DKG Gallery. It was an intentional learning experiment for me. I would encourage everyone to participate. This has been fun. I thank the Arts and Humanities Jury for their support and attention to this program.

Pictured here is second weaving accepted to the Fine Arts Gallery, Starlight 2.


Dana Murphy

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The Arts & Humanities Jury looks forward to you returning often to view exciting new content and to share in the joy of creativity.   

We invite you to view the Art Gallery, click here. 

Keep the conversation going, please use the comment section below to suggest new topics, ask questions, or give us your input.

 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Bang # 36 Finance Committee Guidelines

As you look toward a new biennium for your chapter officers, be sure to access the Finance Committee Guidelines on the DKG website. There is a wealth of information available as you appoint a new finance committee and support your chapter treasurer. Visit the website www.dkg.org and sign in with your member number and password. On the black banner at the top of the page, you will find the word “Resources”. Clicking on this will give you several tabs including “Finance Tools” and choosing this will take you to Finance Committee Guidelines.

The document you access in this way will give you answers to several commonly asked questions. The election and/or selection of Finance Committee members is addressed along with the responsibilities of committee members at the chapter and state organization levels. A sample budget worksheet will be at your fingertips as well as guidelines for conducting a Financial Review at both levels. A suggested retention schedule for finance documents rounds out the invaluable information you will find under these tabs.

Don’t remain in the dark concerning the finances of your chapter or state organization. Visit the website and find the information you need to get a great start to a new biennium. The hope is that 2022-2024 will bring more normal activities to our organization.

Monday, May 9, 2022

State Organizations and ISF Speakers Build Meaningful Connections

 
        Have you thought about what the word “international” means in DKG Society International? Society members reside in one of the 17 different countries in DKG. Do you wonder about the women from one of the 16 countries other than your own? Are you curious how their experiences might be the same as or different from yours? One way to connect with one of the amazing educators from other countries is to host an international speaker at a state organization convention, conference, or meeting. Along with broadening their knowledge of a relevant subject, your state organization members will learn about her country, its education system, and some of the cultural activities specific to the peoples who live there.

If your state organization leaders have not thought about hosting a speaker and have not reviewed the list sent to state organization presidents in October, you may want to discuss the concept with them to get their input and start putting plans in place. Although most speakers are requested for a conference or convention, an ISF speaker can be requested for an event beyond these sessions. ISF speakers can provide members with new learning opportunities throughout the year.

Here are a few tips to ensure a successful ISF experience for state organizations:

  1.       Read and carefully fill out all relevant forms on the DKG website and submit them prior to the deadline date (May 1 or November 1).
  2.       Contact your speaker as soon as she has been assigned and welcome her to your state organization.
  3.       Inform the speaker where she will be staying and presenting and provide all contact information to her.
  4.      Ensure that you have members assigned for pick up from and delivery to the airport.
  5.       Offer translation services, if available, for presentation slides in advance if her native language is different.
  6.       Check if your speaker has any specific allergies to foods or other items.
  7.       Inform her of the weather in your area, so she will arrive prepared.
  8.       Inquire into her interests/hobbies and plan a list of local tourism sites if she is staying in your area for a few days.
  9.       Have fun!

Hosting an ISF speaker is a wonderful opportunity for learning and meeting a new DKG friend and colleague. It is a DKG experience that should not be missed by any state organization.

 

Friday, May 6, 2022

Educational Excellence: Professional and Personal Growth


Going back to special instances as a member of DKG for many years, I recall how I was encouraged by a coworker to attend a DKG meeting. It was a time when I was very timid and only related to a small circle of teachers and friends. To my astonishment, I learned about this organization and how it supported teachers from many places in the world. I also learned how DKG assisted educators of all levels and disciplines to grow professionally and personally.

Today, many years later, I ask my fellow members these questions: Why did you decide to improve yourself as a professional? Was it that you had mentors who encouraged you? Was it a personal goal to excel in your career or to reeducate yourself in another field? On the other hand, was it your aim to reach the highest level of professional degrees or maybe was it a family goal to reach the educational level that would make a difference to you and your family? These are some of the valid reasons why someone would work to attain these educational goals. DKG did that for me. My answer to all the questions is yes. I reached the highest level when I graduated from my doctoral studies. As a member I was encouraged and supported by my DKG members and at the same time accomplished the vision of DKG which is to support its members in their educational endeavors.

The organization’s Educational Excellence Committee (EEC) can help members to set priorities through multiple options that can be found on the DKG website. I will focus on three of the major areas that support the professional and personal growth of DKG members. The website provides valuable information on Committees, Resources, and Programs and Projects.

Educational Excellence Committee - The committee shall support programs of action that promote the personal well-being, intellectual growth, and global awareness of women educators; encourage a focus on the arts at international conventions, regional conferences and state organization conventions; and develop strategies that will enable chapters to encourage members to become leaders.

I would encourage you, if you are interested in advanced studies, to check in the Resources section on the second tab, where you can find information on scholarships.

Scholarship Tools - The Scholarship Tips Sheet provides tips on how to work on one of the seven purposes of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International which is “To endow scholarships to aid outstanding women educators in pursuing graduate study and to grant fellowships to non-member women educators.” This tip sheet offers suggestions as to how chapters can aid members who may be interested in applying for scholarships.

Under the About Us>Committees>Scholarship section of the DKG website, up to thirty (30) DKG scholarships are awarded annually in the amount of $6,000 (U.S.) for work toward a master’s degree and $10,000 (U.S.) for work at the doctorate level.

Finally, I would advise you to explore how DKG is supporting its members through Programs and Projects such as the support for early career educators

SEE (Support for Early Career Educators) - The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International established Supporting Early-career Educators (SEE) as its second international project during the 2012 International Convention in New York City. SEE encourages members/chapters to be creative in support of early-career educators with a variety of strategies, such as 1) giving support for phone calls and visits, 2) helping with lesson plans and bulletin board ideas, 3) offering advice on classroom management and parent-teacher relations, and 4) providing support in appropriate and practical ways.

DKG has multiple ways to lead its members to gain access to professional development, scholarships, personal growth, and a variety of demonstrations of the talents and accomplishments that might have been hidden on many occasions or maybe were not explored. Take the time to go through these suggested areas of what DKG has to offer. I can assure you that DKG helped me in many ways to search and apply for committees and grow professionally and as a leader. You will succeed and DKG is here to support you!

We encourage you to research the DKG website for a wealth of resources which will help you grow personally and professionally. Don’t hesitate to reach out to an EEC member for assistance!


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