Cazenovia College has formed a chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education, and has conducted its first initiation of 16 new chapter members.

The society was founded in 1911 to foster excellence in education and promote fellowship among those dedicated to teaching. Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) chapters now provide online and in person opportunities for professional development, learning, and fellowship for those interested in the teaching profession throughout the United States and beyond. There are 625 chapters of the organization worldwide. Historic members include George Washington Carver, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, J. William Fulbright, Margaret Mead, Jean Piaget, and John Dewey, among many others with notable achievements.

The 16 students inducted as KDP members belong to the College’s Alpha Kappa Mu (AKM) chapter. They are: Madeline Godfrey, who serves as chapter president; Michaela Clark, a senior in Inclusive Elementary Education, as vice president; and Alexa Fluty, a junior in Inclusive Elementary Education, who serves as secretary. Other leaders and members include: Katie Collins, Katilyn Hardler; J’nese Aveina, Anne Christophory, Hannah Kimball, Emma Horsch, Kelly Bailey, Kirsten Joslin, Gina Baggetta, Melinda Tyler, Olivia Deraway, Christine Noffer, and Andrea Fields.

Their chapter charter ceremony on March 10 included speakers from the Alpha Kappa Mu leadership, College President Ron Chesbrough, KDP President Dr. Elizabeth Elliot, and regional KDP Chapter Coordinator Joseph Clemmer.

College Associate Professor of Inclusive Education Jessica Essary, Ph.D., serves as the chapter’s counselor, and Assistant Professor of Inclusive Education David Rufo, Ph.D., serves as the chapter’s co-counselor. Associate counselor is Rachel Copland, associate lecturer and program manager in the College’s Center for Adult and Continuing Education.

Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education Seal
Kappa Delta Pi Seal

Chapter President Godfrey said the organization is a good fit for Cazenovia College students because of the opportunities it provides them to network and to learn professionally from mentors and associates, as well as to gain leadership experiences as college students, which is a keystone of a Cazenovia College education.

Achieving the charter required a detailed report of our practices over the past few years in our Inclusive Education programs and an application submission pertaining to our goals in KDP. In addition, Chapter President Madeline Godfrey and Dr. Essary recruited members, “but with interest at a high level from the start, that didn’t require much time or effort”, Godfrey remarked. She added that “recruiting members was easy. So many students were excited to be part of it, to be leaders, and to offer ideas regarding what we could accomplish. There are a lot of driven students in the Education Department. I knew immediately there would be so many students who would be interested.”

Dr. Essary notes that selecting an effective chapter president was also critical, adding, “Madeline has always been a respected leader on campus. The success of this charter recruitment is a reflection of her skills and credibility. The association offers many opportunities for students to secure scholarships, attend month online events, present at annual conferences, and KDP supports how students undertake leadership roles at the local level. Counselors help facilitate the Chapter’s annual activities by collaborating with the students to support their leadership, but the initiatives we undertake are designed and enhanced by the needs which students identify.”

Cazenovia’s Alpha Kappa Mu chapter has several initiatives in mind in addition to the professional development and learning activities members can access through KDP’s website. The chapter is forming a 501(C)3 organization with the support of KDP staff so it can raise funds for projects such as providing food and tutoring support for students in need on weekends and semester breaks; resupplying backpacks at the start of the semesters with fresh school supplies; hosting a teacher appreciation picnic; and helping students obtain funding for attending KDP conference expenses when those activities resume.

The Chapter has made a special effort to include Cazenovia College students who are enrolled in the Education Department programs off-site campus via its Herkimer and Schenectady extension locations, and to include Cazenovia students who are studying in the program off campus in local events and overall chapter activities.

Membership requires maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or above, leadership excellence, participation in service projects, and an annual membership fee. For more information, visit the chapter website.


(Banner image, from left to right: Michaela Clark, vice president; Madeline Godfrey, president; Alexa Fluty, secretary)