ODK member Brad Firchow tells us about the ODK recognitions to student, staff and faculty members given at the Honors and Awards Ceremony this past Monday.
This Monday at the annual Honors and Awards ceremony, Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) bestowed four leadership awards upon vital members of the Oglethorpe community including two students, a faculty member and a staff member.
Oglethorpe University fosters a culture of leadership among students, but some students begin their career at Oglethorpe with strong leadership skills already.
In his first year at Oglethorpe, Samuel Katz ’21 has truly carved out a niche, using his exceptional leadership qualities as the Treasurer for the Student Government Association, a position typically held by students who have been members of the Oglethorpe community for a much longer time. As Treasurer, Sam Katz has worked diligently to streamline funding for clubs and student organizations, a daunting task for anyone who is familiar with the existing system.
ODK also annually recognizes a more seasoned member of the student body who embodies outstanding leadership in accord with the values of ODK. This year, graduating senior Michaella Fitzpatrick ’18 was chosen. In the words of ODK President Robert Dougherty-Bliss ’19, Michaella “has displayed a profound sense of justice and the passion to advocate for it.” As a Community Advisor in Traer Hall, Michaella has mentored first year students and contributed to building a community among students. A devoted scholar in her field, she will surely go on to do great things as a sociologist.
While students are necessary to a university, equally important are its staff members. Without the tireless work done by Oglethorpe’s staff, our community could not function. The student body is grateful to these staff members and recognized one of them at the ceremony on Monday. Vice President for Enrollment and Financial Aid, Lucy Leusch is integral to the Oglethorpe’s functioning as an institution. The departments she oversees find the incredible students that make up our community and ensure their attendance is financially feasible.
The final award given by ODK honors a member of the faculty. This year, Dr, Amanda Printz-Whooley was recognized for her exceptional commitment to her students and the university. Dr. Printz-Whooley is embedded as a valued member of the Oglethorpe community – especially by students. It is not uncommon to hear a student rave about how engaging she is as a thinker, even if they have never sat in her classroom. A consistent contributor to the Core program, she is a strong advocate for its place in liberal arts curriculum. As captured by Robert Dougherty-Bliss ’19, “Campus is a better place whenever she speaks.”
Those recognized this year offer only a snapshot of the passionate leaders that make Oglethorpe the beautiful campus community it is. In a toast at the leadership mixer, Printz-Whooley cited age-old wisdom that beautiful things are often difficult, and difficult things are often beautiful. In a challenge to all who were present, she charged the Oglethorpe community with continuing to do the difficult things – as is often the task of a leader.