ODK begins new award ceremony

by Becca Harris/Staff Writer

Simpson College continues to recognize students and faculty for their achievements, adding a new award this year.

While the Omicron Delta Kappa Award, better known as the ODK Award, is something new at Simpson, the national award was created in 1989 to recognize the hard work of students and faculty through their leadership activities.

Jim Thorius, vice president of Student Development and dean of students said that this award will be a great way to recognize the way students have put time and effort into their leadership positions.”It is something new that we hope will develop into an annual event that will recognize a lot of people and their work here at Simpson,” Thorius said.

The award will only be open to juniors and seniors, but Thorius said he encourages everyone to get involved with leadership as early as they can.

Senior ODK President Kasey Peters has been working with Thorius and Bobby Nalean, service and leadership coordinator with the Center for Vocational and Integrative Learning, on this project throughout the year.  He said that the ceremony will help recognize the leaders on campus.”There are many students involved in leadership activities at various ages, but not everyone is in ODK,” Thorius said.

Nalean said there have already been several nominations from students and staff.

“Dean Thorius and I have served as advisers for this project, but it is really a result of a lot creativity and hard work on the part of several members of ODK,” Nalean said. “ODK President Kasey Peters has done an outstanding job leading this initiative.”

The ODK Award has been adopted by Simpson College this year, but it has been circulating through nearly 400 other chapters across the country. 

It is unique because the award itself was created to recognize outstanding leadership found in students and staff but the recipients are chosen by nominations.

The award goes to multiple nominees that have been chosen out of a variety of categories.  Students and staff can be nominated for media, fine arts, athletics, organizations or advisory positions, and each group is able to nominate one candidate that they feel best represents leadership within their group.  This year there are seven categories of nomination: Leader in Academics, Leader in Athletics, Leader in Action, Leader in Fine Arts, Leader in Mass Media, Outstanding Faculty/Staff Adviser, and Outstanding Student Organization. 

“The nomination form was sent out to student organization, so each group could decide how they wanted to nominate for each area,” Peters said. “Each group was able to nominate up to five people plus the outstanding faculty/staff adviser and outstanding student organization.” 

Along with the award, Thorius said the highest ranking group will also receive an off-campus planning retreat with no expenses.  The retreat will provide the group with an opportunity to do more good works for others. The Simpson College Community of Leaders First Annual Celebration will be held on April 20 in Great Hall with keynote speaker, Donni Alley, a 1995 Simpson graduate.