Knox Revives Chapter of Education Honor Society

Knox College / Illinois Prairie Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa

July 13, 2009

Knox College students and faculty have revived the college's chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, the international education honor society. Stephen Schroth, assistant professor of educational studies, was recently elected president of the Knox College/Illinois Prairie chapter of Phi Delta Kappa (PDK). Victoria Romano, lecturer in educational studies and coordinator of Knox's Office of Instructional Technology Support, was elected vice president. They will succeed Carl Sandburg College faculty Ken Grodjesk and George Chadderdon, who have served as officers during the 2008-2009 academic year.

"This marks the return of PDK to Knox, making Knox the only national liberal arts college with a campus-based PDK chapter," Schroth said. "It places Knox with a select number of peer institutions with campus chapters of PDK, including such schools as Columbia University, Harvard University, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Virginia." PDK has more than 300 affiliated chapters in the United States, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Panama, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.

The Knox College/Illinois Prairie chapter membership of about 80 encompasses approximately 45 primary, secondary and higher education faculty in the Galesburg area and about 35 students from Knox College and Carl Sandburg College. Chapter affiliation with PDK also offers access to national and international resources and networking opportunities.

The Illinois Prairie chapter was originally established in 1982. "By the mid-1990s, participation declined at Knox, as it did at some other schools," Schroth said. "We are thankful that Ken Grodjesk and George Chadderdon at Carl Sandburg College provided able stewardship of the chapter, keeping it viable when many other PDK chapters around the country ceased to exist."

Schroth credits interest among Knox College students with reviving the Knox-based chapter. "During the past year membership in the chapter doubled, largely the result of enthusiasm of Knox students and support from the College's administration. PDK's national headquarters suggested that reactivating the Knox chapter could be expedited if we joined forces with the existing Illinois Prairie chapter. We are glad to have a renewed chapter that acknowledges the growing ties among our colleges and communities."

The first actions of the renewed chapter have included a meeting at Knox in May, when students and local teachers discussed classroom experiences; and the awarding of the organization's 2009 Scholarship for Prospective Educators to Knox College student Jordan Lanfair, a junior educational studies major from Chicago.

The chapter also elected seven Knox students as chapter representatives for 2009-10: Advocacy and Legislation Representative Maurice McDavid, a senior from DeKalb, Illinois; Awards and Recognition Representative Sarah Carlin, a senior from Naples, Florida; Activities and Programs Representative Karin Rudd, a senior from Lynnwood, Washington; Communications Representative Shaina Robinson, a junior from Portland, Oregon; Foundation Representative Jordan Lanfair, a junior from Chicago; Membership Representative Daniel Gonshorek, a junior from Champaign, Illinois; and Web Site Primary Contact Carly Kauffman, a senior from Chicago.

Founded in 1906, Phi Delta Kappa is the leading education honor society. Its membership includes educational institutions, educators and students worldwide.

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 47 states and 48 countries. Knox's 'Old Main' is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Daniel Gonshorek, Stephen Schroth, Victoria Romano
Daniel Gonshorek, Stephen Schroth, Victoria Romano