Golden Key Honour Society first time hosting regional summit


The K-State Golden Key International Honour Society hosted the Region 6 summit on Feb. 17-19, 2012. The three-day event brought in approximately 50 students from North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas attended attended featured leadership panels, resume and study abroad workshops and were entertained by K-State talent.

“We want them to take away something they can use once they get back to school,” said Olivia Miller, vice president of Golden Key Honour Society and junior in political science and international studies. “Whether it is that they are interested in study abroad and go back to their schools and look at their opportunities, or if they start looking at graduate school when they weren’t before, we want them to take any piece of information and make it their own.”

The Golden Key International Honour Society is made up of students who are in junior and senior standing at K-State and in the academic top 15 percent of K-State. K-State members participate in tutoring, a teen parent program and programs promoting literacy. The organization also focuses on connecting members with career opportunities through partnerships with graduation programs and corporations.

This was the first year that K-State hosted the regional summit. On Saturday morning, students attended workshops on studying abroad, resume building and graduate school. In addition, students had the opportunity to listen to professionals in various fields.

“The workshops were amazing. We also had a wonderful panel. It was a shame the entire university didn’t get to hear them,” said Donita Whitney-Bammerlin, co-adviser for the K-State Golden Key International Honour Society. “We had three engineers, one scientist, two entrepreneurs and someone who owns two banks. It was a phenomenal panel of people.”

First-year Golden Key members were able to participate in Introduction to Golden Key, a session aimed at educating new members about the organization.

Courtney Cox, membership chair of Golden Key and sophomore in accounting, is a first-year member. Although a sophomore, she has enough credits to meet the membership requirements of the organization. Before the summit began, Cox was excited to learn more about the organization.

“This is my first year in Golden Key, so for me, this summit is about realizing what it is all about,” Cox said. “It helps me realize what impact it can have on the community.”

Saturday afternoon, students had the opportunity to give back to the surrounding community through various community service projects. The projects included assisting people in making microwavable food at the Manhattan Public Library, sorting clothing at the Ogden Friendship House of Hope, working with children at the Ogden Community Center and cleaning and preparing bookshelves at the Douglass Center.

In addition, students had the opportunity to experience K-State entertainment. Mike Finnegan, instructor in the School of Leadership Studies, gave the keynote speech during the dinner Friday night. Cadence, K-State’s men’s a cappella group, also performed on Friday. Saturday evening featured K-State’s On-The-Spot improv acting group.

Overall, Whitney-Bammerlin thought the summit was a success, which she credited largely to the K-State Golden Key members.

“I don’t want to say it [was great] just because we hosted it, but as advisers and leaders, we tell them they need to be creative, leaders, have great interpersonal skills. This summit is living proof that they have those,” Whitney-Bammerlin said.

Tanya Dvork, co-adviser for K-State Golden Key, also felt the summit was rewarding. She praised the Golden Key members for their work in bringing the summit to K-State.

“It’s great to see students grow, learn, and achieve great things,” Dvorak said. “In planning the summit, they have run off and handled it all, only asking us for some guidance.”

Miller said Golden Key is made up of hardworking K-State leaders.

“I think it makes a difference here because we are a small group, but we have a lot of dedicated leaders,” Miller said. “We really take an initiative and try to make a difference on campus.”

Overall, Whitney-Bammerlin said she believes both K-State and visiting students came away from the summit with new experiences.

“The blanket statement we wanted was ‘I’m so glad I went,'” Whitney-Bammerlin said. “We want it to have quality, quantity and a grand overall experience, and I think we delivered all that. I’m proud of K-State.”