Ewing, NJ… The College of New Jersey’s Gamma Zeta chapter of Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), the international education honor society, has received the Achieving Chapter Excellence (ACE) Award. The Gamma Zeta chapter, which is part of a nation-wide network of over 580 KDP chapters, was one of only 24 chapters to qualify for the 2011 ACE Award.
The ACE Awards, which were established in 1995 to recognize outstanding KDP chapters every two years, are awarded to chapters that exhibit outstanding programming in support of the society’s mission and strategic goals. This is the fifth year that the College’s Gamma Zeta chapter has won the biannual award—making it one of only five prestigious chapters across the country to have won five or more ACE Awards.
In 2005, the chapter was awarded the “Ace of the ACE” Award, which recognizes the single chapter that best represents the ideals of the society.
“The caliber of students representing KDP at The College of New Jersey is most impressive – distinguishing themselves academically as well as demonstrating an unwavering commitment to the ideals of the Society,” Anthony E. Conte, the chapter’s faculty counselor and associate professor in the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education, said.
To merit the award, the chapter submitted an application that included narrative and photo evidence of its outstanding work throughout the past two years. A panel of outside judges reviewed the application, paying special attention to the degree of member participation in chapter activities, as well as the impact each of its programs had on its members, the College’s education department, the society overall, the College, and the community-at-large.
For its work, the Gamma Zeta chapter met each of the six criteria for the award: programming, membership, and retention; recognition; service ideals; practices, inquiry, reflection-science and fidelity to human ideals; professional development; and leadership development.
“As the former president of the Gamma Zeta Chapter, I am so honored to receive this high honor,” Gabrielle Minervini ’11, a math and elementary education major and the chapter’s president for 2009-2011, said. “The Chapter’s work not only impacts the TCNJ community-at-large but the entire KDP Chapter network.”
According to Minervini, chapter members are active volunteers and fundraisers. In the past two years the chapter has worked with the Children’s Home Society of Trenton, offering large monetary donations, canned food, books, hygiene products, baby products, school supplies and holiday toys. Last year, the Chapter donated to and volunteered at the “Light the Night” walk for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society. In November 2010, the chapter sponsored a “Conference for Aspiring Teachers” at the College, which included a keynote speaker, a workshop to prepare teaching candidates for the realities of student teaching, and a panel discussion on co-teaching.
In addition to the students’ hard work, Conte’s leadership of the KDP since 2000 has continually geared the students for success.
“Dr. Conte has been the driving force behind KDP at TCNJ. He works continuously throughout the entire year, hand-in-hand with the executive board and general membership to plan and improve each aspect of the chapter’s agenda. I don’t know where this organization would be without him,” said Minervini. “We’d also like to thank Dr. Mark Kiselica, acting dean, and the School of Education as a whole, for their continued support and dedication to Kappa Delta Pi.”
While KDP was established in 1911, the Gamma Zeta chapter has been active at the College since 1931. Albert Einstein, George Washington Carver, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Margaret Mead are just a few of the society’s historically known members.