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Former ODK President awarded prestigious scholarship

13 Jan

By Jamie Bouldin, assistant director for leadership and service

Jeff Briggs

Jeff Briggs, the president of SFA’s Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa in 2010-11, was recently awarded an Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation Scholarship.

The ODK Foundation chose 20 students out of more than 140 applicants to receive scholarships to help fund their graduate studies. Briggs, who graduated from SFA in 2011, is a first-year medical student at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth and will receive $1,000 toward his studies.

“We were thrilled to hear that Jeff had been awarded an ODK Foundation Scholarship,” Jamie Bouldin, assistant director for leadership and service, said. “SFA’s ODK members are an amazing group of students, and it is always encouraging when their accomplishments are honored by the ODK national office and foundation.”

Omicron Delta Kappa is SFA’s leadership honor society and is housed within the Office of Student Affairs Programs. Students interested in applying for membership in ODK should have a 3.0 or higher GPA and be a junior, senior or graduate student with leadership experience. Applications will be available Jan. 18 at


ODK’s Peace Project seeks submissions from students, parents

26 Oct

By Alyssa Tenorio – Member of Omicron Delta Kappa

Omicron Delta Kappa, SFA’s leadership honor society, invites parents to participate in its Peace Project as part of the organization’s annual leadership conference.

In 2010, Karen Walrond, a blogger and author of “The Beauty of Different,” was taken aback by the actions of a church in Florida. On Sept. 11 of that year, members of the church were planning to burn many volumes of the Quran. Karen hated what this church was about to do, so she asked her followers to send her images of whatever they considered peaceful – she called it a photobomb. She would collect all the images – or homemade cards, coloring book pages, etc. – to send to this church as a reminder that the church’s mission “should always and eternally be one of peace.”  Hundreds of pictures and cards later, Karen sent the box – decorated by her daughter with rainbows and more peaceful messages – to the church in Florida.

That’s the back story. Our story, here at SFA, is almost the same, just tweaked a little bit. We are working on our own photobomb project, what we have called the Peace Project, as part of ODK’s annual leadership conference on Nov. 5. Our images will be heading to Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, the group that protests military funerals.

Why did we decide to do the Peace Project? Besides the fact that Karen Walrond is one of our guest speakers (along with Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi), as a whole our organization decided it would be good for the campus to participate in a peaceful act against Westboro. We wanted to educate students on a different way to demonstrate their frustration with groups such as Westboro, as well as promote peace.

Why did we choose Westboro? At some point in time, almost everyone has met or known someone in the military, or been in the military themselves. The student in charge of our conference is a military

The Gathering

26 Aug
Student leaders at The Gathering

Student leaders at The Gathering

More than 70 student leaders gathered at SFA’s Piney Woods Conservation Center Aug. 23-24 for The Gathering, a retreat for student leaders from areas across campus to come together to collaborate on how they can work together to make SFA a better place.

Students represented the following areas:

  • Orientation
  • Omicron Delta Kappa
  • Student Activities Association
  • The BIG Event
  • Alternative Spring Break
  • Inter-Fraternity Council
  • Panhellenic
  • Traditions Council
  • Involvement Advisers
  • Student Publications
  • National Residence Hall Honorary
  • Residence Hall Association
  • Multicultural Greek Council
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council
  • Organization of Latin Americans
  • African Student Organization
  • Jack Camp
  • Lumberjack Cultural Association
  • Student Government Association
  • Fashion in Motion
The students brainstormed on issues they saw on campus and how they could make an impact in those areas, and ultimately decided as a group to focus on campus beautification. The students will be meeting regularly to follow up with each organization who committed to helping on this project and how they can move forward to make a difference on campus.
The retreat was put on by the Office of Student Affairs Programs and staffed by representatives from Student Activities, Leadership and Service, Greek Life, Orientation, Student Publications, Multicultural Affairs and Campus Recreation.

ODK student leader accepted for prestigious summit

15 Jul
ODK member accepted for Hesselbein Summit

ODK member accepted for Hesselbein Summit

Blanca Jahaziel Hiriart-Lozoya (“Jazi”), a Spring 2011 inductee into Omicron Delta Kappa, will be attending the prestigious Student Leadership Summit, which is run by the University of Pittsburgh’s Hesselbein Global Academy for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement.

Jazi, a Political Science major and International Studies minor set to graduate in August, was one of only 50 students worldwide accepted through an application process to attend the summit, which takes place July 23-26 in Pittsburgh.

“We are so thrilled to see our students taking advantage of leadership opportunities such as this,” Jamie Bouldin, assistant director for leadership and service and faculty secretary for SFA’s ODK Circle, said. “To see one of our students accepted into such a small, prestigious pool of student leaders taking part in this summit is a great honor for SFA and the Office of Student Affairs Programs.”

Jazi was interested in attending the summit because of its vision of producing experienced, ethical leaders equipped to address critical issues throughout the world.

“It’s compatible with my passion and commitment for internationalization, cross-cultural education, diversity and global citizenship,” she said.  “I am most excited about joining other student leaders from across the world to learn how to be an effective and innovative leader, as well as learning from mentors and their expertise.”

The summit’s schedule includes sessions with CEOs and military leaders on a variety of topics of interest to future leaders, including focuses on philanthropy and civic engagement and creating dynamic businesses. Jazi is particularly excited about a presenter named Belinda Pinckney.

“She’s one of only a few African-American females who have been general officers in the United States Army,” she said.

“We learned about this opportunity through some advertising the Hesselbein group did, and made sure our student leaders knew about this chance,” Bouldin said. “Especially since the summit offers to cover nearly all of the student’s expenses, it was an excellent way for our students to take part in an exciting event at minimal cost. We look forward to hearing about Jazi’s experience and what she can bring back to SFA and ODK.”

‘Dresses for Dreams’ puts old formalwear to good use

10 Mar

By Jamie Bouldin, Assistant Director for Leadership and Service

Does your student have a closet full of dresses that she’s not going to wear again? Encourage her to donate them! Omicron Delta Kappa, SFA’s leadership honor society, takes gently used casual and formal dresses and puts them to work for local charities each year.

ODK collects donations of dresses, shoes and accessories, and then sells them for no more than $40 each at its annual “Dresses for Dreams” event. This event serves a dual purpose by offering an affordable local outlet for the community to shop for the upcoming prom seasons, as well as benefiting a deserving local group. This year, all proceeds will be donated to Solid Foundation, a Nacogdoches-based group that provides after-school tutoring programs and mentoring partnerships for at-risk students.

Through the years, this event has raised thousands of dollars for a good cause, as well as providing ODK students valuable experience in managing a fundraising event.

This year’s dress sale will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 25, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 26, and is open to the public. The event coincides with the March Showcase Saturday event and will be held on the third floor of the Baker Pattillo Student Center. Cash and checks are accepted.

ODK is accepting donations through March 23. Donations should be brought to the third floor of the Baker Pattillo Student Center, Room 3.302. Contact Lauren Doggett at or (936) 468-2870 for more information. ODK can provide a receipt for tax purposes.

Welcome Week service opportunities

26 Aug

During Welcome Week, students have several chances to learn more about service opportunities in the Nacogdoches community and to give back to others by taking part in service projects.

  • On Tuesday, August 31, Student Affairs Programs and Omicron Delta Kappa are hosting a blood drive from noon-6p on the third floor of the student center. The Blood Center of East Texas is always seeking new donors, and all donors will receive a T-shirt and a coupon for a free pint of ice cream, in addition to being eligible for door prizes!
  • The Community Partners Breakfast on Wednesday, September 1 provides students with an opportunity to meet and learn more about the numerous non profit agencies in town that are seeking volunteers. The breakfast is free and goes from 8-10 a.m. in the BPSC Twilight Ballroom. (Click here to see the fall 2010 cpb flier.)
  • On Friday, September 3, students have a chance to give back to the community by working on projects with Habitat for Humanity at their local ReStore location. We will meet at the Involvement Center (first floor of BPSC) at noon and carpool to the ReStore location to take on some indoor projects with Habitat. (Click here to see the ww service project flier.)

For more information on any of our service programs, please contact Jamie Bouldin or Randi Cooper at (936) 468-1088 or (936) 468-2870, or email us at You can also visit our website.

SFA ODK Circle helps host national summit

1 Jul

SFA’s Omicron Delta Kappa Circle served as one of two host circles for the 2010 Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Summit and Convention June 24-27 in Houston. ODK members served as support staff for the national ODK office, volunteering to run registration tables, serve as guides throughout the conference, lead icebreakers and activities, and much more.

ODK members also presented during the Day 2 Interest Sessions. Sydni Mitchell, outgoing ODK Circle President, Jeff Briggs, incoming ODK Circle President, and Clarissa Ensenberger, ODK SEE Leadership Conference Chair, presented a session on their inaugural SEE Leadership Conference to offer their program as a model for schools interested in implementing a campus-wide leadership conference. ODK will host the second SEE Leadership Conference this fall on October 16, 2010 beginning at 9 a.m. in the BPSC Movie Theater. The SEE Leadership Conference is a receipient of the ODK Clay Grant for 2010.

Jeff Briggs, Clarissa Ensenberger and Sydni Mitchell lead an interest session.

 Michael Preston, Director of Student Affairs Programs, also hosted an interest session for advisers at the conference.

Michael Preston leads advisers in an interest session.

 SFA’s Omicron Delta Kappa Circle accepts membership applications each fall and spring semester from juniors, seniors and graduate students with at least a 3.0 GPA and leadership experience in at least one of five areas: student activities and organizations, athletics, fine arts, student media, and government. Prospective members must go through an interview process followed by participation in the Prelim Project. More information on the circle is available on their website,