Nine students were inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa (OΔK), National Leadership Honors Society on Tuesday, April 27. OΔK is the premier collegiate leadership honor society. It recognizes achievement in the five Phases of Campus Life which include:
- Community service, student involvement, religious activities, student government
- Journalism, speech, mass media
- Creative, performing arts
Colleges and universities establish Circles, or individual chapters, of the honor society. The Sweet Briar Circle was founded on April 18, 2004. Including the newly inducted members, the Sweet Briar Circle is composed of 16 students from the Classes of 2021, 2022 and 2023. There are also several faculty and staff members of the Circle, including Director of Physical Plant Rich Meyer, Athletic Trainer Devon Serrano, and Student Life Senior Administrative Assistant Gloria Smith. Director of Student Engagement Jess Austin acts as the Circle coordinator, having previously been inducted into OΔK at the University of Lynchburg.
Membership is open to juniors and seniors who complete an application process and are selected by current voting members of the Circle. Selection is competitive, as only 5% of the College’s enrollment is permitted to be inducted each year, as set forth by the national organization.
OΔK recognizes previous acts of leadership and encourages its members to continue striving to better their campus and community after they have been inducted. OΔK Circles host leadership events and acts of community service throughout the year.
Emma Hines is a senior majoring in psychology. On campus, she’s involved in multiple tap clubs, and over her three years at Sweet Briar has been class secretary, vice-chair of the Academic Affairs Committee and is currently serving as secretary to the Judicial Committee. Her biggest accomplishments include completing training to become a transcriber for D/deaf students while balancing the workload of her first semester at Sweet Briar and working with a team of her peers to design and execute a psychology experiment through the course of one of her classes. She has also studied abroad in London. Her favorite pillar of OΔK is scholarship, as “the classroom is where I feel most at home,” she says. “At the end of the day, we’re all here to pursue higher education — all the other pillars rest on the fact that we are, first and foremost, students.”
Mary Lizzie Hodges
Mary Lizzie is a psychology major from Kenbridge, Va., and will be attending graduate school at Vanderbilt University.
Reesa Artz is a junior from Sacramento, Calif., double majoring in psychology and dance. She is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and is a Presidential Scholar. Reesa has been involved with admissions, orientation, Sweet PEAs, Founders’ Day Dance and Lectures and Events Committees and in the dance department as a student choreographer. For the upcoming academic year, Reesa is excited to continue serving as Campus Events Organization (CEO) president, Admissions Ambassadors chair, orientation co-chair, Sweet Tones treasurer and Taps N Toes vice president. Back in Sacramento, she works at a local rabbit rescue, All About Rabbits, and thoroughly enjoys rescuing rabbits, holding “bunny socials” and rabbit-themed birthday parties. Her biggest accomplishments include earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, as well as interning with the National Eating Disorder Association. Reesa’s favorite pillar of OΔK is community service; “Some of my most memorable experiences at Sweet Briar have been serving others and taking the opportunity to enrich their lives,” she says. “Being able to see the impact my involvement and actions have had on others fills me with such indescribable joy and contentment. By serving others you are not only able to make a difference in the lives of others, but yours as well.”
Caroline Czarra is a Junior from Frederick, Md., and is double majoring in business and art history. Throughout her time at Sweet Briar, Caroline has been involved in the Sweet Tones as musical director (vice president) and Campus Events Organization (CEO) as the marketing and communications co-chair. She also has been a student worker in the Office of Student Life, where she assists in event planning, social media marketing and communications. She has had the pleasure of serving as an Academic Resource Center (ARC) subject tutor in business and art history. In the future, Caroline is excited to continue her leadership ventures as an orientation leader for the incoming Class of 2025, a student worker for the Office of Student Life, an ARC subject tutor, vice president of Tau Phi and the Sweet Tones, and treasurer of BAM. Back home, Caroline has been involved in helping her church (St. Paul’s Evangelical Church of Utica) plan events like their annual summer picnic and other holiday celebrations. Caroline’s favorite pillar of OΔK is scholarship, as academic excellence has been something she has valued since high school. She holds memberships in several academic honor societies: National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, Alpha Lambda Delta, Kappa Pi and now OΔK. She has achieved first-year honors and has achieved Dean’s List for every semester of her college career at Sweet Briar. She would not have been able to achieve any of these accomplishments without the support of her professors (Kimberly Morse-Jones, Tom Rogers and Tim Schauer), her supervisors in student life (Jess Austin and Gloria Smith), and her amazing friends and family.
Annika Kuleba is from Endy, N.C., who is pursuing an honors degree in environmental science and economics. Throughout her time at Sweet Briar, Annika works as an apiary and greenhouse assistant, admissions ambassador and lead orientation leader along with involvement in athletics and club organizations which include captain of the varsity golf team, president of Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society, president of the Sustainability Club, president of the Bum Chums, vice president of Sweet Dancers, golf representative for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and member of the Chi Alpha National Athlete Honor Society. Her achievements include Presidential Scholar, the Dean’s List, ODAC All-Conference All-Academic Team, the Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar, Girl Scout Gold Award: BeeAware and Girl Scout Silver Award: Tomato Sandwich and a Smile. Her favorite pillar within OΔK is community service as she has a passion for serving others and the environment with the goal of positive change. She wants to thank her family, friends, coaches, and professors who have supported her over the years allowing her to achieve these accomplishments.
Shannon Huth is a Sophomore, originally from Greensboro, N.C., who attended the all-girls, college preparatory boarding school Chatham Hall. Her declared major is business, and she is pursuing the Equine Studies Certificate in teaching and schooling. Her plan is to become a professional rider once she graduates and train young riders and horses. Shannon has been recognized in the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society and was awarded the Courage Award at the 2020 Sweet Briar Athletics Banquet for her battle with dysgerminoma, a rare form of ovarian cancer. She is also a member of the Sweet Briar IHSA riding team and was nominated into the Riding Council, where she is now the head of testing. Shannon has also been a residential advisor and is a member of the Earphones tap club. This summer, Shannon is staying at Sweet Briar to work as an intern at the Harriet Howell Rogers Riding Center and hopes to continue horse shows throughout the summer. Shannon’s favorite pillar of OΔK is athletics. She has always strived to live a healthy, active lifestyle and has found many life and leadership lessons through her 17 years of riding experience. She would also like to thank her family — Brenda, Glenn and Ryan Huth — for always being there, “even during the toughest times you have taught me more about leadership than anyone and you have been my greatest role models.”
Lauria McShane is a sophomore from Temecula, Calif. She has just declared her major in biology and is pursuing the Equine Studies Certificate in teaching and schooling. Her plan is to attend graduate school to obtain her master’s in zoology and also join the Peace Corps. Lauria has been recognized for her academic achievements by the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society and is attending Sweet Briar with both presidential and merit scholarships. Outside of the classroom, she is involved with the campus community as a resident advisor, COVID Captain, an equestrian at the Harriet Howell Rogers Riding Center, and member of the QVs. Lauria is also vice president of the on-campus radio club, The Briar, and is excited to get the radio back up and running to help more campus voices be heard. In the coming year, she is excited about making plans to study at the Smithsonian Mason School of Conservation, continuing her position as a resident advisor, and working with the Sweet Briar Radio Club. Lauria’s favorite pillar of OΔK is community service, as she believes that it doesn’t so much matter what someone can achieve, but what they can do with their achievements to help others. “A community is built on using our strengths and achievements to help others when it is needed,” she says. “Without that, a community cannot last.” Lauria would like to thank her family, her Aunt Kerry and Uncle David, as well as her academic advisor, Dr. Fink, for their help and guidance during her academic career.
Cassandra Munford is a sophomore from Iowa. She is majoring in the performing arts, concentrating in music and theatre. She is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, the assistant musical director in the Sweet Tones, incoming treasurer for Paint N Patches, and incoming president of Sweet Briar’s Alpha Psi Omega chapter. Cassandra’s favorite OΔK pillar is community service. “I was always told as a child to leave spaces better than how I found them,” she says. “It was usually said in regards to a classroom or office, but I take that with me everywhere. I want to help leave the world a better place.” One of her most memorable experiences at Sweet Briar was being involved in performing a brand new musical last year.
Elizabeth Sanford is a sophomore majoring in history. She is on track to complete the five-year BA and MAT program in just four years. Her academic achievements have been recognized by membership in Alpha Lambda Delta and on the 2020 ODAC All-Academic Team in women’s swimming. She is a co-captain of the varsity swim team, an admissions ambassador and orientation co-chair. In the 2021-2022 school year, she will continue her campus involvement by serving as chair of the SGA Academic Affairs Committee, assistant director of Sweet Briar’s chapter of Delight Ministries, secretary of College Republicans and historian of the QVs. Elizabeth holds scholarship and community service as her favorite pillars of leadership because “at Sweet Briar, where leadership is a significant part of the curriculum, students are able to immediately apply what they are learning in the classroom to their roles in the community,” she says. The most impactful experiences that she has had at Sweet Briar have happened outside of the classroom, most notably in her experience working with orientation, where she has been able to apply the skills she is learning in her leadership and education courses.