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Fall 2013 Education Debt Reduction Winners

May 27, 2014

Golden Key’s scholarship recipients embody the pillars for which Golden Key stands and we are delighted to assist them in making their dreams a reality. We realize that many college students today require assistance repaying the investment they have made in their education. We are committed to helping members further their education and academic pursuits, so we created the Education Debt Reduction Award, which assists members with repayment of student loans. We are excited to announce the winners of the Fall 2013 scholarship, who are awarded $5,000 USD each.

The recipients (in no particular order) are:

  • Elizabeth Hutchins-Croft, Texas Woman’s University, Canada
  • Hailey Key, Kaplan University, United States
  • Makiijah Crabbe, University of the Virgin Islands – St. Thomas, United States
  • Noriza Abu Hassan Shaari, West Virginia University, United States
  • Alexander Gross, University of Oregon, United States
  • Jason Baxter, Arizona State University, United States
  • Coulter Tallent, American Public University System, United States
  • Yuliya Khakhuda, University of Alberta, Canada
  • Lien Trinh, University of California, Riverside, United States
  • Maria-Luiza Popescu, The University of Texas at Dallas, United States
  • Nelia Greeff, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
  • Aaron Luke MacNeill, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, Canada
  • Stella Onuoha-Obilor, Walden University, United States
  • Lacia Vogel, University of British Columbia, Okanagan, Canada
  • Simone Samuels, York University, Canada
  • Taylor Godine, Kent State University, United States
  • Amanda Giles, The University of Montana, United States

Congratulations to the winners!

Here’s what a few of the winners had to say upon receiving the award…

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES“Receiving this scholarship is validation for me to continue forward in a manner in which my passions serve as my compass in my decisions, while continuing to build on Golden Key’s motto of “unlock your potential.” Being inducted into Golden Key, I remember wanting so badly to be on the stage, standing confidently as an officer wearing a knowing smile that I was seeking out great things. My time eventually came when I was standing proud, with several years of Golden Key service under my belt, as a graduating senior. Golden Key has exposed me to innumerable experiences and lessons, which continue to make themselves present in my life today. I look forward to this scholarship contributing to my current endeavors as well as how golden Key will continue to uplift me in the future.”

-Jason Baxter

ECroft1a4X5webres“I am so honored to be selected as a recipient of the 2013 Education Debt Reduction award! This award will help me to complete my doctoral studies and a sign language interpreter program so that I can continue to provide increasingly effective services to the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and hearing communities with whom I live, work, and interact. I am so grateful for the opportunities available through the Golden Key International Honor Society – joining was one of the best decisions I have made as it has allowed me access to a community of support and opportunity that was not otherwise available to me. Thank you so much!”

-Elizabeth Hutchins-Croft

Nelia Greeff Photo“Winning the Education Debt Reduction Award is truly a blessing for me and my family. This enables me to continue with my studies (Masters Degree) with peace in my heart, that I am no longer placing a financial burden on my parents’ shoulders. They were responsible for the interest on my study loans each month. We are a big family and I currently have two brothers also studying, therefore this award not only gives me an opportunity to be able to continue with further studies but also benefits my two brothers because my parents will be in a better position to support them through their years of university. I would once again like to extend my gratitude to Golden Key and all its partners for playing a part in empowering me to reach my full potential in life through everything that I have learnt thus far and the award presented to me. I am committed to being a great leader in my community/country/world-wide and inspiring and equipping people to aspire toward their dreams and reach their full potential in life.”

-Neila Greeff

Head Shot_LienTrinh_7225402_GKEDRA_F2013“I am overwhelmed with joy and honor to receive the Golden Key Education Debt Reduction Award! I am proud to be an active member of a society that shares the same values as my own. Golden Key has broadened my horizons through numerous measures: serving communities, attending professional workshops, delivering my own workshop, working and networking with like-minded individuals on campus and across the global, and meeting inspirational speakers. This scholarship will certainly alleviate my financial burden and allow me to concentrate on pursuing my career in medicine.”

-Lien Trinh

10 Job-Search Tips for Students to Master

May 22, 2014

It’s that time of the year when college students gather with their friends and family on their respective university campuses to walk across the stage and receive their degrees. Although this is a wonderful time to celebrate the hard work and effort that students have put in, this also means that university life is over and, for many, searching for a job is their full time position. Follow these ten tips to help avoid the burden of unemployment.

Shaking Hands

This is arguably the most important tip on this list, and certainly the easiest to perfect. One of the initial measures of a first impression, this simple act could shape the interviewer’s opinion of you before you even answer a question. Keep your handshake firm and look him/her in the eyes.

Elevator Speech

Every job seeker needs to be able to explain who they are and what they do in sixty seconds or less. The key, however, is having the ability to explain their story in such a way that the listener wants to hear more. You can learn more on how to create an effective elevator speech here.

Remembering Names

When you go in for an interview, there is a strong possibility that you will meet numerous people. It is important to remember the names of the people you meet in case you have to refer back to them at a later date, whether it be the CEO or the front desk receptionist.job interview


Once you have been invited to an interview, you need to use any resource possible to learn what you can about the company. Nothing is more embarrassing than not knowing how to answer, “so what do you know about our company?” First, get familiar with the company’s website. And, be sure to check out their LinkedIn and Facebook pages and research the history of the company. Also, find common ground with the interviewer so you have something personable to discuss.

Answering Behavioral Questions

Behavioral interview questions, such as “tell me about a mistake you’ve made and how you handled it”, are designed to uncover more about the interviewee’s personality. With these types of questions, you have to give specific examples from your past experiences, so think through some examples you can have ready to go.

“What’s Your Biggest Weakness?”

This is a cliché interview questions, so have an original answer ready in case your interviewer asks you this question. Think through exactly how honest you want to be with your weakness and note how you’ve overcame or are working to overcome it.


Many people find jobs based on their network, so it is important that you build and maintain your network. Use real world opportunities and social media platforms to keep in touch and grow connections.

Asking Questions

A passive interviewer is easily forgotten. Make sure the interviewer remembers who you are by asking questions that demonstrate a high level of interest in the company. Ask questions that you truly want answered, such as “What is the company culture like?” or “Can you give examples of projects I would be working on if I took the position?”.


Some interviews will require you to give a presentation on a specific topic to a group of interviewers.presenting Be sure to bring a USB drive with the presentation on it in case you can’t access your files via cloud and remember to remain confident.

Appearing on Skype

It is not uncommon to have your initial interview via Skype or on a similar computer-to-computer platform. In light of such, be prepared in case you find yourself in a situation that requires you to use Skype. Look directly in camera, have a professional background and be sure there won’t be any interruptions from your roommate(s), pets, or other possible distractions.



Global Youth Service Day 2014 Chapter Awards

May 19, 2014

From 11-13 April 2014, many Golden Key members from about 70 chapters came together to participate in service activities for Global Youth Service Day (GYSD), the largest weekend of service in the world. GYSD was created to engage young people ages 5 to 25 years old in service activities to create civic minded youth while bettering their communities. All Golden Key members and chapters were encouraged to take part in service events for GYSD.

GK chapters that participated were eligible to apply for our Global Youth Service Day Chapter Awards for their outstanding initiatives.

And today, we are excited to announce the winners of these awards!

First place goes to the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mayaguez chapter who are awarded $500! The second and third place winners, receiving $250 each, are the chapters at Wright State University and the University of South Dakota, respectively.  Congratulations to these three chapters!

UPRM_seminarThe Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mayaguez (UPRM) chapter had two GYSD events in which 22 of their chapter members participated. The first was called “Build Your Future.” It consisted of seminars directed towards high school students about college education and career development. The goal was to motivate these students to finish a college degree. The participants visited three local high schools where they talked about the benefits of an undergraduate degree and highlighted diverse career options, which the students showed great enthusiasm towards.

Additionally, the chapter organized an event called “Seeds of Hope: The Puppet Show.” The chapter made puppets and went to UPRM Preschool Center to put on an environmentally themed puppet show for 31 children to illustrate about wildlife, environmental preservation and animal care. Then the GK UPRM_puppet1members gave the kids a very thoughtful gift: baskets with tomato seeds and instructions about how to plant and grow a tomato tree. The event helped the children to start to learn about being conscious citizens while having fun.

“We fervently believe in our youth potential to make the difference. Global Youth Service Month has been an unforgettable journey and we hope to inspire others to live in service. Let’s make Global Youth Service part of our everyday lives and share the most unselfish and honorable virtue of life: to give,” said Dayana C. Reveron Alvalle, graduate student at UPRM.

wrightstate_3wrightstate_1The Wright State Universitywrightstate_2 chapter hosted an event called “Young Athlete’s Experience”. The purpose of this event was to invite children from ages two to seven with intellectual disabilities to participate in physical activities. The stations introduced them to skills they will need for Special Olympics eligibility, beginning at age eight. The seven stations included: an obstacle course, running, “Coach says,” batting, kicking, beginning hockey, goalie drill, and much more. There were more than ten children with Down Syndrome, Schizencephaly, Autism, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder participate. It was an inclusive event and they highly encouraged family participation. Towards the end of the event, the children played with a large rainbow parachute. This was a unique opportunity because in their region, similar events do not exist where kids can learn these skills for future involvement with the Special Olympics. Because of this limitation, we reached out to community organizations to gain participants and make this event possible. This event provided a positive change for parents to meet one another outside of therapy in a fun environment. Valuable connections between families were also made as the chapter members noticed some of the families exchanging phone numbers for future play dates. Volunteers were recruited from Wright Patt United States Air Force, Special Olympics College and Phi Kappa Phi.

USD1USD2The University of South Dakota chapter hosted their own March of Dimes walk in Vermillion, South Dakota. The chapter successfully raised $1,540 to support March of Dimes, which raises money to support programs that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies, and it funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten babies. The had 60 members from the community and campus join the march. All proceeds will go towards research and care as well as vaccinations for pre-mature births, full-term births and their mothers in the state of South Dakota.

Congratulations to our three winning chapters and a BIG thank you to all of our chapters that participated in Global Youth Service Day!

Fall 2013 Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship Winners

May 16, 2014

Golden Key’s scholarship recipients embody the pillars for which Golden Key stands and we are delighted to assist them in making their dreams a reality. Succeeding in higher education and helping students reach their potential is at the core of Golden Key’s mission. We created the Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship to assist in the costs of higher education. This scholarship recognizes undergraduate members for outstanding commitment to the Golden Key pillars of academics, leadership and service. We are excited to announce the winners of the Fall 2013 scholarship, who are awarded $5,000 USD each.

The recipients (in no particular order) are:

  • Christopher Gabbett, Ramapo College of New Jersey, United States
  • Rachel Donohue-Miller, Brock University, Canada
  • Ethan Bowering, Griffith University, Australia
  • Lim Fang Xin, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia
  • Stephanie Ibsen, Grant MacEwan University, Canada
  • Samantha Jemiolo, State University of New York at Fredonia, United States
  • Julia Konz, Griffith University, Australia
  • Keiko Kang, California State University, Los Angeles, United States
  • Kalisa Mora, University of Central Oklahoma, United States
  • Maria Maldonado, Seton Hall University, United States
  • Megan Bohlman, Kaplan University, United States
  • Nenad Majumder, University of Windsor, Canada
  • Sarah Armstrong, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Timothy Ng, The University of Waikato, New Zealand
  • Zachariah Hethmon, The University of Tennessee, United States
  • Anisha Gulati, University of Delhi – Indraprastha College for Women, India
  • Irfaan Ganchi, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Kaitlin Grunst, Arizona State University, United States
  • Katrina Notarmaso, The College of New Jersey, United States
  • Kristin McBride, University of Michigan-Flint, United States
  • Lindsay Anderson, University of California, Riverside, United States
  • Michelle Esterhuizen, Flinders University, Australia
  • Nicole Kuharske-Miller, The University of Arizona, United States
  • Orysya Svystun, University of Alberta, Canada
  • Vihitha Thota, George Mason University, United States
  • Zoleka Mkhabela, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Congratulations to the winners!

Here’s what a few of the winners had to say upon receiving the award…

Michelle Photo“I am very honoured to have been selected as a winner of the Undergraduate Achievement Award this year. I am a firm believer in Golden Key’s three pillars of academics, leadership and service and receiving recognition for my efforts in promoting this philosophy makes me extremely proud – not only in my own efforts, but also that of our committee at Flinders University, South Australia. I hope that others will be able to follow in our committee’s footsteps and enjoy the successes that comes from hard work and dedication. As I will be graduating soon, I am saddened by the fact that I will be stepping away from my leadership role, however, I hope to continue to be a leader in the workforce and beyond. Receiving this award gives me confidence that I will be able to do so. I cannot thank Golden Key enough for the personal and professional development opportunities it has provided throughout my university career, which have contributed to making me the person I am today. My endless thanks to everyone who helped make that possible.”

-Michelle Esterhuizen

Lindsay Anderson Photo“I am extremely honored to have been chosen to receive the Golden Key Undergraduate Achievement Award.  I am from Orange County, California and am a fourth year History/Law and Society major at the University of California Riverside. This award will help me pay for my last quarter at UCR and will allow me to take a LSAT preparation course. I have been a member of Golden Key for three years and have served as the Public Relations chair and more recently as President of our chapter. I am incredibly thankful to be a member of Golden Key and truly believe in Golden Key’s three pillars. I am very grateful to my Golden Key Advisor, Emily Nudge, for encouraging me to apply and always believing in me. Thank you so much to Golden Key for this award!”

-Lindsay Anderson

Irfaan golden key 081 Photo“The news of being awarded the 2013 Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship Award by the Golden Key International Honour Society was received by my family, educators and I with immense elation and joy. I feel extremely privileged and honoured to have received this prestigious and generous accolade. Many thanks to the Golden Key International Honour Society for placing confidence in my academic abilities. I can assure this society that I will do the organization proud in my future academic pursuits as I aspire towards academic excellence. I would like to encourage my contemporaries to persevere in their endeavours and let us not but forget: A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, in the right direction. On this noble journey, let us all display commendable humanitarian characteristics in the name of righteousness, as I believe the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.”

-Irfaan Ganchi

StephanieIbsen Statement“When I found out that I was the winner of the 2013 Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship Award I was beyond excited; actually I am pretty sure I did a happy dance. I have had many obstacles to overcome during my undergraduate studies and receiving this scholarship was a perfect reward for so many late nights, countless hours of stress and tears, and persevering when all I wanted to do was give up. Winning this award gives me a sense of accomplishment and pride and also means that I will be able to pay off some of my student loans. It is great to be recognized for my hard work and dedication not only to my academics but also my service and leadership. My membership in MacEwan’s Golden Key Chapter has been very rewarding. For the 2012/2013 academic year I served on the executive of our chapter as the Honorary Member Liaison. I was also able to be the co-producer of the Family Literacy Carnival that our Golden Key Chapter organized to promote reading among families in the city of Edmonton as well as some other volunteer events.”

-Stephanie Isben

Fall 2013 Graduate Scholar Award Winners

May 7, 2014

Golden Key’s scholarship recipients embody the pillars for which Golden Key stands and we are delighted to assist them in making their dreams a reality. The Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award supports members’ post-baccalaureate study at accredited universities anywhere in the world. It is our premier scholarship, awarding $10,000 USD to each recipient. We are thrilled to announce the winners of the Fall 2013 award.

The recipients are:

  • Dina Shahrokhi, The University of Texas at Dallas, United States
  • Ritankar Das, University of California, Berkeley, United States
  • Maria Echague Casanova, Syracuse University, United States
  • Hanna Farah, University of Ottawa, Canada
  • Howard Huynh, Texas Tech University, United States
  • Sun Young Kang, Concordia University, Canada
  • Art Law, The University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Kim Townsel, The University of Alabama, United States
  • Joy Lacanienta, University of Hawaii at Manoa, United States
  • Rose Perry, Iowa State University, United States
  • Phillip Mogodi, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Analiza Baldonado, California State University, Fresno, United States
  • Eric Anderson, Arizona State University, United States

Congratulations to the winners!

Here’s what a few of the winners had to say upon receiving the award…

Analiza Headshot“My vision is to become a Family Nurse Practitioner; however, these last few weeks I was undecided if I should pursue my Family Nurse Practitioner program due to financial reasons. I am almost done with my Doctor of Nursing Practice. The Golden Key scholarship came at the right time! This scholarship is a validation for me to pursue and achieve my goal in meeting the needs of the family, working collaboratively with family primary care physicians and other clinicians within the health care system. This is a platform that can maximize my role as an Advanced Practice Nurse to deliver a more effective and cost efficient healthcare delivery models. In a larger perspective, this scholarship will allow me to be a part of, contribute, and lead in forming solutions to a complex and uncoordinated health care, not only in the USA but globally. Thank you for awarding me the 2013 Graduate Scholar Award.”

-Analiza Baldonado

Phillip Head-shot“It is truly an honour to be selected as a recipient of the 2013 Graduate Scholar Award; representing my previous academic institution (University of the Witwatersrand), home country (South Africa), and other development driven young leaders across Africa. I’m currently studying towards an MBA in International Management at the University of Dundee, UK.  Being a recipient of this award is a milestone and also an important event for my personal development. It will assist me in pursuing my academic program and ultimately work towards my dream of accelerating socio-economic development in Africa.  Thank you Golden Key, continue believing & investing in our leadership capacity and academic development.”

-Phillip Mogodi

sunyoungkang_headshot“Since I have been studying in Canada as an international student, the tuition fee has been always a big, problematic, and tough issue for me to overcome. I was actually going to stop studying in Canada and go back to Korea to work to pay my tuition fee, but this award literally saves my 2014.  This amazing award revitalizes my time pursuing my study in Canada. This award makes me believe that a desiring time of hoping to study is always worthy to keep in the mind in one’s life. For this precious opportunity to keep studying with this scholarship, I can finally gain confidence of completing my study at the MFA program of Concordia University and making my future films as a cinema director.”

-Sun Young Kang

EAnderson photo for GK“I began full-time academic studies at the Stanford University School of Medicine in the summer of 2011.  With the support of the Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award, I will be able to continue my service to the community and research efforts while I complete my academic studies in pursuit of a career focused on improving human health through patient care, medical research, and education as a physician-scientist.  I am very grateful and honored to have received this award, and I am excited to be able to continue my scholastic efforts at a high level as a member of Golden Key International Honour Society.”

-Eric Anderson

Tuition-Free Community College Programs

May 5, 2014

As the tuition-free college education debates continues to be a popular topic of discussion, some states have proposed the concept of providing free tuition for community colleges as a means to provide incentive for young people to strive for a higher education. Some are worried that youth in the United States will continue to fall behind other countries in the global skills race, so this would make emerging workforces look better to employers by boosting educational college

Although this plan would make community college education free, that doesn’t mean that it won’t come at a price. States such as Tennessee and Oregon are trying to decide as to whether the allocation of funds towards this plan is the best way to appropriate taxpayers’ money. A Mississippi bill has already passed through the state House, but then failed in the Senate.

Being a midterm election year, this could be a hot topic of conversation considering that this matter deals with the issues of income inequality and the burden of student debt. Senator Mark Hass of Oregon says, “I think everybody agrees that with a high school education by itself, there is no path to the middle class. There is only one path, and it leads to poverty. And poverty is very expensive.” He believes that taxpayers will be saving money by implementing this plan in that the tuition of community college is less than having an individual in the social safety net. Also, college graduates tend to earn more money in their lifetime, so by increasing the amount of college graduates, the American public could contribute more tax dollars.

Different ideas have come up for funding such an expensive plan. Governor Bill Haslem of Tennessee has mentioned using lottery money to create a community college program for high school graduates.Haslam The “Tennessee Promise” plan, if approved by Legislature, would come at a cost close to $34 million annually but has projected that it would increase the percentage of Tennesseans with college degrees from 32% now to 55% by 2025.

As of right now, Oregon is examing whether this plan for free community college tuition is feasible at this point. Some variables that this study plans to determine would be how much the program would cost, who would be able to participate in the program and whether the existing buildings can accommodate the extra students.

If the option to attend tuition-free community college been available prior to your enrollment in a four year university, would you still have chosen a bachelor’s degree or would you have participated in this program?

Golden Key Partners with Collegefeed to Help Our Members Start their Careers

May 1, 2014

We’re proud to announce a new collaboration with Collegefeed, an innovative platform that proactively connects users with company insiders at 500+ organizations for jobs and internships. Effective immediately, Golden Key’s two million active members will get exclusive access to a wide range of Collegefeed services, including rich, data driven profilesproactive connections to 500+ hiring companies, special private networking events with industry leaders, help with interview preparation and more. Sign up is free for all Golden Key members.

With recognized members from over 400 schools globally, including honoraries like Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel and Bill Clinton, Golden Key carries an esteemed legacy of achievement. Starting today, hiring managers and employers will be able to quickly recognize those Golden Key members by special “Golden Key” badges, enabling job-seekers to stand out and highlight their success.

“One of the reasons we started Collegefeed is that motivated students should not have to struggle to find a good job after graduating,” said Sanjeev Agrawal, co-founder and CEO of Collegefeed. “While the job market is slowly improving, unemployment rates for new grads are still double the national average for some degrees – and roughly 40 percent are working jobs that don’t even require a degree. Through this partnership with Golden Key, one of the oldest and most respected honor societies in the world, we are thrilled to help every Golden Key member find their dream job quickly.”

“I wish Collegefeed existed when I graduated – there is no other service that makes the job search as seamless,” said Brad Rainey, executive director at Golden Key International Honor Society. “Golden Key members represent some of the most accomplished and inspired young graduates. They represent the top 10-15 percent of their schools, bringing both potential and excellence into the workforce. As the Class of 2014 looks toward their future, we are very excited to be able to bring Collegefeed’s strong employer network to our valued members.”

How It Works: Golden Key and Collegefeed

The brainchild of Google’s first marketing chief, Sanjeev Agrawal, Collegefeed uses the latest technologies to completely modernize the job-search and recruiting process for new grads. Since launching last year, Collegefeed has already grown to tens of thousands of job-hunting grads, 500+ hiring employers and universities from Stanford to Carnegie Mellon have rolled out the platform campus-wide.

Through the partnership, Collegefeed will extend its proactive connections platform of hundreds of employers to all Golden Key members. Once they create a profile, Golden Key members will be curated and included in feeds to hiring managers, recruiters and founders within Collegefeed’s network. Hiring managers interested in recruiting Golden Key members will contact the members directly. Members also get access to useful content like interview notes, crowdsourced from thousands of users, to help them prepare. The service is completely free for Golden Key members.

Collegefeed and Golden Key will also bring exclusive events specifically to Golden Key members, plus access to Collegefeed’s popular private networking events with industry leaders that are focused on early career guidance, advice and connections. Past guests included tech celebrities such as Rajen Sheth, known as “Father of Google Apps,” Prashanth Fuloria, chief product officer at Flurry, Maz Jobrani, TED speaker and comedian.

Pricing and Availability

Employers who would like to join the Collegefeed network visit:

About Collegefeed

Collegefeed was started by a team of six ex-Google / Microsoft / McKinsey alumni who graduated from six schools with ten degrees between them. Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif, Collegefeed is funded by Accel Partners, S-Cubed Capital and other key Silicon Valley investors. More information about the company can be found at Employers, students, placement offices and other partners contact


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