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2014 Key Chapter Winner Highlight: University of Hawai’i at Mänoa

October 10, 2014

We would like to congratulate the University of Hawai’i at Mänoa chapter for being named a 2013-2014 Key Chapter winner.

In the spring of 2014, the University of Hawai’i at Mänoa chapter held a different donation drive each month. Their first was a blood drive for the Blood Bank of Hawai’i. HawaiiThe chapter organized tabling sessions at the Campus Center to recruit donors, educate the community on the importance of donating blood and inform students on the many opportunities to give blood. The chapter successfully collected 44 pints of blood from 62 donors, 8 of which were first time donors. In March, the chapter hosted a clothes drive for the National Kidney Foundation of Hawai’i. All of the donations are sold to Savers, a local thrift store, and the proceeds are then used to support the education and awareness of kidney disease in Hawai’i. As a whole, the chapter was able to successfully collect more than 250 articles of clothing! The final drive that the chapter held during the spring was their HUGS Toiletry Drive. HUGS (Help, Understanding and Group Support) aids local families with sick children. The chapter collected body wash, shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, razors, shaving cream, hand wipes and toilet paper to be passed out at hospitals to families who stay with their ill children and are not able to go purchase these materials themselves.

One of the chapter’s larger events is their Prospective Member Recognition Event/End-of-Semester Ceremony.Hawaii1 This event recognizes the academic accomplishments of students who are “on track” for membership into Golden Key. This event, held at the end of the spring semester, is a formal reception in which the top 15% of each class is invited to learn more about the Society. The ceremony requires collective involvement from the entire chapter, alumni, advisors and honorary members, as well as a large amount of planning in advance. Preparation for the event starts at the beginning of the spring semester. Each officer was delegated certain responsibilities, which includes room reservations, speech assignments, invitations/RSVPs, entertainment and more. Event details were discussed and finalized in each monthly meeting.  The event ended up being a huge success and helped to create awareness of all that the chapter does on campus and in the community. Prospective members were able to learn more about Golden Key and the many opportunities and benefits of being a part of the University of Hawai’i at Mänoa chapter.

Again, congratulations to the University of Hawai’i at Mänoa chapter for being named a 2013-2014 Key Chapter!

 

 

2014 Key Chapter Winner Highlight: Pace University- Pleasantville

October 8, 2014

The next chapter we would like to highlight in our 2013-2014 Key Chapter Award blog series is Pace University- Pleasantville!

In April the Pace University- Pleasantville chapter created a Golden Key team to participate in Relay for Life,Pace an event held by the American Cancer Society to raise money to go towards the fight against cancer. As a team, they created a “movie basket” to be auctioned off and sold baked goods to fund raise for the non-profit organization. Thousands of dollars were raised by the Pace community, and this event served as an excellent opportunity for the Golden Key chapter alumni and honorary members to get involved with the chapter. Later on that month, chapter members volunteered at the Food Bank for Westchester– the core of the county’s emergency food distribution network. They serve more than 265 local hunger-relief programs, including food pantries, child and adult-care centers, soup kitchens and shelters. Given that 95% of the food and groceries are taken home, chapter members volunteers by packing the food for distribution to those in need.

One of the Pace University- Pleasantville chapter’s larger events was their Global Youth Service Day event at the Pleasantville Cottage School.Pace1 Home to more than one hundred children, this residential treatment center takes in children who suffer from emotional, psychological and physical problems as a result of their rough upbringing. The school creates support, structure and stability in these children’s lives– a luxury that many of these children might not have previously had. Each spring for the past nine years, the Pace University- Pleasantville Golden Key chapter has hosted an Easter Egg Hunt for the children, which includes getting the children involved in decorating the eggs, participating in an egg toss, meeting the Easter Bunny and taking part in the egg hunt. Chapter members are always inspired and excited to be a part of this incredible event, and it continues to be a success year after year!

Congratulations to the Pace University- Pleasantville chapter for being named a 2013-2014 Key Chapter Award winner!

2014 Key Chapter Winner Highlight: University of British Columbia

October 6, 2014

The next chapter that we would like to highlight in our 2013-2014 Key Chapter blog series is our chapter at the University of British Columbia.

During the fall semester, the University of British Columbia chapter continued with their Academic and Tri-Mentoring Launch Event, which pairs industry professionals with junior (1st and 2nd year) and senior (3rd and 4th year) students based on their area of study. During the event, students networked with the professionals, participated in speed interviews and partook in resume-building workshops.UBC This program is widely considered to be the chapter’s most popular academic project in that its unique structure allows for growth and feedback all while providing a rewarding experience for industry professionals. One of the chapter’s key service events for the 2013-2014 academic year was their fundraiser for the University of British Columbia’s Mental Health Awareness Week.  In fact the event was such a success that the chapter hosted it twice– once in September and again in January. Each fundraising event ran for two days at the university hall where students would come to pay their tuition. The chapter would sell coffee, juice, tea, bagels and other snacks to go towards hosting mental health awareness workshops at the university. This event gave the chapter an opportunity to meet and greet with other students all while supporting a worthy cause.

One event that the University of British Columbia chapter was particularly proud of this year was their New Member Recognition Event.BC Although the event takes place in late October, planning started at the beginning of the summer, and all of the chapter officers were involved in the conception, organization and execution of the event. Together members formed sponsorship, marketing and logistics teams, which gave the members a platform to develop their leadership skills.  The chapter was proud to have their new honorary members deliver keynote speeches, as well as World Cup Skicross Winner Sven Winter. During the ceremony’s intermission, the chapter introduced their various service projects, such as their Type 2 Diabetes Awareness workshop, Better World Books Drive, clothing drive for Big Brothers and World Vision literacy project. This event proved to be a success with more than two hundred people invited to the event!

Congratulations to our University of British Columbia chapter for their continued success and being named a Key Chapter for the 2013-2014 academic year!

 

2014 Key Chapter Winner Highlight: University of Florida

October 3, 2014

The next chapter that we would like to highlight for being named a 2013-2014 Key Chapter is the University of Florida chapter!

In the fall, twenty members from the University of Florida Golden Key chapter volunteered at ViVA, a major fundraising event for Haven Hospice in Gainesville, Florida.UofF This organization offers care to individuals who are identified as having life-limited illnesses and for their loved ones. The event features food and drinks, auctions, live music and other entertainment in order to raise money for Haven Hospice, and the Golden Key members volunteered as food and drink servers and helped with the auction.  The chapter also hosted two Rock for the Hungry events this past year. The first event was their annual benefit concert, and the second was a Food Truck Rally at a local coffee shop. Together these two event raised more than $1,000 to go towards The Children’s Table, a regional non-profit organization that provides fresh food to families in need.

The University of Florida chapter has had a mentorship program for new members for years now, but the chapter recently saw a decline in program participation.UofF1 To remedy this, the chapter decided to revitalize the program by hosting “Big/Little Week” directly after the chapter’s New Member Recognition Event in the fall in an attempt to immediately engage new members in the chapter. This program works off the concept of pairing older, experienced members with new members to serve as mentors in their academic lives. Students have the tendency to struggle with balancing life and school their first few semesters in college, and it is often beneficial to have someone with prior knowledge and experience to turn to for help.  This week is designed to create lasting relationships between the “Bigs” and “Littles” by hosting team events, which included an event to prepare and service dinner at the Ronald McDonald House and volunteering at a St. Francis House event. Overall, the chapter has found the program to be beneficial to both the “Bigs” and the “Littles”, but also to the chapter as they have seen a major increase in general meeting attendance and overall chapter involvement.

Congratulations to the University of Florida chapter for, once again, being named a Key Chapter!

 

2014 Key Chapter Winner Highlight: University of California, Riverside

September 29, 2014

In continuance with our 2013-2014 Key Chapter Award blog series, we would like to highlight the University of California, Riverside chapter.

Adopt A Classroom

Adopt A Classroom

The 2013-2014 academic year was a busy year for the University of California, Riverside chapter! For Make A Difference Day in the fall, the chapter collaborated with another student organization on campus to host a community cleanup at a local park. Members spent the day picking up trash on the playground and surrounding areas of the park, cleaning out the trash cans and replacing the trash bags. This event served as a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and help the community. The chapter also held an Adopt A Classroom event each month. Golden Key members would choose a classroom monthly at Bryant Elementary School and read to the students.

Global Youth Service Day

Global Youth Service Day

This is one of the chapter’s favorite events and continues to be a successful one. For Global Youth Service Day in the spring, chapter members went to the campus’ botanical gardens to help clean up the 40 acre area. Home to more than 3,500 species of plants and trails that extend up to four miles long, the gardens are difficult to maintain and any help is invaluable.

Each semester the University of California, Riverside chapter holds three general meetings in which members, officers and advisors gather to discuss upcoming chapter events. These meetings are unique, though, in that they also make functions out of them. For instance, to kick off the fall semester, the chapter turned their first general meeting into forum to discuss undergraduate research opportunities and how to build lasting relationships with professors. This forum was open to all students on campus, and it served as a wonderful opportunity to meet prospective members on campus. The second general meetings for each semester usually take place just prior to midterm examinations, so the chapter takes this opportunity to turn the general meetings into stress busters. In the spring, they collaborated with Active Minds to have a speaker come talk to the chapter about implementing healthy sleep cycles, napping and tips/facts regarding sleep in our daily lives. The chapter also uses one general meeting each semester to write heartwarming letters to soldiers who serve our country to show appreciation for all that they do.

Congratulations to the University of California, Riverside chapter for being named a 2013-2014 Key Chapter!

2014 Key Chapter Winner Highlight: University of Alberta

September 26, 2014

We would like to congratulate the University of Alberta chapter for being named a 2013-2014 Key Chapter Award winner.

Each year the University of Alberta chapter undertakes a large number of events that align with the three pillars of Golden Key, and this past academic year was no different.Alberta1 To promote leadership development in their members, the chapter created a leadership committee. The program is designed to engage chapter members in the community while promoting personal and professional development. Being a part of this committee allowed members to collaborate with other student groups in administering programs, designing and delivering workshops, managing fundraising projects and putting together volunteer groups for events. The University of Alberta chapter also continued with their service event at the Ronald McDonald House this past year. At this event, Golden Key members prepared dinner and mingled with the families who had children being treated at the center. This service activity is popular among the chapter members in that it allows them to offer support to those families and feel what they are experiencing.

In November 2010, the University of Alberta chapter was looking for a means to expand the chapter in an attempt to get members more actively involved.Alberta In light of this, the chapter put together a new organizational team with an altruistic core that was fiscally and ethically responsible. Consisting of ten members, this team came up with the idea for a benefit concert and silent auction to raise money for a select charity, which came to be known as The Vitalus. For the 2013-2014 academic year, the chapter chose Camp He Ho Ha as their beneficiary of choice– a local non-profit organization that provides safe recreational opportunities for physically and mentally disabled children and adults. The fundraising event brought together more than 200 individuals, and the chapter was able to make an impact on the lives of those enrolled at Camp He Ho Ha.

Congratulations to the University of Alberta GK chapter for being named a 2013-2014 Key Chapter winner!

Dr. Brendan Nelson Inducted As Honorary Member at The Australian National University

September 25, 2014

Director Dr.  Brenden Nelson receives Golden Key International HDirector of the Australian War Memorial, Dr. Brendan Nelson, was recently awarded with Honorary Membership in Golden Key. This accolade was presented at The Australian War Memorial by the chapter at The Australian National University, currently the highest ranked university in Australia. Dr. Nelson was nominated as an Honorary Member because of his distinguished service as Director of the Australian War Memorial and his impact in Australian Politics as former Federal Opposition Leader and former Minister for Defense.

The committee attended a small ceremony at The Australian War Memorial, where they presented the certificate to Dr. Nelson and had the chance to speak with him about his role at the iconic museum. “I am not an expert at curating museums, but there are 330 members of staff here who are,” said Dr Nelson. ‘The value I bring is that I’ve got experience in leading people, exercising judgment and working for the benefit of Australians.” Dr. Nelson spoke about the importance of the First World War in creating the Australian identity and said “it’s when foreigners visit The Australian War Memorial that they really discover the soul of our nation.”

“It was such a pleasure to be able to present Dr Nelson with an Honorary Membership and have the opportunity to talk to him,” said Nicholas Ramirez, Golden Key chapter president at The Australian National University. “He is an exemplar candidate and a great role model for our members to look up to. Throughout his professional life, Dr Nelson has embodied the three pillars of Golden Key, academics, leadership and service.”

Golden Key is thrilled to welcome such a highly regarded member of the public service as an honorary member.

 

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