–This post was written by Lauren DeBow, Chapter Officer at University of Miami’s Golden Key chapter.–
On February 8-10, 2013, Golden Key International Honour Society hosted a Regional Summit on the campus of Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Chapters from Region 3 joined together to network, participate in workshops and share valuable information and experiences that can be helpful to their chapter.
Beginning on Friday, February 8th, Region 3 chapters were showing their school spirit; everyone was wearing his or her college/ university shirts, chanting school spirit cheers, and participating in introductory games, such as “Two Truths and a Tale”. While engaging in small talk before the Keynote Address, the room was light, cheery and full of laughter. Always thinking of ways to impact the community, the joining chapters participated in the Valentine’s Teddy Bear Drive where a decorated four foot box was stationed at the entrance full of Valentine’s Day stuffed animals. The Golden Key FIU chapter partnered with Miami Children’s Hospital® in South Florida where these stuffed animals brought a smile to many beautiful children’s faces.
Extending the fun and setting an exciting tone for the rest of the weekend, our guest speaker, former U.S. Diplomat of 26 yrs. Hilarion “Lari” Martinez, shared an inspiring presentation of four successful students who embarked on a truly international adventure. Attendees were encouraged to apply for competitive internships, connect with the right people and seek national and international scholarships. The audience was captivated during his speech, gathering the tools needed and the attitude and ambitions required in following Martinez’s legacy of international education and success.
The following day started with an early breakfast and time for Region 3 to become better acquainted. Then there was the Headquarters Update where Region 3 was provided news and information from the Golden Key’s headquarters, including scholarships, special discounts, and unique opportunities given to Golden Key members. Afterwards, four different workshop sessions (sixteen workshops in total) were presented by Golden Key officials from the participating chapters. Games were played and prizes were won while a variety of important topics were covered, including leadership, networking, community involvement, internship information, scholarship information, interview skills, help with writing a personal statement and much more. Personal stories and experiences on the topics were discussed amongst the members, along with helpful tips and advice from peers, chapter Advisors, chapter representatives, professors and FIUs Associate Dean, Dr. William Beesting. Included in the latter officials and workshops, was University of Miami’s very own Dr. Gail Cole-Avent, Marisa Vinas, Katie Pfister and Christian-Immanual Oliveros.
In between sessions, attendees were given a leisurely lunch and more time to develop personal relationships. During this down time, Golden Key Region 3 Associate Director, Shereen Ashtiani introduced our Region 3 Council of Student Member’s Representative, Marisa Vinas. Vinas explained her role as the CoSM Representative and encouraged all the chapters to stay connected by sharing their chapter news, pictures and updates on the Golden Key Region 3 group on Facebook.
Included in the extensive workshops was the Officer Roundtable Discussion. These roundtables were themed “Communication is Key” and included information about the Advisor-President relationship, Advisor-Secretary Relationship, Advisor-Treasurer relationship and the Advisor-Officer relationship. This allotted time was targeted specifically at “sharing thoughts to help chapter Advisors understand your needs.”
When the workshops wrapped up, Region 3 Associate Director Shereen Ashtiani met with the individual chapters, collaborating different ideas and thoughts regarding the Summit. We were able to engage in how to utilize what we had learned and what our chapter’s projects and goals were for the future. The one-on-one meetings were helpful with learning how to incorporate these ideas on our calendar.
Following the busy and energetic workshops and one-on-one meetings, chapters went tot Dave & Busters for the closing dinner, entertainment and fun! A university key chain exchange occurred during all the excitement which was a great way to remember the weekend and stay connected. Advisors, alumni and students were excited to be a part of the games and fun, as well as show their individuality outside of Golden Key.
The summit was an excellent opportunity to make connections with peers that share the same admirable mission, values and pillars found in the elite Golden Key community. The tools and knowledge that were traded will hopefully allow each chapter to succeed and grow on campus and strengthen chapter activities and community service efforts.
If you attended the Summit and want copies of the presentations and handouts, please click here.