Student News

Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society Inducts New Members

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2022) — The University of Kentucky Nu Circle of national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) inducted 53 new members at a virtual ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022. ODK recognizes superior leadership and exemplary character and encourages collaboration among members across the five phases celebrated by the society: scholarship, athletics, service, communications and arts.

The Circle was established on May 2, 1925, and celebrates leaders across campus by co-hosting the Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher Award and other honors like the Maurice A. Clay Outstanding Graduating Senior Award. In June, UK will once again host the organization’s National Leadership Conference.

“These inductees join the long and distinguished tradition of ODK Nu Circle members extending leadership and service to our campus and community," said Robert Vaughan, a senior history major and ODK member. Vaughan is also the chair of the technology planning committee for the ODK National Leadership Conference.

"Hosting the NLC gives us an opportunity to showcase ODK's significant and lasting campus contributions here, to over 200 Conference attendees visiting UK from around the nation," he said.

Vaughan also noted that the venue for NLC activities is the Gatton Student Center, a facility which can trace its roots to 1931 when student leaders of ODK perceived the need for an on-campus student center, established seed-funds for its construction and challenged UK's Board of Trustees to undertake the project.

"That's a pretty special history, and we're proud of our connection to such an incredible facility and essential hub of student life on our campus, where lifetime bonds of friendship and partnerships of service are created.”

As the quote from Lisa Haisha goes, “Great leaders don't set out to be a leader... they set out to make a difference. It's never about the role — always about the goal." Abby Elbert, current student Nu Circle President says “I hope that through this organization the members are inspired to become leaders and use their leadership traits in pursuing their personal and community interests.

Francisco Andrade, a professor in the College of Medicine, joined as faculty advisor for the Nu Circle in Spring 2021.

“This is a group of bright and highly motivated students who have maintained a high level of academic success and community engagement,” Andrade said. “They have done it all in the midst of very difficult, unique circumstances. Their work is an inspiration to me personally, and an example of what leadership, talent, and dedication can accomplish at UK.”

The 2021-2022 inductees are: 

  • College of Agriculture, Food and Environment: Robert Anderson III, Trinity Burkett, Amelia Crotinger, Chase Eastham
  • College of Arts and Sciences: Clair Ashley, Rachael Blandau, Gustavo De Aguiar Martins, Meghan Goins, Moses Ogbaje, Anna Puderbaugh, Nicholas Relich, Seth Ricketts, Stephen Turner
  • Gatton College of Business and Economics: Madeline Straub
  • College of Communication and Information: Lauren Cain, Leslie LeRoy, Carly Jessup, Justin Turner
  • College of Design: Caitlin Herndon, MaKayla Koon
  • College of Education: April Chung, Spencer Crawford Kelsey Dickerson, De'Ja Ladd, Jane Walsh, Andrew Watson
  • College of Engineering: Brennan Graham, Nathan Kelley, Matthew Meyer
  • College of Health Sciences: Molly Tierney, Breyanna Walker
  • College of Medicine: Kaleigh Wingate, Jae Hyun Yoo
  • College of Nursing: Caslen Johnson
  • College of Pharmacy: Kristin Meyer, Lauren Weaver
  • College of Public Health: Leah Harold, Scott Keel, Julia Kollitz, Abbi Peck
  • College of Social Work: Elizabeth Baugh, Nyoki Cosey-Brown, Alyssa Gathof, Jennie LaBoone, Rowan Macey, Charessa McIntosh, Madison McMullen, Jennifer Mosley, Corletha Norman, Daniel Wallace, Noah Ward, Devery White

Join us on our social media accounts (@ODKatUKY and @ukyodk) for our celebratory shout outs to our newest members and the full induction ceremony is available on YouTube.

Omicron Delta Kappa is supported by the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence within the Office of the Provost. For more information on membership, contact

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.