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

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.