The Board Nominations Committee presents two candidates for consideration by the current faculty advisors and circle coordinators to serve as a Faculty/Staff Trustee and Chair-Elect of the Mission Committee. Resumes for the candidates, in addition to candidate statements and photographs, are below. A candidate forum will be held on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Details about the forum will be posted on this page at a later date. The election will take place electronically, and voting may be completed between May 1 and May 15, 2022. Details about the election process will be sent to current faculty advisors and circle coordinators.
Sheridan W. S. Henson (Cumberland University, 2008)
Current Professional Position
Executive Director, Academic Support and Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies, Cumberland University
Since my induction in 2008, I have served in a supporting capacity within the Cumberland Circle. Eventually, I took on the role of Circle Coordinator and currently enjoy that honor. As Coordinator, I have made it a priority to promote the best practices outlined by the national body, which has resulted in a 2016 Circle of Distinction Award, 2017 and 2018 Superior Circle Awards, and 2019 and 2020 Presidential Awards of Excellence. In the most recent years, I have served at the national level as a member of the Awards Committee, Mission Committee, and Membership Standards Committee. In 2021-2022, I currently have the honor of serving as the chair of the Awards Committee and a member of the Mission Committee.
I believe it is the goal of every member of Omicron Delta Kappa to seek out opportunities to serve and advocate for the benefit of its members and the universities we represent. As a member of the faculty, I consider my role in the society to be essential when considering the needs and wishes of the student. Boards of Trust need a broad view of the college landscape in order to set the vision and goals of the organization, and I believe I can provide a portion of the bigger picture when policy is assessed, changes proposed, and action taken.
My advocacy for Circle interests began in 2008 as an inductee at Cumberland University. My mentor invested in my future with an invitation to join. Since then, it has been a personal and professional obligation to provide clerical support and leadership to the Circle, which resulted in my posting as the Circle Coordinator. That obligation quickly became a passion project where I challenged the membership to push themselves towards meeting the standards outlined in Circle Recognition; however, our push towards Circle improvement led us towards a higher calling, which was promoting and supporting the need for an improved relationship between leadership development and diversity, equity, and inclusion on the Cumberland University campus. This matured into a strong public program that celebrated the strengths inherent in diverse backgrounds, culture, and communities, which led to the campus-wide success of our partnership with Dr. Kent Hallman, the 2021 recipient of the Andristine M. Robinson Champion Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity. Seeing the power of fellowship flourish within our local Circle, I decided to offer my time and energy to serving at the National level. Tim Reed was gracious enough to act as my steward and appoint me to the Awards Committee, Membership Standards Committee, and the Mission Committee. My time on these committees has been an excellent experience working with outstanding professionals, and I was honored to accept the chair of the Awards Committee in 2021.
My leadership philosophy aligns closely with my desire to provide resources and guidance to the followers and constituents I serve, and I focus on developing action points, policies, and procedures that benefit the interests of all members. As an effective leader, I must cast aside personal ego, pride, and the desire for advancement. Instead, as a faculty member and university administrator, I eagerly identify and make available the tools my students and employees need to be successful.
My purpose for running for this position is two-fold. First, it’s imperative that the board enjoy the benefit of an advocate for faculty and student members. The decisions and changes we make at the national level have historic and enduring impacts on the enduring legacy of the society. It’s important that we have a faculty/staff member who will clearly represent the love and dedication we hold for Omicron Delta Kappa. Second, as so many members of our society repeatedly demonstrate, I am always pursuing an opportunity to give back to the organization that has given so much to me.
Our goal as a society should align with the needs of the students we serve. With the vision of our President, the Board, and the national staff, we have transitioned into the future of social media, created a national Circle, and broadened of our national award process. We have also made laudable progress towards becoming a society that values and advocates DEI programming and recognition. There is plenty of room for growing our advocacy and support of DEI issues, and I believe our goal should be a continued focus that will take the society to a place in the national community where students immediately recognize us as the premier leadership honor society that is inclusive of outstanding and diverse leaders in all fields of professional endeavor.
Peter Rojas (Merrimack College, 2021)
Current Professional Position
Director of Student Involvement, Merrimack College
I have been working with the Merrimack College Circle of ODK since the fall semester of 2021, the same semester I was initiated. My immediate goal was to assist in the revival of the circle since it became dormant because of the pandemic. My current attention has been focusing on recreating how the circle operates at Merrimack College with the resources we have around us. Now that we have 36 new members on campus and we have created a strategic plan to engage the student population but also market and showcase the best that ODK can do.
Of course I recognize that I should look into more regional and national opportunities for exposure but I believe having the opportunity to be a leader at the top will provide me with the platform to do so. The want to apply for the board stems from the support I have received from Tim Reed who has driven me to find more opportunities to be involved.
As a first-generation Latino, statistics would say that my path towards success would be difficult. They would also say that any aspirations I had growing up would simply be a dream and nothing more. I can attest that even though the road has been difficult, the lessons and experiences I have learned since leaving Massachusetts in 2015 and returning five years later could be personify by the Omicron Delta Kappa symbol of a circle. For my life, although still young, has come full circle to take on new challenges using everything I have learned through my journey of living across the country to implement in this new chapter of advising the circle at Merrimack College.
When approached to be the Coordinator for the Merrimack College Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa. I was confident that I was the right individual to take lead. This is not because I presented with the right qualifications to assist in the revival of the circle but rather I knew that my shared leadership values of collaboration, inclusivity, integrity, scholarship and service were present within myself to succeed in this endeavor.
My experience thus far has been nothing but an amazing opportunity to continue to promote the leadership philosophy in which I live by on a daily basis with the members of my immediate circle. It is a philosophy that is built on the fundamental concept that together we will go further. Through my leadership style, which could be defined as transformational, I am driven to empower the individuals around me to find the confidence in their talents as they strive toward meeting their goals. This is the same energy I have received since joining Omicron Delta Kappa. It is the ideology to which my success is an overall success of the circle.
For this reason, I am expressing my candidacy to serve on the Board of Trustees for the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society. Together as a circle, we are united and invested in one another’s successes. I believe if selected to be on the board, it will support in the immediate achievements I hope to accomplish in the coming three years. Serving on the board will provide with continued personal and professional growth from the current board members, who have led in several capacities as leaders in the circle but also within their careers. This platform to engage and gather unique stories will create a library of knowledge I can use to assist in supporting in the goals of which all circles are striving to obtain locally or at a national level. It will allow me to continue to showcase my abilities and share my lived experiences in hopes that my journey can contribute towards the future success of the Society. For what statistics do not mention are how the stories of those individuals who have been resilient and successful can provide a different prescriptive on leadership because in order for us to achieve what we are aiming for, it takes all kinds.
To be selected to the Board of Trustees for the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society will be another amazing journey to be a part of. It is an opportunity to continue to grow the circle through the ideals of the organization to accomplish the goals the Society has set forth in the new strategic plan. I am once again confident that I can provide the right leadership and experience to assist in these new initiatives of support, recognition, inclusivity and engagement.