Busy Times for AKD
by Jeffrey Chin, Le Moyne College, Secretary-Treasurer, Alpha Kappa Delta
Alpha Kappa Delta is dedicated to acknowledging excellent scholarly work by both undergraduate and graduate students in sociology. With approximately 530 chapters worldwide and more than 87,000 lifetime members, local chapters of AKD induct around 5,000 undergraduate and graduate sociology students each year in ceremonies on campuses around the world.
AKD and ASA Collaborations
Both AKD and ASA are dedicated to promoting and serving the discipline. In addition, they have had a long and productive partnership. For example, AKD has long been a supporter of the ASA Minority Fellowship Program (MFP). AKD is one of only two organizational contributors that support a full MFP fellow (the other is Sociologists for Women in Society), who is designated the AKD/MFP Fellow. In this era of shrinking resources, the contribution that AKD makes to the MFP program is greatly appreciated. The 2008-09 AKD/MFP Fellow is Louis Esparza at Stony Brook University.
In addition, AKD sponsors an annual paper competition at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The three winners of the AKD undergraduate paper competition each year are automatically included as participants in the ASA Honors Program, which means that they are invited to present their papers at the ASA Annual Meeting and take part in workshops there geared toward talented undergraduates. AKD provides cash awards to the winners as well as travel funds to attend the ASA Annual Meeting. Other benefits for student members of AKD include: support to travel to regional and aligned sociology meetings, honoraria for speakers who present at chapter induction ceremonies on campus, and funds for research symposia.
Like most organizations, AKD officers are located on campuses all over the country so they conduct most of their business electronically. However, the entire AKD Council meets for a full day prior to the ASA Annual Meeting in August and the AKD Distinguished Lecture takes place during the ASA Annual Meeting, usually during the first day. In 2008, the Distinguished Lecturer was Ronald Akers, University of Florida.
Besides the annual AKD Council meeting, the honor society has a mid-year meeting of its Planning Committee, which was in Syracuse, NY, this past January. Since the location of this year’s meeting was designed to provide an inspection of the new AKD national office, Chin and his staff hosted an open house attended not only by members of the Le Moyne College community and the AKD Planning Committee, but also by Jean H. Shin, ASA Director of Minority Affairs. As director of the program that administers MFP, Shin’s presence at the open house acknowledges the strong ties between ASA and AKD.
The national office of AKD is trying to ensure that representatives will be at all regional sociology meetings this spring. They will be on the formal program of some and will staff tables at others. They can tell you about services available to established chapters and how to start a chapter for those departments that do not have one yet. Stop by to find out more about what AKD can do for your students. For more information on any aspect of AKD and its activities, e-mail AKD@lemoyne.edu, or visit the new AKD webpage at www.alphakappadelta.org.