Delta Mu Delta student leaders go on growth spurt
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
If planning is indeed everything, Grand Canyon University’s Eta Chi chapter of Delta Mu Delta has it all.
Its induction ceremony Monday afternoon in the Colangelo College of Business Building lobby was yet another example of the skills the student leaders learn when they join the international business honor society.
The fact that the chapter’s president, Shannon Walker, was adjusting the program five minutes before it started is indicative of her hands-on approach. It’s no wonder that Dr. Moronke Oke, the chapter’s advisor along with Tracey Lauterborn, calls Walker’s semester of leadership “fantastic.”
“Shannon has been very structured, and she has kept us very organized,” Oke said. “She’s the kind of person who wants to have a practice run-through, and she asks intelligent questions. She is on the ball.”
But Walker had to get the ball rolling on an even more important initiative this fall: She had to find and train new leaders because she and Secretary/Treasurer Tatum Kubes are graduating from GCU on Friday, and Vice President Regan Roth is going to spend the spring semester studying abroad.
So off they went to various campus events to spread the word about Eta Chi, which in October was recognized by Delta Mu Delta as one of the top 10 chapters in the United States.
“That experience was great because I was able to manage a lot more people and also work on my networking skills,” Walker said.
Pretty soon they had set up a whole new set of leaders:
- Riley Griffin, Communications Coordinator, will take over as president in the spring semester
- Levi Myers, Service Coordinator, is the new vice president
- Brandon Myers, Events and Networking Coordinator, will move to communications coordinator
- Alisen Vrabel and Elise Martinson both will serve as secretaries
- Caden Williams will be treasurer
- Brandon Dozier, who was inducted Monday, will be service coordinator
- Sage Altobelli will be events and networking coordinator
- Roth will stay on as senior events and networking coordinator and advise from afar
Like Walker, Roth will be missed. She’s multitalented – she designed the Eta Chi logo as well as the materials the chapter uses for the Kevin McClean Research Colloquium, scheduled for Feb. 27.
“We’re excited for her to go and experience the world and come back and bring that experience to us,” Oke said. “But she’s going to continue her leadership role while she’s away and when she gets back.”
Students with at least 24 GCU credits who rank in the top 20% of their class are eligible for Delta Mu Delta, and 10 of the 48 inductees traveled to be at Monday’s ceremony. It featured a special moment: Dr. Jennifer Lech, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and University Registrar, was inducted as an honorary member with her husband and three young sons in attendance.
“All the people who have been inducted have put a lot into the University, so it’s very special for them to think of me in that way as having promoted the University and being one of the leaders,” Lech said.
Lech has played a key role in GCU’s rise the last 15 years. “GCU doesn’t exist without Dr. Lech,” Oke said.
Also in attendance for the ceremony were the leaders of the Colangelo College of Business, including Dean Dr. Randy Gibb. Marketing instructor Mindy Weinstein delivered a short talk in which she stressed making an impact by working hard (even when no one is watching), listening to others, striving for excellence in all you do and leading with empathy.
Oke and Lauterborn, along with their student leaders, will continue to promote Delta Mu Delta with their networking event in March, which will bring together members of the national board, advisors of other top-10 chapters and any Delta Mu Delta members who live in the Valley, no matter their university affiliation.
GCU’s status in the organization earned Oke a trip to Nashville, Tenn., for the national Delta Mu Delta conference. Also this fall, Eta Chi conducted a networking event and helped renovate two homes in a Habitat for Humanity service project.
It has been a lot of work, but Walker is grateful for the experience of being president after serving as an understudy to two past presidents. She also was a student worker for the Colangelo College of Business.
“Expanding also helped us delegate things to officers,” she said. “One of my personal goals was to help younger students have a connection to the Colangelo College of Business and build their own skills.”
She’s leaving behind a solid legacy but will be tough to replace.
“It’s really going to be a huge adjustment for us after she leaves because she has been the fundamental backbone in terms of continuity of leadership,” Oke said.
One thing’s for sure: She has planned well for her departure.
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or [email protected].