Campus initiates members into its new HDFS honor society, Kappa Omicron Nu

newly inducted KON members and HDFS faculty pose for a group photo at the induction ceremony

Penn State Scranton's Human Development and Family Studies faculty welcomed its first officers and members into the campus' Kappa Omicron Nu honor society, during a special induction ceremony held on campus last semester. From left are:  H. Durell Johnson, chief academic officer, Parminder Parmar, HDFS associate professor, Janet Melnick, HDFS program coordinator and teaching professor, Stephanie Algar, Gretchen Gilia, Ray Petren, HDFS associate professor, Melissa Labuda, assistant teaching professor, Francesca Orellana, Alison Marshman and Emily Hallman.

Credit: Amy Gruzesky

DUNMORE, Pa. — Penn State Scranton's Human Development and Family Studies program (HDFS) is the newest academic program to have its own honor society on campus. Last semester, seven new members and officers were inducted into the campus' chapter of Kappa Omicron Nu (KON) honor society.

Teaching Professor and Program Coordinator of HDFS Janet Melnick and Associate Professor of HDFS Ray Petren, led the ceremony, marking a significant milestone for the campus and the seven inductees. Chief Academic Officer Durell Johnson addressed the students, congratulating them on their achievement on becoming the first members of the campus' KON chapter.

The officers inaugurated to lead KON are third-year HDFS student Emily Hallman as president, and co-vice presidents Gretchen Gilia and Allison Marshman, both fourth-year HDFS students. Other members are Stephanie Algar, Jazmine Hamilton, Francesca Orellana and Jessica Reid.

To be inducted into the honor society, the students had to be declared as an HDFS major with at least 45 hours of coursework completed and a 3.5 cumulative GPA. Their induction into the honor society signifies a commitment to scholarship, leadership and research in the human sciences.

Melnick emphasized how proud she and the HDFS faculty are to prepare tomorrow's leaders in social services. HDFS faculty also on hand to celebrate the students' induction into KON were Assistant Teaching Professor Melissa Labuda and Associate Professor Parminder Parmar.

“It is great to recognize our students for this accomplishment. Students who excel in our major are particularly well-rounded, mastering both typical academic competencies such as excellence in writing and test-taking, strong critical thinking skills, disciplined study habits, and hard work, with the development of crucial personal and interpersonal competencies that prepare them to become capable leaders in helping professions,” Petren said. “Having had these students in our classes, our faculty agree that this is a wonderful group of students who are poised to make a meaningful impact in the world, and we are so proud of them! “

This initiation ceremony marks the beginning of a new era for HDFS at Penn State Scranton, as students are now part of a prestigious national honor society dedicated to advancing excellence in the field.

KON, certified by the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS), has a rich history dating back to its establishment on Feb. 21, 1990, as a merger of Kappa Omicron Phi (founded in 1922) and Omicron Nu (founded in 1912). Headquartered in Belleair Bluffs, Florida, KON recognizes students in the Human Sciences and boasts over 80 active chapters with 150,000 members nationwide. The honor society's mission is to foster empowered leaders through excellence in scholarship, leadership, and research in the human sciences. KON provides scholarships, grants, and awards to its members annually.