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Surprise Awards Honor Students and Professor
However, this is not the case in the Sam Houston State University Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling.
The effort of 22 graduate students and the enthusiasm of one professor were recently celebrated during the annual initiation and awards ceremony of Beta Kappa Tau.
Beta Kappa Tau, the SHSU chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, is the international honor society for counselors. Graduate students in the department who maintain a 3.5 grade point average and demonstrate exceptional character can become members of the organization.
The organization is both academic and service-oriented, according the faculty adviser Judy De Trude. "We participate in various service projects throughout the year to provide professional development to both members of the organization and members in the community."
This year, new members were inducted into Beta Kappa Tau during a ceremony at the campus' historic Austin Hall. New members include: Sandra Andrews, Jennifer Atkinson, Stephanie Bailey, Larry Bailey, Larisa Brown, Julie Crain, Tiffany Giffen, Cathy Green, Lindsey Guthman, Martha Hildebrand, Michaela Hinson, Cynthia Hoey, Ilynn Marinero, Josie Pratt, Cheryl Billye Schlinder, Laurie SoRell, Suzanne Soto, Katie Sowell, Wendy Stackel, Terry Thompson, Kirsten Walgren, Leah Winfield.
At the ceremony, a scholarship was awarded in honor of Genevieve Brown, chair of the department. Brown was thanked for her support of Beta Kappa Tau throughout its six years on campus.
Beta Kappa Tau had been working on raising funds for the scholarship throughout the year but did not let Brown know until that evening that the scholarship was to bear her name.
"This was such a surprise for me," said Brown. "For an educator, this is one of the greatest honors to have."
Brown said she felt humbled by the surprise gesture.
Dasha Taylor, also named the Outstanding Graduate Student in Counseling, was awarded the scholarship. The new scholarship will be awarded yearly at the annual Beta Kappa Tau initiation.
"I'm so honored to have been given this scholarship," said Taylor. She was especially pleased that the scholarship was named for Brown.
"Dr. Brown sets a really high standard for us to follow. Perhaps getting this scholarship means I'm on her track."
Other awards presented at the induction ceremony include Clinical Member of the Year, Traci Painter Wagner, and School Counselor of the Year, Susan Bajza.
That night, effort and enthusiasm did not go unnoticed and likely won't for years to come.
For more information on Beta Kappa Tau, contact Judy De Trude at 936.294.1209.
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