ODK Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Mark Ciardi’s New Film, Chappaquiddick

UMD alumnus and ODKer, Mark Ciardi, meets with the ODK exec board following the advance screening of Chappaquiddick

In March, UMD students and alumni attended an advance screening of the new film, Chappaquiddick. Produced by university alumnus and member of ODK, Mark Ciardi, Chappaquiddick tells the story of Ted Kennedy and the tragic car accident that claimed the life of campaign strategist, Mary Jo Kopechne. The resultant scandal threatened to derail Kennedy’s political career and forever altered his political legacy. The events surrounding what happened at Chappaquiddick are examined anew in the thought-provoking film and is certain to spark conversation and debate.

The screening at the University’s Hoff Theater was filled with students, faculty, staff, and alumni interested in the new movie and who wanted to hear directly from Ciardi. Ciardi, who has previewed his films on campus in the past, participated in a Q&A where he shared his thoughts on the movie-making process and how the film came together.

Ciardi is an American film producer and former Major League Baseball pitcher. He is currently the Founder and CEO of Apex Entertainment. Prior to Apex, Ciardi was the co-founder of Mayhem Pictures that had an overall first-look deal with Walt Disney Studios for twelve years. At Mayhem, Ciardi produced films including The Rookie, Miracle, Invincible, The Game Plan, Secretariat, and Million Dollar Arm.

Ciardi played for the University of Maryland baseball team and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration here at Maryland. He was drafted in 1983 by the Milwaukee Brewers organization and was called up to the major leagues in 1987. He retired the following year due to an injury.

This event was an exciting part of our ODK Leadership Lecture Series.


Congratulations New ODK Sigma Circle Inductees

Newly inducted members of ODK Sigma Circle stand in front of the University Memorial Chapel

At a ceremony held in the University Memorial Chapel, ODK Sigma Circle welcomed new members to the Sigma Circle.


Elizabeth Arentz, Rachel Blaszkowsky, Kyle Brown, Karenna Buco, Elifnaz Caliskan, Ashley Chang, Timothy Chen, Lillia J. Damalouji, Rosemary Davidson, Maya Deane-Polyak, Olivia Delaplaine, Jacqueline Deprey, Noah Eckman, Kelsey Edwards, Alexandra Gilbert, Molly Glime, Carly Guiltinan, Allison Herskovitz, Eric Higgins, Sarah Joseph, Christopher Keosian, Kevin Li, Julia Maier, Jessica Martins, Catalina Mejia, Rick Mikulis, Nikhil Modi, Rachel Moskowitz, Chineme Obiefune, Katherine O’Reilly, Ishaan Parikh, A.J. Pruitt, Mary Robichaux, Dana Rodriguez, Yasasvhinie Santharam, Ashley  Schwanebeck, Kathryn Shannon, Emma Slattery, Ashwin Suryavanshi, Megan Whittle, Mitchell Wilson, Mingkai Xu

Daniel Page
Amanda Leigh Staub

John T. Consoli
Marilee Lindemann

ODK Selects Members for Spring 2017 Inductions

View of ODK Fountain, looking towards McKeldin Library

On Sunday, February 19, Maryland ODKers gathered to discuss applications and vote on leaders among leaders in College Park, MD. We were astounded to receive over 380 applications, which is among the most the Sigma Circle has gotten in its 90-year history!

With that in mind, the Circle reviewed its peers’ applications and engaged in meaningful discussion about what it means to be a leader among leaders (while also enjoying some delicious Sbarro pizza). We discussed how each of our applicants embodied the leadership qualities represented by the five pillars of ODK — Scholarship; Athletics; Campus or Community Service; Journalism, Speech and Mass Media; and Creative and Performing Arts.

After over five hours of deliberation, the votes were submitted, and members were permitted to see daylight once again.

Each individual who applied is commended on their contributions to campus and is encouraged to continue to make a difference in the lives of those around them, regardless of the turnout of the vote! With that said…

Tapping Week is February 27 - March 3.
Tapping Week is February 27 – March 3.

Our ODKaravan Trip to VCU

February 4, 2017: With eager minds and a Bruno Mars-filled playlist, six members of our Executive Board hopped in a van destined for the ODK Drive-In Leadership Conference at Virginia Commonwealth University. The conference brought together seven local chapters to discuss a wide range of leadership topics, including the integration of mindfulness and self-care in all of our endeavors. As mindfulness in this capacity is generally a new topic, our executive team was not sure to expect confusion or intrigue.

Safe to say, our day was filled with much of the latter.

Dr. Christopher Reina, a professor with the VCU School of Business, kicked off the program with an unexpected moment of meditation. Attendees were instructed to bring attention to the current room, sounds, and sensations: in essence, existence in the present moment. According to Dr. Reina, leading with a mindful attitude can create an atmosphere of productivity and togetherness. He commented that as leaders, our minds often race with a flurry of thoughts; becoming mentally centered directs our goals during collaboration.

After grounding ourselves via Dr. Reina’s message, we explored the significance of resilient and positive leaders. Our discussion with the other chapters on this topic soon morphed into conversations about how we work to build our communities as ODKers. We learned that amid differing campus traditions and cultures, we all are united by the commonality of wanting to benefit as many interests as we can. As a result, we now feel powerfully equipped with a new set of tangible skills to apply to our daily leadership roles.

And one last thing on behalf of the entire Executive Board – no matter where today takes you, we encourage you to be kind to yourself: take a few mindful minutes to reflect, rejuvenate, and recharge!

ODKers attend the Drive-in Conference at VCU

Sigma Circle Celebrates Homecoming Week

Thank you to everyone who joined us this Homecoming week as we served our community, welcomed home alumni and celebrated our current students.

On Wednesday, we held our annual Light Up the Mall fundraiser to benefit the UMD Student Crisis Fund.  We sold s’mores and luminaria to place around the ODK Fountain on McKeldin Mall.

The mall was #lit.
The mall was #lit.  Courtesy Grace Toohey

We were proud to raise more than 200 dollars to provide scholarships for students who experience personal hardship.

ODKers on the mall at dark
Enjoying s’mores at our Light Up the Mall fundraiser. Courtesy Grace Toohey

We had a great time at the Student Leadership Celebration at Cole Field House before Saturday’s game.

ODK members at the Student Leadership Celebration before the homecoming game.
ODK members at the Student Leadership Celebration before the homecoming game. Courtesy Jess Rennenkampf/Facebook
But first, let me take a selfie.
But first, let me take a selfie.  Courtesy Jess Rennenkampf/Facebook

Congratulations to the ODK members who were Spirit of Maryland Award finalists:  Liya Ai, Malina Howard, Allison Peters, Christopher Frye and Patrick Ronk.

spirit of maryland 3
Spirit of Maryland award finalists at the homecoming game. Courtesy Liya Ai

Special congratulations to Spirit of Maryland Award winners Sarah Niezelski and Iowis Zhu, who were recognized by President Loh at the homecoming game Saturday.

Spirit of Maryland finalists on the field at halftime. Courtesy Susan Niezelski
Spirit of Maryland finalists on the field at halftime. Courtesy Susan Niezelski

It was a great week, and we can’t wait until next year!

ODKers Celebrated at Annual University Awards

Omicron Delta Kappa Sigma Circle was proud to, once again, co-host the Annual University Awards with our friends in the Stamp Student Union. Now in its thirty-fourth year, the awards recognize some of the student leaders who have made substantial contributions to our campus community.

We’d like to recognize all of the ODKers who have given back to the University of Maryland and applaud all of the award winners and finalists.

Students post with their awards at the annual university awards banquet
Congratulations and thank you to all those who make this university great!


Top Ten Freshmen
Lina Bauer
Angelica Bingei
Andrew Dunn
Elliot Frank
Hope Goodman
Rebecca Goodridge
Samantha Higginbothem
Mihir Khetarpal
Courtney Steininger
Jessica Ting

Sophomore Leader of the Year
Sade Aynide

Col. J. Logan Schutz Omicron Delta Kappa Leader of the Year
Cara Hamel


Col. J. Logan Schutz Legacy Scholarship
Sean Kim

Kirwan Award
Sarahann Yeh

University Health Center Leadership Award
Joaquin Jaramillo

Maryland Images Volunteer of the Year Award
Christina Winkler

OMSE Award for Outstanding Multi-Ethnic Campus Organization
Community Roots

OMSE Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award
Sophia Vega-Ormeno

Student Affairs Outstanding Student Employee Award
William Chavez
Megan Chisolm

Lorde-O’Leary Award
Aubrey DiBello

Outstanding Graduate Student Assembly Member Award
Yehuda Katz

Greek Leader of the Year Award
Christopher Frye

Outstanding Chapter President of the Year Award
Kara Higgins

Vera Cruz-Kochiyama Award
Andrew Mayton

Rebecca Williams Award for Commitment to Social Change
Nyana Quashie

Adele H. Stamp Memorial Award
Ankur Naik

La Raza Unida Award
Odalis Lopez

Emma Powers Student Employee of the Year Award
Caroline Cummings

Department of Dining Services Christopher Carey Customer Service Award
Arthur Vivaldo

Resident Assistant of the Year Awards
Cambridge Community
Adam Hussain

Denton Community
Aiden Galloway

Ellicott Community
Benjamin Borchers

North Hill & Leonardtown Community
Ryan McCollough

South Campus Community Commons
Nicole Fleskes

South Hill Community
Colleen Shipley

Letters and Sciences Outstanding Student Award
Shabnam Ahmed

Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Student Athlete of the Year Awards
Amber Melville
Dez Wells

Mary McLeod Bethune Award
Jazmyn White

William L. Thomas Student Government Association Award
Charmaine Wilson-Jones

John B. Slaughter Outstanding Senior Award
Alexandra Maye

James Otis Williams Cultural Leadership Award
Colin Byrd

Meghan Price Scholarship Award for Leadership and Public Service
Christina Luthers

James Kehoe and Ethel Kesler Awards
David Amici
Brandi Rosser

Camille K. Rajpat Memorial Award for Outstanding Member of the University Student Judiciary
Austin Trupp

Pavela Prize for Distinguished Contributions to the University of Maryland Academic Integrity and Student Ethical Development Program
Emily Williams

Outstanding Advisor for a Student Organization
Nacie Grigsby

Graduate Student Distinguished Service Award
Katherine Jameson

Maryland Medallion Society
Raaheela Ahmed
Anthony Belton
Mackenzie Burnett
Fang Cao
Catherine Hamel
Mykell Hatcher-McLarin
Nicholas Henninger
Michael Ikeda
Vishnupriya Krishnan
Abisola Kusimo
Winston Liu
Edmund Molleur
Travis Moxley
Meghan Murphy
Khalil Pettus
Michael Sikorski
Hailey Siller
Sree Sinha
Jazmyn White
Charmaine Wilson-Jones

Wilson H. Elkins Award
Sree Sinha

H.C. Byrd Award
Fang Cao

Sally Sterling Byrd Award
Raaheela Ahmed

ODK Lights Up the Mall and Shines a Light on UMD Campus Pantry

A white bag with a lighted candle inside sits on the ODK Fountain.ODK is committed to giving back to the University of Maryland community. You’ll find our leaders contributing, in all sorts of ways, to a lively and enriching campus culture through participation in student groups, activities, and programs. The contributions don’t end there, though. Recognizing a need in our community, Philanthropy and Community Service, Emily Fraik, organized our first-ever luminaria fundraiser on McKeldin Mall!

On Wednesday, December 3rd, just after sunset, ODK used one of UMD’s most iconic landmarks, the ODK Fountain, to shine a light on an important cause – The UMD Campus Pantry. Through the sale of luminaria bags and hot chocolate (on a very cold evening), ODK was able to raise $200 to help support Campus Pantry’s mission to address food insecurity issues on campus.

The University of Maryland Campus Pantry offers food assistance to members of the university community – students, faculty, and staff – in need. This being the season of gratitude and giving, ODK was happy to bring attention to and contribute to such a worthy cause.

To learn more about UMD Campus Pantry, and to find out how to give, please visit their website, campuspantry.umd.edu.

White bags with lighted candles ring the ODK Fountain.

UMD Senior Receives Prestigious Rhodes Scholarship

Fang Cao pictured standing in front of a white column at the University of Maryland
University of Maryland senior, Fang Cao, receives prestigious Rhodes Scholarship

To say that  bio-sciences major Fang Cao is accomplished is an understatement. The University of Maryland senior has already been awarded a Truman Scholarship and was recognized for his accomplishments as a Spirit of Maryland winner at homecoming this fall.

His most recent accomplishment, though, just might be his most impressive. Fang Cao was named a Rhodes Scholar, one of only 32 in the nation and only the second in University of Maryland’s history.

Congratulations, Fang, once again, for all that you have accomplished here at Maryland. ODK is proud to count you as one of its’ members!

UMD Senior Receives Prestigious Rhodes Scholarship | UMD Right Now :: University of Maryland.

ODK National Celebrated 100 Years of Leadership and Sigma Circle Was There!

ODK100 ConventionEarlier this summer, a caravan of Terps made the trip to Lexington, Virginia to attend the ODK National Convention and Centennial Celebration.

Faculty Secretary, Dr. Brooke Supple, and Zimri Diaz joined former ODK Sigma Circle President, Stephanie Graf, and incoming Historian, Sarah Niezelski, at the National Convention, held appropriately at Washington and Lee University, the birthplace of Omicron Delta Kappa 100 years ago!

Those four weren’t the only Terps in attendance, though! We were also fortunate to reconnect with former ODK Sigma Circle Officers Jesse Chen, Amanda Fitzgerald, Katy Rennenkampf, and Ruth Watkins; Andrew Cahoon, in his last weekend as the ODK Fellow, was working hard during the event, but still found time to say hello to his friends from back home; and, Matt Barnes was in attendance representing his new ODK home at University of Miami.

A group gathers  in front of a red brick wall to take a tight group shot. The person in front is holding a camera with her arm outstretched to get everyone in the photo.
Members of ODK Sigma Circle take a group selfie in front of ODK National Headquarters in Lexington, Va.

The National Convention is an opportunity for ODK leaders across the country to meet and connect – recommitting to the ideals of ODK, sharing and learning best practices from other circles, networking with peers and alumni, and propelling ODK forward. Members of ODK Sigma Circle delivered a presentation on Building Traditions on Campus (Don’t worry, folks. We didn’t tell them about our super-secret underground lair beneath the ODK Fountain –ed.).

The convention is also the place where the good works of circles and members are recognized. We are pleased to announce that the Sigma Circle was designated as a Superior Circle by ODK National. It brings us greater pleasure to announce that outgoing Sigma Circle Vice President, Chris Riley, was selected as one of five finalists for the ODK National Leader of the Year Award for his commitment to Campus and Community Involvement.

Chris Riley is recognized as an ODK National Leader of the Year Finalist by ODK National President, Micheal Christakis.
Chris Riley is recognized as an ODK National Leader of the Year Finalist by ODK National President, Micheal Christakis.

Congratulations are in order for Chris and for all of the ODK Sigma Circle members and alumni who make this circle outstanding! Thank you for all of your amazing work.