Kappa Chapter Distinguished Service Key
The Chapter Distinguished Service Key is awarded to individuals who distinguished themselves in service on a chapter level, that is, making an outstanding and unique contribution to the chapter as a whole, Exemplified and furthered, in demonstrable ways, the principles of leadership, friendship and service, made a sustained contribution in a leadership role over a period of time.
From Chapter Activity Reports: 1951-1952: (Note - "keys are awarded in the Spring to the outstanding graduating seniors") Joseph O. Pecenka, Karl B. Schnelle, William J. Faust, James A. Bovard 1952-1953: Balentine, Duncan, Snow, Hertz, Weber, Williams 1953-1954: (list unknown) 1954-1955: (list unknown) 1955-1956: Gibble, Krauss, Erhard, Wilcox, Moore
Kent D. Shaffer (K-0071) - February 21, 1950 at the Initiation Banquet
Jordan Nash (K-0684) - 1984 at the 55th Anniv. banquet or Spring Initiation
Carl J. Long (K-0001) - 1986 or 1987might be his second one, nobody was sure
Dave O'Leary (K-0761) - Initiation, Fall 1989
Jen Gray (K-1105) - 2001-05-04A recipient of the GSUSA Gold Award, Jen initiated a strong relationship with GSUSA, including creating Girl Scout Badges Day (now SCIP day). She served in a number of offices, including Sergeant@Arms, MVP, and President as officer terms were re-defined in the bylaws. In addition to her roles in the chapter, she was also very involved in campus affairs, including serving as an RA her Senior year and Chair of Student Senate during her Senior year. She was also class speaker for the CMU Class of 98 at Commencement. She served as a chapter Scouting Advisor. Jen is currently continuing to serve the community as a professional Girl Scout.
Ben Kutler (K-1111) - 2001-05-04Already an Eagle Scout, during Ben's tenure with Kappa, he strengthened the chapter's scouting activities, including serving 2 years as MBU Co-Chair, and frequent camporee head cook. The success of MBU led to an M. R. Disborough Service to Scouting Award for the chapter at the 1996 National Convention. He served in numerous roles, including MVP, Pledgemaster (F97), 2 terms as Treasurer, and 2 years as Concessions Chair, including 1 Carnival while also serving on the University Carnival Committee. He was quick to offer help; often "picking up" whatever project was faltering and needed help or a chair.
Mason C. Kincaid (K-1188) - 2002-05-03Throughout his four years as a member of the chapter, Mason has demonstrated his constant commitment to the success of the chapter and the ideals of leadership, friendship, and service.
During his time as an active brother, he has served the chapter as Historian, Sergeant-at-Arms, Webmaster, Concessions Chair, and President. He has also served consistently, producing publicity for events and organizing food for so many chapter events.
He has helped create an awards policy, change the structure of Exec, create and maintain a nationally recognized web site, and aided in the formation of the Kappa Chapter Foundation.
Mason has continued to try to motivate and support his fellow brothers and tries to serve as a positive role model for the newer brothers, encouraging them to take on leadership roles and grow in the chapter.
DeWitt Talmadge Latimer, IV (K-1112) - 2002-05-03Since his initiation into this chapter in the Fall of 1994, Tal has strived to serve the chapter in a number of capacities.
As Pledgemaster of the Ross Comer pledge class, in the Spring of 1997, Tal educated 8 pledges about the ways of Alpha Phi Omega. When he returned to CMU to work on his master's degree, he saw a chapter in need of his leadership, and stepped up to fill the position of Treasurer. During his time in this office, he pushed hard to get the chapter's financial practices in order, codifying sensible rules for handling money in the chapter. He helped form the Kappa Chapter Foundation, and serves as Vice-President of the Board, providing a voice of calm wisdom over the past year.
In the Spring of 2001, Tal once again saw a need for his leadership skills and took on the position of Pledgemaster for a second time, revitalizing our rush and pledge education programs and teaching the 10 pledges of the Hilliard pledge class the way of Alpha Phi Omega. Tal raised the level of pledge education to standards not seen in years. Future pledgemasters and brothers will benefit from his planning and training.
During Executive Committee on Sept. 12, Tal proposed the plan which reassembled the chapter after the shock of the 11th and allowed the campus community to help and begin to heal. This exemplified the principles of Alpha Phi Omega: Leadership to help his friends by showing them a way to lead and serve others.
In his time as a brother, he has been a friend to many. He has shared his love for service to the youth of our community with our chapter by encouraging many to develop strong ties with the Boy Scouts of America, and himselfdevoting much of his time to serving as a District Commisioner. Whether serving as an officer or not, Tal has been a constant source of leadership.
Michael Creegan (K-1176) - May 2, 2003Over his four plus years of service as an active brother in this chapter, Mike has contributed as a brother, an officer, a project chair, and a vital source of information in being a leader, being a friend and being of service.
Mike joined Alpha Phi Omega as a member of a small, but extremely active pledge class, serving as Pledge Class President and Secretary. They continued their involvement and leadership in the chapter by taking such offices as President, Membership Vice President, Corresponding Secretary, Sergeant at Arms, Alumni Relations Coordinator, and Accounts Maintainer. He served as a voting delegate and member of the Rules and Credentials Committee at the 2000 National Convention. He contributed his parliamentary skills to revising Kappa's by-laws when the chapter desired it.
Besides his duties to the chapter as an officer, Mike also excelled at contributing to the success of many major projects that the chapter ran. He was the constant team player contributing as registrar for numerous MBU's and SCIP Days taking on much of the logistical work involved with the events. He also contributed greatly to the success of the Regional Conference held at CMU, again contributing his registrar skills. Additionally, he has served as chair for a number of smaller projects, and events like Book Exchange would not have happened some semesters without Mike's hard work. It was hard to find a project on which he was not working, leading many to say that he was "majoring in A Phi O," despite his many other extra-curricular activities such as Kiltie, Student Senate, and Scotch-n-Soda.
Whenever you needed someone's aid on a project for A Phi O, it was hard to find someone more capable and willing than Mike. He was a close advisor to many pledgemasters, even when his office did not require it. In addition to his work as an officer, project chair, and registrar-extraordinaire, Mike has been a great resource to the chapter. He always seems to know what to do and who to go to when people asks him questions. He has been a great contact to get in touch with CMU officials and has worked hard to create stellar relations with the campus wide community and the chapter. He is a great friend and genuinely cares about others. This quality is amongst the reasons he is such a strong brother in our fraternity
He currently serves as a member of the Kappa Chapter Foundation and recently helped to found the Kappa Chapter Alumni Association, and was elected as its first President at Carnival.
Joshua Grim (K-1184) - May 2, 2003Josh has held most of the offices the chapter offers. In his first year of the chapter, he stepped up to fill a vacant office, and served as one of the chapter's most enthusiastic Corresponding Secretaries. The next semester, he served as chapter President. This was also the first semester he attended an A Phi O conference, and began an illustrious career as Kappa's Inter-Chapter Go-To Man. He has since hit double digits in the number of conferences that he has attended. Upon completing his presidential tenure, he served two-terms as Sergeant-at-Arms. Since then, he has officiated at numerous ceremonies, representing Kappa in other chapters' ceremonies.
Two years ago, Josh stepped up to fill the office of Service Vice President, becoming a staple at service events, especially during Rush. When he gave out awards at the end of the semester, he had to include himself in the 100+ hours club.
When the chapter was awarded the Regional Conference, Josh volunteered to chair the event. He utilized his experience with other chapters to pull off an event that everyone enjoyed. He is a recipient of the Leadership in Service award and continues to support Kappa Chapter as a PhD student.
Thomas W. Strong, Jr. (K-1030) - May 2, 2003Tom has served the chapter in multiple entities over the years. As an active, he served as chapter Sergeant at Arms, Parliamentarian, and contributed to many other aspects of the chapter. But his most notable work has been through his role as a chapter Advisor. Over his years of being an Advisor, he has promoted scouting to the chapter in many ways. He has often been a great contact and source of many scouting projects ideas for many Service Vice Presidents and brothers alike. In addition to his infinite ideas for scouting projects, he is also not afraid to participate in the projects, often taking on greater roles to help event chairs produce quality results for their events.
But Tom has done more for this chapter over the years as an Advisor then just scouting projects. He has served as Advisory Chair and helped write the current version of bylaws in 1996. In addition, he has also put significant work into preserving and updating the history of Kappa chapter. He was one of the major forces in the creation of the Kappa Chapter Foundation. He spearheaded the effort to create it and devoted a great deal of time towards its formation. He now serves on the Foundation's Board of Trustees as President and continues his involvement with the chapter through the Foundation by management of the KDS scholarship and publishing of the C-Book.
In addition to his work with Kappa, Tom has contributed significantly outside of the chapter with Alpha Phi Omega as a whole. He has served as Section Staff, Section 62 Chair, Region V Scouting & Youth Services Chair, and as a Reference Committee Advisor at several National Conventions. At the recent National Convention in New Orleans, Tom was elected by the Region to serve as Region V Director on the National Board of Directors.
Theresa Lacombe (K-1177) - May 1, 2004
The first of two Chapter Distinguished Service Keys which we will be awarding tonight goes to a brother who initiated in the Spring of 1998 and almost immediately took an exceptionally active role in the chapter. In her first semester as a new brother, this award recipient transformed what had been the Girl Scout Day into the Girl Scout College and Interest Project Day, radically changing the project, and altering the program to serve Cadet and Senior girl scouts. She instituted teacher training in 1999, and worked closely with the instructors to help them make their lesson plans and their badges, a success. By her third year chairing the project, she had not only completely revamped the curriculum, but also grown the enrollment from 150 girls in 1998 to over 300 girls in 2000, creating a shining national example of how to run an effective Girl Scout Interest Project Day. This effort did not go unrecognized by The Girls Scouts of the United States of America, and Kappa Chapter was presented the Golden Triangle award in 2001, primarily due to SCIP Day and this brother's efforts. She continued to assist in planning the project in 2001, while efficiently handing the chair position over to her successor, and taking the opportunity to teach her favorite badge ? Space Exploration.
But beyond her unique and outstanding contributions to SCIP day, this brother's other services to the chapter were multi-faceted. She took a strong leadership role in the Spring of 1999 when the Service Vice President resigned in the middle of the semester, stepping up to finish out that term, and was then elected for a full term as Service Vice President the following semester. At the National Convention in the year 2000, this brother represented Kappa in Philadelphia as a voting delegate. She kept the other members attending the conference up to date on events, arranging meetings in her hotel room to get feedback and keep the brothers posted on results. Her dedication to the spirit of service was matched only by her dedication to her brothers. Many times she went out of her way to help brothers in need, providing crash space, thoughtful advice or just a hug for someone having a bad day. She truly exemplified the best of our brotherhood.
So it is for all these reasons that we are extremely proud tonight to award the Kappa Chapter Distinguished Service Key to Theresa Lacombe.
Lisa Covi (K-0694) - May 1, 2004
Pledging in the Fall of 1981, tonight's second winner of the Chapter Distinguished Service Key has made significant contributions to the success of Kappa and other chapters and to the entire National Fraternity of Alpha Phi Omega over her twenty plus years of service.
During her time at Kappa, this brother excelled at taking on leadership roles in the chapter. She first took office in the spring of 1982 by becoming the chapter recording secretary. In the fall of her junior year, she became Kappa^Òs service vice president, and while still serving in that role, in the spring she was elected chapter president. In addition to her service as an officer of the chapter, this brother also served as chair for numerous projects, including the airport shuttle bus (a Kappa precursor to the 28-X) and the 1984 Pittsburgh National Convention Bid. She also served as a convention voting delegate and a sponsor for new chapters. For her dedication to Kappa, this brother was named the Pledge class namesake for the Spring of 1986, only one year after she graduated.
Since her time at Kappa, this brother as had a laundry list of titles and awards bestowed upon her. In 1987, she helped co-founded the first national list serve, APO-L. She served as section chair for Section 97 (from 1987-89) and Section 84 (from 1990-1992) and as an advisor for Gamma Pi and Delta Rho. She received the Dobson Certificate from Alpha Gamma Gamma in 1989. And has before this evening received three Distinguished Service Keys: one from Section 84 in 1992, the Gamma Pi Chapter DSK in 1998, and the National Distinguished Service Key on December 30, 2000, not to mention the Region V Distinguish Alumni Medal she also received at that time. At that 2000 National Convention in Philadelphia, PA, she was elected as a Program Director on the National Board of Directors and has continued to serve on the National Board as the Leadership Development Program Director. She currently lives in Highland Park, New Jersey with husband Dave O'leary (also a Kappa brother) and is an Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Despite the distance between Pittsburgh and her home, she has still found time to contribute back to Kappa in unique and outstanding ways. Foremost, as Leadership Development Program Director, she introduced the Alpha Phi Omega LEADS program, a new set of leadership workshops that the fraternity offers to help teach and encourage the future leaders of our fraternity. Many of Kappa^Òs brothers have taken part in these programs, and come back with greater understanding of effective leadership techniques. In addition to her leadership development roles, she and her husband regularly come back to Pittsburgh and contribute to Kappa hosted conferences and anniversaries. In particular, she was solely responsible for saving the day at the 70th anniversary^Òs service Project, by providing a car to take people to Northview Heights where she then gladly pitched in cleaning the playground.
So, for all of her distinguished service at Kappa chapter and beyond in the world of Alpha Phi Omega, we are overwhelmingly happy to award the Kappa Chapter Distinguished Service Key to Lisa Martina Covi.
Erik Andreassen (K-1232) - May 5, 2006This brother has been a constantly active and involved member of Kappa Chapter. Serving the chapter where he found the need this brother has made an unmistakable, undeniable contribution to Kappa Chapter. Stepping up to fulfill vacant roles when needed, this brother saved the day after another brother's tragedy, taking with him the necessary sensitivity and excitement into his new job. When this brother left Kappa Chapter's Active status the whole chapter mourned the loss, feeling sadness over the loss of such a fantastic brother. While this brother may have left activeness in Kappa Chapter, it is clear beyond any doubt that this brother has made a lasting impact on Kappa, and that Kappa has made an impact on this brother. It is with great pride, in Leadership, Friendship and Service that we award a Chapter Distinguished Service Key to Erik Andreassen.
James Kerchenfaut (K-1256) - May 5, 2006Our next brother has contributed his whole person and soul to Kappa Chapter. Fulfilling officer positions and saving the chapter from disasters time and again, this brother has made an undeniable contribution to the chapter. Being an officer of Kappa Chapter for several semesters, filling roles that other brothers left vacant this brother has contributed to the lasting growth and financial stability of the chapter. Helping the chapter to grow and maintain positive visions and goals this brother has been an integral part of the existence of Kappa Chapter for many semesters. This brother not only fulfills his roles as a chapter officer, but encourages each brother, new and old to continually strive to be a better brother, to exemplify the principles of Leadership, Friendship and Service. It is with great pride that we award a Chapter Distinguished Service key to James Kerchenfaut.
Jeffrey L. Cantor (K-0920) - May 4, 2007Jeff began his journey with Alpha Phi Omega when he pledged in fall 1987 and served as his pledge class service vice president. He then went on to chair the committee for the bid to hold the 1992 National Convention in Pittsburgh. While the bid was unsuccessful it is still quite an accomplishment to even attempt. He then continued on as the chapter parliamentarian until he graduated in 1991. His work with Alpha Phi Omega did not end there though. He continued his work at the sectional and regional level. He served in various staff positions for several years as well as Section 99 Chair. Returning to serving at a chapter level Jeff currently serves as an advisor for one of our most recent chapters Alpha Zeta Gamma at the University of New Jersey. Additionally, Jeff has distinguished himself at a national level. He served as the lead advisor to the Rules and Credentials Committee for 3 national conventions and was the Legislative Director at the 2006 National Convention. At the 2006 Convention he was elected to the National board of directors where he currently serves as the director of Alumni Relations and Internal Development. Jeff has also distinguished himself in service outside of Alpha Phi Omega. He managed financial assistance for over 700 families for Congregation Beth Chaim. He also served on the board of directors for a stage production company and handled all of the logistics for a global immersion trip for UPenn and The Wharton School. All of this work at higher levels, however, has not made Jeff elitist or disconnected from the active membership. Brothers at the national convention found him kind and enjoyable to talk to. Despite his incredible number of duties he still found time to meet and talk with the current Kappa members. In short, we believe that Jeff Cantor is a role model who has exemplified the principles of Leadership, Fellowship, and Service at our chapter and at all levels of the fraternity. Kappa Chapter is proud to award the Distinguished Service Key to Jeff Cantor.
Katie Strausser - May, 2008
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