National adult learner honor society Alpha Sigma Lambda (ASL) recently inducted Karen Pollack as chapter councilor for Pi Delta Chi, which is the University Park chapter of ASL. Pete Rubba, the past councilor, retired in June.
Here are some of Karen’s thoughts on her hopes for Pi Delta Chi in the coming years and why she is so devoted to promoting adult scholarship.
Why do you think it’s important to promote scholarship among adult learners?
It’s important to me because I have been there myself. It is personal for me. As an adult and young professional I experienced, first hand, the many opportunities and experiences that become open to you when you open the doors of knowledge. I discovered that the more I learned, the more I wanted to learn.
It was a passion that continued to drive me to seek new opportunities and new challenges through the two graduate degrees that I earned as part-time adult student.
It was an exciting time in my life, but also a very challenging time, both professionally and personally. I worked full time. I experienced losses and set-backs. I had two small children and three grown children. The support of my family and of my friends, and of many colleagues and classmates sustained me through my educational pursuits.
Serving as the chapter councilor for Pi Delta Chi is an opportunity for me to shine a spotlight on the achievements of Penn State’s adult learners, to encourage their scholarship, and to celebrate their success.
As an adult learner I served as a mentor to other students through the Center for Adult Learners. I was inducted into the Pi Lambda Theta Honor Society for the College of Education, and I was a recipient of the Dess B. Keller Memorial Scholarship Award for Adult Learners. My affiliation with these organizations and professional associations gave me a tremendous boost and helped me sustain the energy and the level of commitment I needed to reach my educational goals.
Now I have an opportunity to give other students that boost and to give them the recognition they have worked so hard to earn.
What are your hopes or expectations in your role as chapter councilor for Pi Delta Chi?
I would like to continue to raise the visibility of Pi Delta Chi among our student body and to see our chapter students competing successfully for scholarship opportunities. Recognizing and celebrating educational milestones is important. It is a reminder to us all that the pursuit of knowledge and of education is a transformative experience.
Through education we have the power to transform ourselves and our world.
When our students become actively engaged in Pi Delta Chi, they position themselves to lead and be role models for other students on that same educational journey. I believe we all have a responsibility to pay it forward – to lead and be mentors to the adult learners that follow us.
How can students get involved in Pi Delta Chi?
Visit the Pi Delta Chi website for more information.