Epsilon Delta prepares students with professional experience, networking

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Epsilon Delta prepares students with professional experience, networking

Epsilon Delta president Louise Mathews and member Melissa Boyce partake in the sorority's Fall 2013 Initiation Pinning Ceremony, on Dec. 8, 2013.

Epsilon Delta president Louise Mathews and member Melissa Boyce partake in the sorority's Fall 2013 Initiation Pinning Ceremony, on Dec. 8, 2013.

Epsilon Delta president Louise Mathews and member Melissa Boyce partake in the sorority's Fall 2013 Initiation Pinning Ceremony, on Dec. 8, 2013.

Epsilon Delta president Louise Mathews and member Melissa Boyce partake in the sorority's Fall 2013 Initiation Pinning Ceremony, on Dec. 8, 2013.

As University underclassmen continue to celebrate their acceptance into the College of Education, there is one organization that should be kept in mind: Epsilon Delta.

Students who applied to the College of Education last fall semester found out their acceptance into the program last Wednesday. Although becoming an education major is a big step to starting a future career, it is also important to gain hands-on experience in the field. And the professional teaching organization, Epsilon Delta, can help students obtain that experience.

“We are open to all students interested in the field of education,” said Chris Cirrincione, social chair of Epsilon Delta and junior in Education. “No matter the grade, major or involvement in other interests, all are welcome.”

According to the organization’s website, Epsilon Delta “seeks to foster an exchange of experiences and ideas among those students of education active in its meetings and events.” 

Louise Mathews, president of Epsilon Delta and junior in Education, believes that this organization is beneficial to all of those involved.

“It’s a good way to make connections,” Mathews said. “It’s a great way to get leadership if you’re on the executive board and a good way to learn things about education through the speakers we have. You can be more involved, and it looks good for jobs.”

Mathews explained that members meet every other Wednesday in the Education Building, and the organization brings in speakers to discuss hot topics in education. In the past, they have brought speakers such as school principals and have had discussions on getting a job in the field and technology’s role in the classroom.

What sets Epsilon Delta apart from other education organizations on campus is that it is the only organization sponsored by the College of Education. The alpha chapter, which was founded on campus in 1989, is the only chapter in existence. 

Although the Epsilon Delta is a professional organization, it has some of the same perks as a real Greek organization, such as philanthropy events.

Riannon Szofer, philanthropy chair and freshman in Education, said that every two to three weeks the organization volunteers for various events in the community, such as events with the Urbana Free Library, surrounding park districts and local schools. She also explained how participating in these events can make members feel more involved in the organization.

“We did Relay For Life, which was this past weekend, and I became really close with some of the members,” Szofer said. “It was a great experience to bond as an organization while helping for a great cause.”

Szofer added that students on campus can get involved in their philanthropy on April 10, when Epsilon Delta will be selling grilled cheese for a fundraiser along Green Street.

Epsilon Delta’s social events also make the organization similar to official Greek organizations on campus.

“We have a variety of activities,” Cirrincione said. “This can include getting dinner, going to Curtis Apple Orchard, ice skating, Mom’s Day BBQ; we normally try to make them holiday-themed.”

LeeAnn Hayes, second-year member of Epsilon Delta and sophomore in Education, said her favorite social event this year was the ice skating social. 

“It was so much fun to watch everyone trying their best to skate around the rink,” Hayes said. “Everyone was laughing, making jokes and having an overall great time trying to keep from falling on the ice.”

Hayes joined the organization her freshman year in hopes to find friends in her major and to meet people with common interests. She explained that becoming a member of the organization was a simple process, only requiring students to fill out an online form and pay a new member fee. 

Hayes said she believes that there are multiple reasons why education majors should join Epsilon Delta, the first reason being the people.

“Epsilon Delta is a great way to make new friends in your major and college — everyone is really friendly — and I’m sure anyone could feel like they fit in,” she said.  “Next would have to be the information we receive. Every meeting is filled with information that will help you apply to the major, guide your way through courses, apply for a teaching position and understand concepts that will help you be a great teacher for your future students.”

Christine can be reached at [email protected]