College Honor Society Advocates Announce National Leadership Change As They Reflect on Accomplishments of Long-Time Executive Director

Dr. Dorothy I. Mitstifer Touched Lives of Countless Students in Her Role Leading the Association of College Honor Societies and Kappa Omicron Nu

East Lansing, Mich.— One of the nation’s preeminent advocates for high-achieving college students will be stepping down from her longtime position as executive director of the Association of College Honor Societies, which represents 70 national and international honor societies. Dr. Dorothy I. Mitstifer also serves as the executive director of Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society, national honor society for the human sciences, an ACHS member. Her retirement is effective May 30.

In her roles, Mitstifer has served as an unswerving proponent of high standards and certification for college and university honor societies. Her leadership has resulted in a stronger and more successful experience for more than the 1 million college honor society students who have joined such programs during her tenure.

More than a half a century ago, Mitstifer was named executive director of one of KON’s predecessors, Kappa Omicron Phi. She then became executive director of Omicron Nu, KON’s other predecessor, in 1986 and remained inthis role after the two organizations were consolidated to form KON in 1990. 

Mitstifer began her service to ACHS in 1976 as secretary-treasurer and continued in that role until her appointment as executive director in 2003.

“What comes to mind when thinking of Dorothy is dedication, selflessness, wisdom, integrity, excellence, knowledge, standards and humility,” says Dr. Jerry Rudmann, president, ACHS and national director, Psi Beta National Honor Society in Psychology for Community and Junior Colleges. “Her contributions to higher education and America’s honor societies are immense and simply immeasurable. She truly is a hero to today’s post-secondary education. Those who have been involved in any aspect of honor society life—as a member, faculty adviser or support staff—owe Dorothy Mitstifer a world of gratitude for all she has done to ensure college honor society quality and excellence.”

In addition to having a long and distinguished history with honor societies, Mitstifer has also served in the capacity of officer, board member, committee member, editor, consultant and active member for organizations that include the Michigan Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, the Undergraduate Research Community for the Human Sciences, the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, the Council of Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences, the Coalition for Black Development in Family and Consumer Sciences, Penn State alumni board, the International Federation of Home Economics, the Michigan Nutrition and Dietetics Institute, the Michigan Society of Association Executives, the Ingham County Women’s Commission, The Zonta Club of Lansing and the Tri-County Women’s Coalition. She has won numerous awards for her service from these groups and many others and has been featured in national publications for her work with nonprofit organization management.

Mitstifer has authored and published more than 100 books, articles, manuscripts, presentations, workshops and other educational materials. Many of these centered on her passions for experiential learning (both for students and faculty) and on leadership and professional development, including organizational development; policy governance and board leadership; learning communities; mentoring; initiatives to advance organizational diversity; and the rubrics and assessment tools required to ensure that these programs are effective, of the highest caliber and always evolving to meet changing needs.

“The shape of our honor society, and that of the fields of the human sciences, would look very different today if there had not been a Dorothy Mitstifer to envision a multidisciplinary future where our most talented students could come together to strive toward greatness and to thrive amidst the leadership opportunities that Dorothy made possible. Our fields, all dedicated to the improvement of the human condition, owe an incalculable debt to her vision, her passion and her refusal to accept the status quo,” says Dr. Joni Cramer Roh, president, Kappa Omicron Nu and professor, exercise science and sport studies, California University of Pennsylvania.

In recognition of these achievements and so many others, KON and ACHS have issued a joint proclamation (attached) naming Mitstifer as executive director emeritus of both organizations. The decree states, “Dr. Mistifer’s generosity of spirit, fervent advocacy and dedication to mentoring are credited by countless educators, authors, researchers, colleagues, friends and students as critical to the successes they have achieved in their respective fields and in their lives.” Additional honors will also be detailed soon, including, but not limited to, the expansion of the Dorothy I. Mitstifer Conclave Scholarship program for KON and a Dorothy I. Mitstifer Distinguished Program Session to be incorporated into each ACHS Annual Council Meeting.

KON and ACHS have chosen Lisa Wootton Booth to serve as acting executive director of both organizations, and Mitstifer will continue to serve as editor and consultant. Booth previously was KON’s chief operating officer. Booth’s expertise in technology, communications, public relations and association administration were cited as important skills she is bringing to this new responsibility.

Cards to honor Mitstifer or to welcome Booth can be sent to the national offices at:

Kappa Omicron Nu
Association of College Honor Societies
4990 Northwind Dr., Suite 140
East Lansing, MI 48823-5031

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About Kappa Omicron Nu

Kappa Omicron Nu National Honor Society for the Human Sciences, headquartered in East Lansing, Michigan, was established in 1990 by the consolidation of Omicron Nu (founded in 1912) and Kappa Omicron Phi (founded in 1922). Our mission is empowered leaders who use an integrative approach to enhance quality of living through excellence in scholarship, leadership, and research. Eligibility criteria for undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals include exemplary study and practice related to any human sciences specialty area.

Among the activities and programs of the honor society are a scholar program that awards local scholarships, a fellowship and grants program that makes national awards totaling nearly $35,000 annually, and an undergraduate research initiative that includes a national conference and an online journal. In addition, Kappa Omicron Nu publishes a scholarly journal and develops numerous educational initiatives for the human sciences. Kappa Omicron Nu is a certified member of the Association of College Honor Societies, and serves 98 active chapters and nearly 150,000 student and professional members. For more information, see www.kon.org.

About the Association of College Honor Societies

The Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) is the nation’s only certifying agency for college and university honor societies. The Association sets standards for organizational excellence and scholastic eligibility, ensures that member societies are structured to advance the interests of their individual members and adhere to sound business practices, and serves as a resource to protect consumers from disreputable organizations that do not live up to the name “honor society.” Since its founding in 1925, ACHS has represented and promoted the interests of more than 92 million honors students.

The mission of ACHS is to build a visibly cohesive community of national and international honor societies that promotes the values of higher education; fosters excellence in scholarship, leadership, service, and research; and adheres to the standards of honor society excellence. For more information or to research certified members, see www.achsnatl.org.

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