Professional and Alumni

The Organization & Purpose of Kappa Omicron Nu

Kappa Omicron Nu was established on February 21, 1990 by the consolidation of Kappa Omicron Phi and Omicron Nu. Following a successful three-year collaboration as an Administrative Merger, Kappa Omicron Nu was structured to realize the synergistic benefits of two strong organizations. Headquartered in Okemos-East Lansing, Michigan, Kappa Omicron Nu is located close to the Michigan State University campus, the founding institution of Omicron Nu.


The mission of Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society is empowered leaders through scholarship, research, and leadership. This mission will enhance the ability of the organization and chapters to prepare scholars and researchers as leaders for the 21st century.


Kappa Omicron Nu has adopted the Policy GovernanceR model by which the Board of Directors achieves what it should while avoiding unacceptable circumstances and actions. Four categories of policies include ends, executive limitations, board process, and board-staff linkage. The effects of Policy GovernanceR are clarity of values, focus on results rather than administrative process, empowerment of executive authority, and enhanced board-owner relationship. The Board includes Chair, Chair Elect, First Vice Chair, Second Vice Chair, Secretary, and three Student Board Members. The Executive Director is a non-voting member of the Board. The Board officers are elected by a mail ballot to all active members, and the Biennial Conclave Assembly of Delegates elects the Student Board Members and sets authority for organizational affairs.


Undergraduate students shall have completed 45 semester hours or equivalent, have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and rank in the top 25 percent of their class. Graduate students shall have completed 12 semester hours of graduate work or equivalent and have a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. Professionals not previously initiated into the honor society and those with degrees outside the profession but making distinctive contributions are eligible, based upon minimum undergraduate or graduate student criteria.

Major Activities

Kappa Omicron Nu awards $150-500 in scholar program grants to each chapter once each biennium. Fellowships and grants in excess of $30,000 are awarded each year. Chapter programming focuses on a national program theme and scholarly priorities, including undergraduate writing, ethics, mentoring, cultural diversity, leadership, and undergraduate research. The Web site,, is designed to support the development of a learning community. The Leadership Academy sponsors innovative programs and leadership development, including online courses. In collaboration with the Undergraduate Research Community for the Human Sciences, Kappa Omicron Nu sponsors an undergraduate research conference. The Online Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences was introduced in Spring 2002.


The Society publishes Kappa Omicron Nu FORUM, a refereed, thematic scholarly journal, and Kappa Omicron Nu Dialogue, a substantive newsletter featuring issues, program themes, announcements, and awards. FORUM has featured a series of "Legacies for the Future," which tells the stories of leaders who helped to develop the field of human sciences. Other themes have focused on the concepts of community, collaboration, empowerment, and leadership. Online volumes of FORUM have expanded outreach of Kappa Omicron Nu publications. An online newsletter, Kappa Omicron Nu Spotlight, serves as the annual report of Kappa Omicron Nu activities. The online Collegiate Member Newsletter features items of special interest to students.


Omicron Nu was founded in 1912 at Michigan Agricultural College, now Michigan State University. Faculty members were familiar with other honor societies, so Dean Maude Gilchrist and faculty decided to recognize home economics scholarship. The purposes of promoting scholarship, research, and leadership were the motivating factors behind its expansion to other campuses across the country.

Kappa Omicron Phi was formed ten years later in 1922 at Northwest Missouri State Teacher College, Maryville, now Northwest Missouri State University. Emphasis was placed not only on intellectual and scholastic excellence but also upon personal development-intellectual, spiritual, ethical, and aesthetic qualities.


Kappa Omicron Nu gives voice to advocacy for scholarship; clarity to the quest for excellence in scholarship, research, and leadership; leadership to a sizable scholarly community in the human sciences; emphasis to examining the responsibility of scholars to professional practice and society; commitment to enriching the intellectual environment through its local and national initiatives; and priority to innovative and enhanced services. Kappa Omicron Nu has provided leadership for collaboration among various organizations within the human sciences in leadership development, in strategic thinking about the future of the field in higher education, and in undergraduate research.

Dr. Ginger Phillips-Schiller, Interim Executive Director

For More Information:

Call the Kappa Omicron Nu National Office at (727) 940-2658 ext. 2003 or e-mail us

Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society
PO Box 798
Okemos, MI 48805-0798

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