2013 Omicron Delta Kappa Senior of the Year Award Granted to Katherine Malekoff

Issue Date: 
April 28, 2013

University of Pittsburgh graduating senior Katherine Malekoff, who received a Bachelor of Arts degree in urban studies and sociology from Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences during Pitt's April 28 commencement ceremony, has been named the University’s 2013 Omicron Delta Kappa Senior of the Year.

Omicron Delta Kappa is an honorary society founded in 1914 at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., that recognizes students who maintain a high standard of leadership in collegiate activities. The award is given to students who possess and exhibit outstanding leadership qualities in service to the University. Malekoff received the award at the University’s Honors Convocation in February, and her name will be engraved in a walkway between the Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Chapel alongside the names of previous Omicron Delta Kappa Senior of the Year award recipients.

For Malekoff, this award is the culmination of a fulfilling academic career at Pitt, where she has learned several life lessons.

“My experiences at the University of Pittsburgh have taught me that in order to live well, service to others is key,” said Malekoff. “It is truly humbling to receive the Omicron Delta Kappa Senior of the Year Award, and I can only hope to continue to serve the Pitt community as an alum for years to come.”

During Pitt’s 2013 Commencement, Malekoff served as the Student Respondent, delivering remarks following the featured speaker’s address and the conferring of degrees. Following commencement, Malekoff will work as a Teach For America instructor within New York City’s public school system for two years and will pursue a long-term career in the urban education policy field.

Malekoff, who hails from Greensboro, N.C., has been a leader for many groups and projects throughout her collegiate career at Pitt. Most notably, she served as the chair for Pitt Make A Difference Day in 2011, when she coordinated logistical planning for 4,000 volunteers at more than 60 area sites during the University’s single largest day of volunteering and service. In preparation for Pitt Make A Difference Day, she developed marketing and outreach campaigns to encourage registration and attendance.

In addition, she served as an undergraduate representative on the Student Affairs Committee of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees during the 2011-12 school year. Malekoff has held positions with Pitt’s Student Government Board, including allocations liaison, campaign manager, and member of the governmental relations committee. She also served as the head first-year mentor for Pitt’s Office of First Year Experience as well as the leisure learning director for the Pitt Program Council.

In 2011, Malekoff was one of only five Pitt students—along with 41 other students from 16 states and 14 countries—selected as a student representative at the third annual Student Leadership Summit of the Pitt Hesselbein Global Academy for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement.

Malekoff’s awards and distinctions include a 2012 Dean’s Award, a 2011 Director of Student Life Award, and a 2011 Outstanding Junior Student Leader Award.

Mary E. Utter, assistant director of student life and a coordinator of Pitt’s Office of First Year Experience, worked closely with Malekoff throughout her years at Pitt.

Utter notes that Malekoff is an exceptional student with a bright future: “Katherine is a one-of-a-kind student whose impact on Pitt’s campus will be felt for years to come. She has an immense pride for Pitt and has shown selfless dedication to the betterment of this community.”