Newman University senior Sophie Johnston was recently elected as the district state governor for Circle K International (CKI).
According to its website, CKI is the world’s largest student-led collegiate service organization, with “thousands of members on hundreds of campuses on five continents across the globe.” The organization also partners with UNICEF USA to raise awareness about the need for clean drinking water worldwide.
On the Newman campus, the CKI student organization is dedicated to developing on-campus leaders by offering unique service and fellowship opportunities.
Johnston, a biology major with a concentration in pre-medicine, was nominated for the role of district state governor by Newman CKI president Ashley Dihn and vice president Britney Ma. The three attended the CKI Kansas District Conference in March at Kansas State University, where CKI district elections were held.
“I was nervous and excited when I learned that I had been elected and my mind was running with thoughts of what would be next,” Johnston said. “This opportunity means that I get to be a leader to not only those around me but also people around the world.”
Johnston’s responsibilities include overseeing all CKI organizations across the state and growing her social network and opportunities throughout her term, which ends in April 2023. Johnston will then remain on the CKI board as a voting member until September 2023.
“I am really excited to attend our international convention this summer in Austin, Texas, and learn even more about my role,” she added.
Dihn said that witnessing Johnston’s election was one of her biggest takeaways from the experience.
“Sophie is a great leader and I know she will do well in her newly elected position,” Dihn said.
CKI conference focused on service, leadership
Highlights of the conference involved a 2-mile long highway cleanup activity, an awards luncheon and the House of Delegates event, all of which the Newman trio participated in alongside college students of other CKI chapters.
Ma said the convention was a great opportunity to meet statewide CKI members and celebrate the community, as well as what it means to be a member of CKI.
“I enjoyed getting to know other CKI members and learning more about the different service projects their respective chapters participate in,” Ma said. “The highway cleanup project was a humbling and eye-opening experience to see how the K-State chapter chooses to serve their community.”
She also got a sneak peek at the role the Kansas district plays in the greater community of the international organization, she said.
The experience also gave Dihn ideas of various activities and projects to bring back to the Newman chapter. Serving her first year as CKI president had its challenges, she said, but with the help of her executive members, Dihn helped liven participation on campus.
“I have definitely learned a lot as president, especially how to organize events and to keep members interested in the club,” she said. “Though this year was rough and definitely a learning experience, this conference helped me learn new things in order to improve the Newman CKI chapter for next year with bigger and better events to come for the club.”
Dihn said students, faculty and staff can look forward to exciting updates from the student organization, with a return of recycling on campus as one of CKI’s top priorities.
Because Johnston, the elected district state governor, is from Newman University, Newman will welcome attendees from across Kansas at the next district-wide conference for CKI in March 2023.
Ma added, “I look forward to hosting the event because CKI members from across the state will be able to get to know Newman and it will be a great opportunity for everyone to learn more about service, leadership and fellowship.”
Get involved with student organizations at Newman
These communities will provide opportunities for students to develop their leadership, promote awareness of issues, expand professional and personal competencies, and engage with Newman University and local communities outside of the classroom.