Marcella Kysilka, a UCF professor emerita, is among an elite group of educators nationwide to be honored for her commitment to fostering excellence and fellowship among those dedicated to teaching.

Kysilka is among the 21 educators selected for the inaugural Eleanor Roosevelt Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the international society of education that promotes excellence and advances scholarship, leadership and service.

Kysilka was a charter UCF faculty member, and she retired in 2003. She was previously recognized by Kappa Delta Pi in 2011 with the Dr. Truman Kelley Award for Scholarship Excellence. She credits former Kappa Delta Pi president and University of Texas at Austin professor O.L. Davis Jr. for encouraging her involvement with the organization.

“This is an enormous honor and I was pleased to see that several colleagues of mine also received the award. Those of us who were students of O.L. Davis Jr. have to thank him for being the ultimate mentor and friend,” said Kysilka. “He taught us to not only be good teachers and scholars, but to be leaders in our field through our professional organizations. I tried to emulate him by demanding the same from my students, many of whom have earned recognition from their universities and professional involvement.”

Members of the Eleanor Roosevelt Chapter must have been active in Kappa Delta Pi for at least 20 years, made significant contributions to education or the society, and fulfilled criteria such as counseling a college chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, serving as a board member or contributing to society publications. The chapter was named for former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt because of her community service and commitment to educating youth.

Membership in the chapter is a lifetime honor and will be limited to 100 living members. Chapter members will assist in the selection of new members every two years.

The 21 educators will be inducted into the chapter at Kappa Delta Pi’s annual convocation, which will be held in Dallas in October.

Kappa Delta Pi was established in 1911 to recognize and promote excellence in education, provide a reasoned voice for significant issues and link educators. The organization currently has more than 600 chapters and 43,000 members worldwide.

UCF’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi inducted 36 new members this spring. The chapter now has more than 110 active members.