By, Jilleen Barrett, Managing & Features Editor
Isabel Quiñones ’20, ’21, the former co-president of the Manhattan College chapter of the education honor society Kappa Delta Pi, is now serving as the designated representative of the national organization, which has a status at the United Nations.
“I’m very excited to announce that I have been selected as a Designated Representative for the United Nations NGO Kappa Delta Pi,” Quiñones posted on LinkedIn. “Through this role, I will work to explore how this collaboration will better benefit teachers in America’s classrooms and increase teachers’ global competencies.”
Quiñones has been working toward this since her days at Manhattan, when she won a scholarship through KDP to pay for school. From there, she was asked to participate in the organization’s Knowledge Development Advisory Council. This led to her being nominated for the position she is currently serving.
“When I was in contact with [national headquarters], they asked me if I was interested in being a part of this council that basically was to be a little bit more inclusive of all different perspectives of teachers,” Quiñones told The Quadrangle.
The perspectives she has learned about since she started come from all across the world as she now participates in conversations about increasing access to equitable education across the globe. Quiñones said they do that by comparing education styles between the fifty states, and then comparing the U.S. to other countries who are part of the U.N.
One of the panels she attended recently addressed education on human rights, and how that is being worked into curriculums for children.
“I didn’t really learn about human rights — like what my rights are as a human — until I was older and researched it on my own,” Quiñones said. “[Now], there’s curriculums set for kindergarten all the way up through high school, so that is something I am going to implement myself this year and bring to my school … so every student [in the district] is getting some sort of human rights education.”
Quiñones hopes to implement human rights education across the White Plains City school district, where she was recently hired to teach for the upcoming school year in addition to taking on this role with the U.N.
Quiñones believes part of the reason she is able to have access to so many different opportunities is because she was a part of KDP at Manhattan.
“One of the things the education department at Manhattan really stressed was that they had this relationship with KDP,” Quiñones said. “I didn’t realize the larger scope of KDP and what they have.”
This is what Quiñones told students at Manhattan who were inducted into KDP this past year. Tara Fox, who was serving as the chapter’s president at the time, reached out to Quiñones to speak at the induction because she knew her experiences would be helpful for the new inductees.
“We wanted someone to connect the values of KDP and education, and speak to our inductees to offer some words of encouragement, some advice, helpful wisdom and to share her experience,” Fox said. “She always values her time in Manhattan … It’s just kind of full circle for everybody.”
Ruth Zealand, Ph.D., is the faculty advisor for the honor society and worked closely with Quiñones when she was the chapter co-president. She said Quiñones’ drive to help others was clear in the classroom, across campus and now, in her career.
“Everywhere you would turn, she was helping students at orientation, or leading tours of campus – she always seemed to make time for other students and volunteering,” Zealand said. “I was actually going to suggest her as the [KDP induction] speaker, so it was a real delight that the students, on their own, thought she would be great.”
Going forward, Quiñones hopes to see more Manhattan KDP members using the organization to their advantage in their careers like she has been able to.
“I would want people in undergrad to know it’s not just an honor society,” Quiñones said. “They’re going to support you all the way through.”