October 20, 2016

Collegiate Perspective: Creating Tradition with Red Dress Gala

Excitement surrounds the Kappa Alpha chapter as we prepare for our very first Red Dress Gala. On November 4, members will gather with parents, friends and alumnae for a night of celebration to raise awareness and funds for women’s heart health.

Chapters across the nation hold Red Dress Galas in hopes of educating the public on women’s heart health and raising funds for Alpha Phi Foundation. Our chapter is only two years old, and we are thrilled to already be hosting a Gala to establish our own traditions for our beloved fraternity. This event is unique to the UNC Chapel Hill Greek life community, and it is a great source of pride for our chapter.

Our gala planning began last February, and since then our chapter has worked diligently to ensure a magical evening for all attendees. Event Director Jenny Baker, has collaborated with our wonderful alumnae, advisors and consultants, receiving both their guidance and inspiration. The night will begin with a cocktail hour where members can meet each other’s families and alumni from all around. Then guests will be guided to walk along a hallway where baskets and other auction items will be displayed.

All members created baskets with their families within the chapter. The baskets all have special themes and are the event’s main way of raising funds for the night. My family’s theme was jewelry, and we received donations from Kendra Scott and other designers. We are excited to see the total funds our first gala will garner for our beloved philanthropy. The night will continue after the silent auction with live music, a three course meal and a speaker, Juliann Gardner. Juliann is a heart attack survivor and works closely with the American Heart Association. Juliann was invited to speak at the event after we heard her moving speech at a similar heart health event. We are excited for our chapter and guests to hear her speak about her life-altering experience and the importance of heart health.

The details of the night seem to be in perfect order, but Events Director Jenny Baker says it hasn’t all been easy. The biggest challenge she has had to face was getting people motivated and on board for the chapter’s first Red Dress Gala. “I’ve had to explain in great detail how this will have such a great impact on our philanthropy and that each member’s efforts are critical to the success of the evening,” Baker said. It might have taken a bit of motivating, but with the whole chapter on board, we hope the night will run seamlessly and our goals will be met.

One of the most exciting things members are looking forward to is their families getting the chance at seeing what a sorority really is all about: sisters rallying around a great cause and supporting one another in our efforts to benefit our fraternity as a whole. I know I am itching to see the night come together. I can’t wait to kick off what I know will be one of my favorite traditions here at Carolina.

If you or someone you know are interested in attending please contact jenbaker@live.unc.edu

Mikayla Tencer is a collegiate member at the Kappa Alpha chapter at UNC Chapel Hill. To learn more about Mikayla, click here.

October 11, 2016

Inside the EO: Kathy Gerlach

What is your name?
Kathy Gerlach

Where are you originally from?
Bridgeview, IL

Where did you attend college and what chapter were you a part of there?
Purdue University – Delta Mu

What was your major in college?
Business major with a minor in Computer Science

What was your plan post-graduation? 
My plan was to work in the IT field. I started my career at Ford Motor Company in Detroit, MI, as a programmer/analyst. I received my MBA in Finance from the University of Detroit Mercy.

Why did you decide to work for Alpha Phi International Fraternity?
I had been at home raising my 2 daughters for the last 10 years. As I thought about what the next phase of life would look like for me, I considered going back to work or looking for a volunteer opportunity I could be passionate about. 

What is your job title? 
Coordinator of Alumnae Chapter Development

How long have you been working for Alpha Phi?
I have been working for Alpha Phi for 3 weeks.

What is your favorite memory of Alpha Phi—as a collegian, alumna, or staff member?
My favorite memories are of the late nights hanging out with my sisters in the Delta Mu house.

What do you like best about working at the Executive Office?
I like working at the Executive Office because I am learning so much about Alpha Phi. I also love that every day we are making a difference in young women’s lives.

What are some of your goals for the next few years?
My goals are to transition back into the working world, and continue with my volunteer positions in my Alpha Phi alumnae group as well as the Panhellenic alumnae group. 

Do you have any advice for current collegiate members?
Have goals for post graduation, not just “get a job." If there is a graduate degree you want to pursue, a place you want to live or a company you want to work for - set goals for achieving those things.

October 5, 2016

Collegiate Perspective: Destroying Sorority Stereotypes

As a society, we love to label people, places, and things. Some labels are positive, some negative, but why is it that sororities continue to be categorized negatively, more now than ever? Could we have gone too far with our generalizations?

Now, when I say “we” I mean all of us as a Greek community; we have witnessed first-hand that it does not matter who commits the negative action, but it matters that they are Greek and we as Greeks take the blame together. We fall together, but in order to fix it do we need to take action individually?

Call me crazy, but I think the future will be changed by our individual actions. Lets think about the stereotypes that we have fallen victim to:

Sorority girls aren’t the smartest
Sorority girls are always late
Sorority girls do nothing but party
Sorority girls don’t get good grades

The list goes on, when we wear our letters, we are immediately judged. These preconceived notions come from invisible tags that hang from our letters. If you are like me, you wear Alpha Phi everything, half my closet is lettered merchandise. When I wear my letters I know it is expected of me to hold myself to the highest ideals and understand that these negative labels do not define me. As sorority women it is our job to protect our letters.

We should wear our letters proud, and understand what it means to represent an entire group of women. We must wake up with the intention of conducting ourselves according to the highest standards.

We carry the responsibility, and in order to break the biases that others have, we must give them new ones. Here are my tips:
  •        Be on time
  •         Say “Please” and “Thank You”
  •         Be friendly and kind
  •         Remember the importance of academics
  •         Set priorities
  •         Build connections
  •         Leave lasting impressions
  •         Smile
The bottom line is that if we are women that carry ourselves with dignity and poise, people are going to begin to believe what they see, not what the stereotypes portray us as. The way that you represent yourself will pave the way for the ones that follow.  Lead by example, lead with pride. We have a new image to build, and it looks nothing like our last one.

 Yasmin Quintana is a collegiate member at California State University Northridge (Epsilon Upsilon). To learn more about Yasmin, click here.

September 29, 2016

Inside the EO: Jenny White

What is your name? Jenny White

Where are you originally from? Chicago

Where did you attend college and what activities were you involved in there? I attended Olivet Nazarene University in central Illinois and was the editor of the school newspaper, as well as a violist in the symphony.

What was your major in college? I received a degree in Digital and Print Journalism and minored in Studio Art.

What was your plan post-graduation? The summer after graduation I was freelancing for the Chicago Sun Times Pioneer Local, as well as blogging for various lifestyle publications. Then I became a graphic designer for Whole Foods Market and I fell in love with design.

Why did you decide to work for Alpha Phi International Fraternity? I decided to work for Alpha Phi because a position opened that advanced the trajectory of my desired career (design and arts management). Having the opportunity to work in this field, as well as for a Fraternity whose goal is to empower and connect women perfectly integrated my various interests.

What is your job title? Program Manager of Marketing and Design

How long have you been working for Alpha Phi? I have been here since August, 2016.

What do you like best about working at the Executive Office? For one thing, Evanston is absolutely gorgeous, especially in the fall. Other than that, I love the office culture and the people I work with; it’s wonderful being able to use my skill set to contribute to Alpha Phi.

What are some of your goals for the next few years? I hope to develop my design skills, make progress on some personal art projects, and perhaps start graduate work!

Do you have any advice for current collegiate members? Stay active and involved as much as possible, four years go by so quickly and you’ll want to take advantage of all of the opportunities afforded to you as a collegiate!

September 23, 2016

Meet the Fall 2016 Collegiate Perspective Bloggers!

Yasmin Quintana (Epsilon Upsilon- California State University Northridge) 
Yasmin is a senior studying Broadcast Journalism and Criminal Justice. Within her chapter, Yasmin currently holds the position of Vice President of Risk Management. She has also served as Vice President of Programming and Education in the past, and spent a semester on the National Panhellenic Council on her campus. She believes that these positions have guided her to build trust and respect from her chapter. Outside of Alpha Phi, she is currently working as an intern at FOX Sports Radio. Yasmin loves coffee, organization and sports, but above all loves the family she has built within Alpha Phi. 

Mikayla Tencer (Kappa Alpha- University of North Carolina Chapel Hill)
Mikayla is a junior at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill studying management and society with a minor in social and economic justice. She is a founding member of the Kappa Alpha chapter at UNC and has served on the community service committee. She was chosen as the first Chaplain and currently serves on the programming and education department. Mikayla hopes to one day serve on the executive board and become an Educational Leadership Consultant. Outside of Alpha Phi Mikayla is involved in Young Life and served this past summer as the head baker at a camp in Oregon. In her free time she also loves to travel, try new things and read or watch Harry Potter.

Ellie Brown (Delta Kappa- University of Wisconsin La Crosse) 
Ellie is senior at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse studying English Literature with a minor in Organizational and Professional Communication. During her time in the Delta Kappa chapter, she has served on the Panhellenic Council as the delegate for her chapter and currently holds the position of Vice President of Judiciary. In addition to serving in an honors fraternity, Ellie is also very active within her campus newspaper where she edits student viewpoint on current social issues and she is working on creating an undergraduate humanities research journal for her internship. In her free time (which is rare these days), she likes to spend quality time with her Netflix account, reads as many books as possible, and dreams about moving to the U.K. after finishing grad school.  

August 23, 2016

Fall 2016 Collegiate Perspective Blogger Application

Are you....  
An avid writer?
Social media savvy?
Passionate about Alpha Phi? 

Then consider applying to be a guest writer for the Collegiate Perspective section of the Alpha Phi International blog.

Our blog features topics ranging from alumnae perspective articles to crafting to general women's awareness pieces. And we'd love to throw your viewpoint into the mix! Document a semester in the life: snap photos, tell about events happening within your chapter or write about topics concerning women and sisters of Alpha Phi. The possibilities are endless, and we want to hear your ideas!

In order to be eligible, you must:
  • Be a collegiate member
  • Be able to write blog posts up to two times a month
  • Be available to write through the end of this semester (Fall 2016)

Interested? Fill out the Alpha Phi Collegiate Blogger Application. Please be thoughtful and thorough with your responses. You can view past collegiate perspective pieces by clicking here. We'll be in touch following the deadline regarding the status of your application.

Contact marketing@alphaphi.org with any questions!

The application deadline is due by September 11th, 2016, by 11:59 PM CST.

August 9, 2016

Alpha Phi’s 5th Annual Paint Your Letters Contest!

With the start of a new school year, what better time to break out the paint, get your creative juices flowing and enter our Fifth Annual Paint Your Letters contest! Here are the details on how to enter:
  1. Take a photo of your painted letters. Members can be included in the photo. For chapters that recruit in the spring, feel free to use a photo from then! Photos entered in last year's contest will not be eligible.
  2. Send the photo to marketing@alphaphi.org with your name, chapter and school by Sunday, September 4th, at 11:59 p.m. CST. Please include "Paint Your Letters" in the subject line.
  3. We’ll post submissions to our Facebook page on Wednesday, September 7. The photo with the most “Likes” by the following Tuesday, September 13 at 4:00 p.m. CST, will receive the following:

The Executive Office will re-create the winning pattern in graphic form
The chapter’s winning image will be featured on Alpha Phi’s official Facebook page

So, get out your paint brushes and get ready for a great year! We look forward to receiving your photos!

Photos submitted for last year's contest.