July 31, 2015

Inside the EO: Kristen Douglass

What is your name? Kristen Douglass

Where are you originally from? Orono, Maine

Where did you attend college and what chapter were you a part of there? I attended the University of Maine and I was a member of the Delta Nu chapter.

What was your major in college? I received a degree in New Media and minored in Studio Art and Graphic Design.

What was your plan post-graduation? My senior year of college I started my own media production company with a friend of mine, so my plan was, and still is, to continue to run my business and have a career in the marketing world.

Why did you decide to work for Alpha Phi International Fraternity? I decided to work for Alpha Phi because a position opened that fit the field I wanted to go into (marketing.) Having the opportunity to work in this field, as well as for the Fraternity that I am so passionate about seemed like the perfect fit for my future.

What is your job title? Program Coordinator of Marketing and Communications. 

How long have you been working for Alpha Phi? I started this position in July 2015. 

What is your favorite memory of Alpha Phi—as a collegian, alumna, or staff member? My favorite Alpha Phi memory would have to be attending the Fellows Program as a part of the inaugural class. I’ve always loved traveling for Alpha Phi whether it was for a leadership conference, ELI or Fellows. Having the opportunity to represent my chapter on a national level is a very rewarding experience.

What do you like best about working at the Executive Office/What drew you to work at the Executive Office? I love the environment and the people I work with, it’s so much fun being able to use my degree and continue to contribute to Alpha Phi. 

What are some of your goals for the next few years? I hope to grow my business, travel, read more books and try new food. I’m excited about having the opportunity to live in a city like Chicago because there is so much to do!

Do you have any advice for current collegiate members? Involve yourself as much as possible, whether it’s running for positions in your chapter or applying to go to ELI or the Fellows Program. Four years go by so quickly and you’ll want to take advantage of all of the opportunities Alpha Phi can provide for you as a collegiate! Plus who doesn’t like meeting sisters from across the nation? Some of my closest Alpha Phi sisters were members in chapters all the way across the country. 

July 29, 2015

Alumnae Volunteer Perspective: Reflecting on the Alpha Phi Experience

As I reflect back on my years as an Alpha Phi alumnae, I can truly say that these are some of the best years of my life. While my experiences as a collegian were amazing, being an alumnae has been even more enriching. I’ve found a passion within my career, searched for jobs, networked in a corporate setting, and volunteered as an advisor. These experiences are similar to ones many Alpha Phi’s will go through. Alpha Phi is a family, a community, and no matter where you end up after college or university you will always have a home in Alpha Phi. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to give back as an alumna to an organization that has helped shape me as a leader, philanthropist and scholar. 

When I think back to my time as a collegian, and those opportunities I had to network and engage in conversations with alumnae may be some of my best memories. These women have become role models for me even after my collegiate days. Collaboration between collegians and alumnae is an opportunity to see the progress Alpha Phi has made, how your legacy lived on in a chapter, and ultimately move the fraternity forward for future generations. Alumnae events or having alumnae present at events is an opportunity to see the changes within a chapter, to network with successful leaders in Alpha Phi and discuss career and future aspirations with women who were once in your shoes. 

You may remember the challenges of organizing successful events as a collegian or how stressful exams could be. As an alumnae you have the opportunity to give back to the 164 collegiate chapters in North America. As an advisor or a collegiate member, why not get connected with a local alumnae chapter and see how these women can help? Maybe it’s creating study bags to distribute  during exams, or supporting philanthropy events financially or by attending, maybe it’s even attending initiation, or donating items for the house or recruitment. These are all small things that can help a great deal. For collegiate chapters, don’t forget to invite your alumnae to events. 

One thing that has always stuck out to me is, why wouldn’t you want to get alumnae involved with a collegiate chapter? Alumnae can inspire and encourage collegiate members to aspire for something greater. Alpha Phi is a community, getting engaging in conversations between alumnae and collegians will allow each to expand their social and professional network – you’re giving members opportunity to meet amazing women with diverse interests in both alumnae and collegiate chapters. The start of the school year is quickly approaching, so there is no time like the present to embrace this connection.

Take this opportunity to give back to something that has given you a lifetime of memories. As an alumnae get involved with a collegiate chapter and make a difference. 

I look forward to hearing about all the collegiate and alumnae events this year and seeing how alumnae are supporting our 164 amazing collegiate chapters. 

Emily Campbell  (Theta Eta-Western University)
Chapter Advisor – Theta Eta-Western University
Alumnae Chapter President – Southwestern Ontario Alumnae Chapter
Alumnae Chapter Administrator – East Quadrant

July 24, 2015

Featured Product Friday: Pineapple Boxy Tee

Pineapples are all the rage this summer! This design features a pineapple Alpha Phi pattern on a flowy Boxy tee. Great for hot summer days!

June 22, 2015

Collegiate Perspective: Students, First and Foremost

One of the more frustrating stereotypes I’ve come across as a member of the Greek community is that Greeks are not academically inclined. I almost feel bad for anyone who tries to take that stance with me, because as the previous Director of Scholarship, Order of Omega President on our campus (the all Greek honor society) and someone who genuinely likes school, they get an earful. I usually start with the fact that Greek organizations often score above campus grade point averages while also juggling community service, social activities and athletics. I’ll continue to outline scholarship plans, values and the vast amounts of resources we have access to, until they regret ever buying into the stereotype. The understanding that academics come first is perpetuated through every Greek chapter I know, and Alpha Phi is certainly no different. I have seen so many women who struggle with school achieve their highest grades because of the opportunities, resources and motivation that Alpha Phi has provided.

My chapter, Chi at the University of Montana, has worked incredibly hard over the past four years, and last year we were honored to have received the most improved scholarship plan at Alpha Phi’s Western Leadership Conference. As a previous director of scholarship for our chapter (and self-proclaimed nerd) this was a huge deal. One of Alpha Phi’s core values is scholarship, so to be recognized for scholastic achievements on a regional level was pretty amazing. Each chapter of Alpha Phi has their own specialized scholarship plan, geared to its members. Some pair up mentoring buddies sharing the same major, others utilize incentives for attending class and good performance on tests or papers and some have a requirement for specific study hours. In any case, academics play a huge role in Alpha Phi, as the women who founded it understood that we are first and foremost students.

One of the great things about being an Alpha Phi is the amount of connections you make with others; these links are especially helpful in the world of academics. Your sisters are always there to lend a helping hand when needed, whether that’s looking over a paper, flipping flashcards or just sitting with you and keeping you on task. We have study tables in our dining room in the evening where members gather to work on their homework in a quiet atmosphere. Being surrounded by others focused on their work definitely pushed me to put forth my best effort on my own.

When you are a part of Alpha Phi you are a part of something bigger than yourself. That notion is emphasized in all facets of our values, and scholarship is no exception. The desire to perform well for not only you, but to represent Alpha Phi in a positive light, is definitely felt. It isn’t an added pressure, but it is definitely an added motivator. This expectation is reasonable as Alpha Phi provides tools to make academic success a possibility. From study groups (internally or panhellenically), special rooms rented at the library or filing cabinets packed with the study notes of past members, this organization not only keeps education at the forefront of everyone’s minds, but also offers a variety of ways to flourish.

Taylor Skansi is a collegiate member at Montana (Chi). Learn more about Taylor by clicking here.

June 17, 2015

Alumnae Volunteer Perspective: Leading Alpha Phi Then and Now…

Leadership is one of my dearest values and, luckily, Alpha Phi shares the same devotion to leadership for all its members. Alpha Phi provides collegiate and alumna members the ability to gain more leadership skills through the many opportunities they provide. I am so happy to be a part of an organization that truly cares about the success of its members.

One of my most cherished Alpha Phi experiences was attending the Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI) as a collegian in 2008. I knew I wanted to make a difference in my chapter, and I thought ELI would be the place to gain confidence and to understand Alpha Phi from an even bigger perspective than just my tiny state school. Little did I know that it would change my life forever.

When attending ELI, you are constantly learning and growing, whether it be in a large group session or in your smaller Silver Circle sessions. I remember being so enthralled by the amazing women who were volunteering their time and talents to help collegians find their voice. I was strongly impacted by all of these alumnae and it helped me change for the better. I knew that there was something much more to Alpha Phi than just the 50 women in my chapter. There was a lifelong love and commitment to our organization, which you could tell gave so much to those alumnae, and they wanted to give their love back through volunteering.

After those five intense days at Butler University, I felt an obligation to be a steward of our organization, to pay it forward, and to give back as much as it had given to me. Luckily, ELI gave me my volunteer start in more than one way. I was asked to serve the Fraternity as its Music Consultant upon graduation. My prayers had been answered! I resolved to give back to my Fraternity, and this was my chance.

Once I became an alumna member, I wanted to dive in and get involved with volunteering as much as I could. I got more involved on the international and regional levels. Then I received an email from Alpha Phi regarding the search for ELI facilitators, and at that moment I knew this was the way for me to truly serve as a steward.

I have been a Silver Circle facilitator three times since I graduated in 2010, and each time has been crazy, wonderful, rewarding and life-changing. Each time I attend, it reaffirms my love and commitment to our fraternity, and it makes me incredibly hopeful for its future. The collegians that attend ELI, remind me of myself and the many amazing volunteers I have met through these fantastic leadership opportunities. I hope that I impact those collegians, just as the amazing Silver Circle facilitators at my ELI session impacted me.

Without the strong leadership foundation and fundamental skills Alpha Phi has given me, I would not be the type of volunteer I am today. ELI gave me a sense of purpose and helped me realize how important it is to spread the Alpha Phi love.

Sami Conter Hoerner (Theta Xi-Shippensburg) currently serves as the Music Consultant for the Fraternity, as well as the Chapter Advisor for the Eta Tau chapter at SUNY Cortland. She continues to share her love of Alpha Phi with collegiate members each year at ELI.  Alpha Phi thanks her for her service and stewardship.

The Emerging Leaders Institute is funded each year through a grant from Alpha Phi Foundation. All attendees receive a full scholarship to participate in this unique experience designed to provide Alpha Phi’s rising leaders with the unique opportunity to learn from successful alumnae and each other.

June 12, 2015

Featured Product Friday: Gone Greek Flag Tank

Fourth of July is right around the corner... Don't be left looking for a cute outfit last minute! This fun Comfort Colors tank will have you celebrating in comfort and style. What more could you ask for?

Price is $25. Click here for details.

June 5, 2015

Featured Product Friday: Best Dad Ever Mug by Boutique Greek

Father's Day is coming up, so show your dad he's the best with this "best dad ever" mug by Boutique Greek! These mugs are ceramic and come in 11 oz and 15 oz sizes. They even come in a white gift box to make gifting easier for you!
Price is $16.50. Bulk pricing available. Click here for details.