May 20, 2011

Alpha Phis Overseas

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in our sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~Mark Twain


 
So, you’re thinking about studying abroad. It’s exciting, right? Maybe a little scary, too. More than likely, the possibility of venturing off from the campus that you call Home Sweet Home is a little unnerving. There are factors such as cost, location and amount of time away from loved ones that are no doubt making this decision an intimidating one.

If you’re a planner like me, you probably share my firm belief in making any major decision with a good, organized rationale. Personally, that means whipping out lists of pros and cons like it’s nobody’s business. And when it comes to studying abroad, my list shows that the pros far outweigh the cons.

My friends and family who have adventured to far off places all refer to their travels as “the experience of a lifetime”. Even if it does sound like something cheesy that you’d read in a brochure, I couldn’t agree more. That's why I’m taking my own advice and studying abroad! I’m still undecided about where I’d like to travel, but I know that Alpha Phi will be with me now more than ever. Alpha Phi International has established a new Facebook page, appropriately titled “Alpha Phis Overseas”. The page hosts photos and stories from those currently abroad, information for collegiate members and their parents, alumnae connections, discussion boards for various topics and more! Alpha Phi encourages using this “home base” to share experiences outside the United States with family, friends and sisters. I can’t wait to contribute to the page and to share my adventures!

For questions, comments, or concerns regarding this Facebook page, or if you’d like to be included in the listing of Alpha Phis currently studying abroad, please contact Kristen Mitchell at kmitchell@alphaphi.org. Check out “Alpha Phis Overseas” today and be sure to click “Like!”


Stephanie LeBlanc is a member of the Upsilon chapter at Washburn.

May 18, 2011

Stanford Installation

In 1879, Alpha Phi adopted its official colors, silver and bordeaux, distinctive shades that have come to represent the rich history and timeless bonds originally established by our Fraternity's ten Founders.

Since their adoption, members have worn these colors in the form of a silver and bordeaux ribbon under their badges to acknowledge special occasions. These recognized occasions include Alpha Phi Founders’ Day, the anniversary of a chapter’s installation and the installation of a new chapter.

On May 21, 2011, Alpha Phi and its members will honor the re-installation of our Kappa chapter at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. On this day, we ask members to participate in our Fraternity’s long-standing tradition by wearing silver and bordeaux ribbons beneath our member badges.




We have also created a recognition icon for use on Facebook profile pages, and ask members to upload it as their profile pictures or post it to their walls, spreading awareness about Kappa’s re-installation. You can download this icon via Facebook.

Take this chance to embrace tradition and wear your Alpha Phi colors proudly in recognition of this exciting event!
Stay tuned to our website and blog for a follow-up post next week, which will include photos and highlights from the re-installation.

Kristen Mitchell is the Program Manager of Marketing and Communications at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. She can be reached at kmitchell@alphaphi.org

May 13, 2011

Sisters in our Nation’s Capital: The Eta Lambda Chapter

At George Mason University, students are fortunate enough to live about thirty minutes away from the historical Washington, D.C. With a metro station twenty minutes off-campus, many sisters visit D.C. on the weekends, hold internships, or attend sporting events. When friends and family visit, there are many places to go to show how fun and entertaining our nation’s capital can be.


 
1. Georgetown Cupcakes, located on the corner of 33rd and M Street in the heart of Georgetown, has become our sisters’ favorite cupcakery. Whether it is for an event or to get a sweet and delicious treat, sisters are always visiting this fine establishment.




Sister Kersten Smith visiting Georgetown Cupcakes


2. Every spring, Washington D.C. is in full cherry blossom bloom. For a short time, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is held, commemorating the gift of 3,000 cherry trees donated by Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo. This celebration honors the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan and the continued close relationship between the two countries. This is the favorite time of the year for Eta Lambda sisters!




Chapter President Amanda Santiago visiting the Cherry Blossoms this spring.


3. Washington National’s Baseball is always a great time, especially with your sisters. In the fall of 2010, Eta Lambda went on a sisterhood retreat to a National’s game, and we were even on the big screen! Just a quick trip on the metro to southwest Washington and your right there at National’s Park!




Alpha Phi sisters at a Nationals baseball game.


4. D.C. United is the local professional soccer team that plays at RFK Stadium, which is also off of the metro. If you are not a big football or baseball fan, D.C. United might be able to provide you with some sporting entertainment!




Sisters Kersten Smith and Bri Roth at a D.C. United and New York Red Bulls soccer game.


5. Every fall, the Eta Lambda chapter attends the annual D.C. AIDS Walk. Washington D.C. has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the nation, with approximately 1 in every 50 people diagnosed with the disease, and even more with HIV. We recognize how important it is to support members of the Washington D.C. community by doing our part and attending the AIDS Walk.
 

6. Internships are a large part in furthering your college career, and with George Mason near D.C., many sisters take advantage of this opportunity to intern in our nation’s capital! Kristin Caulley has an internship with the United Stated Department of Agriculture, Peyton Lausch interns with North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad, Gaby Webster interns with Texan Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Danitte Fisher interns with the Washington Wizards basketball team!






Gaby Webster with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice.

7. Museums and monuments are the main attraction of Washington D.C. Personal favorites are the Newseum, Washington National Monument, and the National Zoo. If you are ever visiting D.C., get off at the Smithsonian metro stop on the orange line and walk down the National Mall!



Sisters Kristi Mann, Mary Ramirez, and Kelsey Van Vranken in front of the Washington National Monument.


I hope this photographic tour of Washington D.C. and Georgetown has inspired you to make a summer trip to the nation’s capital!



Alex Jackson is a senior at George Mason (Theta Iota).
I have asked the sisters of Eta Lambda to share with me their experiences in Washington, D.C., so here is a photographic tour of the Eta Lambda chapter’s favorite things in Washington and Georgetown.

May 10, 2011

Stay Healthy at the Most Stressful Time of Year

In honor of National Women's Health Week, here are some tips from our Collegiate Perspective Blogger, Alison Parker (Theta Iota, James Madison), on how collegiate members can stay healthy during final exams!





Most collegiate members, including myself, have either just completed final exams or will be completing them in the coming weeks. As a student, I can attest to the fact that we are not our usual selves this time of year. We stay at the library through late hours of the night, and in order to compensate for sleep deprivation, we consume multiple cups of coffee to stay alert and awake. Unfortunately, the combination of little sleep and caffeine affects our bodies much more than we think.


At this point in the semester, the employees at the local coffee shop have become our best friends. Without our vanilla latt├ęs, zombie-mode overpowers us, resulting in irritability and frequent zone-outs. We find it easier to feed ourselves with on-the-go snacks and over-priced but oh-so-satisfying coffee. However, we have become dependent on what is convenient, not necessarily the right, healthy choices for our bodies.




Sleep deprivation adds to the physical effects of stress like anxiety and rapid heart rate. Our brains release epinephrine and serotonin, and these chemical levels are heightened when we consume caffeine, a stimulant, in this state. The muscles and nerves in our bodies become overactive, which ultimately causes the “crash” when caffeine becomes less effective. Averaging seven to eight hours of sleep every night is fairly realistic for most college students throughout the school year. Why let this stop during finals week? Plus, the more sleep you get, the less caffeine you’ll need during study-time, thus breaking the cycle of caffeine craze and crash. Instead of sugary soda or coffee, opt for lemon-infused water or sip on hot tea. You'll stay focused and hydrated-- and feel ready to sleep after a long night of studying!

 
Many students do one of the following around final exams: overeat to satisfy their stress or eat nothing due to their stress. Those who overeat or consume unhealthy food can become sluggish or sick, which leads to less productivity, and thus more stress. On the other hand, those who skip meals to allow for more study time will have no nourishment and suffer from the same effects as those who overeat or consume unhealthy food. These habits cause a vicious cycle, and it all starts from making the wrong choices to compensate for a busy lifestyle. As a solution, bring snacks like almonds and veggies to chomp on in between meals at the library. Eating healthy snacks or a few smaller meals throughout the day will prevent a potential fast food binge, leaving you tired, sluggish and worst of all, still hungry.


No matter how much studying or work we have to complete, there is always time to take a break. Our muscles take the toughest toll during finals week. As we sit at the table or computer studying, hours can pass with improper posture. This can cause muscle tension and poor circulation, leading to backaches, neck aches and headaches. Be sure to take frequent breaks, whether you go to grab a drink of water, use the restroom or visit another friend in the library. Also, consider setting aside time for a daily trip to the gym, even if it's only for ten minutes. A quick run on the treadmill will work away stress and release endorphins, leaving you refreshed and awake, both physically and mentally.




For those beginning finals this week, it is understandable how busy you are, but there’s always time to take care of yourself and still study hard. Just remember: grades are extremely important, but so is your health! Take care of your mind and body, and you’ll thank yourself as you start summer off on the right foot.

Stay tuned to Alpha Phi's Fraternity/Foundation social media outlets for more posts and information on National Women's Health Week, happening through May 14.

Alison Parker is a sophomore at James Madison University (Theta Iota).

May 6, 2011

Alpha Phi Fashion



Since we, as Alpha Phi women, are proud of the organization we represent, it can be fun to find different ways to embody our brand through clothing and accessories.

It is important, especially when shopping online, to make sure that the vendor you order from is licensed. If you’re ever in question, check with Alpha Phi’s list of licensed vendors here, or contact kmitchell@alphaphi.org to find out how to get a specific vendor licensed.

Here are a few ideas for showing your Alpha Phi pride. You can be sure that the timeless tradition of Alpha Phi will never go out of style with these products!

  • Lettered t-shirts are a great way to show sorority pride, but in upstate New York, we rarely see t-shirt weather, with temperatures dropping down to 30 below on most winter days. As an alternative, our chapter designs custom Alpha Phi jackets sold through a licensed vendor. This Bordeaux windbreaker has silver Alpha Phi letters on the back, with each individual sisters’ name stitched on her left side right above her heart, with our chapter’s Greek letters on one sleeve, and the year of our initiation on the other.



 


  • Alpha Phi “Damask” Fabric Tote: Not only is this black bag large enough to carry all of your grad school books or your laptop, it also has an irresistibly cute lining, in a color that will match anything you wear. The Greek letters for Alpha Phi are stitched on the front of the bag in your choice of color, so you can show your love in style. Price is $36.00. Available from Marilyn’s Keepsakes (Created by A Greek Concept).






  • Standard Lavaliere - A lavaliere is the age-old, traditional way of showing support for your organization. This sterling silver charm can be attached to a chain of your choosing, and it’s small enough and subtle enough to be worn on a daily basis. Price is $16. Available from AlphaPhiStore.Com.






  • Alpha Phi “Peace & Love” Tank- What college student doesn’t love the fun, custom t-shirts of graphic designer Adam Block? These t-shirts are unique, modern and attention-grabbing. All of the styles in his gallery are available for customization. This site is great for bulk ordering, like Bid Day or Recruitment shirts. Contact designer for price. Available from Adam Block Designs.






  • Alpha Phi Folded Note Cards in Tic Tac Dots Style- These note cards are a perfect gift for a graduating senior. The packaging is lovely, as is the design inside. These cards are sure to leave an impression on anyone you send them to, whether a heartfelt note, a simple thank you, or just to say “Congrats!” Price is $10.95 for 10. Available from Almost Demure.






  • Pink Alpha Phi Flip Flop- These bright colored flip flops are the perfect way to step into summer. These flip flops, which are also available in black and brown, have the Alpha Phi symbol on the top, with “friendship, family, commitment, community, sisterhood” written on the sole of the shoe. Can you think of a more perfect way to say hello to summer? Price is $29.99. Available from La Michele.






Also, Alpha Phi is a recent winner of Lilly Pullitzer’s Greek Chic contest. Pretty soon, Alpha Phis everywhere will have a chance to combine their love of their sorority with designer style. You can find details on their Facebook page.


Whatever your personal style, remember that you can stay true to yourself, wearing Alpha Phi letters and insignia with pride. Whether you’re a collegian or an Alpha Phi alumna, there are endless possibilities: stitch “a.o.e.” on the inside of a cardigan so that you always remember that your sisters are in your heart; purchase an Alpha Phi make-up bag to travel with you wherever you go; sleep in your letters, even if you graduated twenty years ago; remember where you came from and how wonderful it felt the first time you slipped in to your bid day shirt; and always stay true to who you are as a woman and as an Alpha Phi.


Chelle Haynes is a member of the Theta Psi chapter (SUNY Plattsburgh).

May 1, 2011

Quarterly Review

Love this stylish Quarterly cover from Summer 1957!