June 30, 2011

Summer Phiunion Planning: Party Themes

Party themes and decorations are not required for a great summer Phiunion, but if you do want to go all out, here are some fun ideas.

Appetizer Potluck

My pledge sisters and I have done this several times. Everyone brings an appetizer to the hosting pledge sister’s home with several note cards that include the recipe. Set them out with your appetizer and your pledge sisters can not only try your delicious dish, but they can also take the recipe home with them.

You can add another component to this party such as a game night. “Catch Phrase” is always fun but nothing brings a group closer than “Charades” – there’s just something about making a fool of yourself that everyone loves.

Taste of the City

Consider going out on the town with this fun idea. Do some research and find the most popular or unique restaurants in your city. Block off between four and six hours of time and devote an hour to each restaurant.

Grab a few appetizers, entrees or tapas from the menu and share with sisters at each location. After an hour, move on to the next restaurant. It’s a great way to get to know both your pledge sisters and the city better.


If your pledge sisters are crafty, try this alternative. Have a couple sisters bring ideas and supplies for a few crafts. Here are some of my favorite craft activities that I’ve come across recently:

Rosette necklace tutorial from Cat at brideblu on oh! hello friend: you are loved.

You don’t have to limit this project to necklaces.  Try a pin or a headband; just sew a felt backing across the entire back of the pin.

Jewelry stand from Barb of Knack Studios courtesy of “oh! hello friend: you are loved.”

Kathryn Knight Randolph (Gamma-DePauw) currently resides in Chicago, IL.

June 27, 2011

Then & Now: Educational Leadership Consultants

In 1894, Alpha Phi was the first women’s fraternity to use “traveling delegates,” now known as Educational Leadership Consultants (ELCs). Continuing a tradition of leadership, the ELC program develops strong women who think innovatively and take initiative, who meet goals and exceed other’s expectations and who command respect and engage others. ELCs work hands on with Alpha Phi chapters to develop recruitment plans, devise marketing strategies, provide motivation and support, analyze situations and make vital decisions.
The group of Educational Leadership Consultants pictured below participated in the program from 1993-1994. The first photo was taken in December 1993 and the following was taken in May 2011 at their ELC class reunion.
Has your ELC group had a reunion? Send your “Then & Now” group photos to kmitchell@alphaphi.org and you could be featured on the blog!



(Back row, left to right) Jennifer Chen Woodford (Zeta Gamma-Santa Clara), Suzanne Williams (Zeta Gamma- Santa Clara), Leslie Heller (Epsilon Rho- UC/Davis), Tamara Smallwood Birrell (Gamma- DePauw)
(Middle row, left to right) Shanon Littleton Baggett (Theta Nu-App State), Jennifer Boss Victor (Epsilon Rho- UC/Davis), Kate Terrell Ryan (Rho- Ohio State), Sarah Rotgin Nau (Eta Omicron- Virginia Tech)
(Front row) Carol Blackwood Hendrickson (Eta Omicron- Virginia Tech)
Not pictured: Lalenia Maggio Cigna (Gamma Rho- Penn State)

Learn more about the ELC program here: http://www.alphaphi.org/elc/index.htm

Summer Phiunion Planning: Invitations

First: What exactly is a “Phiunion?”

Phiunion (fe yoon’yen) n. – a social gathering of Alpha Phi pledge sisters, similar setting to a family reunion.

Second – hopefully you’ve kept in touch with your Alpha Phi pledge sisters since college, whether it was through an e-mail chain or regular get-togethers. But if you did lose touch with them, it’s never too late to start.

Send an e-mail with a life update and encourage your pledge sisters to send out updates of their lives. After you’ve virtually reconnected with your sister, set a date and meeting place this summer for a Phiunion. Then, follow up with one of these easy “do-it-yourself” invitation designs.

This invitation is conceptualized around a photo, and what better way to encourage your pledge sisters to reunite than with photo memories from some of the best years of your lives together? Let’s jump in…

Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day! teamed up with Yahoo! Mail to create these fun postcards to send to friends and family. We’ve revamped the idea to function as invitations.

You can do the same with your Phiunion invitations. You’ll need:
-A Snapshot from the past
-4x6 cardstock paper
-Glue or double-sided tape
Take your snapshot to CVS or Walgreens, scan the photo and print duplicates for multiple postcards. This is not only inexpensive but it also doesn’t require you to be too tech-savvy – the scanners are easy to use and you can always ask an employee for help! Most importantly, though, you’ll still receive high quality photos.

Next, glue or tape your invitation photo to the cardstock paper. Let it dry if you glued the photograph to the paper. Some cardstock trimming may be required around the photo.

Finish up by scribbling the Phiunion details on the back of the card along with the address, or you could always format and print the details on the cardstock with a printer.

And that’s it – you have a homemade, heartfelt invitation to send to your pledge sisters.

Next up: Phiunion Party Themes

Kathryn Knight Randolph (Gamma-DePauw) currently resides in Chicago, IL.

June 8, 2011

Staff Profile: "Fresh Faces" Series

What is your name?
Renee Zainer

Where are you originally from?
Scottsdale, Arizona

Where did you attend college and what chapter were you a part of there?
Beta Epsilon/Arizona

What was your major in college?
Graphic Art

What was your plan post-graduation? Did you pursue a graduate degree post-graduation?
I traveled as an Educational Leadership Consultant from 1988-1989. I then pursued a career in pharmaceutical sales in which I was a sales rep, regional manager, recruiter and eventually a sales trainer.

What is your job title?
Director of Collegiate Membership

How long have you been working at the EO?
2 months

What is your favorite memory of Alpha Phi—as a collegian, alumna, or staff member?
My most impactful experience was as a Recruitment Advisor of a chapter. The chapter struggled for over a decade and had not made quota in over six years. After a considerable amount of time, work and devotion this chapter made quota of 68. The new members were chosen with the utmost care to propel the chapter’s ability to recruit the best and brightest available to them.

What do you like best about working at the Executive Office?
I love working with our dedicated volunteers that have strategic competitive minds.

What are some of your goals for the next few years?
I would like to build a strategic membership acquisition plan that involves both the local and regional volunteers in supporting each chapter’s ability to be their best.

Do you have any advice for current collegiate members?
Enjoy every moment of your collegiate experience; however the best is yet to come as alumnae!

June 2, 2011

Meet Rich Pezzullo – Housing Volunteer of the Month for May!

We are excited to award the first Housing Volunteer of the Month distinction to Rich Pezzullo!  Nominated by a fellow member of his House Corporation Board, Rich earns our endless appreciation for his longstanding and tireless commitment to serving the Delta chapter at Cornell.  Rich has given his knowledge, time and experience as a volunteer for the Board for the past 15 years.

Jane Tanner, HCB President for Delta Chapter (Cornell), weighs in on why Rich is so deserving of this award:
Rich has been on Delta's (Cornell) board for over 15 years and has served as VP for 12 years.  Rich has been my right hand, left hand and person to bounce ideas off of.  He was a hotel major which means he has a lot of knowledge and experience concerning housing type issues.  He now owns a computer networking company and he has kept Delta wired so to speak (unfortunately wireless doesn't work well in the big historic house). 

Rich has been known to drop everything and drive the five hours from New Jersey to the chapter house to help address any immediate concerns that arise.  He very interested in legal issues concerning Alpha Phi and he maintains a connection with our HCB attorney.  His financial knowledge has also proved to be useful as we switched financial advisors. 

Rich is a Zeta Psi and is married to an Alpha Phi. I believe he proposed to his wife at an Alpha Phi function. He has been an active volunteer of the HCB ever since.

I can't say enough about Rich.

Please join us in thanking him for his loyalty to the Fraternity!

Click here to nominate an exceptional member of your HCB/CPC.

June 1, 2011

Quarterly Review

On this cover, Fraternity Field Reps (now known as Educational Leadership Consultants) trooped over to Rest Cottage, Frances Willard’s home in Evanston, IL. This charming picture was taken during a fortnight of training at the Alpha Phi Executive Office in August, 1982.

Alpha Phis a century ago used to grace this same porch. Frances E. Willard (Alpha, Syracuse) was National President of Alpha Phi, 1888-89, and delighted in entertaining Alpha Phis from nearby Northwestern University at Rest Cottage. The home is now a registered National Historic Landmark.