October 31, 2011

Representing Alpha Phi in Your Community at Alumnae Panhellenic

In my nearly 35 years since college graduation, I have lived in six different communities, five of them in the first 17 years. So, as we moved to new communities, I looked for any networking opportunities that would help me meet new people socially and professionally. My first priority was always direct involvement in Alpha Phi, specifically as an advisor to a collegiate chapter. I did this with my own chapter (Delta Tau – LSU) and also with Gamma Pi at Arizona State. Both of these experiences of being an advisor were very rewarding and kept me young and connected. In the case of Arizona State, I became lifelong friends with a close knit group of advisors and also met wonderful women through the alumnae chapter. These Alpha Phi contacts were terrific socially but were also an asset to my career as two of my close Alpha Phi friends worked for the same bank as me.

The four other places I lived did not have Alpha Phi collegiate chapters and one town was so small that there was no college nearby. We currently live in Fresno, CA and have lived here for nearly 18 years. I contacted the local Alumnae Panhellenic to join and represent Alpha Phi as there was not an Alpha Phi alumnae chapter when I moved there. I am still actively involved in Fresno Alumnae Panhellenic Association (FAPA) and enjoy friendships to this day with some of the women that I met when I first move to Fresno. Sorority women are active and involved in their communities and for this reason I have found ease with working with fellow sorority women on different school or community projects. For selfish reasons alone, the Alumnae Panhellenic memberships that I have held have benefited me in many ways. On a much larger scale, my membership has benefited Alpha Phi.

In the case of FAPA, I was a District Alumnae Coordinator for Alpha Phi in the mid-90s. Fresno State’s Greek system was in a state of flux and really needed some assistance. Because they were without a true Greek Advisor for quite some time, FAPA recommended me as a volunteer advisor. My role was so appreciated because I was knowledgeable and objective. My presence at Greek events keeps the Alpha Phi name in the forefront on campus. The strong Greek community at both the college and alumnae level here indirectly benefits Alpha Phi at other locations, certainly in California.

Many women want to know that the organizations they are involved in is relevant to them – one that gives back to the community and benefits them as individuals – which is exactly what Alumnae Panhellenics do. They are in place to help the collegiate sororities and assist in spreading the word about sororities to high school students. For example, many Alumnae Panhellenics award scholarships to Greek women at local universities or who live in the area. In the case of FAPA, we have consistently helped with recruitment, especially helping counsel girls during the final selection process. We have lobbied on behalf of the Greek community with the college administration on issues such as housing contracts in the dorms or being involved in the interview process for replacement Greek Advisors. Additionally, we help publicize the positive events that the Greeks participate in. FAPA is relevant and the proof of that is the women who join FAPA because they want to give back to the Greek community, help strengthen it and provide positive role models to the collegiate women.

I would encourage any Alpha Phi to take advantage of joining an Alumnae Panhellenic in your community, both for your personal networking and also to spread the positive benefits of joining Alpha Phi. Alumnae Panhellenics seek membership from all NPC sororities as part of their charter. For more information about Alumnae Panhellenics in your area, please contact Paige Stallings at pstallings@alphaphi.org.

Nancy Bennett (Delta Tau-LSU) currently resides in Fresno, CA.

October 26, 2011

Collegiate Perspective: Fostering First-Year Leadership

The first few months of membership in Alpha Phi set the tone for long-term investment and leadership in the Fraternity. Here are three easy ways to cultivate first-year leadership in your chapters!

1) New members have the potential to set an example for your whole chapter! Encourage them to live Alpha Phi’s values and standards on a daily basis. As we move through the years, it’s easy to become complacent. New members can help remind the chapter of the values and principles that help us grow as women of character.

2) Make sure to provide multiple leadership opportunities within the first year. You’ll likely be able to pick out some obvious leaders early in the new member period. Take care to foster their leadership, but make sure that you provide opportunities for all new members. Ask chapter officers to look to new members for assistance on committees and with planning. Getting involved in aspects of chapter-specific leadership has long-term benefits for the chapter as well as individual membership.

3) Finally, encourage all new members to apply for leadership programs, either nationally or on your campus. Alpha Phi’s Emerging Leaders Institute was one of the most transformational experiences in my membership. It inspired me to get involved, build my chapter, and live Alpha Phi’s values throughout my lifetime. Check out this great video about the program!

Kelsey Moore is a collegiate member at DePauw University (Gamma).

October 21, 2011

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October 19, 2011

Recruitment as a Remedy for Job Stress

The post-graduation job panic has already begun—and it’s only October. I find myself in a What’s next? conversation almost every day, and the state of the economy certainly doesn’t make the job hunt seem easier. We, as sorority women, may not be able to control the amount of jobs available; however, we can control our likelihood of landing that competitive job with the help of a little something called self-confidence.

When applying for summer internships last year, I wanted to make sure I looked good on and off the paper. Preparation is definitely key when trying to land that dream job, but there is a such thing as too much preparation. I definitely learned that lesson in those stressful months. I attended so many mock interviews and resume critique sessions that I did not sound or look prepared anymore; I looked and sounded like a robot.

I discovered how to escape this over-prepared predicament at an unexpected time—during my chapter’s recruitment practice. We were going over conversation topics to bring up with potential new members when it hit me: the interview process is a lot like recruitment. In recruitment, you can’t rehearse every detail, but you can be prepared to answer questions in a way that makes you look poised, well-spoken and capable. Likewise, in an interview, you must be able to think quickly while also having some prepared responses in your head to questions you know you’ll be asked. After four years in Alpha Phi, I’d like to think of myself as somewhat of a recruitment pro, so I realized there should be no reason to panic. Many experiences like recruitment may seem specific to college life, but if break them down to their core, you might just find how to apply these experiences to your aspirations in the real world.

Danielle Honig is a collegiate member at Connecticut (Iota Lambda).

Mary Kay® Inspiring Stories: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

You may recall Alpha Phi's promotion of the Mary Kay® Inspiring Stories documentary program and participation from one of our very own, Ashliegh Jarzenski (Epsilon Alpha-Ashland). Women from all across the country applied to participate on the Mary Kay® Inspiring Stories film crew. The 18 selected women, including Epsilon Alpha’s Ashliegh, were flown to Los Angeles were they devoted their hard work and passion to creating three separate documentaries. During the 7-day production week, participants learned the ins and outs of how to create, develop, produce, shoot and promote their documentaries.

Now, in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness month, Mary Kay® Inspiring Stories hopes to educate and inspire women to make better choices by creating a conversation about the issues of domestic violence through the messages in these documentaries. You can join their efforts by watching Ashliegh’s documentary, created by Team Give Joy and featuring celebrity narrator Alexa Vega.

Here’s where you—Alpha Phi’s members—come in: the documentary with the most views will receive a $20,000 donation in the name of the crew to a women’s shelter. As Ashliegh is a participant in Team Give Joy, we’d like to encourage you to watch the team's video and share it with other Alpha Phis and friends. You must watch the video all the way through for your view to count. After viewing, feel free to comment on the film or the cause.

Congratulations to Ashliegh for being chosen to participate in this program and for creating such a wonderful documentary. We wish you and Team Give Joy the best of luck!

October 14, 2011

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October 12, 2011

It Must Be Midterms!

Ten-page paper, check. Four exams, check. Coffee hooked up to an IV, check. Zero hours of sleep, check.
It must be midterms!

As collegiate members we are busy with homework, studying, leadership positions and still find the time to hang out with our sisters. Good study skills help us manage our time more efficiently and ensure we get a full night’s sleep!

Here are some tips to help you with your midterms and finals:

• Schedule time to study and study in a regular place

• Study and do homework as soon as classes are done

• Learn the general concepts first

• Take short breaks frequently; your mind is able to retain information you study at the beginning and end more than what you study in the middle. Taking short breaks often will help to maximize your capacity to memorize.

• Review your notes right after class when it’s fresh in your memory

• Go to class!

• Study when you’re alert and not tired! Stay well-rested and hydrated!

• Ask a sister in the same class/major to help you study or set up sisterhood study groups.

After your midterms and finals are done, reward yourself for all of your hard work! Treat yourself to some new Alpha Phi gear.

Ashliegh Jarzenski is a collegiate member at Ashland University (Epsilon Alpha).

October 11, 2011

Giving Back to Local University Chapters

Remember when you were a kid, it was your birthday and you were opening all those fabulous gifts? There were beautiful bows, and bright colored paper and inside something new, a very special something you had been wanting for months or weeks. And when the party was done, somehow you ended up having to share because your mom would say, correction, yell “Share!” across the house.

Sharing was a major flaw in the birthday system. Unfortunately, mom’s words still ring true; however, these days you aren’t sharing toys or clothes, you need to share your talents.

When you hear about giving back to Alpha Phi, I know the first thing that pops in your head is money, cash, dinero, moola, greenbacks and so on. But if cash were the only thing that Alpha Phi needed, life would be simple.

Alpha Phi’s collegiate chapters actually need you. The collegiate members need guidance and mentoring to help them through their college experience and getting their first step out in the real world. Sometimes advisors aren’t enough.

If not an advisor, then what? - Everyone has a talent. Let me repeat that, EVERYONE has a talent. For some it’s resume writing. For others it may be fashion sense. For the very select few it’s social and conversation skills that allow them to talk candidly to a stranger as if speaking to an old friend, and for even fewer, it’s the financial know-how for a college budget.

No matter what your talents, there is a collegiate chapter or collegiate member who is need of your friendship through mentoring.

Please consider volunteering to help the nearest collegiate chapter by volunteering your talents at a chapter meeting, special workshop, polish week, or recruitment.

Here are some ways Alpha Phi could use your help:
  • Resume workshops
  • "Dress for Success" workshops
  • Mock job interviews
  • Financial advice (budgeting post-graduation)
  • Song practice
  • Mock recruitment parties
And the list could go on and on.

Pick up the phone or log onto www.alphaphi.org and reach out to the nearest collegiate chapter to volunteer your talents. Yes, mom was right, life is not fair, eat your veggies and share!

Look on the bright side, you might actually enjoy yourself (GASP!).

Jennifer Hernandez (Iota Beta-St Mary's) currently resides in Bay Harbor Islands, FL.

October 10, 2011

In Honor of Founders’ Day: A Note from Rena Michaels Atchison

December 7, 1881
Fayette, Iowa

Dear Sisters in Alpha Phi,

It is a long, long time since I addressed that name. But, today, somehow, the time or the weather, or something that cannot be expressed brings back to me very vividly the time when the name of Alpha Phi made my pulses beat like a lover’s.

It was eight years ago this autumn, the eleven girls walked through the mud and rain on Friday eve to the homes of our resident girl friends to discuss the plans and means of establishing a secret society. I remember that one of our number thought a secret society was a terrible thing for girls, and forthwith left us to carry out our plans alone. She has since formed a secret society* with two members only, possibly there are more now, such societies sometimes have a way of increasing rapidly. Well, if you will pardon this digression, we worked on. The young gentlemen made many interesting remarks to the effect that a girl’s society could not live more than six weeks. Then they gave us six months. Now, I presume, they have lengthened the time indefinitely, only presuming that it will die sometime because it was originated by girls.

A sister’s greeting to you all, and as I do today, may you all in after years recall the pleasant friendships formed and sealed in Alpha Phi…

Your Sister in Alpha Phi,
Rena Michaels

*Rena is referencing Gamma Phi Beta, which was founded on Syracuse University’s campus in November of 1874.

October 7, 2011

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October 3, 2011

Collegiate Perspective: Famous Phis Series

Famous alumnae are often a hot topic of discussion during recruitment for many Alpha Phi chapters! Over the next few months we will feature Alpha Phi sisters who have accomplished some extraordinary career goals. Today we will feature and pay tribute to Alpha Phi alumna, Anne Martin, who joined the Silent Chapter on August 20, 2010. Anne pledged Alpha Phi at the University of Washington (Sigma) in 1947 and continued her involvement in Alpha Phi at the University of Montana, where she graduated in 1951 with a degree in English and Education. Upon graduation, Anne became an esteemed journalist and the first female to anchor the news in Seattle, Washington. She was also the prime time news anchor and co-host of Woman 2 Woman, KCBS-Los Angeles. She was a winner of three Emmy Awards®, two Golden Mike Awards, and an award for best 30-minute newscast. Anne has left an amazing legacy for Alpha Phis who are pursuing careers in journalism.

Annie Williams is a member of the Gamma Kappa chapter (CSU/Long Beach).

October 1, 2011

Quarterly Review

“We’re here!” proclaims a member of Gamma Zeta as she hoists the Alpha Phi letters over the door of the new Puget Sound chapter house.