February 27, 2013

Alpha Phi Foundation's Community Contributions Program

It is no secret that Alpha Phi collegiate chapters across the nation are going to great lengths to improve women’s heart health.

From Red Dress Galas to Move Your Phi’t and Hoops for Heart, chapters are hosting events on their individual campuses to raise awareness, and funds to strengthen the fight against heart disease.

Meet three chapters that are taking advantage of Alpha Phi Foundation’s community contributions program to make strides in the fight against heart disease in their local communities.

Zeta Iota-University of Virginia
Raised $6,000+ for the University of Virginia Health Foundation – Club Red Heart and Vascular Center

 “The Club Red Clinic of the UVA Health System is an invaluable resource for women's heart disease awareness. Our chapter has always been proud to support Club Red as they strive to help women realize the importance of heart health and taking control of their own lives to make the right lifestyle choices. Who knew regularly doing something as fun as zumba is actually helping your heart? At our annual Red Dress Brunch during Parents' Weekend, our chapter members and families enjoyed learning the most up-to-date information regarding heart health and helpful tips for eating and living right from a Club Red representative speaker.” – Annie Brooks (Zeta Iota-University of Virginia)

Gamma Phi-Florida State
Raised $13,000+ for the Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Foundation Heart & Vascular Center

“We selected the Heart & Vascular Center because it closely promotes our international philanthropy of women's heart health, and have created a great partnership. The Heart & Vascular doctor's staff attended our gala, invited us to their open house to show off their new state of the art equipment and have indicated a great interest in supporting our gala even more in the future. Our collegiate members will also be providing support for the Leon Heart Ball on March 1, 2013, sponsored by Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and the Heart & Vascular Center of the hospital. This partnership has been a great learning experience for the collegians and has provided much needed funds for a great cause. I could not be more pleased.” –Gamma Phi Chapter Advisor, Becky Cornwell Brinson (Delta Epsilon-Iowa)

Raised $33,000+ for the University of Washington Cardiology Department

"We are proud to give the money that we have raised to the University of Washington because it brings us closer to our school. Each year we have the doctors who have conducted research with the money we have donated come to our chapter house and show us how they have contributed to the prevention of heart disease. This, along with the attendance of representatives from the University at our Red Dress Gala each year, allows for an honest working relationship where we are able to see how our contribution is being implemented. We as a chapter take pride in knowing that we are helping our university as well as women nationwide." – Kirsten Roof (Sigma-Washington)

*The Sigma chapter also nominated UW-Cardiology for Alpha Phi Foundation’s 2012 Heart to Heart Grant, which they received. Essentially, they received $80,000+ from the Foundation in 2012!

To these ladies, and to all of our collegiate chapters, we thank you and celebrate your success!

You are an inspiration on your campuses, in your communities, and to Alpha Phis everywhere.

If you would like to learn more about Alpha Phi Foundation’s community contributions program, or for help planning a philanthropy event on your campus, contact Leesa Havel, Special Events and Program Manager at lhavel@alphaphi.org.

February 22, 2013

Featured Product Friday: 20th Anniversary Red Dress Pin!

Heart Health Month inspired this week’s Featured Product Friday! For 20 years, Alpha Phi Foundation has been improving women's heart health by funding research and educational programs through its annual Heart to Heart Grant.

In celebration of this special milestone, the Foundation is releasing a limited edition awareness pin that will add sparkle to any wardrobe. By purchasing this pin, you are taking a stand against heart disease - the #1 killer of women.

Pins are $20/each and can be ordered by clicking here.

February 21, 2013

Take it to Heart: A Message from Alpha Phi Foundation

Heart disease is the number one killer of women.

As Alpha Phis we take this statement to heart. We see it as a reason to stand together, hand in hand, and fight.

We fight to raise awareness, empowering women to understand their risk factors. We fight by providing funding for critical research and educational programs to improve women’s heart health through our annual Heart to Heart Grant. We fight because together we can make an impact.

February is Heart Health Month, a time when national focus joins ours, and shifts to women’s heart health. This focus doesn’t have to end when the month does.

Alpha Phi Foundation wants you to continue the fight all year long. Here are five easy ways you can take a stand, and care for your heart all year long:

  1. Connect with sisters who have heart disease stories to share. These women want you to stay informed!
  2. Add a little sparkle to your wardrobe with this Limited Edition Red Dress Pin honoring the 20th Anniversary of our Heart to Heart Grant. Purchase yours today here.
  3. Learn the risk factors associated with heart disease in women here.
  4. Follow the Foundation on Facebook and Twitter for a variety of heart health tips ranging from heart-healthy recipes to heart disease fast facts and ways to start the conversation with your doctor.
  5. Support the Foundation with a gift designated to the advancement of women's heart health. Make your donation here.

However you choose to care for your heart, we thank you for joining the fight, and for standing with us hand in hand, in support of women's heart health. With your support, we are advancing women's lives through the power of philanthropy.

February 20, 2013

Passing the Baton... College to Real World

As May rapidly approaches and the potential for a new summer job, or the real world, nears, you may find yourself asking, should I or should I not list my homecoming candidacy on my resume? Does Director of Music really have anything to do with being the head life guard? Will XYZ company care that I was the Director for Formal Recruitment? These questions are an easy YES! Allow me to explain…

Although it may seem as though these positions and awards within your chapter are simply that, they have helped in making you the capable young woman you are today. Allow employers the opportunity to delve deeper into these topics in your interview. If, by chance, they do not specifically ask about your involvement within Alpha Phi, utilize other questions to tie in your experiences. For example…

Could you please tell us of a time in which you have faced a difficult decision and how you handled that?

While I was a sophomore in college, I was making the decision to run for an office within my sorority or to represent my chapter in a position in the greater Greek life community. This decision was difficult for me for two reasons. The first being that I was already heavily involved and needed to be sure I could commit to another position. In order to finalize my thoughts on this, I sought out my sorority advisor and had a very candid conversation with them about my commitments and their thoughts on my abilities. After determining this, the second issue no longer seemed to be a problem. Once I had discussed my initial concern, the rest fell into place and I decided to represent my chapter to the Greek community as I loved interacting with other individuals and seeing/hearing new viewpoints.

How do you handle stress?

During my time as the Panhellenic Delegate for my chapter, there were a handful of times in which I encountered some stressful situations regarding the position. I chose to handle the stress by speaking with my advisors about the issue and listening to their suggestions before finding the one that worked best for me and solving the issue with a clear head. Now, I have learned to solve the stresses on my own by simply taking a step back and thinking through whatever is affecting me prior to moving forward with an open mind.

Would you consider time management to be a strength of yours? Why or why not?

I would consider time management to be a strength that I possess. I was the Homecoming Queen candidate for Alpha Phi my senior year of college. While I was candidate, I had multiple duties which ranged from attending candidate meetings to writing a cheer and managing the budget set forth by my chapter. I was able to utilize multiple different aspects of my personality. However, I did all of this while also maintaining my normal membership duties and holding two on-campus jobs as well as upholding my academics. During this time, I learned to fine tune my time management skills to fit the situation and its needs while also providing support and encouragement to my sisters and co-workers for helping and supporting me.

Those are a mere three ways in which you can incorporate your time as a phi-nomenal member of Alpha Phi into an interview for a new position. Overall, an employer is going to be impressed with the fabulous woman you are regardless of what examples you may provide, but integrating your time in Alpha Phi is a great way to show your passion for our sisterhood as well as for a lifelong commitment that your future employer is sure to take note of.

Beth Little is a first year graduate student at Kansas State University pursuing a degree in College Student Development. She is a member of the Theta Lambda chapter at the University of Central Missouri. While at UCM, Beth was chosen to represent Alpha Phi in multiple ways as a member and co-chair of the Greek Week executive board, Gamma Chi recruitment counselor, Homecoming Queen candidate and Panhellenic Delegate. She also held the title of "Sister Most Involved on Campus" for four years and was chosen as the Order of the Ivy recipient for 2011-2012. Beth now has a graduate assistantship with Kansas State University as an Assistant Coordinator for Apartment Living. Some of her hobbies include tweeting, crafting, shopping, reading, watching movies, and, of course, writing!

February 15, 2013

Featured Product Friday: Dana's Designs

Looking to add some Alpha Phi flare to your dorm room or living space? Dana's Designs creates fun and whimsical sorority designs, like this ivy leaf plaque!

Featuring "graffiti"-style words and phrases, the front of the leaf is multi-color with black-and-white-striped-sides. Hanging with a black and white ribbon, this ivy leaf is the perfect wall-decor for your little sis or a new member who has just joined the sisterhood!

Price is $24.95 for full size and $11.95 for mini.

Learn more by clicking here!

February 1, 2013

Office Grace

Having a career in any office presents challenges – refrigerator food theft, heading to the break room about to pass out only to find an empty coffee pot because that new intern is not doing his job, waking up early, sitting next to a mouth breather, trying not to go insane within the confines of your gray, dreary cubicle, and all sorts of other fun stuff.

How about adding this to the mix? – you’re an electrical engineer and are part of an overwhelming minority of women in your office. On top of all the standard office challenges, you are provided with the experience of being treated differently from your peers. This is my life. I’ve noticed different sets of obstacles provided by older men and by younger men – but both are frustrating and it’s easy to have a hard time. 
Granted, the times are changing for the better. Younger men who are not accustomed to old-fashioned culture are respecting women more as engineers. They expect the same level of expertise regardless of gender. They trust women with equal responsibility, which makes excelling in the career much easier. However, I’ve found that a new set of challenges (and some old ones) occur with younger men in the office.

If you have these issues, your main weapon against “woman treatment” is... You are an Alpha Phi! Alpha Phi's are strong, and Alpha Phi's know what they are doing. Alpha Phi's also receive advice from other Alpha Phi's. Here's mine for any of you who are uncomfortable in a male-dominated office:

Ask questions if you don’t know how to do something. However, begin your question with a display of your knowledge.

I’ve noticed that whenever I just asked a question at work, an older gentleman would begin his answer with the most basic principles that any engineer should already know, which he wouldn’t do if a man had asked. For example, if I were to ask how to set up my voicemail, some older men I’ve worked with would probably say “So, a telephone is a device used to communicate with another individual remotely – which means from a distance. Some phones are equipped with ‘voicemail’ which is a system designed so that you can leave a message in a person’s phone if they are not near it at the time of your call.” This frustrated me to no end. However, I discovered that if you display your knowledge up front on a consistent basis, men will raise their expectations, your responsibility levels, and consequently their respect for you.

Ask for constructive criticism frequently.

At first, men may be hesitant to give you any. But after some period of consistent badgering, they will start to answer your questions about what you can improve upon. Eventually, they will start to offer unsolicited advice, and you will be able to really thrive in your career.

If someone pulls a prank on you, do not take it personally or complain to  management.

Most companies will advise you to report office mischief, but I disagree (unless the prank caused damage to yourself or your cubicle). On most occasions, pranks are sort of an initiation into a group, which is a good thing. I have noticed that women are usually prime targets for multiple “attacks,” though. My theory is that young men expect women react to pranks in ways that are incredibly humorous to them. So what should you do? Laugh about it, and take revenge on the perpetrator (in a safe, harmless way of course!). It will show that you’re easy-going and not high maintenance, which can make people more comfortable working with you. Having working relationships is extremely important.

Keep in touch with your sisters on breaks.

Many of your alumnae sisters may be in an office environment as well. It helps to air any grievances to each other, and you may be able to give and receive some good advice! My chapter has a message board set up so that the alumnae and collegiate members can communicate all the time. We usually have threads dedicated to work/office complaints, and it really does help us all out with uncomfortable situations. Some of the stories actually end up being pretty funny too, and a good laugh can help you get through a bad day no matter where you work.

Get used to/ignore being called “hun,” and other terms of endearment.

I haven’t been able to avoid this particular nuisance. On the bright side, at some point the younger men who are used to modern culture will be the only ones who haven’t retired. I think this is just something that will take a few more years to phase out, and if this is your only obstacle related to being female in a male dominated, you are doing really well for yourself.

Happy careering, ladies! I expect to see you as CEOs. :)

Yvette Babich was born and raised in the beautifully scenic land of Southeast Michigan, where she recently graduated from the Iota Epsilon chapter of Alpha Phi at Kettering University. As an undergrad, she took exciting opportunities to hold positions within her chapter, including Director of Publicity and Advertisement, Director of Music, Director of Member Development, Chaplain, and Vice President of Chapter Operations. The chapter truly shaped her into the confident person that she is today.

These days, she holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and is at the starting line of her career as a power systems engineer in downtown Detroit. She’s looking forward to what's in store and the adventures she will continue to have with sisters/best friends, and is thankful for the opportunity to share her alumnae experience with the best and brightest women of the world!