May 31, 2013

Here Comes the Phi!


You may have heard the phrase, "You don't go to college to meet your husband, you go to college to meet your bridesmaids."

In this case, my Alpha Phi sorority sister Katie got both! Katie is a close friend and sister of mine that I met back in 2008 and our friendship has remained close, even after graduation.  I was thrilled when I received a text message last summer about an engagement to her college sweetheart, Sam. A few weeks later, she asked two other Alpha Phi sisters and myself to embark on their journey to becoming Man and Wife and become her bridesmaids along with Sam’s sister.

The past year has been a tremendous journey for everyone involved in the wedding planning. Since everyone in the bridal party lives on different ends of the state, attending wedding showers and events was a great reason to meet up.  These events provide an opportunity to get everyone together from to catch up, reminisce and dream about the future for the Mr. and Mrs.

Going through this experience with Katie and my sisters really brings new meaning to the quote “It’s not just for four years but for life.” When I joined Alpha Phi, I couldn’t imagine the path it has taken me on. The friendships I have made will stay with me forever and I am excited to watch them grow as my friends and myself start on new paths – developing careers, getting married, starting families.

Embarking on this journey with my sisters just shows the lifelong friends that Alpha Phi provides to its members and the experiences you have with your sisters don’t stop at graduation.  I know when my wedding day comes I will have my Alpha Phi sisters by my side just as they have been since I’ve joined Alpha Phi so many years ago.  I hope each one of you cherishes your Alpha Phi friendships for many years to come.

Brenna Seger graduated in May 2012 from the University of Central Missouri with her degree in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing. During her four years in Alpha Phi, she was a Greek Goddess, the Director of Chapter Events, New Member Educator, a Gamma Chi Recruitment Counselor, and served on the National Panhellenic Executive Board as Vice President of Scholarship. In her free time, she loves to do things that she didn’t have time for as an undergrad – cooking, sleeping a full eight hours a night, and reading – for fun!  

May 20, 2013

The Places Life Takes Us and the People We Meet






After my college graduation, I had no idea what I was going to do. I wasn't focusing on what I was going to do after college, but what was going on in my life right then. I was stressed trying to finish my senior requirements, sad to be leaving, and just tired. I was lucky enough to hear about an extraordinary opportunity teaching English in Thailand and applied. When I received my acceptance letter, it was a huge relief to know what I was doing for the next nine months.

The school that I taught at was located just north of Phuket on the west coast of Thailand. The town was one of the hardest hit areas from the 2004 tsunami. The tsunami devastated the coast of many southeast Asian countries with little warning. Most of the town was destroyed and many people lost their lives on that day. It was after the tsunami that my school was built as one of The King's Schools. It was created as an orphanage for the surviving children. It is one of the only public boarding schools in the area and has become essential to the areas recovery.

When I first got to the school, I was nervous beyond belief. I had never taught before and I didn't know any Thai. Before I was sent off into the classroom, I had a brief orientation about the school and the students. Initially it started as an orphanage for children who had lost their parents in the Tsunami, but as the years went by it became a place not only for orphans, but for students with troubled family life or broken families. My supervisor told me that the students will probably misbehave and to try not to feel frustrated if the classroom experience is a little different than what I'm use to. Teaching would get easier as I taught more and understood Thai culture a little, but nothing really prepared me for the road ahead.

Let's just say the first week wasn't a lot of fun for me. The students were all troublemakers! They would leave the classroom when they wanted, sleep, and copy each other's work. There were always a few students that would try for the first 15 minutes of class, but would get bored. It was one of the most challenging experiences of my life. I tried to make the classes more interesting, but rarely succeeded in holding all of my students attention. The funny thing is, as much as I frustrated with my students, well, as students, I can't think of a single one of them that I didn't like.

Part of being a teacher at this school meant that I had to live on the school campus with 700 of my students. Outside of the classroom, they were all amazing people and would try to help me learn Thai and come up and talk to me in English. It was absolutely wonderful. Living on the campus gave me a better idea of who the students were and how they interacted with one another. There were mixed ages in the dorms and you could really tell that each student looked out for the other. Most conflicts on campus were settled between the students and not by the teachers. Each student had duties around the campus such as; cleaning the campus, serving food, feeding the cows, or attending the rubber tree farm. It was a dynamic campus that relied on the students to keep it maintained. The students were there to learn, but got so much more than an education. For some of the students, their classmates and teachers were the only family they had. For others, it was a family they created.

During my time in Thailand I learned a lot about myself and what I think is important to have in my life. One of those things is defiantly family or rather community. I created special bonds with my students as their teacher and as their friend. It made me reflect on the other families I've created over the years. Family isn't always through blood, but with people you create a connection with when you need it the most. Your family is the made up of the people that let you grow and help you when it's needed. I expect that I'll be part of more families and communities in the future, but I'll never forget the important ones from the past. They have helped me become who I am and deserve a little acknowledgement.

AOE.



Lauren Brougham (Beta Phi-Whitman College) recently moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area. She's excited to become involved with the alumnae in the area. She enjoys being outdoors and active. 

May 17, 2013

Featured Product Friday: Bid Day Cards from Sorority Girl Store!


  

At Sorority Girl Store, they understand that your Bid Day card is a treasured keepsake. Their pretty custom cards feature the Alpha Phi crest printed in color on high quality, environmentally friendly papers. Pricing is based on quantity and includes envelopes, personalization, and a PDF proof for approval prior to printing.  



Visit  www.sororitygirlstore.com to see their Bid Day cards and "Adorable & Affordable" gifts. Chapter checks accepted. Discounts available for bulk orders of gift items and notecards. Contact them for a quote, style samples, or more information.

May 10, 2013

Featured Product Friday: Spirit Football Jersey from Sorority Specialties




This week's Featured Product is the Spirit Football Jersey in mint from Sorority Specialties! This jersey includes Alpha Phi Est 1872 on the back in raised white print. This is men's sizing, so sizing runs big. Price is $55/jersey. You can order individually, or place chapter orders in bulk to receive a discount! To view details and place your order today, please click here



May 6, 2013

Wedding Planning: How I Give Back to Alpha Phi



When I started my wedding and event planning company Elegant Affairs, I knew that I wanted to give back to Alpha Phi in some way. It was Alpha Phi that helped me get my feet wet by planning different events for our chapter and for the Greek community.

It if weren’t for Alpha Phi, I don’t believe that my company would be as successful has it has been. For the past two years, I have been named Best Wedding Planner from King 5 Evening Magazine, thanks in large part to all my Alpha Phi voters.

To date, I have coordinated nine Alpha Phi weddings (from four different chapters) with two more Alpha Phi weddings this summer. To help me with all of my events is the amazing support from my staff that nearly all have been Alpha Phi members. My first assistant was an Alpha Phi from the Gamma Zeta Chapter (University of Puget Sound) when I was still the chapter advisor. I knew that if I wanted the best, then an Alpha Phi was the only way to go. After that first summer, I began talking with chapters from our region about the opportunity then it just took off. To date, I have had eight Alpha Phis serve as wedding day assistants. This summer, I have six more to add to the list.

By hiring Alpha Phis to not only work for me, they are representing my company in the best light. In addition to these women working various weddings & events, they gain so much. I mentor these women on life after college. It’s truly a worthwhile opportunity for me to connect with these women on a different level. My goal for all my assistants after spending a summer with me is that they come out educated, prepared for a future career if that happens to be in this line of work. The best part? I have not only gained a new friend, but another sister!

Lori Losee is a 2001 graduate of the Beta Rho chapter at Washington State University. She was a Journalism major and now owns Elegant Affairs, a wedding and event planning company in Puyallup, Washington. She married her college sweetheart (member of Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity) and has two sons - Grant and Jackson.

May 3, 2013

Featured Product Friday: A Gift for Mom from Sassy Sorority

 
 
 
Now your Mom can show off your sorority pride with her own coffee mug that proudly says she's an "Alpha Phi Mom!" This acrylic mug holds 18 oz., is shatter proof and is both microwave and dishwasher safe.  Your hot drinks will stay hot and your cold drinks will stay cold...they won't sweat like glass!
 
Priced at $16.00, this is the perfect gift for any sorority mom. Click here for more info.
 

Featured Product Friday: Alpha Phi Gifts Under 20 from ScreenCraft Gifts!






Check out these unique, long-lasting keepsakes that celebrate Alpha Phi long after college! These marble coasters, paperweights, key tags and magnets make great take-away items at special events, alumnae functions and philanthropy events. They also make great thank you gifts for Alpha Phi supporters, your "big sister" and the entire Alpha Phi community.

To learn more about these products and pricing please call or email Jon Rousseau at 517-262-8146 and jon@screencraftgifts.com. Visit ScreenCraft Gifts online by clicking here.