September 28, 2013

On the Road: Enhancing the Alpha Phi Experience as an Alumna

I will be the first to admit that leaving college at Syracuse was much harder than I anticipated. Saying goodbye to my beautiful campus, our chapter house (my home for three years) and the most incredible friends in the world, was unimaginable. I had formed a bond with my initiating chapter that was irreplaceable. I knew that I could never let go of Alpha Phi, which is largely why I applied to be an Educational Leadership Consultant. Just as Alpha Phi changed my life in college, it has done the same as an alumna. 

 In just two short months, I have visited eight chapters and met hundreds of inspiring Alpha Phis. I have watched chapters progress in countless ways; from perfecting a banner to increasing recruitment strength. None of our success would be possible without the dedicated collegians and alumnae who I have been lucky to meet. 

There is no feeling like witnessing a chapter succeed. There is an overwhelming sense of pride when you see that a light bulb has gone off in an officer’s head, or when you surpass what seemed to be an unreachable goal. After spending several weeks with the Delta Epsilon (Iowa) Alpha Phis for work week and formal recruitment, I was lucky to experience my first bid day as an ELC. As our 52 beautiful new members ran towards the chapter house with huge smiles; to be greeted by hugs, photos and welcome signs, I found myself holding back tears. Yes, I had experienced success as a collegiate officer, but knowing that I was a part of the work that went into this incredible day was unparalleled. Our long nights and perseverance resulted in 130 elated young women.

My initiating chapter will always have a special part of my heart, but now, it will be joined by others. When I look at the Quarterly, my eyes won’t just be drawn to one place, but to all of the chapters I have visited. Now I will scan my Facebook newsfeed for updates from all of these hardworking chapters across the country, and eagerly await news from each of them. It is true that as an ELC, each visit changes you for the better.

Life on the road is exciting, busy and full of surprises. No two days as an ELC are the same, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If I could share any advice to Alpha Phi alumnae, it would be to reach out to our collegiate chapters and get involved in any way possible. I am so fortunate to have worked with our passionate Alpha Phi officers and volunteers who will stop at nothing to see a chapter progress.  Working with a chapter as an alumna will challenge you in the best way possible and leave you with invaluable memories.

Katie Madden (Alpha-Syracuse) is a first year Educational Leadership Consultant.

September 25, 2013

On the Road: Volunteers, What Would We Do Without You?!

There are so many joys that come with being an Educational Leadership Consultant for Alpha Phi. From the preparations of work week, to the first time the doors open filled with potential new members, and then finally, to the excitement that comes with Bid Day. As ELCs, we are lucky enough to be a part of these experiences through the recruitment process, helping chapters reach their full potential. 

We all know that there are countless hours spent behind the scenes doing anything and everything to get all parts of recruitment just right. But what we don’t always realize is the people we don’t see are the ones making it all happen. And it doesn’t just stop with recruitment – these efforts are year round.

So who do we all owe our immense gratitude to? None other than the fabulous women who are Alpha Phi volunteers. These volunteers are made up of advisors, team leads for chapters on extension and even moms! Without these wonderful women, our chapters would be missing a key component of what makes Alpha Phi so great. As a collegian, I was fortunate enough to work with some amazing volunteers, but as a consultant, I have seen the work they do on a different, much larger scale. Now that I’ve been on the road for two months, I have had the extreme joy of working with multiple fervent and dedicated volunteers. They not only put their time and effort into these chapters, but they put their whole heart into what each of these chapters is capable of accomplishing.

I have worked with alumnae volunteering for their collegiate chapters, as well as volunteers from other chapters working with a chapter in the area they live in (even driving down to help). I have constantly been amazed with the positive influence each one has had on the chapter, as well as how respected they are. Our chapters are lucky to have them, and they play a crucial role in the chapter’s success. It’s incredible to work alongside these women as well as the wonderful collegians that put in their tireless energy, effort, time and commitment.

We always say that Alpha Phi isn’t just for four years, it’s for life. These volunteers are terrific role models to all collegians because they prove that saying to be true. They spend their time working with Alpha Phi because they want to see it continue to flourish and grow beyond all measure.

I applied to be an ELC because I wasn’t ready to let the part of my life that was all things Alpha Phi go. But working with these volunteers, I have seen so many ways to keep Alpha Phi part of my life forever. I am so excited to continue this journey and meet more terrific volunteers!

Lauren Locke (Gamma Iota-Texas Tech) is a first year Educational Leadership Consultant.

September 23, 2013

Meet the Fall 2013-14 Collegiate Perspective Guest Bloggers

Chelsea Birtch is a collegiate member at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada, where she is a part of the Iota Theta chapter. She is a third year English major minoring in History and North American studies. Chelsea spends extracurricular time volunteering in a kindergarten classroom, and after graduation, she hopes to become an elementary school teacher. She began her Alpha Phi journey in fall of 2011 and has held positions like Membership Development Committee Representative and Director of Member Education. She now serves as Director of Sisterhood. Chelsea’s hobbies include dancing, reading, blogging, crafting and spending time hanging out with her sisters on campus rocking their Alpha Phi letters!

Anna Kozak is a collegiate member at the University of Iowa, where she is a part of the Delta Epsilon chapter. She is a sophomore double majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications with a certificate in entrepreneurship. She joined Alpha Phi in fall of 2012 and in summer of 2013, she attended the Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI) with 50 other initiated members of Alpha Phi from around the country. She currently serves as Marshall for her chapter, has served on the marketing committee for the chapter’s annual Red Dress Gala, and has held numerous representative positions for elections and committees. When Anna isn’t busy with Alpha Phi, she participates in Iowa’s student government and STAR (Students to Assist Recruitment). 

Elizabeth MeLampy is a charter member of Alpha Phi's Iota Tau chapter at Harvard University. She currently serves as Vice President of Campus Affairs and the Panhellenic delegate for her chapter. She is a sophomore planning on studying comparative religion, and possibly English. She also is a member of the Harvard-Radcliffe Modern Dance Company on campus, and she recently joined the varsity Women's Rugby team. She is so excited to blog for Alpha Phi!

Jessica Nazzareno is a junior at California Polytechnic State University studying business administration with concentration in management and human resources. She has been an involved member of the Epsilon Chi chapter of Alpha Phi for three years and has served in many roles and on many committees. Jessica is looking forward to the newest additions to their chapter following bid day and the fun year ahead of the chapter! 

Emily Nickels is a junior at Ball State University, where she is a part of the Delta Rho chapter. She is a Public Relations major with a Marketing minor. Originally from the east side Indianapolis, Emily is a proud Hoosier, dog lover and football fan. In her free time, Emily loves coaching a volleyball team of 15 and 16-year-olds (she played for ten years) and listening to country music. She currently serves as Vice President of Programming and Education for her chapter and has also served in the Risk Manager role. She works in a law office and may continue her education in law school someday. Follow her on Twitter @emilynickels! 

Kersten Smith is a senior at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA (right outside of Washington, D.C.). Kersten moved to the east coast from her home state of Nebraska and has been an involved member of the Eta Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi since she was a freshman. In the past three years, Kersten has served on the Executive Council as Assistant New Member Educator and Vice President of Marketing. Kersten is studying Government and International Politics with a concentration in Intelligence Analysis. Kersten will be graduating early from GMU this December, and hopes to serve as an Educational Leadership Consultant for Alpha Phi International next year.

Catherine Spence is a junior at Carnegie Mellon University, where she is a founding member of the Iota Sigma chapter of Alpha Phi. Last year, she had the unique opportunity to join Alpha Phi while it was colonizing, and being a member of the sisterhood has quickly become one of her favorite things about college life. This year, she and her sisters are excited to break in their brand new house, participate in their first formal recruitment and raise money for Alpha Phi Foundation at their first Red Dress Gala. She currently serves on the Executive Council as the Director of Finance and is also a member of the Continuous Open Bidding (COB) team. Outside of Alpha Phi, Catherine is an Orientation Counselor, a Sexual Assault Advisor and a member of the collegiate English honor society. She is double majoring in Professional Writing and Decision Science with a minor in Business Administration. Catherine is so excited to share her Alpha Phi experiences with all members!