April 27, 2016

Alumnae Life: Redefining your Alpha Phi Experience

In August of 2011, as I drove away from the life I knew for the past four years, I made a phone call to see what I could do to continue my time with Alpha Phi. For four years Alpha Phi was everything to me, and I knew that I wanted Alpha Phi to be a part of my life forever.

I started volunteering with the Zeta Xi chapter at Elmhurst and met wonderful women whom I still talk to now. I volunteered there for three years, and then while attending Convention 2014, I found out that Alpha Phi would be opening a new chapter right down the street from me at the University of St. Francis. I was so excited that I immediately started to figure out how I could help open a brand new chapter at a University that had never had a sorority or fraternity.

After a lot of hard work and effort I was able to be the Chapter Advisor of the Iota Phi chapter at St. Francis University. I used my new-found home and role to find advisors that would be willing to help start this new chapter and help make it succeed like all the others before us. After a year of working with Iota Phi, I got the news that my husband was being relocated to Wisconsin for work. The first question I had was “What about my role with Alpha Phi??”

I was devastated to leave this brand new chapter that I had helped create but knew that my time with Alpha Phi was not over. Before I even moved to Wisconsin, I had been in contact with other volunteers from the Iota chapter at University of Wisconsin Madison. Being able to volunteer with the Iota chapter has given me a new life line here in Wisconsin. Having to leave behind your entire family, your job and all your friends is not an easy thing, but with Alpha Phi you always have a home no matter where you go.

As an alumna of Alpha Phi you have an opportunity to meet so many more people than you do as a collegian. I have met so many wonderful women, and I know I will always have someone to turn to no matter where my life takes me. Every year I get so excited to attend Leadership Conference in February because I get the chance to see all the amazing volunteers and staff members that have helped me through not only my college years but also my volunteer years. I always meet new people and get to reconnect with those I haven’t seen since the previous Leadership Conference.

The women that I have met through Alpha Phi have become my best friends and sisters in more ways than one. They are the women that I can’t wait to share good news with. They are the women that are there for me when something bad happens and help me figure out what to do to make it better. They are the ones that I couldn’t wait to tell that I would be having an Alpha Phi legacy. They are the ones that no matter where I am in my life, will always be there to support me and have my back. They are the ones that I look up to and hope to be.

I loved being an Alpha Phi as a collegiate, but being an Alpha Phi as an alumna is even better. I hope that I can inspire the women that I work with the way I have been inspired by so many before me.

Alyson Shelton Feminis (Epsilon Delta - Northern Illinois)

April 20, 2016

Collegiate Perspective: Importance of Sorority Women Performing Community Service

Through Alpha Phi Foundation, hundreds of Red Dress Galas and the multiple philanthropy events chapters host throughout the year, Alpha Phi is well-known for raising millions of dollars annually. While Alpha Phi’s philanthropic focus includes women’s heart health, I have found that many of my sisters’ passions lie in other diverse causes. Ranging from College Mentors for Kids to Answers for Autism, directing our passions to various causes allows us to exercise different parts of our skills and have life-changing experiences.

As sorority women, we stand as role models and pioneers for female leadership, going above and beyond within our chapter and our community. Service is one of our core values but it is much more than simply volunteering. Performing community service together as members of Alpha Phi is what allows us to foster memories and meaningful bonds. Each opportunity we have to be a part of our community is an opportunity to learn more about ourselves, bring people together, gain professional experience and encourage civic responsibility. These very aspects are the values of our sisterhood and it shows the various ways we can grow from giving back to our house and community.

The common bond of Scholarship-
Through our experience of service, we are simultaneously reaching for education, knowledge and achievement. We can improve upon our skills or learn new ones that are vital to our success as female leaders of future generations.

Pioneering Leadership-
By immersing ourselves in service that we are passionate about, we often become inspired and motivated. Our inspiration provides opportunities to encourage one another to reach and strive for innovative and significant developments. This freedom to grow is carried with us in day to day activities from going to class in the morning and inspiring our sisters at home.

High expectations for Character -
In being a part of something bigger than us, we are challenging our social norms and fostering qualities that separate us from others. Through action and diligence, we are leading by example and empowering women to do the same. In turn, we are becoming more self-confident and versatile individuals prepared for life’s twists and turns.

As inspired sorority women, we have the potential to harness our strength in numbers and to immerse ourselves in service to both each other and the community.  Alpha Phi provides opportunities for young women to discover their skills and be amongst a supportive system that will last through joy and obstacles. Through service, we have the opportunity to give back to the things that helped us become who we are today. Through our sisterhood, we can make significant changes. I invite you to take part today.

Caitie Santo is a collegiate member at Butler University (Epsilon Beta).

April 11, 2016

2016 Alpha Phi Cap and Gown Photo Contest

Alpha Phi is holding its eighth annual Cap & Gown Photo Contest! Submit your best photo of you and your sisters in caps, gowns and Alpha Phi stoles by Tuesday, May 31 at 11:59 p.m. CT to be entered in the contest. Even if your graduation takes place after the deadline, graduates are encouraged to try on their cap and gown today and snap away!

We will be sharing selected photos from the submissions on Facebook on Thursday, June 2. Sisters will then "vote" by liking their favorites. The photo that gets the most likes by Thursday, June 9 at 5:00 p.m. CT will win. As an added bonus, submissions may be featured in the 2016 Summer Quarterly!

To apply please send the following to photosubmission@alphaphi.org with the subject "Cap and Gown Contest - [chapter name]":
  • Your name
  • Your chapter/school
  • Your photos with description
Contest Information:
  • The Alpha Phi 2016 Cap & Gown Photo Contest is limited to entries received April 11 - May 31, 2016.
  • Entries must be submitted as digital photos and they must be submitted as attachment as .tif or .jpg files;
  • Photos will only be considered for the 2016 Summer Quarterly if they are high resolution images (at least 3 in. x 5 in. at 300 dpi).
  • The entrant must be the sole creator of the images being submitted.
  • The entrant will not receive payment for the images selected or used.
  • Selected submissions will be featured on Facebook, but not all submissions will be included.
  • By entering the contest, each entrant agrees that the photos may also be used in other Alpha Phi International communications.
  • Acceptable hand symbols include the ivy leaf.
  • Photo collages are not accepted.

If you have any questions, contact photosubmission@alphaphi.org.

April 6, 2016

Collegiate Perspective: 5 Things You Can Do To Maintain a Happy and Healthy Heart

As an Alpha Phi sister, maintaining a healthy heart is something I like to make a priority every day of my life. With heart disease being the number one killer of women in the United States, I believe it is so important to educate young women across the nation to do the same. With that being said, here is my list of five things you can do to maintain a happy and healthy heart:

1. Eat a healthy and balanced diet! 

Of course, this one is obvious. But it is important to eat foods that are nutrient rich, high in fiber and low in calorie content. So check the labels on the foods you purchase and try to avoid products with a lot of sugar and saturated fat. This is the easiest and most sure-fire way to ensure a healthy heart.

2. Exercise!

Whether it is walking to class instead of driving, going to the gym a few days a week or attending a hot yoga class, exercising is a great way to maintain a healthy heart! Understand that exercising doesn't have to be a huge time commitment; even just a few hours of exercise a week can significantly improve your overall health, and you can even create a reward system where you treat yourself to something fun after completing your time at the gym.

3. Drink water

Yes, it's that simple, people! Another super easy way to stay healthy is to drink water every day. It is recommended that you drink at least 8 big cups of water per day, so always keep a water bottle on you, and refill it frequently. Along with helping keep your heart happy and working properly, it also does wonders for your skin, among so many other things.

4. Don't skip breakfast

I know you've all heard it before: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And whoever has told you that is right! Eating a healthy breakfast provides so many health benefits, and skipping breakfast can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, and high-cholesterol. So start your morning off the right way, eat some oatmeal, eggs or toast. The benefits are exponential!

5. Last but not least, laugh, and laugh often!

Several studies have shown that laughing helps relieve stress and through that, promotes the healthy function of blood vessels. Whether it is by spending time with people who make you laugh or watching a rom-com, laugh out loud every day, not only will it improve your heart's overall health, but it will also make you a happier person in general!

Tatum Pugh is a collegiate member of the University of Missouri (Omicron). To learn more about Tatum, click here.