Alpha Phi Quarterly Summer 21

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REFLECTIONS An Adventure in Discovery Laura Aust and her husband embarked on a three-year sailing journey that took them across the globe, challenged their outlook, changed their perspective and created peace.

Plus: Mental Wellness Navigating Grief and Isolation with Alpha Phi Mental Health Professionals

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Alpha Phi



Inside This Issue 5

From the Crest General Fraternity and Greek-letter news and announcements


One of Us Profiling an Alpha Phi making an impact in her community and inspiring leaders. This issue: Chantal Emmanuel

30 Always Alpha Phi News from our alumnae members and chapters

34 Silent Chapter Honoring our sisters’ passings

35 Amongst the Ivy Accomplishments from our undergraduate members and chapters

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2020-2022 Alpha Phi Quarterly Editorial Advisory Board Ugwechi Amadi Susan Bevan Sheila George Bright Daniela Cardona Ella Candage Avery Eves Caroline Foley Talor Gellatly Denise Blankenship Joyce Kelsey Klimara Maci Philitas Alison Cink Rickels Lauren Schuster Susan Brink Sherratt Katherine Burkhard-Sopp Madeline Suggs Katy Summerlin L. (Allie) Winkelman Anne Wolfcale

Alpha Phi Quarterly Staff Gina Henke, Editor-in-Chief Alpha Phi Quarterly Design Tria Designs Inc.

Editorial Policy The purpose of the Alpha Phi Quarterly and its content is to provide information and services to the membership of the Alpha Phi Fraternity, in keeping with the Fraternity’s status as a 501 (c) (7) tax-exempt private membership organization. The magazine is devoted to highlighting its members and matters of fraternal and collegiate interest. The views expressed in the articles published in the Quarterly are those of the authors and their contributors, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Alpha Phi Fraternity, its officers or staff.

Submissions All persons interested in submitting materials for publication in the Alpha Phi Quarterly are encouraged to send them to the editor at the Executive Office. The editor reserves the right to accept, deny or edit any materials submitted. Unless otherwise requested, all photos sent to the magazine will become the property of Alpha Phi International and will not be returned.

Articles may be sent by email to or by mail to: Alpha Phi Quarterly 1930 Sherman Ave. Evanston, IL 60201.

Submission Deadlines Fall 2021: June 17, 2021 Winter 2022: Sept. 1, 2021 Spring 2022: Jan. 15, 2022 Summer 2022: April 5, 2022


Please direct any submission questions or inquiries regarding advertising or reprint permission to the editor at


Alpha Phi Quarterly (USPS Pub # 14680) is published quarterly by Alpha Phi, 1930 Sherman Ave., Evanston IL 60201-3214. Periodical postage paid at Evanston, IL and at additional mailing offices.


Please send address changes to: Alpha Phi Quarterly 1930 Sherman Ave. Evanston, IL 60201-3214 or

Alpha Phi Quarterly SPRING 2021

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VO L . 13 3 N O. 3 SU M M ER 2021


Reflections: An Adventure in Discovery Laura Aust and her husband embarked on a three-year sailing journey that took them across the globe. The


adventure strengthened their sense of teamwork and community while changing their perspective on some of life’s most important questions.

Legacy of Leaders Week & Learning Lab


When meeting face-to-face was not an option, our Alpha Phi leaders adapted and joined in the virtual Legacy of Leaders Week and Learning Lab. This 2021 take on the annual event known as Leadership Conference engaged thousands of women and offered inspiration to the next generation of leaders.

Mental Wellness: Navigating Grief and Isolation with Alpha Phi Mental Health Professionals

12 SUMMER 2021

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Everyone experiences some level of grief and isolation throughout their lives, but not all of us know how to navigate those emotions. Our alumnae in the mental health profession share their expertise on the impact grief and isolation can have and offer recommendations on ways we can all be supportive to each other. Alpha Phi Quarterly


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A Message from the International President Dear Sisters,

International Executive Board Jacqueline Schools, President Stacey Thulin Daniel Kathleen (Kate) Boyle Halfon Ruth Gallagher Nelson Lisa Cabaniss Olson Jandy J. Thompson Linda (Allie) Winkelman Ex-officio: Laura Malley-Schmitt, Council of Delegates Ex-officio: Linda Long Boland, Chief Panhellenic Officer Ex-officio: Renee Smith Zimmerman Zainer, Executive Director Ex-officio: Mary Beth C. Tully, Foundation Chair Foundation Directors Mary Beth C. Tully, Chair Rebecca Andrew Zanatta, Vice Chair Claire Costin, Treasurer Coree Smith, Secretary Gretchen Alarcon Janelle Del Carlo Jenny Concepcion Hansen Susan McNeice Shana Smith Ex-officio: Amy Peebles, Executive Director Ex-officio: Jacqueline Schools, International President Executive Office Executive Director: Renee Smith Zimmerman Zainer 1930 Sherman Ave. Evanston, IL 60201 (847) 475-0663 Foundation Office Executive Director: Amy Peebles 1930 Sherman Ave. Evanston, IL 60201 (847) 475-4532 National Panhellenic Conference Council of Delegates: Laura Malley-Schmitt Chief Panhellenic Officer: Linda Long Boland Alternate Delegate: Laura Lynn Davidson Ellett


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“Laughter releases endorphins and other natural mood elevating and pain-killing chemicals, improves the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to internal organs. Laughter boosts the immune system and helps the body fight off disease and cancer cells, as well as viral, bacterial and other infections. Being happy is the best cure of all diseases.”

Above: Kate Scerbo Nelson (Eta LambdaGeorge Mason) (far right)


Our mental and physical wellbeing are our greatest gifts. Resilience and laughter are essential in taking care of ourselves so when adversity comes — and we know it is inevitable — we face it with strength and grace. Alpha Phi is busily preparing for the fall semester and, while things are not as tenuous as last summer, there is still uncertainty in the college experience. One of my top concerns remains the mental health of Alpha Phi members as collegians, especially, struggled with significant hurdles during throughout the pandemic. Just prior to the beginning of shutdowns and quarantines, I fortuitously met Ailis Garcia, founder of StrongU. Her message of building positivity, gratitude and mental and physical wellbeing principles were timely, and Alpha Phi quickly moved to implement the StrongU curriculum. Deeply committed to the wellbeing of our members, we recognize the need to provide the resources to support members as they navigate the stresses of college. The skills learned through StrongU allow members to THRIVE, not just SURVIVE, in college through this brand-new program specifically created for Gen Z sorority members. As a result of participating in this eight-week program, Alpha Phis will be better equipped to navigate college-life and beyond, by building resilience skills and developing healthy habits. I encourage you to check out the StrongU program, and we thank the generous Alpha Phi Foundation donors for making this program possible. I am personally reminded of the value of laughter and resilience from a close chapter sister, Kate Scerbo Nelson (Eta Lambda-George Mason). The Patch Adams quote shared here is her mantra; despite being diagnosed and beating cancer in 2020, only to have the cancer reemerge in 2021, Kate is committed to the healing power of laughter, hope and faith. In 2020, Kate was diagnosed with a rare tumor; only 0.2 per 1 million people have Thymic Neuroendocrine Carcinoid Tumors (tNETs). As the tumor is exceptionally rare, Kate traveled out of state for medical care at the Mayo Clinic. We were all so excited when Kate was able to come home, and by the end of 2020, we celebrated her as a strong and healthy cancer survivor. In early February 2021, we learned the cancer was back. Kate’s team at Mayo Clinic say they have not heard of a cancer diagnosis like this one but they promise to fight it with everything available. Kate and her doctors, along with family, friends and her dedicated Alpha Phi sisters, are all committed members of team #KateStrong. Kate is facing a tremendous battle, but her message of positivity and faith inspires and reminds me daily that our ability to remain healthy and strong, both mentally and physically, can be improved when we have the tools to help us develop resilience, have the support of our community and balance life with gratitude and, sometimes, a little bit of laughter. AOE, Jacqueline Schools (Eta Lambda-George Mason) International President

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Every time we had to make a decision, we asked, ‘what is the serenity first option?’

Laura Aust (Zeta Phi-MIT) To learn more about Laura’s journey and the Serenity First motto she and her husband Alec adopted, be sure to read their story on page 22.


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Alpha Phi Quarterly


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From the Crest

Behind Happy Faces Supporting Members’ Mental Health


lpha Phis have a strong drive to care for one another. That care is at the foundation of our membership and extends to Alpha Phis across the globe. While many of us have an understanding about ways we can improve our physical health, mental health and well-being does not always receive the same attention. College can be a challenging experience on its own, but the impact of the changes from this past year have made it all the more important to prioritize our mental health. According to the American College Health Association’s – National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) Fall 2020 Reference Survey, 86.5% of undergraduate female-identifying students experienced moderate to severe levels of stress, with academics, career aspirations and financial concerns being the largest stressors. These factors have only increased with the impact of COVID-19 on college students. The ACHA-NCHA Coivd Survey Report indicated 41% of undergraduates reported feelings of depression from March to May of 2020, as compared to 35% of undergraduates who reported feelings of depression in 2019. One of the ways that Alpha Phi is 4

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Alpha Phi Quarterly

helping our members reinforce the importance of mental health is through our Behind Happy Faces programming. Developed by the Human Power Project, Behind Happy Faces was adopted by the Fraternity in the Fall of 2020 and includes both collegian and alumnae resources. It is funded thanks to the generosity of Alpha Phi Foundation and Leading with Heart donors. Behind Happy Faces for Collegians is designed to give members the tools they need to address mental health proactively by providing a more complete education of mental health, developing a more expansive vocabulary to discuss emotions, teaching them about coping mechanisms and recognizing the important steps to help a friend. The Behind Happy Faces: Advisor Resource Series consists of five online workshops that are designed to give the tools they need to effectively address the mental health challenges that members are experiencing and ensure that advisors are aware of the necessary steps to handle crises.

Chapter Successes

In addition to implementing the Behind Happy Faces curriculum, Alpha Phi chapters have started to create their own events and programs focused on mental health awareness. This past semester, the Tau-Oregon chapter put together

Behind Happy Faces Curriculum Members from 115 different chapters have accessed the Behind Happy Faces curriculum in the past year. As collegiate chapters begin planning their calendars for the 2021 academic year, we hope you will consider implementing the Behind Happy Faces workshops as part of your chapter meetings or other programming events. All of the workshops and modules for Behind Happy Faces can be found on LEARN Alpha Phi for members to access. Chapter workshops are between 15-45 minutes long and can be facilitated by your vice president of health, wellness, & accountability or other officer.


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Fraternity Updates their very own “You Matter Week,” full of programming and community events encouraging members to practice selfcare and focus on mental wellness. The event was spearheaded by junior Sophia LaVinga (Tau-Oregon) who serves as the chapter’s Panhellenic Delegate and worked in collaboration with the chapter’s Health, Wellness, & Accountability department. Sophia planned a similar event in high school, and, after seeing how seriously her sisters were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting isolation, she wanted to create a way for members and the community to come together. “I feel like we’ve all been struggling this past year, and constantly having activities and meetings through a screen can make it hard to feel connected,” Sophia shared. “I wanted members to understand that the main purpose behind all of these events is [to emphasize] everyone matters and that Alpha Phi is here for them. ‘You Matter Week’ goes beyond just sending a message in a group chat. We want members to know that [the chapter] is putting in effort and we care about everything they’re going through — the good and the bad.” “You Matter Week” occurred at the end of April, and members participated in a variety of programming options throughout the week. The planning team made sure to abide by COVID-19 guidelines in place at the time of the events, and created both in-person and virtual options so members could participate based on their comfort level. Events included an avocado toast bar at their chapter facility, which included a goodie bag pick up of supplies for the week like a branded mask, little treats and journaling prompts to encourage reflection throughout the week. The chapter hosted a virtual keynote speaker, Victoria Garrick, and invited the entire fraternity/sorority community to participate in the discussion about the importance of mental health in college. The chapter participated in a virtual workshop led by Jordanna Drazin (Alpha-Syracuse) of “The Daily Schvitz,” and had an Instagram bingo challenge to raise proceeds for Mental Health America. Members also delivered mental health gift baskets to the other chapters on campus, which included chocolates, coloring pages, journaling prompts and an infographic on why the chapter was SUMMER 2021

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participating in “You Matter Week.” The chapter held a “Flowers for Phis” philanthropy event to send flowers to others in encouragement and proceeds were donated to Mental Health America. They ended the week with a special treat at the chapter facility and members were encouraged to write a letter to a friend to let them know how much they loved and cared for them. The entire chapter was energized by the event, and the planning team noticed higher participation in this week than others hosted throughout the semester. “COVID-19 has really helped to destigmatize mental health,” Chapter President Kat Livaditis (Tau-Oregon) shared. “[We] have found a supportive group of women who are open about

The entire chapter was energized by [‘You Matter Week’], and the planning team noticed higher participation in this week than others hosted throughout the semester. their mental health struggles. There’s a recognition that many of us are struggling right now, on some level. More members are open about what they’re going through and how they’re dealing with it. The vulnerability of our members has encouraged others to seek help, where they might not have before.” For chapters who want to start reinforcing the importance of mental health in their chapter, Sophia encourages members to start small. “Mental health is a topic that’s important for and to our members, so any amount of time is valuable. Start with a minute at chapter meetings, or an hour-long programming workshop,” she said.

Critical Mental Health Support Anyone who is experiencing feelings of isolation, depression, increased anxiety or other challenging times should reach out for help. Medical professionals, Alpha Phis, advisors, university health professionals and family members may be able to provide critical support, and there are other resources available as well. Alpha Phi recommends the following resources, in addition to your college/university counseling center: Crisis Text Line Text HOME to 741741 anywhere in the US or Canada to text with a trained Crisis Counselor. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). JED Foundation For further information and resources about mental health in college. Alpha Phi Emergency Hotline If there is a concern or immediate chapter issue regarding mental health, please call the Alpha Phi Emergency Hotline after contacting local emergency services. The Emergency Hotline is staffed 24/7 by Fraternity Staff 847-316-8942.

Alpha Phi Quarterly


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From the Crest

Nominees The COL asks alumnae to consider creative and visionary leaders with: Knowledge about and diverse experience within the Fraternity

2022-2024 International Executive Board APPLY OR REFER A SISTER


he well-being and strategic future of Alpha Phi is dependent on a strong and thoughtful International Executive Board (IEB). The IEB is reliant on a vigorous and robust nominations and elections process. The Constitution and Bylaws of the Fraternity state “the Committee on Leadership (hereafter “COL”) recruits Alumnae Members whose professional and volunteer experience, dedication to the Fraternity and its ideals, leadership, executive skills and general demeanor make them ideal to serve in a Fraternity leadership capacity in future biennia.” The COL is charged with soliciting referrals of qualified candidates, objectively and fairly evaluating all IEB applications, seeking feedback from the membership and ultimately presenting a slate of qualified candidates at Convention for a formal vote. Members of the COL are both elected and appointed. Three members were elected in June 2020 by convention delegates. Those members are Katie Foster (Delta Nu-Maine), Katie Bergin (Gamma Eta-North Texas)


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and Carol Wilde Wahl (Delta KappaWisconsin La Crosse). The IEB appointed Deana Koonsman Gage (Gamma Iota-Texas Tech), Susan Brink Sherratt (Beta BetaMichigan State) and Elysia Brown Labita (Beta Rho-Washington State) to complete the alumnae membership. After an application and interview process, Abigail Langer (Zeta Pi-Case Western Reserve) and Amelia Murphree (Iota OmegaMississippi) were selected by the alumnae members of the COL to fill the collegiate member positions on the committee. This committee will serve until the end of the 2020-2022 biennium.

Strong professional expertise, including experience in Finance Expansive non-profit volunteer board experience Proven success in strategic implementation throughout career The COL encourages all alumnae to: (1) e valuate the desired skill sets for the IEB President and Director roles; (2) a pply for the 2022-2024 IEB; and (3) provide feedback on potential candidates.

Timeline Sept. 1, 2021: Referral period opens for IEB candidates Oct. 15, 2021: Deadline for application and written references November-December 2021: List of candidates posted; open feedback and input period begins


The referral process for nominees will open on September 1, 2021.

January-February 2022: Candidate interviews and evaluations held

Your participation will assist the COL as it slates the next International President and IEB Directors, including a member designated as the Finance Director.

March 21, 2022: Slate announced to the membership



June 2022: Slate presented at Convention for elections

Also In

Additional information about the COL and the IEB nomination and election process, can be found at

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Fraternity Updates

Expanding Our Alpha Phi Family We are proud to announce that during this fall season, Angelo State University is going to be home to the newest Alpha Phi collegiate chapter! Located in San Angelo, Texas, the university is about four hours southwest of Dallas. Alpha Phis will join two other sororities, Delta Zeta and Sigma Kappa, on campus and we cannot wait for the founding members of this chapter to engage with the vibrant community. Follow along with our developing chapter on social media at @AngeloAlphaPhi on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. What is better than one new Alpha Phi chapter? Two new chapters! Coming in the spring of 2022 at The University of Colorado, Denver (CU Denver), we will initiate another new class of strong leaders in Alpha Phi. Fraternity and sorority life at CU Denver is a more recent development, and we are thrilled to be among some of the first organizations to establish and expand the fraternity and sorority life community on campus. Keep up to date on the up-and-coming CU Denver Alpha Phis on social media at @CUDenverAlphaphi on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Standing Up to Harvard


SUMME R 2020

Meet Amelia and Michelle, the women who led the fight to reestablish the Iota Tau chapter on Harvard’s campus




3un0 der 30 strate ers demon Our memb excellence generosity, ize 30 leadership, tion. We recogn do. and innova n for all they of these wome

Learn what motivates International Executive Board member Kate Halfon to continue to volunteer with Alpha Phi.


We Stand With You Message to members about diversity, equity and inclusion



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Shining a Light: Alpha Phis Step Up Sisters are showing up to support communit y in light of the COVID-19others in their pandemic

7/15/20 8:45 AM

Also Inside:

share attendees Conference ent Leadership to implem are excited what they the future chapters in with their

for Secretary Assistant One of Us: Children and stration for the Admini Johnson Families, Lynn

A Year in the Life Developing Resilience Through One Year in a Pandemic


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Programming Reminder

If you have not attended a recent Alpha Phihosted program, now is the perfect time to check out our calendar for a collection of dynamic virtual programs for alumnae and collegians. Guided by Alpha Phi’s strategic plan and high ideals of membership, our empowering programs support the growth, education, health and well-being of our members. The fraternity utilizes proven industry experts, pioneers and partnerships with emerging companies to deliver cutting-edge programmatic experiences. ​ ​For alumnae and collegians alike, our programs encourage personal and professional development, lifelong education, leadership and communication skills, inclusion, generosity and healthy, wellness and accountability. Visit to see what programs pique your interest. Many programs funded thanks to the generosity of Alpha Phi Foundation donors.

Quarterly Return to Print We are thrilled to share that the next issue of the Alpha Phi Quarterly, which releases in fall of 2021, will mark our return to print. Our upcoming issue will be printed and delivered to your home in the coming months, full of exciting updates and compelling stories from our members. Readers who wish to engage with the magazine online will continue to have the opportunity to enjoy digital storytelling at

If you would like to recommend a member to highlight, a story idea or need to update your mailing address, please contact Be on the lookout for email communication this fall about the arrival of the next issue of the magazine, as paper, labor and transportation shortages are delaying paper availability in many areas. We look forward to having you hold the Quarterly in your hands again soon.

Alpha Phi Quarterly


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Chantal Emmanuel (Eta Zeta-Binghamton)

“As an entrepreneur one of the

Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder, LimeLoop

greatest skills you can have is to

“Straight out of college, I actually had no idea what I wanted to do,” shared Chantal. “I had graduated with an English major and Anthropology minor, which loving to read and write, made for a great college experience, but hadn’t really set me on a clear career path. At the end of my Senior year I signed up for a year of ser vice through an Americorps program, as a way to give back while I continued to explore my options.”

weed through all the opportunities

It was through that program that Chantal began her experience at New York Cares, a volunteer management organization that reignited a passion in her for volunteering and sparked excitement in technology. Through her work at New York Cares, Chantal learned how leveraging technology can multiply one’s ability to produce good work.

efforts, while ignoring all the rest.”

Chantal’s career trajector y evolved to meet her interests. “ With advice from a friend in software engineering, I turned that passion for working with computers into a career switch, studying computer programming and moving to the Bay area to get experience working at startups and with some of the largest tech companies.” With each new engagement, she developed skills and the confidence that allowed her to go forward to build something from the ground up. That something is LimeLoop, an innovative digital solution for sustainable shipping logistics. “If you were to order from one of our retail partners, your product would arrive in a LimeLoop shipper,” Chantal explained. “ There will be a prepaid label you can use to send that empty package back to the retailer, who can then use it over 200 more times for other orders.” The platform consists of three components that improve logistics and protect the planet: (1) a range of reusable packages to replace single-use cardboard boxes and plastic poly mailers, (2) a sensor to monitor the environment in and around the package for temperature, location and evidence of tampering and (3) a software platform monitoring the package and the consumers’ environmental savings ever y step of the way. “As a technologist, taking something as universal yet antiquated as a cardboard box, and not only imagining what it could look like in the future, but actually creating it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. We knew it would 8

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and focus on the one or two that will have the highest return on investment for your time and

be no small task, tackling a practice that has been in place for over 150 years, but knew it has to be done — and why not by us? ” remembered Chantal. Chantal and Ashley Etling, the chief executive officer and co-founder of LimeLoop, met almost ten years ago when Chantal was hired as lead engineer at the startup organization Ashley had founded. The excitement they both felt at having the initial chance to work together has led to a continued collaborative success. Their shared vision for the future of LimeLoop and the way they solve problems by bringing their unique complementing perspectives add up to a win for the staff, companies and consumers.

As a business co-founder, she knows that at any given time there are hundreds of different things she can be doing to accelerate the growth of the company. Besides leading the digital piece of the company, Chantal wears many hats and is ready to jump in wherever the team needs her. She is also careful to avoid the burnout that can come from becoming consumed with business for a lengthy period of time. “One of my business partner’s favorite mantras is ‘focus, focus, focus,’” said Chantal. “As an entrepreneur one of the greatest skills you can have is to weed through all the opportunities and focus on the one or two that will have the highest return on investment for your time and efforts, while ignoring all the rest.” The biggest surprise so far for Chantal? Her own capabilities. “It can be hard when you’re in the midst of the

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Fraternity Updates With all she has accomplished, Chantal still makes it a priority to give back. Mentoring experiences, especially those geared toward changing the face of entrepreneurship and engineering, are close to her heart. Whether speaking to all-girls high schools or engaging in Black Girls Code workshops, Chantal aims to do for others what her friend did for her in helping her discover her passion for technology. Projects that balance her time in front of computer screen with the opportunity to give back and get moving also spark her interest, so she has been planting trees with local organization Hudson Riverkeeper. The opportunity Chantal is part of continues to inspire her each day. “I’m constantly learning and growing, I’ve quickly lost track of how many different ‘firsts’ I’ve done. Knowing what a negative impact single use packaging is having on our environment, and that our solution will eliminate that waste, pushes me every day to want to scale faster,” said Chantal.

marathon that is building a company to take the time to reflect on how far you’ve come and how much you’ve accomplished. At times it almost feels like I’m looking at someone else’s life, from winning pitch competitions in front of audiences of thousands of people, to partnering with some of the largest retailers and taking a product from an idea to holding it in my hand.” Her commitment to innovation and searching for the best solutions has earned her and LimeLoop accolades. The company is about to close their $1 million seed round of fundraising, which, to Chantal, signifies the vote of confidence their investors have in the direction of the brand. “We’ve had to overcome a lot of obstacles to close this round. Last year only 93 Black female founders were able to raise over a million dollars, and, as a whole, we only received .64% of venture capital. The numbers are abysmal and it’s time for them to change or we’ll continue to stifle the innovations of tomorrow,” said Chantal. SUMMER 2021

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Best Lesson She Has Learned:

When something is really complicated, I love to joke, “It’s not rocket science, and even if it is I could learn that over time too.” Moving through life knowing that you don’t know everything, but there’s nothing you can’t figure out or ask for help with to overcome, means that nothing is out of your reach.

Her Advice:

The days are long, and work is hard, but if you find that problem you can’t get out of your head, and a passion that gets you really excited to tackle each day, entrepreneurship can be the experience of a lifetime.

Early on in her career, Chantal admits it was easy to be pulled into the trap from the little voice in her head that questioned whether she was the right person for the challenge she was taking on. With each experience, she says it is easier to ignore that voice and lead with confidence. That confidence is bolstered by her family, whom act as her biggest cheerleaders, armed with the best celebratory .gifs for their group chat. Her sister, in particular, is best at knowing when Chantal needs a push forward or reassurance. Her Alpha Phis are part of that support, too. “As you get older, it’s so easy to let time and space create distance in your friendships. What I’ve noticed with my Alpha Phi sisters, months and sometimes years can go by without touching base and, yet; the next time we speak it’s like we haven’t missed a beat. There’s something in that comfort of familiarity and continuity that’s so comforting to know exists,” said Chantal.

Alpha Phi Quarterly


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From the Crest

Legacy of Leaders Week & Learning Lab 2021 This year, to ensure the safety of our members, our annual Leadership Conference went completely virtual and, in turn, engaged 3,000 chapter officers, volunteers and general members in educational, empowering and exciting leadership training. While we missed seeing everyone in person, Alpha Phi’s International Executive Board, volunteers and executive office staff were committed to providing leadership development opportunities to as many members as possible. Legacy of Leaders Week was made possible thanks in part to the generosity of dedicated Alpha Phi Foundation donors. Thank you to those who participated in this year’s events and discussions. We hope you concluded the week having learned tips you did not know before, having gained new perspective and having felt proud of all that you contribute to the strength of our sisterhood. Here are some of our favorite moments from this year’s Legacy of Leaders Week and Learning Lab.


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Learning Lab Keynote with Valorie Burton National bestselling author, international speaker and life strategist Valorie Burton, founder and CEO of the Coaching and Positive Psychology Institute, author of 13 books on personal development and one of the top 60 motivational speakers in America, delivered the Learning Lab keynote: Resilient and Ready — How to Thrive Through Challenge and Change. With an especially poignant message, given the difficult year many recently experienced, Valorie’s message focused on developing the ability to adapt and thrive no matter what challenges arise. Highlighting the essential quality of resilience and its relationship to success, she encouraged members to explore how that foundation aids in: Bouncing back from setbacks Maximizing opportunities Developing the thinking style research proves helps us succeed under pressure Finding joy and maintaining a positive perspective Navigating disappointments in a way that makes us better, not bitter.

Alpha Phi Quarterly SUMMER 2021

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Fraternity Updates


Leadership Launchpad This three-hour program engaged emerging leaders in a course developed and delivered by the Leadership Laborator y, led by founder and leadership development consultant Jacob Goldstein. Participants developed key competencies, while dedicating time to both reflection and action planning to inspire new longterm leadership behaviors. Each member had the opportunity to discover the building blocks of

successful communication that enhances motivation and team engagement by: Exploring the three types of motivation and engagement Experimenting with three unique theories to immediately increase intrinsic motivation Reflecting on current

leadership practices and applying new theories to enhance personal leadership Establishing a stronger community of like-minded individuals and rising thought-leaders Developing an action plan to implement key design theory lessons into project leadership. LEFT: Neilah Peku (Eta Delta-SCU East Bay

Alex Assad (Eta ThetaSan Francisco STate)


Brooke Filar, Delaney Shin and Lauren Orlando (Beta Beta-Michigan State)


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Throughout this weeklong celebration of personal and professional development, the fun our members brought to the sessions is what made it all unforgettable. From the leadership boxes supplied by our awesome vendors — complete with emojis, shirts and Alpha Phi swag — to the laughter, sharing and connection brought by our attendees, the fun from this conference has us already looking forward to Leadership Conference 2022.

Alpha Phi Quarterly


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Mental Wellness Navigating Grief and Isolation with Alpha Phi Mental Health Professionals by Gina Henke


n a year when health has been a topic many have talked about nearly every day, we have become more accustomed to taking stock of how we feel. That familiarity with physical symptoms has not always translated to comfort in openly discussing mental health, but this year many have seen an uptick in the willingness to be more open about mental well-being. Doctors recommend annual exams to keep our bodies healthy, but the polarizing topic of mental health or simply the feeling that “I have it handled” has led to less of an adoption of regular check-ins for mental health. Over the course of this last year, our population was met with a variety of challenges and many of us have dealt with the serious issues of grief and isolation. Those two experiences, and the ways in which they touched our lives in deeper ways of late, inspired conversations with three Alpha Phi alumnae mental health professionals. Loss comes and goes throughout life in many forms. Whether a person experienced a loss of health, a loss of a loved one, job or relationship loss, loss of an experience a person was looking forward to or loss of a feeling of safety and well-being, we do not have to do much digging to acknowledge the many

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losses people experienced in a condensed period this year. Regarding isolation, anyone who followed health guidelines and recommendations to quarantine, or social distance as a measure to protect themselves and others from Covid-19 may have felt more disconnected for part of last year. Whatever healthy coping mechanisms a person has in their toolbox to help them navigate the emotions and experiences that might have been challenging over this past year, one commonality kept coming up as we had conversations with mental health professionals: each of us need some level of connection to our community and the world around us. Whether you are an introvert, and find you recharge better from alone time, or an extrovert, filling up your cup from time spent with others, humans need a connection to others to thrive. The dialogue was informative, empowering and encouraging as they shared ways we can all take proactive steps toward mental well-being. The therapists we spoke with shared their insight and expertise, but we always recommend connecting with your health provider to determine the best plan of action for your own health. The content of this article is not intended to replace individualized medical care.

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Professional Background & Mental Health


Marriage Counselor (LMHC) laid it out plainly. “I think many of us are in a trauma response from the pandemic and all that happened this last year,” she said. “When people hear ‘trauma,’ they tend to think of the ‘big T Trauma,’ traumatic experiences that would be extremely difficult for anyone, but it is important to understand the ‘little t traumas’ as well.” The latter of those traumas, as Kristina describes them, are experiences that are very traumatic for the person experiencing them, but not necessarily universally traumatizing at a deep level. An example of a big T Trauma could be the loss of a loved one, while a little t trauma could be loss of the opportunity to experience graduation celebrations as people thought they would. Each experience can cause varying levels of deep sadness and grief for the individuals involved. Kristina went 1 4

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Because of the general 30-day limited interaction with those she serves, Kristina has come to notice “every moment I have with [them], I have to make it count. Small conversations end up becoming the big conversations… I try to be intentional and make the most of our time together.” Her work is guided by a desire to help others find fulfillment. She approaches mental health as a sort of spectrum. “At any point, we on to share that this pandemic has changed so much about life for all of us. One specific change she has noticed is that traumatic experiences have been brought to the forefront of more conversations, encouraging individuals to explore emotional responses in ways we may not have been as comfortable doing before. As new member education and member experience advisor for the Theta Mu-Hofstra chapter, Kristina has had the opportunity to engage collegiate members in dialogue around the importance of mental health and how we can take active steps to participate in the work that promotes mental wellness in our own lives. As a senior case manager and street outreach lead for a short-term shelter for runaway and homeless youth, Kristina works quickly to engage residents to learn what their goals are and develop a plan of how to help them achieve those goals.

“We are just starting to scratch the surface of mental health impact from the pandemic.” are either struggling, or not so much, with our own mental health. We all have to do the work to keep ourselves mentally healthy, and some may want support with that.” “We are just starting to scratch the surface of mental health impact from the pandemic,” said Kristina. For many, the fight or flight response

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l d& alth Now was just getting us through the day. The mental health impact of the pandemic will be here for a while, and we are just starting to scratch the surface [of what that looks like.].” While the pandemic has changed some of the ways we go about life, she cautioned it is critical to make the distinction between the anxiety so many of us felt as we traveled through this year and the clinical diagnosis of anxiety that many people were living with prior to 2020. There is hope as we move forward, at least as far as Kristina is concerned. “People felt limited during the pandemic, and now, as we begin to emerge, people may start to realize more possibilities for their lives. All of us are capable and deserving of living a life that has meaning and is fulfilling, and that looks different for each of us. It might include therapy or perhaps increased selfcare, but we are all worthy of living a life we love,” she said. SUMMER 2021

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JOLENE FEENEY (CHI-MONTANA) , LMHC has counseled in her private practice since 2016 but has been part of the mental health field since 2006. Having worked with a variety of populations, she emphasized the importance of caring for our mental health with the same concern we would show to our physical health.

“Obviously, this last year and beyond has shone a brighter light on the issue of mental health because everyone has been impacted in some way. Everyone has had a dose of dealing with [isolation and grief]. There is a collective sense that these emotions are felt, but there is still a long way to go with how we approach mental health in workplaces, etc., but mental health feels more accessible right now,” said Jolene.

She continued to share what she believes are some of the biggest influences on how we process grief and isolation: mental health community support, mental before the grief or isolation occurred, each person’s strengths and how we feel supported in responding to challenges. Even reading through this article, Jolene cautioned, will be a different experience for each person. “Sometimes reading [about the experiences a person may be going through] can make people feel validated, and sometimes not, but connectedness at some level is important. Emotional experiences are not linear as we process things like grief and isolation,” she said.

“People deserve to be well.” That accessibility has been physical and mental. Physically, more opportunities for mental health resources are available online and in unique ways to adapt to varying schedules. Mentally, because so many people are dealing with challenging experiences, the mental health challenges have been a bit normalized. “We all have mental health, just like we all have physical health. It is an everybody thing. It is worth taking care of,” Jolene said. Jolene started her mental health experience in leading drug and alcohol support groups for peers. Her desire to understand, help and connect others created a space for Jolene in the mental health field. “People deserve to be well, and it is hard to see people suffering. If I can help, and make people feel better, it makes the world better,” shared Jolene.

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Professional Background & Mental Health Now JANNA FENNEL (IOTA KAPPADARTMOUTH) , Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) acknowledged the impact of this year has challenged us in ways we have not always been accustomed. “[The pandemic] occurred during other high stress situations like an economic recession, a politically polarizing election and racial injustice,” she said. “Consequently, people who may not have considered therapy in the past now had compelling reasons they could not write off as incidents that ‘would pass soon,’ and it motivated them to seek out additional resources.”

For Janna, who has spent five years in mental health and now works as a member coach for an online cognitive behavioral start-up called Learned to Live, through which she provides cognitive behavioral therapy via tele-health services, there is plenty that draws her to the field. Before her current role, she also worked as a community mental health therapist in Minnesota, providing racially sensitive, trauma-informed care and play therapy to children, teens and families. While her work began with children, she has transitioned to focus more on adults, understanding their significant impact on children and how they model and process behaviors. Janna shared she has seen some people become more comfortable seeking out therapy because the shared global experience was so different than anything most of us have seen before. The unknowns have caused a lot of feelings of distress, hopelessness, fear and anger, which can lead to physical and psychological impairment over time. She speaks from experience. Janna says engaging in therapy for herself changed her life and empowered her to be her authentic self. “Therapy helps you to learn how to thrive, instead of just survive,” shared Janna. 16

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“Therapy helps you to learn how to thrive, instead of just survive.” “Oftentimes our ways of dealing with problems were maybe effective at one point in our life and helped us to survive certain situations, but, over time, they become ineffective and more disruptive to our daily lives. Therapy can help you deconstruct

these unhelpful beliefs and learn much more efficient tools to be able to cope with and manage stressors.” Over this last year, she also thinks it became more accepted to seek help because we all had a common stressor, Covid-19. Even when people were also dealing with other concerns, the added normalcy from the feeling that “everybody” was going through sometime made it seem less scary to reach out. Janna added, “Friends and family can be great shoulders to lean on, but, often, they are not equipped with the various tools or emotional bandwidth to help in the way a person may need. Therapy is a great additional support system.”

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the world around us is essential for mental health and those feelings of connectedness have positive physical responses. When we are connected, we approach the world with more of a positive outlook, have a sense of purpose and reduced anxiety, we can better understand our role in our community. The absence of the feeling of connection brings about some of the opposite, with greater risk of depression and anxiety. According to Janna , the need to belong and feel accepted in foundational to our survival as a species, so there is no shame in desiring a connection and it is okay to be more bothered by isolation than someone else might be. Finding hobbies that you can enjoy alone as part of self-care can be one way of coping with feelings of isolation. Social media can also be a way to stay tethered to others, but she cautions that too much time there can contribute to the comparison trap that is on display when we look at another person’s posts or photos and believe that person is better than we are. Reframing our thinking is a powerful tool. Instead of focusing on what we cannot do, shifting the emphasis to what we can do allows us to approach the situation with a different mindset. “One technique I learned to help clients when they start to compare themselves is to look at things through the lens of ‘best at’ or ‘worst at’ versus ‘better than’ or ‘worse than,’’ said Janna. “We may not be as able as someone else to do something, such as deal with increased separateness, but that doesn’t mean we are less than the other person. It’s a skill that can be improved upon. Our ability or lack of ability in something doesn’t dimmish our inherent worth as a person.” When it comes to the ideal amount of time we need to feel connected, it is quality over quantity for Janna — but SUMMER 2021

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SIGNS OF CONCERN REGARDING ISOL ATION AND LONELINESS: y Severe reduction in social engagements and anxiety around socialization y Changes that indicate someone is consistently pulling back from their normal interactions y Experiencing big and often unpleasant or uncomfortable changes like divorce, becoming an empty nester, living alone, etc. y Increased anxiety, lack of sleep, poor self-care, aggression, suicidal thoughts and ideations

how we view the quality of a connection varies from person to person. Some people can feel heard, understood and emotionally satisfied through a Zoom chat, while others crave a physical touch like a hug or sitting next to someone. One thing the separateness of this last year highlighted, Janna says, is “We learned to not take community for granted and to appreciate the people we do have in our lives, no matter how big or small we perceive the number.” Janna said she noticed some clients would become stuck in their thinking of solutions to problems and it was easy to feel powerless against the challenges we faced. She spent time working with her clients to discuss ways that they could socialize and fill that need while remaining safe. As for the word, “social distancing,” Janna felt it did more harm than good because many became stuck on the social part when — truly — it referred to physical distance. She said, “We were able to still socialize and connect with others, just not in the desired ways we were used to.” Kristina offered the reminder that knowing ourselves is one of the best ways to work toward becoming mentally strong. What does that mean for an individual? “Understanding where you get your energy from allows you to grasp how you can fill yourself up so that, no matter what is happening externally, you are still in alignment,” said Kristina. According to Kristina, inner isolation and motional isolation can be more damaging than physical isolation, but there is a difference between feeling connected and socializing. “Even introverts, who may feel drained after socializing with others, need to feel connected to their community and to those they love when they are alone,” shared Kristina. The way we engage with the world, though, traces back much further than the discovery of whether we are introverted or extroverted. “Our world Alpha Phi Quarterly


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views are developed from our attachments. How we attached to our caregivers at an early age influences how we see the world. If we felt supported and had trust, then we, generally, go out into the world with that same mindset. The opposite is also true, but we can do the work to change that,” said Kristina. Jolene echoed the distinction between isolation and loneliness. “At certain levels, being physically separated can be healthy for some at times, but, on the flip side, you can be with a group of people and still feel lonely,” she said. When isolation or anxiety are driving a reduction in our life or making our world smaller, that is when disconnectedness can be a concern. With regard to the pandemic, Jolene said isolation or the feeling of disconnectedness was a bit like weathering the same storm but in different boats for many people. Some people were completely isolated, while other essential workers were at work each day but faced disconnectedness in different ways. “Humans are social beings. The reason we still exist on this planet is because we relied on and connected with each other. To be isolated was certain death as we progressed as a species,” said Jolene, “But everybody has different thresholds for the amount of connecting that is ideal.” When isolated, we can lose perspective and reality check that comes with connection — can increase fear, anxiety, depression, resentment, anger She also shared insight from a recent Gallup publication Wellbeing at Work: How to Build Resilient and Thriving Teams by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter about what level of “together time” is ideal. Gallup found that with every hour of social time, up to six hours, a person’s daily mood continues to improve. Social interactions can be in-person, online or over the phone and the ideal amount for every person varies. It is no surprise that when the right amount of social time, quantity and quality of relationships came together,


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“Humans are social beings. The reason we still exist on this planet is because we relied on and connected with each other.”

individuals experienced more happiness, enjoyment and engagement. The book measures well-being at the worldwide level and it was interesting that people did not report wellness changing much over the course of the year, which Jolene explained depicted more of the macro level that people are resilient. On the micro level, however, the variables come into play. Individuals who were stretched thin and experiencing multiple challenges experienced the stress of the pandemic’s impact differently. Single parents, those with young children at home while parents were working, those part of an insecure job force, those with spouses who have addiction issues — and the list goes on — all may have faced obstacles in ways others did not. Routines and healthy habits can keep us grounded in connectedness and staying connected to the things that bring us joy is important. Jolene reminded that these do not have to be big things. Something as small as taking your dog for a walk and smiling at the passersby or engaging in brief friendly dialogue at a coffee shop might be ways to contribute to feeling connected.


of reality, said Jolene. “We have to accept life as it is. Often, we have an idea of how things should have been, but [those ideas are not] reality. If you don’t confront the reality and accept it, then it leads to avoidance. It is important to allow ourselves to experience pain and many times we are afraid, not wanting to feel the pain.” The worry comes in, she continued, when people consider the depth their sadness and pain could reach. They may wonder how low they will go or if they will always feel the same level of sadness. “Feelings will come, and they will go, but emotional suppression allows the feelings plenty of room to build,” said Jolene. “It is important that we find ways to adjust to life as it is now, while allowing ourselves to maintain certain meaningful connections to the past.” Many of us have conditioning around what it means to be vulnerable and what it means to ask for help, Jolene reminded, and so it may be difficult for individuals to be open with discussions of their own mental health or that of others. Younger members of society could sometimes be more comfortable sharing with less filtering, but our elders may not have had that same comfort or freedom to discuss their emotions. It is important people feel supported when sharing their feelings. “Grief is a system issue, but we approach on individual basis, so when grief happens it impacts a group of people, but we often approach the processing of (continued on page 21) that grief one person at a time,” said Jolene. With the

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Top 5 Things People Should Understand about Isolation and Disconnectedness JOLENE:



Humans are social beings, and desire to feel connected and that we belong.


Isolation and Loneliness are different. Isolation is the physical separation from others and loneliness is the disconnection we feel from others.




Staying connected to your own routines and healthy habits will help reduce some of the emotional vulnerability we feel when we are isolated/lonely. Loneliness impacts us on a physical, emotional, and even spiritual level.





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Remember, you are not alone. Share how you feel with someone you trust. Taking the time to reach out and connect in ways that you are able not only helps you feel better but could be just what another person needs as well. If we wait for another person to take the initiative, we may be missing out on some great experiences and the chance to help improve someone’s day.


Finding ways to connect, no matter how small, can reduce the effect of loneliness on one’s mental health. Connecting can take many forms today and make use of relevant technology.


After what the world has been through, a sense of community is essential more than ever right now. Being a part of a community can help us feel included in something larger than ourselves, giving us a sense of purpose, belonging and acceptance.

Small moments of connection can be enough.

**BONUS** Everybody is different. Do not compare yourself to others.

Isolation can be very frustrating and disappointing. It is one of the major risk factors for suicidal ideation and non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors. If you are someone you know is having self-harming thoughts, please reach out 24/7 to the suicide prevention hotline at 800-273-8255.


Humans are hardwired for connection, and we find meaning in community and collaboration with others.


We each need differing amounts and forms of contact with others to feel connected.


Understanding yourself and your patterns makes it much easier to connect with and understand others.


Stop telling yourself people do not like you and look at the experiences in your childhood that shaped those beliefs.


No matter what the circumstances, there is always a way for you to get support and reconnect. Reaching out for help is a major victory.

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Top 5 Things People Should Understand about Grief:




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It is psychological, behavioral, social and physical. Do not be surprised or even ashamed that you notice changes in any of these categories after a loss. No studies have been able to identify a certain step process that leads to a clear end of grieving, or that there is a designated state of "recovery". Healthy grief is the movement from loss of orientation to the restoration of orientation.


Different types of loss equal unique experiences.


Our personal strengths, orientations and support systems before a loss will impact how we feel after a loss.


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Grief is not actually a linear process. You may not go in order or go back and forth between stages before you fully processed the grief.


rief looks different G for everyone and there is not one right way to grieve.


Grief is not time-bound. Do not feel pressure to “just move on.” Our emotions do not work that way, like a faucet we can just turn off and on. Do not beat yourself up if you are not where you want to be yet.


he more you avoid T your feelings, the longer the grieving process will take.


ou know best what Y you need to heal yourself from grief. Listen to the nudges from your intuition.


ome grieving never S ends, but shifts into a manageable experience in a new chapter of your life.


rief is not forever. G The pain of the loss may never fully go away, but the overwhelming feeling of grief will eventually pass.


Grief work is not about learning to move on, it is about learning to live your new normal and adjust to life without. Instead of forgetting what we lost, we can carry with us and appreciate the good memories of what we had or learn something from and make meaning out of the experience.


It is not uncommon for grief to come with a myriad of emotions, not just sadness. Some feel anger, guilt, fear, confusion, irritability, fatigue, memory loss, etc.


Even after processing your grief and coming to a good place in your healing, sometimes you may still experience sadness (or other distressing emotions) and that is okay too. With therapy, you can learn ways to manage them if they resurface.

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technology we have today, it is much easier to remain connected to family and friends across the miles, but that deeper connection can make our grieving more intense as well. “In our culture, we don’t actually deal with death that well. Oftentimes, we don’t want to deal with it, but in other cultures people are more accepting of death as a natural part of a lifecycle,” shared Jolene. The good news? Processing grief and all that entails has been normalized a bit this year because of the widespread large and smaller losses many have experienced. “I tell my clients, this is not the grief Olympics. We cannot compare grief and there is no medal for whose grief is [perceived] as ‘worse,’” said Jolene. “But it is important to remember that people experience and process grief based on their world around them, so individuals who live alone, for example, could experience a different grief expression than someone who lives with others.” Kristina explained how many of our youth, teens and young adults experienced grief that was different from losses that we might have always as easily recognized as true moments to grieve. With many of these smaller griefs, like the loss of birthday celebrations, graduation ceremonies and prom memories, it can be easy to think that [we] should just keep going or get over it, but we should not repress our emotions. So many of us saw or experienced firsthand the way children’s birthday parties adapted from in-person parties to drive-by parades, how graduation celebrations were held in cars at drive-ins and how prom dresses were put on for pictures before being quickly returned to their hangers. These losses are different than the loss of life or the loss of a home, but they are important. Missing out on anticipated moments, individuals across the globe believed they would have enjoyed in more expected ways, has resulted in pain felt across the globe. No matter the loss, Kristina says, “When we don’t talk about the loss, that is when it is easy to get caught up in judgements instead of seeking to understand. We need to find middle ground through processing grief and realize a life that is meaningful, while still creating space for the sadness and anger around the loss.” Even when we recognize the grief another person is experiencing, it can be uncomfortable to talk about someone’s grief with him or her. Typically, it is not a lack of concern or love that is the roadblock in these conversations. Many people do not know how to broach the topic and can bring uncomfortable energy to the conversation. “This can make the person 20


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SIGNS OF CONCERN REGARDING GRIEF: y Severe reduction in connecting with others y Lack of selfcare, increase of unhealthy habits y Withdrawal from activities that previously brought person joy y Giving away belongings or sudden unexpected feeling that weight has been lifted y Loss of energy for life y Unprocessed grief that turns into depression and feelings of hopelessness

with loss feel as though they are entering a conversation that doesn’t feel safe. We need to hold space for the person to express themselves openly and consider our own perspective ahead of time so that you can aim to stay focused on your friend and support him or her,” shared Kristina. Janna shared similar insight that because “it can feel scary or shameful to share these deep feelings with others, it’s important to really listen to the person. Give them a chance to express what they think and feel without judgement and without trying to solve their problems. Many people just want to feel heard and understood.” If the person is not ready to talk about their loss, we should not force the conversation. Checking in with the friend every so often to see how he or she is doing is a good way to let them know you are here when they feel comfortable opening up. Is there truth to the stages of grief? Yes and no, says Janna. Multiple models of grieving and mourning exist. Two often referred to are the Kubler-Ross 5 stages of grief model around dying (denial, anger, bargaining, bargaining and acceptance) and the lesser-known William Worden tasks of mourning (accept the reality of the loss, work through the pain of grief, adjust to life without what was lost, find enduring connection and move forward). “Everyone grieves differently, and the process is not exactly a step ladder. It can be an uneven journey that doesn’t always happen in predictable ways. You may not even go through all the stages, or you may go back and forth between stages. What is important is to get to a place of acceptance and incorporation of loss into an everevolving identity instead of turning the loss into one’s identity,” said Janna. Janna wonders if there may have been an increase in patronage for support groups. “Grief comes with feelings of isolation but placing a pandemic and quarantine on top of that exacerbates those feelings of isolation. Being part of a virtual support group would be a great way to meet and gain a different perspective,” said Janna. “This year, we began to realize as a community how grief and loss can be a myriad of things and not only relegated to a person,” said Janna. According to Janna, the goal of grief work is to learn how to separate the self from the loss. “A quote I heard at a training once resonated deeply with me, ‘It’s not just learning to cope with loss; it’s about coping with change and that takes a lot of time.’” Alpha Phi Quarterly


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“There are no roads. You can go anywhere as long as it is deep enough. Find a spot you like and drop your anchor, make your own world.”


Whether you prefer landlocked living or seek out lakeside locales, it is no secret that many of us have a fixation with water. From the moment we first dip and splash in it, to learning to navigate it and approach it with respect, water is transfixing. It is life-sustaining and having access to it is essential. It is often awe-inspiring. The reflections we discover as we connect with oceans, lakes, streams and each body of water in between often remind us just how powerful water’s pull is. Our storied relationship to water has been the subject of works written by Herman Melville, Ernest Hemingway, E.B. White, Anne Carson and Ann Morrow Lindbergh and everyone in between. They position water to star as the transformational magician it can be, smoothing out rough patches, filling in cracks and, at times, overwhelming us with its force. If drawn to contemplation, something as small as a puddle filling up in a pavement pothole may give us pause to consider the "how?" the "why" and the"what next?" of anything and everything. Even if we understand that it is the cohesive hydrogen bonds which allow water molecules to pile up on top of one another, filling in all the available space, it is easy to get lost in the beautiful way water transforms and travels on a journey that connects us all. For Laura Aust (Zeta Phi-MIT), who grew up swimming and loves to snorkel, water has always meant freedom. “There are no roads. You can go anywhere as long as it is deep enough. Find a spot you like and drop your anchor, make your own world.”

BY GINA HENKE Photos courtesy of Larua Aust

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Sunset off Serentiy First.


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Laura’s journey didn’t start anywhere near the ocean. She grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia and her world was mostly the goings on that took place in and around her hometown. “The whole running joke in my family was, as I was growing up, that I would lament I never got to go anywhere, we never get to do anything,” remembered Laura. “So, of course, when it

came time to apply for colleges, it was no surprise that the colleges I applied to were on the other end of the country.” That wanderlust continued and led her to move to London after college in 2010 with her husband, Alec Marshall, whom she met at MIT. He lived in the fraternity house next to the Alpha Phi house, and the connection sparked a friendship and romance. Together, they traveled where Alec’s job led, spending one year in Dubai and six months in San Francisco, but mostly their home base has been in the United Kingdom. There, they made a home, developed friendships, kept in touch with their Alpha Phi sisters and fraternity brothers. They both secured and earned recognition at jobs which required precision, knowledge and talent. 24

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They had everything, so to speak, except for what they felt was missing. “I was part of the product development ream for a luxury watch maker. I loved engineering, creating, designing and building, but I didn’t feel I was doing anything great for the world. I wanted to make a difference,” said Laura. Alec felt similar with regard to his own work, and the

couple found themselves asking questions many ask at least once during life “What is our purpose?” “What do we want to spend our time doing?” “What am I really trying to achieve?” “Am I really happy?”


Prior to college, Laura enjoyed sports and time with her family, but felt she had not yet found her niche. She grew up on her family’s farm and spent a good bit of time tinkering to find out who she is. In attending college at MIT, and joining Alpha Phi, Laura discovered what drove her, what she loved and what was important to her. The experience gave her the knowledge and the courage to pursue what she thought was worthwhile instead of simply travelling down a marked path. “When I joined A Phi, I felt I

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was part of a community of likeminded people who understood me, were interested in the same things as I was and were as inspired by the world as I was,” said Laura. “I felt immediately accepted for exactly who I was. All of my closest friends are still my Alpha Phi sisters.” The alumnae

in London get together every few months, and that group has been a source of support for Laura. She also visits her sisters from MIT whenever she can. Before meeting Alec, Laura had only been in a boat, a dinghy, once—and she hated it. Alec, on the other hand, started sailing dinghies at age six and grew with the hobby through adulthood. Thankfully, when Laura went sailing with Alec for the first time in 2011, she loved it immediately. He taught her everything she now knows about sailing, and they have traveled to picturesque places like Sicily and the islands off the coast of Italy on their regular summer sailing adventures with his family. The couple even chose sailing for their honeymoon, renting a boat and sailing off Greece for three weeks. The feeling of unrest and

unhappiness with the way their lives were structured began before their marriage started, and they asked themselves if taking time off or volunteering would provide

the change that would put things into perspective. Early on in their relationship, they began saving money thinking they may want to do something adventurous. Alec had learned of individuals around their age who sailed fulltime as a job and made videos of shared experiences on social media. As they started planning their wedding, they decided to use their honeymoon as a test to determine if an extended journey could bring them the kind of escape they were hoping for. Planning this trip required Laura and Alec to create a catalog of spreadsheets and do months of research. Laura and Alec spent quite a bit of time searching for a vessel. Once they found an older one they could afford they had to ensure it had all it needed to make the ocean-crossing journey they were planning. Communication, emergency and navigation details were reviewed. In terms of the journey itself, they shored up the admin and procedural side of the experience by filing paperwork and ensuring they would be able to legally pass between countries. Slowly, the route was selected,


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they noted places they wanted to visit and their eighteen-month adventure was slated to begin. They bought the boat in November 2017 and spent three

months living on the boat in Croatia in the middle of winter. There, they added solar panels so they could generate some power, added battery capacity, upgraded amenities and added on new safety capabilities. What was imagined as a year and a half search for fulfillment transformed into a three-year journey that challenged their perspective on the notion of happiness and serenity.


The itinerary fluctuated, speeding up here, slowing down there, making changes along the way, but the highlights of the trip included the expensive Mediterranean’s Greece, Turkey, Siciliy, Corsica, Sardinia, Spain and the Canary Islands; the more moderately priced Caribbean’s entire lesser Antilles chain through Trinidad; Panama; French Polynesia’s Tahiti and Fiji. Through the Pacific and over to Australia was a dream, but not one, thanks to Covid-19 related border closures, they were able to realize. After they made it to Trinidad and their money


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was holding out longer than anticipated, they added on extra time to explore in new places For “Type A” wired individuals who like to identify goals and then go out and achieve them, the name of their boat name became the motto for their trip: Serenity First. “The point of the trip was to take a step back and ask

ourselves what the chill option, the less stressful approach would be? So, every time we had to made a decision, we asked, ‘What is the serenity first option?’” said Laura. They got the boat in the water April 1, 2018 and Laura remembers being terrified of being untethered. “I was uneasy because the ground was now moving and living on the water fulltime was an adjustment. I remember trying to sleep that first night,” said Laura, “and thinking, wow, this is now our home. But I was also excited. We had put so much of ourselves into the boat and our plans.” Her uneasiness subsided a bit once they were crossing the Pacific, but their first crossing, of the Atlantic Ocean, was two weeks of anxiety. There was so much of the unknown in

that crossing, but Laura felt so accomplished having done something that scared her that much. “Afterward, you start to realize some of the things you think are scary are not as frightening as you think, so it was a good experience to go through that,” she remembered. Their active lifestyle and engineering training set hem on a solid course, especially when equipment broke and needed to be repaired. “Stuff breaks a lot on boats. It is a combination

“Afterward, you start to realize some of the things you think are scary are not as frightening as you think"

of your home always moving, things constantly rocking and flexing, the added stress of longdistance sailing. We usually felt the question hanging in the air, ‘what is going to break next?’” said Laura. For instance, when they left Tahiti to sail to Fiji, two days into that two-week trip, the screen that displayed they navigation map and data readings from a variety of the boat’s censors stopped working. They had to creatively problem solve, stretch and pry behind the console to crimp teeny

tiny wires and eventually get the screen back on track. Challenges like this were common on this adventure. But what is an adventure without fun? The delight of sailing from place to place, swimming nearly every day and developing a new understanding of various cultures and communities brought joy to the experience. Initially, the couple had planned to do more on their trip, but where they found serenity was in learning to take it slow. Unplanned moments often took them into experiences they had not dreamed of and brought new perspectives. Whether it was the amazing feeling of sailing though the Panama Canal or the love they developed for

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the beautiful community and its people when they spent three months there, Laura and Alec embraced these moments. The most exciting parts of the trip were when friends and family could travel to their location, join them on the boat and explore the locale. Laura and Alec would arrive at the rendezvous point a couple of weeks ahead of time so they could scout out the activities and places they wanted to make sure their guests would have the opportunity to enjoy. The memories made as the couple hosted their loved ones on their boat are ones that will last a lifetime. Even when one of the experiences you are seeking on a trip is solitude, it can mean so much more to share the peace you find with those you love. It was when they were in Panama that friends and family members began sending them more frequent emails, which they received thanks to a satellite communication system, asking if they would be okay to cross borders that were closing as Covid-19 began to ravage the world. As the world saw standard operating procedures break down and families everywhere faced quarantines and separation from the routines they were accustomed to, Laura and Alec faced their own anxiety. They had to worry about being away,

being separate; and being amidst the unknown, but, by this point in their travels, they had learned to operate differently, to adjust and to adapt. While they were separate from the world, in many ways, they were much less disconnected from the world and those around them than they had been before. They found themselves in the middle of the Pacific Ocean when Covid-19’s impact really took off, but the couple’s next steps on their journey allowed them some unexpected bliss. They were allowed safe passage into beautiful French Polynesia and spent four months in relative isolation. With the world locking down, there were a total of four boats who had, similarly, needed a port to call home amidst the global turmoil. Tahiti was that temporary home. On the other side of their trip, Laura feels they were blessed to have experienced a silver lining even though, by the middle of April, they realized that our plans would have to change. Their original very ambitious itinerary for the Pacific had included all of French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and more before ending up in Australia. When they came into French Polynesia, they did so at the easternmost part of French Polynesia, the Marquesa Islands,

which was still 1,000 miles from Tahiti. Due to the lockdown, authorities were allowing those travelling by boat to stay for two days to rest before heading straight onto Tahiti. What they realized in that moment when they had to stop is that maybe what would be nicer is to reject the stress and the worry that can come from roadblocks. “Maybe, we thought, we should just spend however long we need to right here and explore French Polynesia,” said Laura. “We wouldn’t try to go back and hit all the highlights of the places we’ve missed. We would explore French Polynesia and see the places we can from this point on and just do that really well. That was the best silver lining – and by slowing down we had experiences we never would have had.” With this decision, the couple had the opportunity to visit remote places, some of which, in other circumstances they may have to delay the next leg of the journey in order to see. Many of these spots were so remote and challenging to get into that they can require waiting for up to two weeks for weather conditions to be ideal. “These places, by far, were the most magical to visit and the most irreplaceable stops on our journey,” said Laura. “And, of course, realizing that begs the

question of whether we really should have been trying to do everything all at once in the first place.”


French Polynesia was not a good ending point for the travelers because the lack of infrastructure and guidelines regarding boats would have made it very difficult to sell their boat there. The high costs of transporting a boat around the

LAURA'S ADVICE When it all feels totally overwhelming, insurmountable and impossible, just take the first step. The worst that will happen is that it doesn’t work out and you will have to start again. Failing is good, in many ways. Be brave enough to take the first step, and, suddenly it all becomes possible. 2 26 6

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world to bring it back home, or paying someone to sail it, were too much to consider, and the couple needed to be in a different location to sell Serenity First. As the couple waited, they embraced the mindset that if places open up, they would visit, and, if not, they would not get upset about what they couldn’t do. When the word came that Fiji was opening during the summer, the couple made plans to sail there. The trip from Tahiti to Fiji was a memorable one, but not one whose circumstances they would want to relive. Alec became very sick during this part of the trip and there was the genuine concern that they may have to call for an emergency evacuation so he could receive care. He made a recovery, and they were able avoid an evacuation, but the seriousness of the experience and — truly — the whole process of this journey, brought Alec and Laura even


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closer to one another than they already were. “Now that we are home, we think about next steps like buying a house, which is a big deal, but now it doesn’t seem as daunting. We became a great team on this trip, and we can do so much together,” said Laura. They ended their trip in November of 2020 in Fiji, unable to make it to Australia as the borders did not open up in time for them to visit. Serenity First sold and the vessel went on to ferry individuals from New Zealand who were looking for a boat. Would they take on a trip like this again? Yes, they have already talked this through. Laura says she would be surprised if they didn’t do something like this again, but maybe not for ten years or so. The Pacific is beautiful, and they have more they want to explore there. When they do, they hope humanity, will do a better job of protecting our oceans. Laura noted, “There is a surprising amount of trash in the ocean, even in places that are not near land. We saw old shoes float by, and even remote islands had plastic bottles and old flip flops washed up on the shores. We have developed a huge respect for nature and the environment, as well as the desire to become better custodians of it.” Laura and Alec had planned and worked hard to have the opportunity to pursue an adventure like this and, while out on the water, they took time to reflect on the world and the way they function within it. “Some of our biggest takeaways were the questions, ‘What is enough?’ and ‘What is actually making us happy?’” said Laura. When they set out to tackle a long list of locations, saw that list reduced as a result of the pandemic and other obstacles, their

“We became a great team on this trip, and we can do so much together.”

primary emotion was not sadness or a fear of having missed out. “What we enjoyed most was getting to know a place and its people, taking time to relax,” said Laura. This realization has stayed with them as they returned to land. They learned they did not want to both work fulltime at the same time. Laura has taken some time to focus on other parts of life instead of seeking out full-time employment, and her husband has taken on some new work projects he enjoys. “Our collective stress level is so manageable, and we are happier than when life was more hectic.” Another major perspective change they reflected on was that they need less than they previously thought they did. “Living on a boat, you’re constantly shifting things and getting rid of items because you don’t have enough room. We spent a lot of our time getting to know people on our trip, making a campfire on the beach and sharing stories with others. We worry less about material things. Life is just as full and probably happier than it was before,” said Laura. Back in London, Laura and Alec have rescued a shelter dog they have named Skylar and are searching out ways to connect with others in the area. “We’ve realized community is so much more important than we gave it credit for. Since we have returned, we have met more people in these last months than we have in the seven years we lived here prior to the trip,” said Laura. At a time when the rest of the world is also excited to have the opportunity to connect face-to-face with friends and family again, as the pandemic shifts and vaccinated populations increase, Laura and Alec have felt fortunate to be part of the sailing community. “It is a wonderful community. They are all going through the same things breaking and are in similar tiny vessels with their partners. They really help each other. If you were to go up to a fellow traveler on a boat and ask to borrow something, if they have it and are able, 100 percent of the time they will. That’s the kind of generosity they show.” Laura and Alec’s first epic journey might have come to a close, but the community spirit they learned while separate from so much of the world is a quality we know they will carry forward.

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Always Alpha Phi

Entrepreneurial Excellence ETA EPSILON-VILLANOVA


Styling in Sustainable Swimwear

1927 Style

Emma Moran and her business partner Stephanie Niles recently launched their own luxury sustainable swimwear company called 7th Street Swim. The brand was inspired by the sights and magic of New York City and came to life when the pair wanted to create a brand that represented their goals and would empower women. Designed in classic silhouettes and colors, this swimwear is made for comfort and sustainability. Emma and Stephanie are passionate about supporting small businesses, sustainability and empowerment, so they have focused on those pieces in every step of production. “More than just using sustainable fabric, we are committed to producing limited collections that are never restocked. To us, this is the most important aspect of ending the fast fashion cycle,” said Emma. “The ethos of our brand is truly about buying less and buying better.” The brand offers several designs in two and onepiece construction. Guided by their desire to make a difference, the sky is the limit. Well done, Emma!


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Young professional Victoria Stack has taken her passion for adding red or purple-hued lipstick and used that to establish her own cosmetic company this year. 1927 Beauty is the vegan, clean and cruelty-free cosmetic company that is the result of Victoria’s hard work. Victoria chose the name 1927 Beauty in honor of her grandmother who was born that year. Her grandmother told her stories of the fun she had visiting dance halls and falling in love with her grandfather. Victoria’s grandmother was confident. “My grandmother is the only person I know who can put on a bright red, pink or coral lipstick without so much as a glance in the mirror,” shared Victoria. “When I asked her why she does it without looking, she responded, ‘Who am I trying to impress?’ …And 1927 Beauty aspires to inspire everyone’s no-mirror confidence within.” Made in the United States, 1927 Beauty currently offers 10 shades of lipstick in the Choose to Be line of colors with hues named for traits that wearers may aspire to be, like Confident, Determined, Fearless, etc. Victoria notes that all shades in the current line are a form of red with pink, blue, yellow or olive undertones. “There truly is a red for everyone,” she said. One of Victoria’s favorite colors for Alpha Phis is the Starry-Eyed color that is reminiscent of beloved Alpha Phi Red Dress events. For a limited time, 1927 Beauty will offer a discount code to Alpha Phis. Type in zetarho in the promo code field at checkout for a discount. Well done, Victoria! SUMMER 2021

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Alumnae Photos & Updates


Preserving Your Family


MiliMili Matches Patterns to Your Preference Alumna Kelsey Peterson Searles, cofounder of MiliMili, a bold and colorful nursery goods company, was the recipient of the company’s first wearable blanket, designed by fellow cofounder Rose Bridges. Rose was looking for a bold and bright gift for Kelsey’s one-yearold and decided that, since she couldn’t find what she wanted, she would create it instead. The result was a custom pink and teal flamingo wearable blanket that changed the lives of Kelsey and Rose.

Twins Jesse Schimpke and Kate Petersen had both been working at Michigan State University Management Education in Troy, Michigan for more than 16 years, providing food, beverage and service needs, when operations were suspended during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. They are moms to three daughters each, all of them under age seven, and they were driven by the desire to help their community and remain working. Kate and Jesse put their vision to work. Within one week of previous employment ending, they designed and launched their Michigan catering service, Jelly & Jams at The sisters have earned accolades for their delicious food, and they embody the strength and determination Alpha Phi holds dear. Well done, Jesse and Kate!

MiliMili produces soft and stylish sleep sacks, crib sheets and coordinating luxuries like robes, pajamas and eye masks for mamas. Kelsey and Rose have developed vibrant, exciting and kid-friendly pieces that go beyond the sweet and precious. “We are powered by a belief that you should be able to match your baby’s nursery to their bold and vibrant personality, even at bedtime,” said Kelsey. “We don’t feel like you should have to sacrifice your soul to express your style….We are always considering how to make our packaging more sustainable, always working to find the safest and softest fabrics for your little loves, constantly thinking of ways to waste less material and provide a benefit to our community.” Thanks to their dedication and quality, they have built a loyal fanbase of customers — including several Alpha Phis who are right there to cheer them on. Congratulations, Kelsey! SUMMER 2021

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Always Alpha Phi


Dancing Toward a Cure Dr. Beth Hommel Hochstein, a founding member of her collegiate chapter, has found a way to take her diagnosis of Young-Onset Parkinson’s disease and create an organization that aims to increase the research funding for Parkinson’s disease and the individuals it impacts.

Diagnosed at age 36 in 2007, Beth’s health ended her career as a podiatrist in 2010, which prompted her to focus her energy in a new direction. “I decided to become proactive with my diagnosis and followed my doctor’s orders. He told me one of the most important things I could do for myself was exercise, so I went back to my childhood love of dance,” said Beth. At the same time, Beth began fundraising for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the organization founded by film and TV actor and Parkinson’s Disease advocate Michael J. Fox. As part of that work, Beth organized her first fundraiser, “Dance Party for Parkinson’s,” which raised $42,000 for research. She held two more similar events, which raised another $40,000, and so, with the support of her family and friends, Beth went on to found her own nonprofit, Dance Party For Parkinson’s, Inc. in 2015. The mission is to fund research and other programs that enhance the lives of those living with Parkinson’s disease. Last year alone, the organization

raised $28,000, which helped fund a free community dance program for those living with Parkinson’s disease and their families. The organization has developed over the years, hosting a variety of events to engage the community in support. In 2019, they hosted Costumes & Cocktails, and in February of this year they arranged Broadway Voices for Parkinson’s, a virtual event featuring cast members from Broadway’s Disney’s Lion King and Wicked singing tunes from their shows. It has been more than a decade since Beth’s diagnosis, her children are now teenagers, and even while her disease progresses, Beth remains steadfast in her fight for more research, new opportunities for treatment and the belief that the work she is leading will touch many across the nation. Beth is proof that the love and generosity we share with others creates a legacy that touches many.


LA Weekly Women’s Business Leader Lynn Jochim, Chief Operating Officer and VP of FivePoint Holdings, LLC, one of the largest owners and developers of mixed-use communities is coastal California, was recently recognized in LA Weekly’s Women’s Business Leaders feature for her work developing new, vibrant and sustainable communities in Los Angeles County. The work she is doing on a Valencia project is trailblazing and, when completed, will become the most sustainable master planned community of its size nationwide. As someone whose childhood included lending a hand on the family farm in Central California, lowering greenhouse emissions and creating sustainable futures are meaningful wins for Lynn. A leader and a mentor, Lynn is passionate about inspiring the next generation to ask questions, pursue their goals and seize opportunity. Congratulations, Lynn! 30

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Alumnae Photos & Updates



Young Professional of the Year 2020

Shelby Moore was named the young professional of the year for 2020 by TriCities Business News in Washington state. Shelby is the executive director of Heartlinks Hospice & Palliative Care, and, at the age of 25, she has taken her education and put it to work to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those she serves. She started at Heartlinks in 2016 and was promoted to her current role in 2019. Her responsibilities include establishing and implementing goals, setting the comprehensive strategy for programs and services offered and collaborating with the organization’s board of directors to ensure the highest standard of quality care. Shelby also leads the fundraising efforts for the organization. She continues to be inspired by her mentor who she met while working at a small nonprofit organization in Missoula, Montana earlier in her career. When not at work, Shelby spends time with her husband and their French bulldog enjoying the Tri-City area they love. Among her other community engagements, Shelby is a board member for Women Helping Women Fund Tri-Cities, a recruitment advisor for the Beta Phi-Whitman chapter of Alpha Phi and a member of the Prosser Rotary Club. Congratulations, Shelby!

Career Connections Anne Wolfcale, member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the Quarterly and Alpha Phi collegiate chapter manager, has found a new home at Well Done Marketing, an Indianapolis-based full-service agency. As a writer and producer, Anne is responsible for crafting editorial content, production scripts and advertising copy for local and national clients. Prior to joining the team at Well Done Marketing, Anne worked at Willow Marketing, Alpha Phi Foundation and Hear Indiana. Within Alpha Phi, Anne has previously held several roles, including International Governor, collegiate chapter administrator, educational leadership consultant and more. It really is a small world, because Well Done Marketing’s President Lisa Sirkin Vielee is also an Alpha Phi alumna from the Gamma Nu-Miami University chapter. Congratulations, Anne!

Epsilon Beta Reunion Rescheduled The sisters of the Epsilon Beta-Butler had planned a reunion to take place this summer, but, due to continued local health precautions, they have postponed the event. The reunion is now scheduled for July 8-10, 2022. Members desiring more information about the reunion should contact Jody Harmon Hurtubise at SUMMER 2021

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Always Alpha Phi

Wedding Bells


Lynne O’Dell celebrated her marriage on August 1, 2020 to Oscarr Connolly. By her side were her longtime best friend and Alpha Phi sister Erica Miller, who served as her maid of honor, as well as two additional Alpha Phis who were part of the bridal party, Taryn Burks and Mickelle Sleyster. Plenty of Alpha Phis joined in as guests, including two of Lynn’s former chapter advisors, Sherry Wilcher and Debbie Richner.


Connecting and Crafting The Austin Area Alumnae Community have held two sisterhood events this year that were completely virtual and engaged members in an activity that inspired conversation and connection. In January, they hosted a Virtual Vision Board session that made use of free online software and helped encourage a focus on the future. The members were led by the local VP of Membership Kate Koch (Beta Delta-UCLA) as they created their vision boards and 2021 goals. Then in April, the group met again for to learn a new crafting skill – glass etching. Members received supplies sent ahead of the session, which was hosted by a local craft studio. The result of the session was a beautiful etched glass each member could enjoy as a keepsake. Keep up the excellent work! Above: Trina Titze (Gamma Iota-Texas Tech), Samantha Mullin (Theta Tau-Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Linda Durnin (Gamma Iota-Texas Tech) Tiffany Hawley (Theta Tau-Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Tricia Moose (OmegaTexas) Ellen Thelen (Beta Alpha-Illinois), Mary Lynn Gatreaux (Eta ZetaBinghampton) and Holly Johnson (Gamma Alpha-San Diego State)


I Go, You Go, Who Doesn’t Love Gelato? Maartje Murphy, founder and owner of Duchessa Gelato in Carrington, North Dakota was recently named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in their food and drink category. In moving to the United States from the Netherlands when she was seven, Maartje and her family brought their dairy farming experience with them to the North Dakota community. She developed a passion for creating quality products that make people happy and


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makes her gelato with the milk from the family’s cows. While she currently operates a successful gelato cart and catering business, owning her own confection brand was not the original path. Maartje knew she wanted to do something that carried on her family’s heritage, but initially studied and practiced in healthcare. She first sold her gelato while she was working as a full-time nurse, and today she is a full-time “gelatier” with plans to launch a new venture called Cows & Co Creamery. Currently, North Dakota residents can learn more about her line at Congratulations, Maartje!


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Alumnae Photos & Updates


Lions+Tigers Takes Home Award Brea Starmer, CEO at Lions + Tigers, a consulting and skilled talent agency, is celebrating a big win with her team — their Microsoft Supplier Program (MSP) Prestige Award for Diverse-Owned Supplier of the Year. The Prestige Awards recognize suppliers that exemplify the MSP pillars of strategy, priority, agility and modernization in sustainability, accessibility, inclusion, representation and community contributions. Brea started Lions + Tigers when she was let go by a former employer while in her third trimester of pregnancy. When she looked for an opportunity that would drive her career forward and still allow her flexibility, the lack of options encouraged her to build a business that would put those values at the forefront. They are an agency powered by inclusion to drive innovation while they help clients unstick business problems and lighten the load. When she started out, Microsoft was her first client. Way to go, Brea and the Lions + Tigers team!


Celebrate Sisterhood

Save the date and join the Morgantown, West Virginia area alumnae on Sunday, Oct. 2 for an afternoon gathering at 261 Wiley St. at the Alpha Phi chapter house. The West Virginia University football season will be in full swing, and the alumnae have plenty of fun planned. For more details, check out the Alpha Phi Morgantown Alumnae Chapter Facebook group. SUMMER 2021

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Always Alpha Phi


National Appointment to the Trade Finance Advisory Committee (TFAC)


A Cut Above the Rest Aine Dorman launched her company, Undercurve, in March of 2021 with the goal of creating clothing that is inspired by movement and made for everyone. With her background in dance, Aine has a good understanding about the kind of fabrics that move more naturally than others. Undercurve is powered by Aine, who makes patterns, sources fabric, sews, markets and fulfills orders. Those interested in learning more about her clothing line can visit @undercurvedesigns on Instagram. Well done, Aine! GAMMA ALPHA-SAN DIEGO STATE

One of Six in the Class of 2022

Roxanne Kurkowski Baumann was recently appointed by U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to the TFAC. Her appointment runs through August 7, 2022. Roxanne is the director of global engagement for WMEP Manufacturing Solutions and will play a role in effectively addressing and enhancing a full range of financing options for U.S. exporters. The TFAC is comprised of 25 private-sector members representing a broad range of companies, products, services, trade finance, public policy and economic development organizations and academia. Roxanne has led WMEP’s successful ExporTech program since 2009, and, under her leadership, more than 300 Wisconsin manufacturers have completed ExporTech export expansion strategies while averaging more than $1 million in new revenue the first year. Baumann has more than 25 years of private-sector manufacturing global sales management experience, most notably with Milwaukeebased motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson Inc. “I am honored and humbled by this appointment and opportunity to serve Secretary Raimondo,” said Roxanne. “Our small and medium-size enterprises nationwide need to enhance their understanding of proactive exporting and have national voice to their everyday export challenges. I look forward to providing real-world insight and practical business solutions to U.S. Department of Commerce challenges.” Congratulations, Roxanne!

Katina Kartalias has been accepted into the Walter Reed Orthopedic Surgery Residency as one of six future surgeons that make up the intern class of 2022 at the facility. During her undergraduate years, Katina served as chapter president and is on her way to bringing her career aspirations to life. Way to go, Katina! 34

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Silent Chapter

“ This is goodnight, but not goodbye.” — “Linger”

We honor our sisters whose notification of passing we receive. Silent chapter notes may be submitted via (keyword: silent chapter) or to Please note: year in parenthesis is year of initiation.

Adrian-Delta Eta Kimberly Kendall St. Charles (‘91)

Minnesota-Epsilon Patricia Olson McElligott (’50)

Arizona-Beta Epsilon Marcia Campbell Wolf (‘58)

Nebraska-Nu Shirlee Wallace Rushton (‘46)

Ashland-Epsilon Alpha Abbie Grenert Stanley (‘95) Colorado-Beta Gamma Corinne Heffron McChesney (‘47) CSU Long BeachGamma Kappa Mary Martin Mooney (‘56) Denison-Beta Kappa Nancy Gowing (‘58) Evansville-Epsilon Pi Tracey Manis (‘78) Illinois-Beta Alpha Carol Hayes Tarpenning (‘46) Michigan-Theta Gail Boardman Kallock (‘59) Carolyn Fisk Kennedy (‘51)

Northern ColoradoDelta Gamma Virginia Armstrong Cook (‘60)* Northwestern-Beta Simone Scott (‘21) Texas-Omega Joy Stapp (‘67) UC Berkeley-Lambda Gail Garvin Berry (‘55) Mary Walpole Marzke (‘55) Wichita StateGamma Xi Nancy O’Harra (‘58) Wisconsin StoutGamma Sigma Diane Davis Hanson (‘58) * I ndicates also Alpha Lambda‑ Alumna Initiate

Michigan StateBeta Beta Carolyn Wood Matthes (‘57)


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H AV E YOU LED W ITH HE ART? Alpha Phi is known for leaving a mark on history. As we approach 150 years of sisterhood, Alpha Phi is making history yet again as we conclude the remaining twelve months of our largest philanthropic outreach to date: Leading With Heart our comprehensive campaign.

Member Donors


Leading With Heart has allowed donors to deepen their impact and enhance the membership experience. With a focus on building our endowment, donors continue to grow leadership, scholarship, and women’s heart health for generations to come.


gift .


sister .

*Number as of May 2021


sisterhood .

JUNE 2021

JUNE 2022

Celebrate Alpha Phi’s 150th Birthday & the Conclusion of Leading With Heart at Convention 2022

12 Months to Lead with Heart and Make an Impact



today .

Give Today At:

Questions? 36

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Amongst the Ivy


Real-World Experience

Clare Minsker


student body, have the chance to participate in hands-on experience that sets them up for career success. Their unique cooperative education program allows them to switch between three months of school and three months of their full-time co-op jobs at the companies they interviewed with and were hired into. Since this process is open to all students, including freshman, by the time they graduate they have amassed two to two and a half years of real-world work experience. With many members who are engineers, computer science and business majors, they have secured co-op jobs at companies across the country like Ford, GM, Navistar, BAE Systems, Magna Seating, American Axle and Manufacturing, Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, Michigan Sugar Company, Joyson Safety Systems and more. With this dynamic schedule, the time these Alpha Phi members spend together is even more valuable. They seek opportunities to connect and make memories every time they see one another. They do not take their time together for granted and, instead, focus on the ways sisterhood follows you wherever you go. We cannot wait to cheer them on as they take on this next year of exciting experiences.

Member Clare Minsker said her favorite experience at her co-op job has been being part of the launch phase of production. “It is fascinating working with parts of a vehicle that have not yet been released and helping to improve that process by putting it all together,” she said. “It can seem intimidating working for a big company with adults who are deep into their careers, but the experience boosts your confidence and forces you to learn things you cannot necessarily understand from only a classroom setting.”

Samantha Souder

Samantha Souder, vice president of marketing for the chapter, said that part of the fun of this rewarding experience is that “I can rotate groups and take on projects that test my skills and knowledge, give me realworld applications, teach me practical things for the future and allow me to learn what I do and not enjoy doing.” SUMMER 2021

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Amongst the Ivy


Psychology Case Competition Winners Two members of the Eta Chi chapter, Trinity Mastine and Cloe Zamora, were part of the winning Bishop’s University team of the Concordia Inter-University Psychology Case Competition this past semester. This annual competition is a bilingual competition where psychology undergraduate students are given 45 minutes to develop a research design in response to a prompt. The exercise allows student participants to exhibit their knowledge and passion for the field and also provide an opportunity to network with students in the same program from other participating universities. Trinity was also recognized as one of the top three speakers at the whole competition. Congratulations and keep up the great work! Top: Trinity Mastine, Bottom: Cloe Zamora


Leaders Ready to Give Back The members of the Psi chapter have enjoyed a lot of fun over the last several months and cheered on their members as they actively participated in campus groups. Ready to lead, Ally Feiner (at right) campaigned and was elected president for the University of South Dakota Student Government Association. Several members were also part of the university Dakotathon Children’s Miracle Network Executive team and participated in the For the Kids week fundraising efforts. The chapter was also nominated for the South Dakota board of regents award for excellence in community service and sorority of the year. Well done, Psi chapter! Top: (from left to right) Autumn Wieczoriek, Ellie Richards, Ally Feiner, Alex Allison


Giving from the Heart The Rho chapter hosted their Red Dress Gala as a virtual event this year to ensure the safety of all guests. Thanks to their outgoing VP of Community Relations, Deana Ross, and the Director of Philanthropy, Mackenzie Murphy, the exciting event transitioned to a creative online event and was a huge success. Guests enjoyed a silent auction, a


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raffle for a Peloton and a cocktail (for those over 21)/mocktail class hosted by a local distillery. Together, they raised an impressive $22,971 for Alpha Phi Foundation. Thank you for your hard work!


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Collegian & Chapter Updates


Dance Marathon For the Kids THETA ZETA-FLORIDA TECH

Congratulations to the Delta Tau chapter for their commitment to giving back to others. They raised $1,915 for the Children’s Miracle Network as part of the university Dance Marathon event. Keep up the great work!

In Recognition of Remarkable Work Sometimes, hard work, dedication and a spirit of collaboration pay off the way they did for the Theta Zeta chapter at the Florida Tech Greek Life Awards. The members came home with several chapter and individual honors including: •

Scholarship Award, Fall 2019 and Spring 2020

New Member Scholarship Award, Spring 2020

Outstanding Executive Board 2020

President’s Cup, Julia Minisi

Omega of the Year, Rosie Red

Chapter Advisor of the Year, Andrea Boley

The chapter also earned the Greek Week trophy through their spirited collaboration with Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. Way to go!


President of the Year, New Member of the Year It was smiles all around when two of the Zeta Alpha chapter sisters were recognized for their dedication to positive engagement in Greek life leadership. Lynsey Bouchard was awarded the Panhellenic Conference President of the Year Award for 2020 and Megan Jobe¸ who serves as the chapter’s VP of marketing, was recognized with the Panhellenic Conference New Member of the Year Award for 2020. Congratulations, ladies! SUMMER 2021

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Network for Women in Sports

Five Alpha Phis are on the executive board of the Network for Women in Sports group at Dartmouth. The group aims to support, empower and connect self-identifying women in athletics through intentional learning and genuine connection. By uplifting individuals, experiences and stories, the group aspires to powerfully shape the landscape of female leaders at Dartmouth and beyond. Congratulations to these Alpha Phi collegians and recent graduates, each of whom serve/served as co-founders and leaders of this determined group: Nicole Liddle (volleyball) and Stephanie Profitt Sanchez-Gil (alpine skiing) serve as two of the groups’ co-presidents; Jen Costa (ice hockey) served as the vice president of programming and outreach; Sam Stevens (track and field) served as vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion; Jimena Abejon Feuertes (basketball) serves as vice president of marketing. These Alpha Phis also collaborated with fellow Dartmouth athletes Sophie Stone and Aiko Takata in the founding of this network. So proud!







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Inspiration Award at Hall of Fame Megan Wallman was recently honored with the Ron Gustafson Inspiration Award at the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame as a way of honoring those who play(ed) high school sports and made a tremendous impact of those around them through their response to challenges. Megan was born premature, weighing only two pounds and met with serious health concerns early in life. After overcoming severe diagnoses like a blood infection, pneumonia and organ failure, she received a tracheotomy and recovered in a drug-induced coma. At age two and a half, she was finally free of wires, tubes and monitors. While she improved, today, she still lives with a significantly reduced lung capacity. Dean Farley, one of Megan’s past assistant coaches in volleyball, gave her the advice to “strive to be the hardest working kid in the gym,” and she took the message to heart. Megan became captain of her volleyball team and was a defensive specialist, serving at 97 percent. During her senior year, she only missed 12 of 399 serves and had 42 aces. A 2020 high school graduate, Megan earned a 4.0 GPA and is currently studying pre-med. Congratulations, Megan! You are truly an inspiration. SUMMER 2021

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Developing Deeper Career Connections

After a spring filled with philanthropy events, moments of sisterhood and safely-distanced gatherings, a few of the members of the Delta Gamma chapter are taking part in internships that will help guide them in their career pursuits. Alyssa Lobato, chapter president, is interning at North Range Behavioral Health in Greeley, Colorado to learn more about prevention and intervention with youth and their adult caregivers. Isabelle Cunningham, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion, is the campus intern in marketing and communications at JE Dunn Construction in Kansas City, Missouri. Kassidy Brown is an intern at the Cancer Rehab Center at the University of Northern Colorado, and Melisa Wadlaw is interning at VanDyk Mortgage company. The chapter also earned awards from their Panhellenic Conference on campus in recognition of outstanding sisterhood, alumnae relations and risk management. Keep up the awesome work!


Heart Health Week and More Togetherness was key this year, and the members of the Delta Nu chapter adhered to health guidelines while finding time to support one another. A movie night and an individually packaged brunch replaced some of the chapter’s previous events and allowed sisters to make a lot of fun memories. They also took part in small group blind dates for members who wanted to participate. Those attending received a text letting them know where to go, but the surprise was who was in each group. It encouraged members making new connections and enjoying time together. This spring, the chapter held their first Heart Health Week and engaged their community in activities that emphasized the importance of cardiovascular wellness. Alumna Julia Van Steenberghe led a heart healthy workout class and a stretching/toning class via zoom for the chapter. The members also collaborated with their local Chipotle to fundraise with the community in support of Alpha Phi Foundation. A total $2,100 was raised to donate to Alpha Phi Foundation. Excellent work — keep it up!


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Honors, Sisterhood The members at the Epsilon Xi chapter proudly celebrate having earned the Scholarship, Leadership and Friendship Pillars at their Greek life award ceremony, and several individuals received recognition from the university as well. Maddie Jenkins earned the Stephen R. Dankenbring award in psychology, given to one outstanding undergraduate student advancing the field through meaningful research. Paige Rouleau was selected as the 2021 computer management and information systems outstanding senior at the university and is the first person in this program to start an internship with campus police. Carmen Conrnejo received the Bessie May Briggs Mason Scholarship for her dedication in elementary education field of study. Mackenzie Bellaver earned

the outstanding leader of the year award, and Mara Keller was awarded chapter president of the year from the Panhellenic Conference on campus. The members kept the spirit of sisterhood alive with distanced events like cupcake decorating and flowerpot painting, as well as virtual all-sorority Galentine’s event and a Move Your Phi’t philanthropy event. During Move Your Phi’t, members raised funds in an agreement for walk, run or bike the number a certain number of miles. Through hard work and the support of many friends and family, the chapter raised $10,000 for Alpha Phi Fraternity. Well done! Keep up the awesome work. From left to right Audra Beckemeyer, Emily Schulz, Mara Keller, Makenzie Bellaver, Lauren Cornejo, Maddie Jenkins


Commitment to Social Justice

The Gamma Kappa chapter was recently honored by their university’s Student Life and Developments Leadership department with the Commitment to Social Justice Award, Silver Distinction. The members of the chapter’s diversity, equity and inclusion team worked tirelessly to ensure the chapter received education and focused on growth through leadership, service and collaboration. The members strive to continue their progress as an understanding and accommodating group of women. Well done! Keep up the tremendous work.


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Collegian & Chapter Updates


Onward and Upward Several members of the Kappa Delta chapter are participating in internships or professional development that aim to prepare them for their life beyond college. Serena Shah, recent graduate, is starting her career at the Royal Bank of Canada in their Capital Markets business as part of a two-year rotational program based in New York City and Los Angeles. Kaitlyn Casiano, another recent grad, is interning at Novopedics, a start-up in New Jersey that is working on biomedical advancements. Meagan Irish is a surgical products engineering intern with several university alumni at Weiss-Aug in New jersey. Gianna Miggins is a software engineering intern at Pare, a start-up company that launched an app to provide personalized recommendations for restaurants and night life venues. Ashley

Yu is a finance innovation and technology intern at Marsh & McLennan and Agatha Malinowski is flexing her financial skills as a global markets analyst intern at Societe Generale’s NYC location. Vanessa Elliott is an intern with Kurtlab and will research Type I Chiarai Malformation, a condition in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal. Taylor Nicolich is serving as a Credit Suisse sales and trading analyst intern and Nicole Dominguez is a research and development intern at health-focused Becton Dickinson. Lexi Gregule is extending her co-op at Ethicon where she works in biosurgery research and development and Catherine Cheng is at AstraZeneca where her work as a finance and supply chain intern keeps her busy. We can’t wait to see where these talented members go next!


Games & Giving Back

The members of Gamma Omicron-Drake hosted a Mac ‘n Phis grab-and-go mac and cheese event on their lawn along with their Alpha Phi Olympic-style Games to raise money in support of Alpha Phi Foundation. The Alpha APhi Games were themed along the lines of the popular TV show, “The Bachelor,” with a series of competitions for other Greek life groups. Both the sorority and fraternity winners were selected when they received “the final rose” just as they do on the show. Through both events, the chapter donated $1,800 to support the Foundation and had a lot of fun. Well done, sisters! SUMMER 2021

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Gear Up and Celebrate the road to Alpha Phi’s 150th Anniversary in Style It is hard to believe we are just about one year out from the 150th anniversary of the founding of our Fraternity. We look forward to continuing to connect members across the globe as we honor our history, celebrate the present and are inspired to shape a bright future.

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Founders’ Day Celebration While we had hoped to meet face-to-face for a few Founders’ Day events, safety in the face of Covid-19 surges requires we celebrate virtually. Join us for digital festivities on Founders’ Day, October 10 at 7:00 pm through Facebook Live. We will reflect on our past, celebrate how Alpha Phi has grown and honor the

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ceremony by visiting www. SUMMER 2021

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Photos from our past


Connecting our past, present and future Established in 1981, the Zeta OmicronJohns Hopkins chapter began with 33 members and today has grown to nearly 100 members strong. Having recently celebrated their 40th anniversary in April of this year, the alumnae and collegiate members are working toward the digitilization of their local chapter history. In collaboration with HistoryIT, members will create their own chapterspecific digital gallery of historical images and memorabilia so that members across the miles and over the years may all access the memories and stories of the Zeta Omicron chapter. Images like this one of the first composite will be part of their gallery. This unhoused chapter adores

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reminiscing and reconnecting with members of their Alpha Phi family, and they hope the digitization will be a way to create a virtual place of gathering, remembrance, celebration and reconnection. Their project will begin by digitizing their chapter composites from the last 40 years, and they hope to have the opportunity to expand the project to include their chapter scrapbooks and photos of memorabilia, like the chapter’s original pledge book, in the next phase. At their 40th anniversary celebration, which took place in April during the school’s Homecoming week, alumnae enjoyed a virtual celebration of exciting work the collegiate chapter was part of this year and the highlight was a

presentation by alumna Elaine Lou. Elaine shared her memories of being an early member of the chapter and encouraged all members to reflect on the ways Alpha Phi changed their lives. Committed to building bridges between alumnae and collegians, the chapter has hosted several alumnae speakers to share their experiences and highlight their career path to engage collegiate members in thinking about what opportunities exist in life beyond college. In conjunction with the chapter history digitization, the chapter is also supporting Alpha Phi Foundation’s Leading with Heart campaign to sponsor leadership training opportunities for the chapter’s members. If you would like to explore digitizing your chapter’s memorabilia and images, please contact HIstoryIT at

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This year, your engagement will help finance new opportunities to strengthen the alumnae experience and enhance the collegiate membership involvement. Show your support today with your Annual Loyalty by paying $38.49 or joining the Lifelong Society by paying $450. We offer a 12-month installment plan of $38.63 per month in the Lifelong Society. I W O U L D L I K E TO O Show my Annual Loyalty for $38.49 (paid through June 30, 2022). O Join the Lifelong Society for $450. Please note dues are not a tax-deductible contribution, and they are not a donation to Alpha Phi Foundation. P AY M E N T O Pay by Check and mail this form to: Alpha Phi International Fraternity Inc. Official Lockbox 27687 Network Place Chicago, IL 60673-1276









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