Page 1

Winter 2008

of Alpha Sigma Alpha

Alumna finds herself and happiness in France

ON THE COVER: Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. © FRANK WAGNER

F E AT U R E S Winter 2008 5

ALPHA SIG MILESTONES Members share experiences that changed their lives.




MEMBER PROFILES Two women travel to different parts of the world and gain an appreciation for the country’s culture.



CHAPTER PROFILE Alpha Gamma Chapter’s charter gets an extreme makeover.

7 9 Arc De Triumph, Paris at dusk. © GRAEME PURDY




DEPARTMENTS 4 13 15 18 19 22 23



of Alpha Sigma Alpha Volume 94, Number 1

Winter 2008

FROM THE EDITOR Dear Readers, The winter issue of the Phoenix is all about you. As you flip through the pages you will find many stories that you could relate to, traveling to different parts of the world, supporting each other through the good times and tough times, volunteering in the community and more. When gathering ideas about the winter issue, I had one thought in the forefront of my mind—our members want to know more about each other and their experiences. I hope that you enjoy reading this issue of the Phoenix. Mizpah,

DEADLINES Summer . . . . . . . . . . . March Fall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . June Winter . . . . . . . . . September Spring . . . . . . . . . . December

STAFF 10 10 10 10

EDITOR Editor/Communications & Marketing Coordinator Louise Morales,


Senior Contributing Editor Nancy I.Z. Reese,

NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS P.O. Box 681130 Indianapolis, IN 46268 Phone: 317-871-2920 Fax: 317-871-2924 Email:

PHOENIX OF ALPHA SIGMA ALPHA (USPS 430-640) is published quarterly by Alpha Sigma Alpha, P.O. Box 681130, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Periodicals postage paid at Indianapolis, IN, and additional mailing offices. Produced by Maury Boyd & Associates, Indianapolis. © Alpha Sigma Alpha. Send address changes, death notices and business correspondence to the national headquarters. Address all editorial correspondence to the editor. POSTMASTER: Send address changes (Form 3579) to Phoenix of Alpha Sigma Alpha, P.O. Box 681130, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Printed in the USA.



M essage from the president

Sisterhood—then and now B Y L O R I E . W H I T E S C O T T ,  National President

What does sisterhood mean to me? Sisterhood means developing and sustaining lasting friendships, lifetime involvement in an organization and with people that I love and opportunities for boundless personal growth. When I became a member 28 years ago, would I have answered that question in the same way?

Sisterhood then

Sisterhood now

Shouting “hello” to my sisters on campus

Exchanging holiday cards with my sisters

Making my sorority scrapbook

Reminiscing over my scrapbook

Talking to my sisters until the early morning hours

E-mailing my sisters anytime, night or day

Date formal “The Exemplar’s Ball”

Holiday party at Boult’s House

Tuesday night Epsilon Epsilon Chapter meetings

Kansas City Alumnae Chapter gatherings

Collegiate chapter president

National president

Late night DQ or Vista runs

In bed by 10 p.m.

Learning how to pass the salt and pepper at the sorority house

Attending Dolly Loyd’s etiquette workshop at District Day

Monogram sweaters, argyle socks and Topsiders

Flare jeans, jean jackets and clogs

Love, friends, laughter and support

Love, friends, laughter and support

Hmmm . . . some things never change. Alpha Sigma Alpha sisterhood. It is definitely timeless!



Dorcas Reilly, , and her husband Tom. Dorcas is the green bean lady featured in the Fall Phoenix 2007. WINTER 2008


Alpha Sig

This section features members who have reached a “milestone” in their lives where the support from sisters made a difference. To share your own Alpha Sig milestone, send an e-mail to

Brandy and Meghan at their fall formal.

Zeta Phi member lends a helping hand to her little sister One frigid March morning, I woke to a frantic knock on my room door. Opening it, I found myself gazing into screaming eyes and a face full of tears. My little sister, Sarah, was doubled over with such crippling, agonizing pain that I was paralyzed with shock. Sarah is strong, both physically and emotionally, and until this point, I had yet to see her without a smile on her face, let alone shed a tear. I helped her over to my futon. All the while she was holding back screams of anguish, managing to stifle them into brave whimpers of discomfort. I immediately called her parents, but I couldn’t properly convey the urgency of the situation. I tried to convince Sarah’s parents to allow me to seek out emergency medical treatment, but they insisted that she obtain treatment at an urgent care clinic. My roommate and I dropped everything—classes, homework, meetings and an exam—to rush her to the nearest urgent care clinic located almost an hour away. Treatment at the clinic certainly left something to be desired. The doctor dismissed the potential of kidney stones, even with blood in her urine and calcium deposits present on her X-rays. He sent Sarah away with a prescription and a promise that he would call with the results within a few days. Distraught at seeing Sarah in such an astonishing amount of pain, we made the long, bumpy journey back to the Zeta Phi Chapter house at Illinois Institute of Technology, where Sarah toughed it out for hours, each minute feeling like days. During the chapter meeting that evening, I was running laps from the meeting to Sarah’s room to check on her. With every trip, it became more impossible to leave my little sister in screaming agony, incapacitated on her bed. After calling her parents several more times with updates, I finally received their permission to rush Sarah to the hospital. Once we arrived in the emergency room, they treated her and were finally able to do something to quell her pain. I felt a wave of relief wash over me as I watched the pain melt from her face. We stayed in the emergency room for about seven hours before she was admitted. After all that she had been through, I couldn’t leave her side; she was so distraught and scared. For days, Sarah was in the ICU. She had kidney stones removed and today she is fine. We found out from the doctors that she could have died from the complications surrounding her condition. Being an only child, I never knew what it was like to be a big sister. Knowing the joys of sisterhood is one of the reasons I joined . A semester after I was initiated, Sarah joined and became my little sister. Things happen for a reason. Sarah came into my life, and I into hers, so that I could be there to open my room door when she needed a big sister’s help one cold March morning. Karina Powell, 

Karina demonstrated to Sarah the value of sisterhood. WINTER 2008

Beta Nu member overcomes her parents’ divorce with a little help from her friends At least once in our lives, each of us will come to a milestone. Whether it is the death of a loved one, a broken heart or a change in career, some milestones are hard to overcome. Brandy Grimes had to overcome her parents’ divorce during her freshman year of college. Brandy remembers not knowing how to deal with the whole situation of her mom and dad starting their new lives apart. “Here I was trying to start a new chapter in my life, yet back home my life just fell apart,” Brandy stated. “I felt completely alone, even though I knew God was right in the midst of the struggle, working somehow. I wanted answers right then of why my family broke apart, but I couldn’t sense much so I just felt confused. I felt alone because I figured no one was going through exactly what I was going through. It was hard.” Difficult times in our lives can be hard to get through if we do not have positive people around us to lift us back up. Second semester her freshman year, Brandy decided to join Alpha Sigma Alpha’s Beta Nu Chapter, Murray State University, KY. She tells the story of how her sisters were there for her when she needed them the most. Meghan and Brandy got close when Brandy joined . “We shared the same morals and had many things in common like working out, being outdoors and loving Christ. We just clicked. As we built our relationship, I felt comfortable enough to disclose my deepest problems to her. She listened with a genuine heart, prayed for me, prayed with me and always asked how my parents were doing. She gave me advice and helped me see the bright side of the struggle. I liked being around her gentle, happy spirit.

Continued on page 6




Alpha Sig

Continued from page 5

Beta Nu members show their support for Sarah through the bonds of sisterhood. From left to right: Monica Seibel, Adrianne Iberg, Mandy Laszewski, Casey Coffman, Brandy Grimes, Whitney Franke and Randee Collins.

“Other sisters in  helped me see the bright side of life, even though they had no idea they were doing it. [Megan] George showed me a hard work ethic. She had so much determination when she was ritual chairman while she was also taking 21 hours of classes! She never seemed stressed out, even though I know she was. Mandy [Laszewski] gave me hope just by showing how much love she had for her family. She taught me that I should be thankful my mom and dad are still alive and that they support and love me. I’m so thankful for my sisters on so many levels. They help me realize different aspects about life that are so good,” Brandy shared. Because of sisters, Brandy was better able to cope with her situation freshman year. “It’s still hard to go home and have everything different,” Brandy says. “But I’ve learned to accept change and move on. My parents are happy, and that’s what matters.” Sisters were there for her, showing her light in the situation from many different angles. That is the beauty of having sisters. We are all so different, but we are the same when it comes to sisterhood and our love for each other. Kelly Kurzendoerfer, 

Delta Sigmas demonstrate the bonds of sisterhood The Delta Sigma Chapter, Saginaw Valley State University, MI, has many alumnae members who, during this past year, have reached milestones that have greatly affected their lives and have had the support of their sisters. Two alumnae members have given birth and a third wed the man of her dreams. Alumna member Shawnette Markey gave birth to her second child, a baby girl, Libby, on Feb. 27, 2007. Shawnette was so happy about her new baby girl, but then found out that Libby had many medical issues that needed attention. When Libby was born she had hemangioma on her bottom lip, which is an abnormal build up of blood vessels in the skin, and it remains a slight concern for the doctors. Libby also had a mild case of jaundice and received light therapy

after being born in the hospital but was pronounced fine after a week. Libby’s biggest medical issue occurred when she was discovered to have an inguinal hernia, which is a protrusion of a loop or fold of an ovary or fallopian tube through an opening into her groin area. Shawnette’s baby girl went into surgery on Sept. 18, 2007, at the age 6 months and underwent double hernia surgery. Shawnette and Libby were kept in the prayers of their family, friends and Alpha Sigma Alpha sisters. The Delta Sigma Chapter women wrote e-mails of encouragement and support as well as offered to make dinner. Shawnette knows that she can always count on her sisters and appreciates their words of encouragement. Another alumna member, Dianna Ray, gave birth to a baby boy named Aidan Roy Ray on Jan. 14, 2007. When Dianna found out that she was pregnant, her boyfriend walked out on her, and it was her chapter sisters who were there for her and her new baby. Chapter sisters Erica Bischer, Melissa Traub and Katie Rang helped her through the pregnancy and helped her find a place to live. These sisters were there for her and were witnesses to Aidan’s birth. Dianna has her son refer to these women as his aunties because they are like family to her and Aidan.

Michelle Steinhoff wed on June 2, 2007, and three members of her bridal party were Delta Sigma Chapter sisters. Michelle’s maid of honor was her sister Melissa Steinhoff and two of her bridesmaids were Erin Bader, who was the reason she joined Alpha Sigma Alpha, and Courtnay McFeters. These chapter sisters were there for Michelle through her bridal shower, bachelorette party and the wedding itself. Erica and Dianna Ray helped Michelle‘s mom decorate the hall for her reception the night before the wedding. Michelle credits her sisters as the reason why she met her husband Ryan as they helped scheme a way for her to go on a date with him. Michelle’s chapter sisters were there for her and shared a special day in her life with her sorority sisters. Shawnette, Dianna and Michelle all had events occur in the past year and were grateful to their fellow sisters for being there to share and help comfort them through important phases in their lives. The alumnae members saw first hand how the connections made in the sorority are with you forever and they become part of your family and life. Your sisters share your successes, failures, tragedies and the joyful moments that you experience because they are a part of who you are. Ellen Windy, 

Shawnette and Libby were comforted by the support of Delta Sigmas.





Alpha Sigma alpha in 2008



Cruising historic route 66 Driving down Albuquerque’s well-preserved, 18-mile historic stretch of Route 66 will give you a taste of America’s original “Main Street.” Albuquerque’s Central Avenue follows the path of Route 66 and will bring you back into the days of neon decorated roadside motels and gas stations. Route 66 was the nation’s first “interstate,” built in 1926, and ran for more than 2,400 miles between Chicago and Santa Monica, CA. Today New Mexico has the longest intact stretch of the historic highway and the largest inventory of relevant roadside architecture. New Mexico’s portion of the route is part of a national scenic and historic byway. Route 66 was originally marked by roadside mom and pop businesses — gas stations, motels, kitchy attractions, restaurants and small cafes, where they offered gas, food and lodging in one stop. Many of these favorites still exist. While cruising the strip, check out some of Albuquerque’s Route 66 attractions including the Historic Nob Hill district, a residential and commercial district Continued on page 8





45th biennial national Convention and leadership conference schedule promises a little something for everyone Wednesday, July16 1:00 p.m. Registration 6:00 p.m. Conference Welcome 6:30 p.m. Keynote speaker Dr. Lori Ebert 8:30 p.m. Networking Thursday, July 17 7:00 a.m. Exercise option 8:30 a.m. All group gathering — Wi$e Up announcement and speaker 9:15 a.m. Workshops 10:15 a.m. Workshops and Past Presidents’ Tea 11:30 a.m. Luncheon and speaker, Kathy Williams 1:15 p.m. Workshops 2:30 p.m. Delegate orientation 3:00 p.m. Business meeting 5:00 p.m. Optional off-site tours Friday, July 18 7:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 8:30 p.m.

Exercise option Business meeting and 50-Year Recognition Service Emporium (until 4:30 p.m.) Fiesta (salsa lessons, Mexican buffet, raffle) Open forum  Foundation Red Tie Dinner Special entertainment and convention photo Major Donors’ reception

Saturday, July 19 7:00 a.m. Exercise option 8:00 a.m. Arista Alumnae Association breakfast 9:15 a.m. Business meeting 11:45 a.m. Memorial Service and Sanctuary Degree Service 1:00 p.m.  Foundation Donor White Luncheon 1:00 p.m. Free time 6:00 p.m. Formal photos 7:00 p.m. Awards banquet and installation 9:00 p.m. Dessert reception Sunday, July 20 7:00 a.m. Exercise option 9:00 a.m. Volunteer recognition breakfast 11:00 a.m. Closing session and comedian, Laurie McDermott

made up of art deco style buildings housing boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. The University of New Mexico, founded in 1889, is the state’s largest university, which features Pueblo Revival architecture, relaxing ponds, gardens and several museums. The District, Albuquerque’s downtown area, has restaurants, upscale retail shops, a 14-screen movie theater and dynamic arts and music scenes. Alvarado Transportation Center, built on the grounds and in the style of the majestic Alvarado Hotel, is the center for Albuquerque’s ground transportation. The Crossroads Mall commemorates the crossroads of Route 66 and U.S. Highway 85. The KiMo Theatre, a 1927 Pueblo Deco-style building, which underwent extensive renovation, was originally built to house vaudeville acts. Historic Old Town, the center of the original Villa of Albuquerque, now houses a variety of Southwestern shops, restaurants and art galleries. America’s famous highway continues to be treasured by visitors from around the world. You don’t want to miss this feel of true 1950s nostalgia (


Watch the Alpha Sigma Alpha web site for more details about the upcoming national convention and leadership conference.

Continued from page 7




M ember profile

Natalie on a rooftop in Kabul with her  letters.

Natalie and Hannah in Chador Namez’s in Herat, the third largest city in Afghanistan.

She learns as much as she taught during summer in Afghanistan B Y N A T A L I E M A R I E B A I L E Y ,  Phoenix Contributor Natalie with Afghan children on the Fourth of July.

Afghanistan: the country brings many thoughts to mind, but it will always have a special place in my heart. I was lucky enough to spend a month of my summer vacation doing humanitarian work in Kabul and Herat, teaching women, children and university students skills that I have been taught all of my life. Being a history and government major at Missouri Western State University, the trip definitely fit into my field of study, as well as preparing me for graduate school in student affairs. However, it was not just education that pushed me to pursue this goal. I have friends that have visited and lived there, and their stories of the people really touched me. I felt as though I could really do some good with the Afghan people and learn a great deal about myself as well. Deciding to go was the easy part, but finding a way to get there presented the WINTER 2008

real challenge. Luckily I had the support of family, friends and my chapter. I obtained a position with Morning Star Development, a non-profit community and economic development organization working in Afghanistan. Then the real adventure began. My first impression of Afghanistan was varied. I was very excited to be there and yet nervous too. When Afghanistan is reported in the news, it is usually just the bad things: bombers, oppression and war. But I saw a different Afghanistan,

Fourth of July celebration with Afghan family and team members.

Continued on page 10 PHOENIX OF ALPHA SIGMa ALPHA


M ember profile

Continued from page 9

one of beauty, wonderful people and peace. Teaching English My daily activities were never the same, but usually consisted of teaching and visiting with as many people as possible. I taught elementary-aged children at the International School of Kabul, college-aged students at the Institute of Leadership Development in Herat and English to a variety of people. The most exciting part for me was teaching at ILD, mainly because I got to use my leadership training from Missouri Western and pass on those skills to future leaders of Afghanistan. My team also visited orphanages, elementary schools, hospitals and community centers. Most of these were supported by various non-governmental organizations, including Morning Star Development. Teaching the children was wonderful. Any foreigners are “celebrities” there, and they could not get enough out of learning from us. There was one special day in particular for me: my birthday. I taught the kids art class in summer school, and I had told them it was going to be my View of soccer fields in Kabul.



birthday. Each class sang me happy birthday, and they were so excited to get to celebrate with me. Children were the best people to discuss differences in culture, and I had a great time talking about how they celebrate their own birthdays and other holidays we have in common. The kids thought it was hilarious when I tried to speak Dari, their primary language. For the most part, they were all proficient in English, and I really wanted to learn as much as I could from them. In the end, I learned enough to be polite, but I still had a great time learning from them and sharing in part of their culture. I formed a special relationship with each of the kids, and it was hard for me to leave them all, knowing there was a good chance I would never see them again. A woman in an Islamic country The biggest change and challenge while in Afghanistan was dealing with being a woman. In the news, it always appears that women are treated horribly, and they can be, however, women are also treated very chivalrously and are highly respected. Doors were always opened for me, I was always given a seat on the bus,

and men always wanted to make sure I was safe and comfortable. Wearing the chador (a head scarf) was difficult at times (especially in the 120 degree heat!), but once I understood the purpose behind it, it was OK. A woman’s hair is special and should only be seen by her immediate family. It is part of their culture, and I was happy to be respectful of it. I am not saying that there are not problems with how women are treated, but initially, the customs came about out of respect and love. Returning home Coming home created a mix of emotions for me. I was so happy to be back, to see my family and friends and be back among all of the conveniences (and air conditioning) that I was used to. But I was changed. I had seen a new world, a world not cluttered by all of the distractions Westerners deal with everyday. Even now, less than a year later, I still do not wear a watch. Time is not important in Afghanistan. They are not schedule-based people, but relationship based. I learned so much from the Afghan people. I went there with the goal of teaching the Afghans, but in the end, I was taught. I only wish more people could have the experience I had. When speaking with the Afghan people, there was one thing they wanted us to bring back to the States: they wanted us to tell everyone that they love us, they are not all terrorists, and they are happy U.S. citizens are coming to their country to help them rebuild after 30+ years of war. It was a humbling experience for me. I was looked up to there, and yet, they are my heroes. The Afghan people have survived and persevered, and in spite of all the awful things that have happened to them, they are still a loving people. It just amazes me, everyday.


M ember profile: cover story

Amanda visiting Saint Martin, a commune on the archipelago island off the west coast of France.

Alumna finds herself and happiness in France B Y A N G E L I N E P I S K O R S K I ,  Phoenix Contributor

Four years ago, my best friend told me she wanted to travel to France and teach English. Never could I have imagined that France would become her new home. Amanda Webb is an alumna member of the Delta Epsilon Chapter from Mansfield University, PA. During her last year at Mansfield, Amanda’s French professor informed the class of an opportunity to travel abroad and teach the English language to elementary school children in France. After inquiry, research and self-determination, Amanda applied for the program sponsored by Pennsylvania State University. Upon graduation Amanda moved home and secured a full-time teaching position at her high school alma mater Lewistown High School, PA. In May 2004, she received her acceptance letter for the program in France. Amanda left the security of her family, friends and a full-time job for an opportunity that would lead her to find her true self. Amanda left for France in August 2004, not knowing where she would live, WINTER 2008

whom she would live with or how to speak French. Although she passed four semesters of French in college, Amanda did not speak the language fluently. “My name is” and “ham” were the French words Amanda could speak. She describes the experience: “I packed my bags, got on a plane to Paris and then a train to Nantes.” Nantes is the town in France where Amanda would live. Upon her arrival in Nantes, Amanda knew she would meet her French contact, a person whom she never met or spoke with prior to her departure from the U.S. Amanda admits, “I was terrified. I sat outside the train station, in Nantes, thinking ‘what have I done,’ ‘what’s going to happen?’ I was very overwhelmed.” As she waited, Amanda began to notice a man lingering Continued on page 12 PHOENIX OF ALPHA SIGMa ALPHA


M ember profile: cover story

The City of Nantes is located on the banks of the Loire River, at the confluence of the Erdre and the Sèvre Nantaise, and 35 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.

Amanda and her friends, Tracy, Aaron and Meredith, at Mont Saint-Michel, a rocky tidal island in Normandy, France.

A town square in Blois, France. The town of Blois was a favorite royal residence and it is also one of the most historic towns of France.



Continued on page 12

around the train station. Not knowing how to speak the language, Amanda thought, “I hope he doesn’t sit next to me.” Ironically, the man sat next to her, looked at her luggage and asked if she was Amanda. The man was Theiry, her French contact. Theiry showed Amanda to her apartment, a small room where “assistants” (as Amanda’s position was titled) stayed while teaching in Nantes. Once settled in her apartment, Amanda had to complete paperwork to establish residency, insurance and her working permit. Amanda explained, “It took about three months to notice a difference. I was beginning to comprehend more French, and I began to do things on my own.” As she found her way through her new town, Amanda began to appreciate and love the French culture and its people. At the end of her first year, Amanda had an option to return to the United States or reapply for a second year as an assistant. Amanda said, “I had such a great experience and made great friends. I couldn’t just walk away from this experience.” Despite missing her family and friends back home, Amanda was accepted for a second year in Nantes. “With the unconditional support of

my family, I was able to return to France for a second year. I knew I had to come back,” she said. “This was such an amazing experience; the culture is wonderful. I couldn't give it up, and I just felt this is where I should be. I knew I could live here.” Amanda returned to France for a second year, and at the end of that year, she began looking for a new working opportunity so she could stay in France. Through one of her new friends in France, an Englishman who lived in the country nine years, Amanda learned of a teaching vacancy at the University of Nantes Medical School. Amanda was hired under a two-year contract to teach English to medical students. While teaching at the elementary and medical schools, Amanda had many breaks from teaching. During each break, Amanda vacationed all over the globe. She said she has traveled to 11 countries, including England, Ireland, Scotland, Poland, Czech Republic, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy. She also returned to the United States several times during these four years. Amanda is currently planning a month-long vacation to Australia with a friend she met during one of her many trips. Having lived in France for four years, Amanda is beginning to look for another position that will allow her to stay a little longer. Amanda says she wants to stay in France because, “I found myself here. I miss my family and friends, but this is where I want to be.” Although finding a new job may be difficult, Amanda is confident, “with luck, long hours, and research I hope to find a job and will begin paperwork for dual citizenship in France and the United States.” “I am most grateful for the unconditional love and support of my family and friends in the U.S.,” Amanda says. “Despite how difficult it is to be thousands of miles away from them, they continue to encourage me to stay where I am happy.”


F oundation news

DID YOU KNOW . . . ? ■

 sisters and friends raised a total of $116,643 for the Alpha Sigma Alpha Foundation in fiscal year 2007.

The  Foundation granted 17 academic scholarships totaling $8,000 to members this past academic year.

The  Foundation awarded two career enhancement grants to alumnae members this past fiscal year totaling $7,887.

The  Foundation provided the sorority $10,000 for the 2007 Emma Coleman Frost Leadership Development Institute.

The  Foundation provided Alpha Sigma Alpha with a $5,000 grant in fiscal year 2007 to help develop a collegiate officer transition program.

The  Foundation provided Alpha Sigma Alpha with a $5,000 grant for programming at the 2006 national convention in Boston, MA.

The  Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and can operate only for philanthropic and educational purposes.

In honor of your belief in the strong values and mission of , would you consider making a commitment to the Alpha Sigma Alpha Foundation today? As you can see, your tax deductible contribution does make a difference. No contribution is too small, and all contributions are appreciated. Look into your heart, and give what you can—make a one-time gift or a three-year pledge. Furthermore, you can easily double your gift if your employer has a matching funds program. Please join in making this year the best yet for the Foundation, and in the meantime, we can make Alpha Sigma Alpha bigger, better, stronger and bolder. Collectively, we can make a difference! Yours truly,

Jane Oleszewski Martin, Chairman,  Foundation Board of Trustees

Alpha Sigma Alpha Foundation’s Mission: To invest in the potential of women by promoting service, leadership, and lifelong learning through charitable giving.




F oundation news

Calling all baby boomers!

y,  Frieda Rile

Freida Riley Award for Teaching Excellence applications are available online Know any great  teachers? The Freida Riley Award for Teaching Excellence is awarded to one alumna member each academic year for her outstanding contribution to education. This year applications are due April 13 and may be found online at scholarships-awards-grant. The recipient will be selected based on the degree to which she exhibits the attributes ascribed to Freida Riley, , Concord College. These include inspiring students to do their best; showing care and respect for students; and “going the extra mile� to make their students’ experiences memorable. Applicants must be an alumna in good standing and be a full-time or retired public school teacher (grades K-12). Applicants must have three full years of experience (not including student teaching).



The Alpha Sigma Alpha Foundation invites you to join a new online group where you may connect with other sisters going through similar life situations and transitions. Sister Circle, Alpha Sigma Alpha’s members-only online community, is a place where members can connect. A group has been created on the site called Baby Booming Sisters. We hope to get sisters communicating through this group about themselves, where they are and what they are doing. We hope members will share their thoughts about life. Each month the Foundation will bring up new ideas (travel, retirement, financial issues, etc.) to open our dialogue together. Please visit Sister Circle at and join the Baby Booming Sisters group. If you need help with the process (don’t be too shy to admit it—I did), call our office at (317) 871-2920 and ask for assistance. We hope that by connecting in this way you might reconnect with some chapter sisters you may have lost touch with in the past few years. I hope you will consider reconnecting with  through Sister Circle. We would love to hear from you. In Alpha Sigma Alpha,

Jane Martin, , chairman Alpha Sigma Alpha Foundation

Company matched gifts Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match any charitable contributions made by their employees. Request a matching gift form from your employer and send it completed and signed with your gift. We will do the rest. The impact of your gift to the Foundation may be doubled! Some companies match gifts made by retirees and/or spouses. If you have any questions, please check with your human resources department or contact the Foundation office at (317) 871-2920, ext. 14 or e-mail WINTER 2008

A dvantage points

The ultimate fitness challenge Are you ready for a new fitness challenge? Why not start training for a marathon? Yes, a marathon, 26.2 miles of running or, better yet, self-discovery. Were you an exercise enthusiast and somewhere along the way (exams, career, family) your priorities changed? What better way to have increased stamina and mental clarity than taking up running again or starting for the first time? Of course check with your physician before starting a vigorous exercise routine. Don’t be overwhelmed with the prospect of 26.2 miles before you. Be inspired and tell everyone your plan. There are probably local running clubs in your area that you can join, learn some new training tips and make some new friends. While many of us have participated in a charity 5K, let’s make a commitment to do something more this year. Let’s make a commitment to carve out one hour a day to devote to our physical and mental well being. This time next year, the 26.2 miles could be a great memory. For more information on marathon training plans visit or Both of these web sites offer training plans for the beginner and the more advanced runner. Both sites have plans to take you from your current fitness level to the ultimate fitness challenge, the marathon.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) MRSA is a type of bacteria that has become widespread through hospitals, nursing homes, locker rooms and other community settings. MRSA can cause skin and invasive infections. Why is MRSA so harmful? The bacteria in MRSA over the last several years and even decades has become resistant to current antibiotic therapy, making it difficult to treat and difficult to cure. It can even be fatal. MRSA is contagious and is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact or by touching contaminated surfaces or items. This makes locker rooms a breeding ground for infection. How do you protect yourself from MRSA? The best preventative method is proper hygiene, including washing hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Any cuts or abrasions should be covered to avoid becoming infected. Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, razors and other items that contact bare skin. For more information on MRSA, visit WINTER 2008

Register to vote If you are like me, you are already tired of hearing the campaign promises, and we still have months to go before the election. Is your voter registration information current or do you need to register to vote? Each state has specific guidelines and different registration deadlines for the voter registration process. For a general overview of the national guidelines, visit the Federal Election Commission’s web site at or call (800) 424-9530. There is a voter registration link that will guide you through the registration process or call your state’s Secretary of State office. Let your voice be heard by registering to vote and participating in the next election. Mary Jane Willard,  Phoenix Contributor

Keeping up with your New Year’s resolutions After several weeks, how are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions? Are you sticking to your budget, your exercise routine and your healthier lifestyle? If you are not, you are like most Americans. By now, the running shoes already have dust on them. It is not too late to get back on track. Just start today. Schedule exercise time into your day. Make an appointment with your checkbook and bills to keep them all straight. Many companies have employee assistance programs that can provide you with stress management counseling or other services. Check with your human resources department to see what services are available for free. Many college campuses also offer free services to students. For other helpful tips, check out these web sites: Nutrition & fitness: Happiness & self-empowerment: A guide to quit smoking: 1-800-ACS-2345 or

Editor’s note: Do you have an idea for an Advantage Point? Please contact the Phoenix at or write Advantage Points, P.O. Box 681130, Indianapolis, IN 46268. PHOENIX OF ALPHA SIGMa ALPHA


I could not help but think that the document from 1914 was in need of a little work. Actually the charter required an extreme makeover!

Alpha Gamma collegians and alumnae gather around for this moment in their chapter history.

Alpha Gamma charter uncovers a historical mystery B Y C H R I S T I N E S T R A P A C T H O M A S , 

National Vice President of Membership

This story of love and mystery begins at sunrise on a rainy Saturday morning in April 2007 with a journey through the majestic Pennsylvania Mountains to Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Alpha Sigma Alpha’s Alpha Gamma Chapter. I received an invitation to attend “The Final Rush” at the campus sorority suites in the Tri-Halls. The university and its foundation are working to transform student housing by constructing student residential suites on campus in four phases that will virtually replace all former dormitory halls. Phase II construction would begin with the

demolition of Mack, Stewart and Turnbull Halls, the Tri-Halls, immediately following commencement May 2007. Indiana University of Pennsylvania has deep roots in Greek life. The earliest sororities on campus, including Alpha Gamma Chapter, were chartered in 1914. Since 1963 the NPC sororities have been housed with chapter suites in Mack,

Left: The Alpha Gamma chapter door that leads into their suite.




Stewart and Turnbull Halls. Collegiate and alumnae from 11 NPC groups came to say farewell to the suites as we knew them with a Panhellenic brunch and visit to the chapter rooms. As a collegian, I can still remember attempting to “sneak a peek” into the other suites when the doors were open. It was so cool to finally be able to stroll through all of the chapter rooms. While visiting with Alpha Sigma Alpha collegians and alumnae, we were able to revisit our past through chapter scrapbooks. It was an emotional day for Alpha Gamma alumnae. As I was admiring the chapter’s charter, I couldn’t help but think that the document from 1914 was in need of a little work. Actually the charter required an extreme makeover! With the blessing of the chapter members and advisors, I headed home with the charter on a mission of restoration. Uncovering an historical mystery On closer inspection of the charter, I noticed some inconsistencies. The charter was dated Jan. 18, 1914, the university name was Indiana State Teachers College and Wilma Wilson Sharp signed it as national president.

It was time for a little research in The Years Behind Us: A History of Alpha Sigma Alpha 1901 to 2001. In 1914 IUP was named Indiana Normal School, the Alpha Gamma installation date was Nov. 27, 1914, and Mrs. Sharp wasn’t national president until 1930. Actually she wasn’t even a member until 1919. I began making calls to determine the presidential signatures of three other charters. The Alpha charter is signed by Mrs. Sharp. The Alpha Alpha charter is displayed at national headquarters. Ida Shaw Martin signed it as well as the Alpha Beta charter. So I’m thinking that one possible answer to the signature mystery is that Wilma Wilson Sharp reissued these charters with her signature after 1930. So why didn’t she reissue and sign the Alpha Alpha and Alpha Beta charters? I’m afraid I have more questions than answers. At the Baltimore 2007 Emma Coleman Frost Leadership Development Institute, I shared the refurbished charter with the Alpha Gamma delegation. We took photos and shared the mystery. The look on their faces, as the commercial says, was priceless! In September the charter was presented to the chapter by its advisors

and took its place on the wall of the new suite as a daily reminder of the chapter’s rich history. New suite arrangements Due to the cooperative efforts of the office of Greek life, particularly Greek life advisor Betsy Sarnesco, the undergraduate Panhellenic association and alumnae representatives of 11 nationally chartered sororities, the chapters will be leasing and sharing six private suites in a building on North Seventh Street. Alpha Gamma Chapter’s suite mate will be Sigma Kappa. This has the opportunity to be an amazing campus Panhellenic journey over the next three to four years. Terry Appolinia, interim dean of students at IUP, states in the summer 2007 IUP Magazine, “IUP remains committed to its social and service Greek-letter organizations and is actively identifying future space and residential opportunities.” It’s not the university, building, house or suite that ties us together as Alpha Sigma Alphas but our aims, principles, values and love for our sorority. It is this love that inspired me to give the Alpha Gamma charter new life and the respect it deserves. The charter mystery was uncovered but not solved. What do you think? Why were those two charters reissued and signed by Mrs. Sharp? What about the Alpha Alpha and Alpha Beta charters? I have my own thoughts. How about you?

Alpha Gamma members with the restored charter at LDI.




A lumnae stars

Alumna volunteer receives high honor

Alumna nominated for award honoring work for sorority and community Marie Sherwood Tayrien,  , was recently honored as Alpha Sigma Alpha’s nominee for the Greater Kansas City Panhellenic Woman of the Year award. Every sorority in the Greater Kansas City Alumnae Panhellenic nominates one woman each year who has done outstanding work for her sorority and community. Marie has served in many volunteer capacities for Alpha Sigma Alpha. She

Ann and one of her students at the finish line of a Special Olympics skiing event.

Rose Marie “Rosie” Fellin, , is one of the recipients of the Gift of Time Award sponsored by the Springfield Council of Churches in Springfield, MO, for her contributions to the Beta Sigma Chapter on the Missouri State University campus. She has been a volunteer for Alpha Sigma Alpha since 1947 and continues to volunteer on a daily basis. She has served  as national treasurer and

Alumna dedicates herself to volunteer coaching

Marie and Lori White Scott, , at national convention in Boston, MA.

has served the Greater Kansas City Alumnae Chapter as secretary and just recently as president. For the past five years, she has been the financial advisor to Zeta Zeta Chapter, University of Central Missouri. Marie is on the District 9 District Meeting Team. Through this position, she has coordinated three silent auctions at District Day that have raised thousands of dollars for the Alpha Sigma Alpha Foundation. Marie also volunteers in the community at the Ronald McDonald Family Room, KCPT (Kansas City public television) auction and Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City. Marie became a member of Beta Gamma Chapter at Northeastern State University in 1974. She has a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern and a masters from Avila University in Kansas City, MO. Marie is a certified public accountant and works at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Melissa Koch Merriam, 



For more than two decades as a coach for Special Olympics, Ann M. Russo, , is a star. Ann’s involvement in Special Olympics predates her involvement in Alpha Sigma Alpha. She first became involved in high school, where, to fulfill a gym requirement, she volunteered to instruct the athletes in swimming. Ann’s volunteer coaching career spans 24 years. In addition to swimming, she coaches volleyball, tennis, and skiing. Ann says she enjoys seeing the athletes improve over time, as well as how they enjoy themselves while they’re playing sports. Her volleyball team, the Fighting Hawks, has won medals in several tournaments, including the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania Fall Festival. The festival, held at Villanova University, is the largest annual student-run Special Olympics event. An avid athlete herself, Ann plays volleyball and skis. She is the vice president of a local ski club. This member of Philadelphia Metro Alumnae Chapter is employed as a product coordinator/analyst at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Ann holds a bachelor of arts in computer science from Temple University, where she was vice president of programming and ritual for Kappa Kappa Chapter. Lori Sherel, 

Rose Marie Fellin “Gift of Time” Award recipient at the unveiling of her portrait in the Busch Municipal Building.

national headquarters executive director. Rosie currently serves as Beta Sigma Chapter’s financial advisor, housing director and the housing corporation board treasurer. Rosie has made herself available to help, console, guide, encourage and nurture the young women of tomorrow through her time to Alpha Sigma Alpha. Alpha Sigma Alpha would not be the strong sorority on the MSU campus it is today without Rosie. As a member, she has given her life to the betterment of  young women through her daily guidance. Even with two hip replacements she keeps on going like the Energizer bunny. Not much gets or keeps her down. In recent years she also has been active in her church’s financial committee as well as serving as treasurer of the Greene County American Cancer Association for 20 years. Deborah H. Clary,  WINTER 2008

D istrict news

Balance, Learning 1. The Beta Nu Chapter at Murray State University, KY, had two homecoming queen candidates, Rachel Just and Krystina “Glimmer” Eubanks. Glimmer was crowned MSU’s fall 2007 homecoming queen. 2. Delta Eta Chapter members from DePaul University, IL, Cellie Morales, Amanda Rozier and Molly Matthews with Lance Bass at a book signing in Chicago. 3. The Zeta Kappa Chapter in Minnesota State University–Mankato at “The Big Race,” an event during their Greek week this past fall. Front Row: Emily Mitchell, Tamara Kilmer, Laura Tenney and Erica Anderson. Back Row: Larissa Laramee, Elisha Fleming, Amanda Tomshack, Jani Grantz, Amber Schmidt and Aley Hill. 4. Delta Sigma alumnae and husbands attending a baseball game in Midland, MI. Nancy MacKenzie with grandson Lance and daughter Donna, Shawnette M. Markey and husband Kevin, Mascot Lou E. Loon, Kristi L. MacKenzie (also Nancy’s daughter), Jennifer Bartels Pahl and husband Josh, and Trisha L. Stantz. 5. The Delta Epsilon Chapter in Mansfield University, PA, new members at their bid day in the fall.






Generosity, Growth WINTER 2008



D istrict news







Relationships, Responsibility & Integrity 1. Greater Kansas City Alumnae Chapter members, Marianne Mulcahey Bell,  , and Shanna Poole Connolly,  , enjoy an evening of sisterhood on Oct. 20, 2007. 2. Nancy Anderson, , and Karin Anderson, , celebrated after Karin's Sanctuary Degree on Aug.13, 2007. 3. Windy City Alumnae Chapter members Kim Bayma, , Margaret Chorba Glascott, , Amy H. Levine, , Kristin M. Huben, , Michele Reining Malo, , Christy A. Adams, , and Nora M. Ten Broeck, , gather outside Wrigley Field before the Cubs Game on July 15, 2007. 4. The Delta Nu-A Chapter’s new members at Kettering University, MI. 5. The Tampa Bay Alumnae Chapter, FL, gather around for a baby shower this past summer. 6. The Laurel Highlands Alumnae Chapter, PA, celebrated autumn with a formal tea at Victorian Lady of Academy Hill tea parlor in Greensburg, PA. Top, left to right, Sherri L. Rae, , and Shelly Dohey Wile, . Bottom, Erica R. Goehring,  , and Kim Benson, -.




D istrict news

7 7. The Alpha Beta Chapter, at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO, gained 39 new members in the fall. 8. The Delta Chi Chapter at Bloomsburg University, PA, teamed up with Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity to “Grab Cancer by the Horns,� a mechanical bull riding competition to raise money for the American Cancer Society. The competition raised over a $1,000. Pictured on the bull is Alicia Wolfinger, who won the competition by staying on the bull 68 seconds. 9. The members of Beta Iota Chapter at Radford University, VA, helped Marine Corps League, New River Valley Detachment #1190, collect toys for children in need for Christmas.


9 WINTER 2008



N ews & events

New program offered for alumnae and graduating seniors Concerned about your financial future? Alpha Sigma Alpha is offering a new program called Wi$e Up for alumnae and graduating seniors. Visit the Alpha Sigma Alpha web site for more information or join the Wi$e Up group on Sister Circle. Wi$e Up is a financial education program designed for Generation X and Y women. It was developed by the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau in support of the Department of Labor’s Strengthening the Family Initiative. Texas Cooperative Extension of The Texas A &M University System developed the Wi$e Up curriculum and manages the web site. Wi$e Up is offered online, as well as in classroom settings. You can learn more about Wi$e Up at

Corrections: In the “In Memoriam� of the summer 2007 Phoenix, Martha Talman, BE, was incorrectly listed as deceased. The Phoenix staff apologizes for the mistake.



Alpha Sigma Alpha new alumnae chapters

Photos of members needed

Two new alumnae chapters were formed this past fall. â– Wilmington Delaware Alumnae Chapter installed Oct. 2, 2007. â–  Diamond State Alumnae Chapter in Arkansas installed Oct. 27, 2007. To start a new alumnae chapter in your area, please contact Naydia Spears, , event planner & coordinator, at

Have you ever been traveling and seen one of our sorority symbols like the phoenix, star, palm tree or the crown? If so, please send your picture of you in front of the symbol to Louise Morales at Pictures must be at least 500kb in size. Pictures submitted will be published in future issues of the Phoenix. Include your name, chapter and where the picture was taken.

National Panhellenic Conference Badge Day 2008 The 26 member organizations of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) are celebrating international Badge Day March 3, 2008, an annual event which sorority women everywhere honor their Greek affiliations by wearing their badge or letters. The theme this year is “Wear Your Badge With Pride� International Badge Day is co-sponsored by Herff Jones Inc. Greek Division.

District Guiding Stars The district guiding star recognition program was established by the national volunteer recruitment and placement team to recognize annually outstanding members in each district. This program recognizes one collegiate chapter officer, one alumnae chapter officer, one advisor and one district volunteer. These stars guide our members and chapters to attain their absolute best. They go above and beyond the call of duty to advance the interests of Alpha Sigma Alpha. This is the second year that the national volunteer recruitment and placement team has bestowed these recognitions upon members at our District Day events. Congratulations to the following women who were recognized as district guiding stars at the fall District Day events! â– District 3 Collegiate Chapter Officer: Ashley Argenta,

, president at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Alumnae Chapter Officer: Sherri L. Rae, , Laurel Highlands president and Pittsburg PA Panhellenic president Advisor: Jamie M. Brandon,  , Alpha Gamma chapter and recruitment advisor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania District Volunteer: Amy Baverso-Walter, , district meeting coordinator


District 6 Collegiate Chapter Officer: Brittany Ofsansky, , vice president of membership education at Indiana State University Alumnae Chapter Officer: Karla Kamp Cook,

, Evansville-Southwestern, IN, president Advisor: Judy A. Deig, , Delta Kappa chapter advisor at University of Southern Indiana District Volunteer: Michelle L. White, , district meeting coordinator â– District 7 Collegiate Chapter Officer: Erika Baggett, , president at University of West Alabama Alumnae Chapter Officer: Ginny A. Lloyd, , Dallas treasurer and city panhellenic delegate Advisor: Julie R. Pitts, , Psi Psi scholarship and recruitment advisor at Northwestern State University District Volunteer: Leigh Ann Greathouse, , education coaching team leader â–  District 8 Collegiate Chapter Officer: Sarah King, , vice president of alumnae and heritage at Loyola University of Chicago Alumnae Chapter Officer: Julie Marshall Dudzik, , Chicago North president Advisor: Katie Fitzpatrick Lynch, , Delta Eta financial advisor at DePaul University, IL District Volunteer: Kristin M. Huben, , district meeting coordinator WINTER 2008

READER’S GUIDE The Phoenix of Alpha Sigma Alpha, the official quarterly publication of the Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority, has been published continuously since 1914. Its mission is to reflect the character of the organization and its members and to communicate the goals and direction of the Sorority and Foundation.

Contact us Post us: The Phoenix, Alpha Sigma Alpha, P.O. Box 681130, Indianapolis, IN 46268 E-mail us: Call us: (317) 871-2920; for magazine questions, select ext. 20 Fax us: (317) 871-2924 Visit us:


From the  Archives Alphas at the State Female Normal School, Farmville, VA, enjoy a day of fun with their companions from the Virginia Military Institute.

How to receive the Phoenix All collegiate members and alumnae members receive the Phoenix of Alpha Sigma Alpha. Individual copies are mailed to each member’s permanent address and a few are sent to the chapter editor or the chapter house.

Parents and guardians Your daughter’s magazine is being sent to your address while she is in college. We hope you enjoy reading it too. If she is not in college, or is no longer living at home, please send us her new permanent address (see below).

How to change an address You can send address changes to the mailing address listed above or e-mail your old and new addresses to You may also call us at (317) 871-2920, ext. 10.

How to get published Collegiate chapters & alumnae chapters: Each editor is a correspondent for the Phoenix magazine. View deadlines and photo requirements listed below. Chapter updates and photos must be submitted via e-mail to If you have news about an individual alumna, please send information to or send information to the address above.

Photo requirements Please e-mail only high resolution photos at least 500kb in size. Only pictures that are of good quality can be used. Pictures that are blurry or have been scanned do not produce well and therefore cannot be used. Pictures should tell a story of what is happening.

How to send a letter to the editor We always welcome your comments— both criticism and praise—about this publication. E-mail lmorales@ or send mail to Editor, Alpha Sigma Alpha, P.O. Box 681130, Indianapolis, IN 46268.

General deadlines for submissions Winter issue: Sept. 10 Spring issue: Dec. 10 Summer issue: March 10 Fall issue: June 10




To learn more about the Arista Alumnae Association or to register for membership, visit or call (317) 871-2920.

Continuing active membership in Alpha Sigma Alpha beyond our collegiate years gives us the opportunity to apply the high standards we have already set for ourselves into our “new” lives. College graduation isn’t the end of our lives as an Alpha Sigma Alpha; it is the beginning of our membership as an alumna of Alpha Sigma Alpha. Joining the Arista Alumnae Association is a small gift to give back to such a powerful organization that has dedicated its values to guiding us. Stefanie Spatola,  Arista Gold Partner Wilmington, DE Alumnae Chapter President and District 2 Recruitment Coaching Team Member

Profile for Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority

The Phoenix of Alpha Sigma Alpha: Winter 2008  

Volume 94: Number 1

The Phoenix of Alpha Sigma Alpha: Winter 2008  

Volume 94: Number 1