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VOLUME 51 | 01
The Chevron newsletter is produced three times a year for Omega Phi Alpha
CORNER Less Hate. More Love.
National Service Sorority alumnae and active chapters. National Executive Board Members President | Jan Titsworth VP Communications | Thea Moritz
While running errands over the weekend, I found myself behind a car with this sticker on the window. I immediately thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great if the President’s Project had that outcome?”
VP Finance | Michelle Brannon VP Lifetime Membership | Suzy McTaggart VP Programs | Andie Hixson Chevron Staff Managing Editor | Thea Moritz Editorial Director | Gabie Kur Layout Editor | Shelley Lai Copy Editor | Donna Pintek Graphics | Devin Pascoe Writers | Stasia Charter, Catherine Ferrell Photo Coordinator | Jessica Toms Distribution Dates and Deadlines October 1 | due August 15 January 1 | due November 15 April 1 | due February 15 Submissions If you would like to submit a feature story about an alumna or a service project happening at your chapter, please email it to:
During the summer, my family had the opportunity of hosting nine international college students. They stayed with us in groups of two to three at a time. I was a host mom to kids from Germany, Mexico, Hungary, and the African nation of eSwatini. With language barriers and a variety of cultural norms to contend with, we all had to make an effort to find common connections. We had to listen intently and choose our words carefully so that the person with whom we were speaking could understand. Often we had to be patient while they considered what we had to say—and sometimes we had to repeat ourselves. But, when that common connection occurred, you could see it in the wide smile on their face or feel it in the hug of gratitude. We had bridged the gap between us. When I took my “kids” to the airport, it was hard to say goodbye because they were no longer strangers. They were friends.
Reaching out to someone new—whose life experience is different than yours—and finding that common connection is what this year’s President’s Project is all about. (See page 3 for related article.) Although you might not face a language barrier, you may approach things from a different perspective. Each of you will need to listen intently and choose words carefully. You may need to be patient and truly consider what the other has to say. Those actions are what tolerance and respect are all about. And, when you find that common connection and bridge the gap, I hope it is a moment you’ll both remember. Please join me in cultivating more tolerance and respect so that there WILL be less hate and more love in our world. How will YOU bridge the gap? In Sisterhood and Service, Jan Titsworth (Delta) National President
Please send photos in 300dpi JPG format. National Office Mailing Address Omega Phi Alpha National Office PO Box 955 East Lyme, CT 06333 Official National Website omegaphialpha.org Contact List
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2018 PRESIDENT’S PROJECT BUILDING TWO THOUSAND BRIDGES Bridging the Gap in Civility Benefits Us All
Talk shows and reality TV feature situations where people with opposing views attempt to out-shout or belittle each other. Information is available to us 24/7 from a vast array of outlets, each with its own perceived bias. Social media quickly devolves into incendiary and offensive comments. Discussions are fraught with frustration and anger. We often retreat to communities of like-minded people, afraid to risk leaving the safety of our respective “bubbles.” It seems that Americans have lost the ability to talk to one another—to have civil, meaningful conversations that deepen our understanding. A study conducted by Christine Porath, an assistant professor at Georgetown University, indicates that incivility in the workplace is at an all-time high. While one quarter of people surveyed in 1998 reported being treated rudely at work at least once a week, that figure rose to 55 percent in 2011 and was at 62 percent in 2016. According to the survey, Civility in America, 70 percent of adults say incivility has risen to a “crisis level.” The internet connects us, making online “conversation” easy. Yet it also provides a way to post comments that may be hurtful. How do we encourage people—including the youngest generation of Americans—to begin to engage in effective conversations with people in this digitally connected world of micro-communities? As a sisterhood, we can collectively take steps to encourage civility within our own circles of influence. This year’s President’s Project empowers each of us to create bridges in the civility gap by promoting tolerance, respect, and kindness. With 1,400 active members and thousands of alumnae nationwide, we can “Build Two Thousand Bridges” by having personal conversations with individuals we don’t know well in order to develop common understanding. The concept of Building Two Thousand Bridges is grounded in the cardinal principles that define our sisterhood. First, we can and should lead the way in creating tolerance and respect. We all have a responsibility to
be open minded. The Society for Human Resource Management notes that showing respect for others provides transformative benefits. Treating people with respect can instill confidence in them and offer them encouragement. In groups where respect is prevalent, people automatically begin to share ideas more freely. Leading with tolerance and respect allows us to replace jealousy with joy, backstabbing with pats on the back, and harassment with high fives. Second, we can foster friendships by developing common understanding with others whose life experience may be different than our own. My family has been involved with an organization called Fort Worth Sister Cities International for a decade. Through this organization, individuals in various “sister cities” across the globe come to know one another through exchanges, both as students and adults. A friend of mine, Carlo, led a delegation abroad last year. He commented that it’s hard to hate a general group of people when you have experienced the hospitality of a family in that country. Like Carlo, once we begin to understand each other’s perspectives, we’re more likely to start working together toward compromises that can benefit each of us. Finally, we can serve our communities with kindness. There are lots of benefits to organizing large-scale philanthropic days of service. It’s fun to focus our efforts with a group of people and do something for a common cause. Additionally, opportunities for random acts of kindness present themselves to us routinely. Imagine the transformative power when all of us consciously make individual efforts to practice random acts of kindness. We ignite a spark of civility and respect that can be passed on indefinitely. Two Thousand Bridges. Three hundred sixty-five days. One conversation at a time. Infinite possibilities to foster tolerance, respect, and understanding for our benefit and that of the youngest Americans.
Steps You Can Take to Bridge the Gap in Civility •L earn about communication styles and active listening. • Invite someone you don’t know well, whose life experience may be different than yours, to join you for a coffee conversation. During your time together, identify the things you have in common. If both of you are inspired to continue the conversation, set another date! •B e a force for positive change by performing random acts of kindness— especially in situations that could benefit from tolerance and respect. • Share your story on social media: #OPAbridges
Eight Advantages of Being Tolerant • You might meet a new friend. •Y ou can learn something new and increase your cultural awareness. •Y ou learn to express your ideas better by explaining them to someone with a different way of thinking. • You practice patience and respect, virtues that make us better people. • You avoid problems, since you do not criticize or attack other people. • You become an example to others. •Y ou develop a positive and welcoming attitude. •Y ou enjoy greater inner peace, which in turn can benefit your health. (posted online by Margarita Caropresi)
Jan Titsworth (Delta), national president FALL 2018
NATIONAL AWARDS 2017–18
NATIONAL SERVICE AWARDS Permanent Project (Mental Health) Alpha Lambda Chapter: Outrace the Stigma 5K Alpha Lambda planned a 5K run on the Centennial Campus to raise money for NAMI and to raise awareness about the stigma surrounding mental health. Overall, they raised over $1,500 for NAMI. President’s Project (Childhood Obesity) Chi Chapter: Shake It Into Shape Chi Chapter launched “Shake it into Shape,” a partnership with local after school programs to raise awareness about childhood obesity and introduce preventive measures. Community at Large Omega Chapter: Parker Senior Center Omega partnered with the Parker Senior Center, assisting with organizational tasks and other jobs. They also participated in the Senior Citizen Prom at Rutgers University. University Community Rho Chapter: Big Red Stars Rho hosted a Big Red Stars event to honor members of Western Kentucky University’s faculty and staff who made significant contributions to the campus community. Members of the Sorority Alpha Omicron Chapter: Self-Defense Class Alpha Omicron partnered with the University of Florida Police Department to hold a private Self-Defense Awareness and Familiarization Exchange (S.A.F.E.) for the sisters. Nations of the World Omega Chapter: The Pad Project Omega participated in the Pad Project, which is run by the organization Too Little Children and works to provide reusable sanitary pads for women and girls in Kenya. National Service Award Omega Chapter Omega Chapter earned the National Service Award, the most distinguished yearly service honor, which recognizes the highest cumulative score of the six areas of service. Omega won two area of service awards in Community at Large: Senior Citizens Home, and Nations of the World: The Pad Project. In addition, Omega submitted another noteworthy award in Members of the Sorority for their project Mind, Body, and Spirit, which included sisters’ participation in fitness and wellness activities.
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Chapter Excellence Program Gold: Nu, Alpha Kappa Silver: Alpha Omicron Bronze: Omicron, Rho, Alpha Alpha, Alpha Mu Outstanding Chapter President Lauren Linn, Alpha Mu Habiba Fayyaz, Chi Aubrey Keeling, Rho Morgan Martin, Rho Cara Heise, Alpha Alpha Stephanie Schnur, Nu Riley Waggle, Alpha Omicron Robyn Fishman, Alpha Kappa Katie Fallon, Omicron Outstanding Chapter Vice President Rebekah Burgweger, Alpha Kappa Leah Pendley, Rho Mellat Yilma, Alpha Mu Lela Myrick, Nu Leah Greene, Rho Sarah Lemke, Gamma Marissa Remedios, Alpha Omicron Outstanding Chapter Service Director Rebecca Housh, Alpha Mu Emily Bonasia, Alpha Omicron Jackie Whitus, Gamma Shelby Conway, Nu Malak Muhammed, Nu Sabrina Lerma, Alpha Alpha Christine Haworth, Alpha Omicron Outstanding Membership Director Adrianna Sputa, Gamma Sara Palmiotti, Alpha Omicron Corey Goodburn, Alpha Kappa Kristin Fravel, Alpha Kappa Kayce Russell, Rho Olivia Daouphars, Chi Elizabeth Hammond, Chi Monica Gabriele, Alpha Alpha Abbey Wood, Omicron Anna Bollag, Nu Sarah Lewis, Omega Sophie Brantingham, Alpha Mu Outstanding Chapter Secretary Taylor Blanchard, Omicron Corinna Shimalla, Nu Harlee Havens, Rho Hannah Ray, Rho Nicole Pate, Alpha Alpha Claire Johnson, Alpha Mu Kelsey Pecenka, Alpha Omicron Outstanding Chapter Treasurer Devan Burris, Alpha Kappa Corin Hill, Alpha Alpha Kalie Compton, Nu Aubrey Keeling, Rho Allison Kurfiss, Rho
Outstanding Chapter Alumnae Liaison Allison Denny, Rho Gabby Hoffman, Rho Catherine Daniels, Chi Victoria Inman, Nu Allison Wood, Omicron Outstanding Sisterhood Director Jennifer Franklin, Alpha Omicron Ashley Reece, Alpha Kappa Cassie Miller, Alpha Alpha Outstanding ADO Karen Campbell, Alpha Kappa Lucia Lombardo, Nu Top 10 Individual Service Awards Julia Danon, Alpha Theta—288 hours Emily Kalish, Alpha Theta—270.5 hours Megan Markham, Alpha Xi—258 hours Madisen Huscher, Alpha Kappa—256.2 hours Grace Wanamaker, Alpha Theta—191.5 hours Megan Abel, Alpha Kappa—161.5 hours Corey Goodburn, Alpha Kappa—160.5 hours Brittany Bolla, Alpha Theta—155.5 hours Cheyenne Morris, Alpha Kappa—146.5 hours Alyanna Torres, Alpha Theta—145 hours National Marketing Award Rho Alumnae Chapter Award Omega Tau National Membership Award Alpha Omicron Leadership Development Traditions Gillian Brooks, Alpha Pi Kaitlin Giles, Alpha Pi Michelle Le, Alpha Pi Jessica Soto, Alpha Pi Leadership Erifili Draklellis, Alpha Theta Megan Markham, Alpha Xi Malak Muhammed, Nu Caleigh Shaw, Alpha Delta Jessica Soto. Alpha Pi Abigail Vohs, Alpha Kappa
NEW ELECTED OFFICERS FOR 2018–19 For the first time, Omega Phi Alpha held elections during the Spring 2018 district summits. The following national officer positions were elected. Congratulations, sisters! For a list of all the national officers, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alumnae Membership Director—Melissa Knoblock (Alpha Alpha) “I absolutely loved my time as an active member of OPA. I have also loved my time as an alumna. I made it a purpose of mine to stay active as an alum and help build connections with other alumnae so they still feel involved.” email@example.com
Cardinal Principles Director—Lynn Dudash (Nu) Re-elected “My training as a scientist and engineer helps me approach situations strategically, which is important when considering the direction of our sorority’s programs. My professional experience managing members of research teams has helped me manage the cardinal principles team.” firstname.lastname@example.org Chapter Support Director—Olivia Bush (Alpha Gamma) “Omega Phi Alpha was a very important part of my college experience. I spent three out of my four active years on the Alpha Gamma officer team, because I had a passion for seeing the chapter grow and thrive. I enjoy partnering with others to identify the challenges a chapter is facing, formulate a plan to address those challenges, and execute that plan to help the chapter thrive.” email@example.com Collegiate Membership Director—Summer Ray (Alpha Pi) “I have worked closely with many chapters that have pursued selective recruitment by looking at their plans and being a source of support during recruitment. I believe that my experience within OPA has helped me become a better leader, sister, supporter, organizer, and communicator.” firstname.lastname@example.org Expansions Director—Alex Arnold (Alpha Pi) “My OPA experience was a dream, and I remain in contact with many alumnae and actives from my chapter. In OPA, I felt accepted for the first time, my quirks and all. I’m dedicated to service and helping others.” email@example.com
Meet the New Insignia Coordinator Alpha Nu alumna and Houston resident, Arianna Stittiams, is OPA’s new insignia coordinator. In this role, Arianna is responsible for the Rose Shop, reviewing merchandise design submissions through OPA’s licensing program and monitoring the Rose Shop Facebook group. Remember that all OPA products for recruitment and promotion must carry proper OPA branding and be approved via a licensed vendor. For a list of approved vendors, see https://greeklicensing.com/ clients/omega-phi-alpha/19497, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Arianna graduated from Texas State University with a Coming Soon! degree in fashion merchandising and works as an assistant retail buyer for Landry’s Inc. She also has a fashion blog called FindingArianna.com. Arianna loves being active, walking her dogs, and volunteering at local animal shelters. Visit the Rose Shop on our website or at https://mkt.com/the-rose-shop/. Check out the close-out sale on 50th anniversary items while supplies last!
CHAPTER SUCCESS COORDINATORS Chapters, have an OPA question? Contact your CSC at the emails below. Chapter Support Director Olivia Bush, email@example.com Alpha Mu, Omega Amanda Lowry firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Alpha Pi, Chi, Phi Cassidy Edenborough firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Gamma, Epsilon Courtney Hall email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Alpha Lambda, Alpha Rho, Sigma Jessica Toms email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Alpha, Tau Katie Brown firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Alpha Theta, Mu Mallory Sconzert firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Alpha Gamma, Alpha Omicron, Upsilon Marissa Hickel firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Alpha Kappa, Delta Megan Gonzalez email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Alpha Zeta, Nu Morgan Mills email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Alpha Iota, Omicron, Rho Sara McAllister email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Alpha Alpha, Alpha Nu Suniko Morales firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Alpha Beta, Alpha Delta, Alpha Xi Suzanne Jennings firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org FALL 2018
COMING HOME TO OPA: DIGGING FOR DIAMONDS 2018
Sisters gathered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area last April to participate in Omega Phi Alpha’s alumnae reunion event, Digging for Diamonds. The event kicked off on Friday evening with an opening reception at the home of Jan Titsworth, OPA’s national president. Lifetime alumnae enjoyed the late spring evening outdoors sampling healthy snacks and “mock”-tails. Saturday began with breakfast at the hotel and carpooling to the service project at one of the GRACE donation stations. GRACE is a multifaceted nonprofit, which serves the Dallas-Fort Worth community by offering a variety of services, including financial, transitional housing, health clinic, and special children’s programs in the summer and on holidays. Its resale program accepts donations, which go to help clients first and remaining items are sold through two stores, with the proceeds going back into GRACE’s programs. The sisters helped process clothing and shoe donations for the resale stores. After the service project, sisters met for lunch in downtown Grapevine and then took some time to explore the city before the alumnae induction banquet and ceremony, which was held at the host hotel, the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center. The alumnae society recognizes sisters with at least 10 years of membership in OPA, calculated from the time of activation. To become a society member, alumnae are invited by the national organization to attend an induction ceremony. Ten years of service 6
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grants membership in the topaz level. The sapphire level is awarded to those who accrue 25 years of membership or more, and the diamond level, a crowning achievement, is earned by sisters with 40 years or more of membership. The new inductees into the sapphire level were Michelle Brannon, who pledged Delta Chapter at Texas A&M University in Fall 1987. Michelle is the current national vice president of finance. Also inducted was Torie Deremo, who pledged Delta Chapter in Fall 1982. The ceremony was conducted by former Alumnae Membership Director Mary Morrison (Delta) with help from alums EmmaLee Herlocher (Gamma) and Melanie Avila (Alpha Xi). The inductees were accompanied by their society big sisters, who took part in the pinning. They shared stories from their years at Delta, and how
they continued being involved in service through their adult life. They credit their sisters for always sticking with them and being like family. On Sunday morning, the sisters once again united for a parting breakfast, where they shared some final thoughts for the weekend. Stay tuned for the next Digging for Diamonds event in Spring 2019. Email email@example.com for more info. Melanie Avila (Alpha Xi), social media director
Top photo: Alumnae attendees at D4D in Texas. Left: Alumnae sorting clothes at the GRACE service project. Above: Torie Deremo and Michelle Brannon, center, with their big sisters, Pamela Faulkner, left, and Jan Titsworth, right, all Delta alums.
ON THE GO AND LOVING IT
Megan Crump Owen writes a blog called Meg O. on the Go—a title that aptly describes herself. A 2006 graduate of Texas A&M at Corpus Christi, TX, Meg joined Psi Chapter in 2003. She is a self-proclaimed expert on a variety of topics, from beauty products and her children to Hamilton the musical, and keeps busy by writing articles and social media stories on topics relevant to today’s busy woman. Describe your current job. I am the owner and creative director of a personal blog, Meg O. on the Go (online at www.MegOontheGo.com). I have been writing this blog for the past nine years, and it became my full-time job in May 2017. Most of my work days consist of emails, managing five social media platforms, photography, contracts, writing, editing, and so much more. How did you choose this career path? My blog started as a hobby and a creative outlet for me. I had no idea it would turn into a full-fledged business. After I finished my bachelor’s degree, I taught high school theater for eight years. During that time I got married and had two babies (my daughters are now 6 and 4). My blog started to grow, and I was beginning to make money off of my hard work. I then was able to scale back with teaching and taught part-time for two years. After that, I took the leap into full-time entrepreneurship. I have been a full-time blogger for just over a year now and have continued to see success. What obstacles did you face along this journey? Work-life balance was a huge hurdle as I was growing my hobby-turned-business. Teaching and directing high school theater required a lot of hours and effort, and I also had two small children at home. I used every spare moment I could to work on my blog, even if that meant late nights and a continued state of sleep deprivation. What is one accomplishment you’re particularly proud of? I’ve been able to replace my full-time income with something that started out as a fun hobby that I never knew I could monetize. Looking back, what made you want to get involved with OPA? I’ve always been an extrovert. I am big on human interaction, and always looked for ways to give back to the community. OPA was a great fit for me as it encompassed values that are important to me. However, it’s very sad to see now that the Psi Chapter is not active anymore!
What is one of your favorite sisterhood memories from your time as an active? Love in a Box is a service project that my chapter did each year. We would raise money for a local homeless charity by spending the night in boxes on our school campus. Not only was it for a worthwhile cause, but it was a huge sisterhood bonding time for our chapter. How has your experience in OPA influenced your life and/or career? Since OPA, I have always incorporated some sort of giving back incentive into my career. When I was a teacher, we did fundraising performances for the local women’s shelter. For my blog, I prioritize partnerships and campaigns that have a charitable cause. I always want to use my platform for good, and I can attribute a lot of that mindset to OPA. What general career advice would you give to current active sisters? Your passion can also be your paycheck. Nothing is permanent. Squeeze time in whenever you can to work on that side hustle. Hard work pays off! How are the values of OPA incorporated into your family life? Since I am raising two young girls, “friendship, leadership, and service” are three core values
I continually teach them. Since they are young, we do small things here and there to understand how to be a good friend, how to do the right thing, and how to give back. What’s your favorite part about Houston? The FOOD! Seriously! GQ wrote an article recently labeling Houston as “the new capital of Southern cool.” They said what makes Houston so cool is that it doesn’t care about being cool. I love the diversity and culture in this city. What’s your favorite charity? I love supporting the Bay Area Turning Point. It is a local charity that provides recovery services for domestic violence victims. They run a shelter and also provide excellent violence prevention resources. Did you hold any offices when you were an active sister? Yes. Back then, I believe we called my position the communications chair. I worked on the chapter’s website, and this was way before social media existed! Follow Meg on Facebook (@MegOontheGo), Instagram (@mego), Pinterest (mego), and Twitter (@mo_meg). Gabie Kur (Alpha Mu), editorial director
Alumnae Chapter Reports OMEGA DELTA Nashville, TN To keep up to date on upcoming Omega Delta Chapter events, join their Facebook group, Omega Delta Chapter of Omega Phi Alpha, or email Susie Pack Larson (Mu) at firstname.lastname@example.org. OMEGA TAU Houston, TX Omega Tau is gearing up for the 2018 Houston 5K Walk and Mental Health Expo, which takes place on October 6. To keep up to date on upcoming events for the Omega Tau Chapter, email Omega_Tau@omegaphialpha.org. OMEGA IOTA Phoenix, AZ The Omega Iota Chapter held its annual chapter meeting on September 15. To keep up to date on chapter events, refer to their Facebook page, Omega Phi Alpha Arizona Alumnae or visit http://azalumnaeophia.weebly.com.
Meet the National Alumnae Team Alyssa Bernhardt will be serving as OPA’s young alumnae leader. An Alpha Zeta Founding Mother, Alyssa became an alumna in 2007 and has served previously as a traveling leadership consultant (TLC). Claudia David is serving for the first time at the national level as the regional alumnae activities coordinator (RAAC) for the East. Claudia is a 2009 alumna of Alpha Delta. Crystal Genter returns as the regional alumnae activities coordinator for the Midwest. As a Spring 2013 alumna of Alpha Chapter, Crystal previously served in various national roles including LEAD team and National Standards Board. EmmaLee Herlocher is returning as the re-engagement coordinator this year. EmmaLee is a 2016 alumna from Gamma Chapter and hopes to revitalize the Detroit Provisional Alumnae Chapter. Sandra Huerta is serving as the regional alumnae activities coordinator for the South. Sandra is a 2017 alumna of Delta Chapter. Michele Hughey is serving for the first time at the national level as the alumnae societies coordinator. She is a 2005 alumna of Mu Chapter.
Montgomery Jones is serving as the alumnae chapters coordinator and as the alumnae activities coordinator for the West Region this year. A 2018 alumna from Gamma Chapter, this is Montgomery’s first time in a national role. Melissa Knoblock was elected as the new alumnae membership director. As a 2014 alumna of Alpha Alpha Chapter, Melissa has previously served as the regional alumnae activities coordinator for the West. Mary Morrison is a Spring 1985 alumna of Delta Chapter and will be serving as the alumnae activities events coordinator. In the past, Mary has served as the national vice president (1987) and alumnae director (2017–18). Phoebe Rankin will continue serving as the alumnae special projects coordinator. Phoebe is a Spring 2017 alumna of Alpha Nu Chapter. Juanita Haggard Wade is also serving as the re-engagement coordinator this year. Juanita is a Sigma Chapter Founding Mother who became alumna in 1996 and has held various positions at the national level.
Sisters in Service: AMANDA LOWRY (NU) A Nu Chapter alumna, Amanda Lowry has served in various national positions, including alumnae coordinator and chapter support coordinator. In the summer of 2018, she taught at the Mbale School for the Deaf in Uganda. During her stay, Amanda took the time to respond to a few questions about her work.
math at a teacher training college. A close friend I met during that time is Sr. Rose, the head teacher at Mbale School. I knew I wanted to take a few weeks to come visit and relax from a long school year, and she asked me if I would be willing to teach. It really was an opportunity that found me rather than me finding it.
What kind of work are you doing in Uganda? I am working at Mbale School for the Deaf, a government secondary school that provides the national curriculum to deaf students from around East Africa. The school also has a vocational skills wing that is open to both hearing and deaf students. I came for six weeks and worked with the senior 6 math students (similar to seniors in American high schools). We worked on calculus. They did very well.
Has being in OPA helped motivate you to do service work in Uganda? OPA is my constant reminder to serve people from all corners of the world in the way that best suits my skills. Teaching math is one of my strengths, and OPA has constantly reminded me to serve with love and to share those strengths.
How did you hear about this opportunity? Back in 2007–09, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda. At that time, I taught
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Do you have advice for sisters looking into opportunities to do service work like this? I’d say explore the options and go for it. The fewer expectations you go in with, the more flexible you will be when things don’t go as planned. If you plan on doing service in a culture different from your own, embrace it.
The best compliment that I’ve received has been that I’m free. Here in Uganda, that essentially means that I act and fit in with the locals. I don’t judge what is going on, and I don’t expect people to change their ways because I’m there. It is hard to adopt those practices, and it comes with spending extensive time in a culture, something I have done in Uganda. This is very difficult to do in short-term trips, but if this is the goal in your actions and words, you will grow and learn so much from the experience. Stasia Charter (Alpha), OPA writer
Active Chapter Reports ALPHA Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH • Founded 1967 Contact: email@example.com GAMMA Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI • Founded 1967 22 actives Rush Theme: Disney Fall Service: Operation Christmas Child; Meals on Wheels; the world needs more love letters Favorite Part of OPA: Our chapter is always laughing and having a great time with each other. Our sisterhood brings us together and strengthens our friendship. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org DELTA Texas A&M University College Station, TX • Founded 1970 Contact: email@example.com EPSILON Tennessee Technological University Cookeville, TN • Founded 1973 28 actives
Rush Theme: OPhi’s Are All That Fall Service: To be determined Favorite Part of OPA: Serving others and bonding over being back. Helping each other grow in service and moving forward. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org MU Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, TN • Founded 1983 Contact: email@example.com NU Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA • Founded 1988 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org OMICRON Auburn University Auburn, AL • Founded 1992 Contact: email@example.com RHO Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KY • Founded 1993 106 actives Rush Theme: Carnival Fall Service: We are revamping our fall service week for the Community at Large project to benefit the Hope Heart Institute by conducting a 5K, with other fundraising opportunities the week before.
OPA/APO REUNION Former national OPA president, Pamela Jones Caskie (Epsilon), met up with fellow Epsilon sisters including Linda Collins Reynolds, Andy Kennedy Blackburn, Iris Davenport, and Cyndy Hamilton Hinton, at an informal reunion with Alpha Phi Omega brothers last spring. Many of them hadn’t seen each other for over four decades!
Favorite Part of OPA: The opportunity to cultivate our members’ leadership capabilities. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
SIGMA University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Chattanooga, TN • Founded 1993 Contact: email@example.com
TAU The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX • Founded 1994 Rush Theme: Start Your Day with OPhiA Fall Service: Making sandwiches to donate to the homeless shelter during rush, plus other events to be determined. Favorite Part of OPA: Showing the joy of service, leadership, and sisterhood to our newer sisters; bonding with all new members who joined last semester. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHAPTER REPORTS UPSILON University of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette, LA • Founded 1997 Contact: email@example.com
PHI Arizona State University Tempe, AZ • Founded 1998 68 actives Rush Theme: Travel with OPhiA Fall Service: Free Rice Competition; Girl Scout Badge Day; Campus Harvest; Resume Reviews; St. Vincent de Paul’s; and Nami Walk. Favorite Part of OPA: Getting to serve alongside our sisters! Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org CHI University of South Carolina Columbia, SC • Founded 1998 Contact: email@example.com OMEGA Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ Founded 2000/Re-chartered 2015 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
ALPHA ALPHA Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ • Founded 2000 Rush Theme: OPA is Calling and I must Rush Fall Service: To be determined; however, last spring our Nations project was a bra drive to send bras to women and young girls in Pakistan who may not have the chance to have bras. We collected over 300 bras and received $900 in donations to help send the bras. 10
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Favorite Part of OPA: Finding ourselves through service and sisterhood. Contact: email@example.com ALPHA BETA University of Mississippi Oxford, MS • Founded 2003 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
ALPHA IOTA Notre Dame of Maryland University Baltimore, MD • Founded 2009 Contact: email@example.com
ALPHA GAMMA Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK • Founded 2004 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org ALPHA DELTA Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA • Founded 2006 44 actives Rush Theme: We are focusing on what OPhiA is and what it means to us as members, so rush is going to be OPhiA-themed during the week, with a surprise bid day theme for the new members. Fall Service: Compost collection for community garden; DIY night; Awareness Movie Night; Group Fitness Night; Fan of the Week; Tybee Beach Cleanup; Water for Walkers; Letters to Soldiers Favorite Part of OPA: Our favorite part is connecting with and growing closer to our sisters through service and sisterhood. Contact: email@example.com ALPHA ZETA Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA • Founded 2006 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
ALPHA THETA Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA • Founded 2006 Service: Last spring, our chapter participated in the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, Penn State’s THON. Each year 50,000+ student volunteers come together for the no sitting, no sleeping, 46-hour dance marathon, all benefitting pediatric cancer research. Our chapter, along with partner fraternity, Chi Phi, raised over $50,000. Six sisters danced at the event, meaning they stayed awake and stood for the full 46 hours. It’s an incredible honor to be chosen to dance, as only about 700 students out of tens of thousands of volunteers are selected. Contact: email@example.com
ALPHA KAPPA University of Kansas Lawrence, KS • Founded 2010 30 new members Rush Theme: Welcome to Xi Hive Fall Service: Alpha Kappa plans to serve our community through a social justice lens, with a focus on accessibility. We plan to engage with others by helping them help others through advocacy and education. Favorite Part of OPA: We love being surrounded by people who share a similar passion for service and helping others; being able to make a difference in our local community. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org ALPHA LAMBDA North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC • Founded 2010 38 actives Rush Theme: Harry Potter Fall Service: Participating in Shack-athon (event to improve awareness around affordable housing); park clean ups; Miracle League; and more. Favorite Part of OPA: We love meeting new sisters from all different backgrounds who are as passionate about service as we are. Contact: email@example.com
ALPHA MU Boston University Boston, MA • Founded 2011 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHAPTER REPORTS ALPHA NU Texas State University San Marcos, TX • Founded 2013 Rush Theme: 90s Favorite Part of OPA: Having a bond of sisterhood through service Contact: email@example.com ALPHA OMICRON University of Florida Gainesville, FL • Founded 2014 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last spring, we were presented with the Outstanding Contribution to the Greater Community award, because of projects such as sending letters to soldiers overseas, volunteering at local nursing homes, working with Girls on the Run, participating in Relay for Life, volunteering at Pantry Plus More, hosting a free self-defense class, and encouraging dialogue between students and university police department officers through a Q&A session. We are extremely honored to have received this award! UPD Officer Peggy Runyon, who volunteered at our Q&A session, nominated us. Favorite Part of OPA: The opportunity to serve with sisters who love to help others and build one another up every day. Contact: email@example.com
ALPHA XI University of Central Florida Orlando, FL • Founded 2014 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
IN MEMORIAM MacKenzie Ann Payne (Alpha Kappa) 1995–2018 Omega Phi Alpha sends love and heartfelt sympathy to Alpha Kappa Chapter as they mourn the loss of their sister, Kenzie Payne, on June 26, 2018. She graduated from the University of Kansas with distinction in May 2017 with a BS in human biology. Because of Kenzie’s passion for medicine and helping others, she took part in a medical brigade in Panama for a week during her third year of college. More recently, Kenzie was preparing to start her journey at the University of Kansas Medical School. Alumna Amie Just said her passing has “absolutely rocked the Alpha Kappa Chapter, as she was a wonderful friend and sister to all.” Many other sisters describe her as a shining light, and say that OPA will not be the same without her. She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her.
ALPHA PI West Virginia University Morgantown, WV • Founded 2013 42 actives Rush Theme: All the Stars Aligned Service: Every year, WKU gives out awards for excellence in civic engagement.
ALPHA RHO Virginia Polytechnic Institute Blacksburg, VA • Founded 2017 37 actives Fall Service: Operation Christmas Child, #IAmMore; working with Adult Day Services; Micah’s Backpack; Special Olympics; and more. Fun Fact: We just had 11 active members graduate, our largest senior class yet! Contact: email@example.com Compiled by Catherine Ferrell (Alpha Gamma)
Have you visited OPA’s website lately?
National Office PO Box 955 East Lyme, CT 06333 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED
SAVE THE DATE • CONVENTION 2019 JULY 10–14, 2019 • NORFOLK, VIRGINIA HILTON NORFOLK THE MAIN
Grab your swimsuits and get ready for Convention 2019 in Norfolk, Virginia! Nestled between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Norfolk has 144 miles of shoreline and beaches waiting to be explored. Catch a ride on the Tide, the city’s low-cost light rail. Visit the newly revitalized Waterside District or take a walk along the Elizabeth River Trail, and view the sights along the waters of Hampton Roads. Whether you pronounce it Nor-fok or Naw-fok, the experience is sure to be unforgettable! You won’t want to miss hanging with your sisters by the sea!
Registration details available by March 2019 or email firstname.lastname@example.org