TO D AY ’ S F R I E N D S , TO M O R ROW ’ S L E A D E R S , F O R E V E R I N S E RV I C E
FA L L
N AT I O N A L
N AT I O N A L
The Chevron is a quarterly newsletter
by Heather Pritchard (Nu), National President
produced for Omega Phi Alpha, National Service Sorority alumnae and active sisters. National Executive Board Members President / Heather Pritchard VP Business Operations / Kasey Stevens VP Programs / Brittany Thornton VP Communications / Thea Moritz VP Finance / Leann Williams VP Expansions / Jessica Toms VP Chapter Support / Rachel Whitten VP Alumnae Relations / Ginger McGarity VP Administration / Trista Guzman VP Membership / Megan Johnston Past President / Andie Bowman Hixon Chevron Editors Chevron Editor / Lynn Andrews Chevron Copy Editor / Lynn Andrews Layout Editor / Shelley Lai Distribution The Chevron is mailed out four times a year to all alumnae and active OPA chapters. Distribution dates are as follows: October 1, January 1, April 1, and July 1. Submissions Articles for the Chevron are written by active sisters and alumnae. If you would like to submit a feature story about an alumnae or a special project happening at your chapter, please email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org Pictures may also be submitted in jpg format. National Office Mailing Address Omega Phi Alpha National Office PO Box 955 East Lyme, CT 06333 Official National Website www.omegaphialpha.org Complete Sorority Contact List To request a complete contact list of all sorority officers, appointments, and chapter
I hope everyone had a wonderful summer, and that this Chevron finds you well. Thanks to the 100+ sisters who attended Convention in Indianapolis this July. This year’s legislation was very strategically focused, and has set the foundation for OPA to grow. If you missed the fun, join us next year in Chattanooga, TN, in mid-July. Any sister, active or alumna, is welcome to attend, even if you can only make it for a day. I want to express my gratitude for sisters nationwide who rallied around last year’s “Empowering Women in STEM” president’s project. Chapters conducted projects ranging from adopting STEM teachers, to volunteering at a Science Olympiad, to hosting an “Hour of Code.” The reactions shared by actives and alumnae sisters were incredible, and the number of women in STEM in our small alumnae community alone is astounding! I am so pleased to announce my 2014–15 President’s Project of “Physical Fitness and Healthy Living.” One reason that I chose this topic was because it affects all of us, no matter where we are in our lives. Whether you’re fresh out of college and looking to establish healthy habits, or growing older and looking to stay healthy, everyone has a way that they can participate in this project. In living a healthy lifestyle and staying active, accountability is key. Share your successes with other sisters, and lean on them when you need some encouragement! Use the hashtag #ophiafit on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share your story. And don’t forget to follow OPA on social media using the links below. This new school year brings some changes to the National Executive Board. We’ve welcomed two new faces: Rachel Whitten (Alpha Kappa) as our new VP Chapter Support, and Thea Moritz (Beta) as our new VP Communications. Trista Guzman (Phi) has shifted into the VP Administration role, and Jessica Toms (Phi) has been re-elected as our VP Expansions. I am so excited to see how our board tackles this year’s goals, especially as we enter Year 5 of our Vision 2015 strategic plan. So with that, I encourage all of you to go out, do good things, and make Ophia proud. OPA love, Heather Pritchard
addresses, please contact the National VP Administration: Trista Guzman VPadmin@omegaphialpha.org
/ Omega-Phi-Alpha-National-Service-Sorority @OmegaPhiAlpha @ophia67
Convention 2014 delegates participated in various activities, including taking pictures in the Photobooth, creating plastic yarn during the Convention Service Project to crochet sleeping mats, discussing best projects in the Service Workshop, and singing new tunes in the Song Writers Workshop.
Convention 2014: Taking the Lead in Service Omega Phi Alpha sisters from across the country gathered in downtown Indianapolis, IN, for Convention 2014. This year’s convention saw the largest number of attendees in recent years. The 106 attendees included delegates from all current active chapters (with the exception of one) and many alumnae sisters who were both representing the alumnae vote in business as well as attending convention for fun and fellowship. Additionally, all three colonies (University of Florida, West Virginia University, and Rutgers University) sent representatives to convention. Activities kicked off on Wednesday night with a Welcome Reception where sisters enjoyed fruit, desserts, coffee, and fresh popcorn while mingling and meeting their fellow attendees. The Convention Team introduced themselves, the National Executive Board, and Convention Bigs. The highlight of the Welcome Reception was a presentation from the National Executive Board reintroducing a historic service symbol to our sisterhood — the Bee. Early Thursday morning, Convention newbies attended a ‘Primers for First Timers’ to learn how business meetings would operate, and shortly thereafter, Convention was officially called to order by National President Heather Pritchard and monitored by Convention Parliamentarian Lynn Dudash. In the first business session, Heather Pritchard presented what was called the “State of the Sorority” where she updated the delegation on the progress the organization had made in the past
year. The slate of candidates was presented and then Constitutional and By Laws Revisions were presented in a legislative review, spawning much debate, primarily over defining the sorority’s colors and holding annual conventions. Sisters in attendance participated in many workshops varying from OPA 101 (our new member education program) and utilizing the new database to submit chapter paperwork, to creating new OPA-inspired songs or learning about techniques for relaxation. VP Finance Leann Williams presented the financial state of the organization and proposed national budget. For our service project, which garnered more fellowship, attendees came together on Friday night to learn how to crochet sleeping mats using yarn made from plastic bags. Sisters were divided into teams, so that they could separate the tasks amongst themselves. National Executive Board elections were held and as a result, Jessica Toms was re-elected as VP Expansions, Thea Moritz was elected to serve as VP Communications, Trista Guzman was elected as VP Administration, and Rachel Whitten was chosen for VP Chapter Support. District assignments for 2014–15 were announced, which included the creation of District 10, whose name is to be determined and includes Alpha Delta and Alpha Xi chapters. On Saturday, alumnae gathered for a luncheon where they honored the service of Epsilon sister Pamela McEwen with the Ann DeMatteo Alumnae Service Award. Alumnae recognition
also extended to the rest of the sisters at convention, when time was taken to formally acknowledge sisters who were celebrating milestone anniversaries of 10, 25 or 40 years of membership during the Alumnae Society Induction. Sunday’s Awards Brunch was a wonderful way to end Convention as sisters came together to recognize the accomplishments of our organization and the extraordinary work of our chapters and individual members. Alpha Gamma and Alpha Nu chapters were the two big winners during the awards presentation, receiving the National Service Award and the National Membership Award respectively, which earned their chapters a free delegate to Convention 2015. The top 10 individual service award recipients were also recognized for their outstanding dedication to service. The Awards Brunch concluded with the announcement of the location for Convention 2015 — to be held in Chattanooga, TN, much to the excitement of Sigma chapter who calls the city home. A national officer installation was held for executive board members present. And Convention ended with a speech from National President Heather Pritchard who was proud to announce “Physical Fitness and Healthy Living” as her President’s Project and outline her plans for the future of OPA. Sisters said goodbye to their new friends after passing the rose and singing the national song. by Kasey Stevens (Phi), VP Business Operations
HEATHER PRITCHARD National President
KASEY STEVENS VP Business Operations
BRITTANY THORNTON VP Programs
THEA MORITZ VP Communications
LEANN WILLIAMS VP Finance
JESSICA TOMS VP Expansions
RACHEL WHITTEN VP Chapter Support
GINGER MCGARITY VP Alumnae Relations
TRISTA GUZMAN VP Administration
MEGAN JOHNSTON VP Membership
Meet the New NEB Members Thea Moritz VP Communications Thea graduated with a BS in graphic design from the University of Bridgeport (CT) in 1981, the home of founding Beta Chapter. She later earned a master’s in communications from Fairfield University. She pledged OPA during her senior year, when she met sorority legend, Ann DeMatteo, who convinced Thea to join as an alumna for life. She later served on the NEB as national publications editor or alumnae board member for several alternating terms until 1998. She attended numerous conventions over the years and assisted the organization whenever asked. Thea’s career as an art director for universities and nonprofit clients spans nearly 35 years. Since 1998, she is the director of publications and design in the public affairs division at Quinnipiac University in CT. She looks forward to improving the sorority’s visual and written voice across all forms of media, as well as promoting a strong public image that reflects OPA’s cardinal principles. Thea lives in Middletown, CT, with her husband Greg Amy, and dogs, Hanna and Schatzi. Jessica Toms VP Expansions In Fall 2005, Jessica became a member of Phi Chapter at Arizona State University. In Spring
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2006, she became an alumna due to transferring to North Carolina State University to finish her bachelor’s degree. Since 2007, Jessica has served in multiple roles including: director of alumnae activities for the East region, colony advisor to the now Alpha Lambda Chapter, expansions assistant, alumnae email coordinator, TLC for the Azalea District and the Carolina District, and national awards chair. She graduated with her master’s degree in adult education from East Carolina University in May 2011. Jessica lives in Apex, NC, with her husband, Seneca, and has recently become a stay-at-home mom as she just gave birth on August 6 to a beautiful baby girl! She loves to travel, cook, do crafts, and cheer on the Carolina Panthers, ASU Sun Devils, and NCSU Wolfpack in football! Rachel Whitten VP Chapter Support Rachel is a founding member and alumna of Alpha Kappa Chapter at the University of Kansas. She received her BA in psychology in 2011 after transferring to Ottawa University and has since completed a postgraduate program to become licensed to teach K–6th grade. She served her chapter as the colony secretary and as chapter president. She has previously served as the alumna advisor for AK, an expansions assistant, and as the director of alumnae activities for the
Midwest region. Rachel is currently a stay-at-home mom to her son, Finn, who will be turning 1 in late September. She enjoys spending time with her husband and son, reading, and crafting. She serves her small town community (Eudora, KS) as their Girl Scout recruiter and as the registrar for her Girl Scout service unit. Trista Guzman VP Administration Trista is an alumna of Phi Chapter, graduating from Arizona State University with a degree in political science (Go Sun Devils!). She previously served OPA as the vice president of chapter support and a traveling leadership consultant. Over the next few years in her new role, she hopes to ease chapters into utilizing the database to input chapter paperwork electronically, and work with the historian as we prepare for an exciting 50th Anniversary Convention in 2017. Trista currently lives in Tempe, AZ, and works in the Arizona Governor’s Office. She is a born and raised Arizona native, looking to relocate to the East Coast in the next year. In addition to OPA, Trista enjoys spending time playing on her co-ed kickball team, watching football, running and volunteering in the Phoenix area.
Structure Task Force Tangos With Big Issues At Convention 2014 the National Structure Task Force presented their recommendations to the Convention delegation. The overall foundation and goals of the plan were presented so the delegates could understand the rationale and circumstances that led to the necessary and suggested changes. The two major issues presented were NEB inefficiency and Convention struggles. NEB issues stem from the board being in charge of day-today operations of the sorority and trying to be strategic at the same time. To demonstrate how inefficient this is, the delegates were tasked with writing their ABCs and counting aloud to 100 simultaneously. No one was able to get them both accomplished in the allotted time. And most noticed they had to give up one to do the other. This was a perfect example of what our NEB is currently doing and expected to do in their roles. The continued struggle with Convention was outlined as it being expensive ($40,000 to $60,000 a year from the national organization’s budget, which doesn’t include the additional amount individuals and chapters pay to attend); time consuming to organize (currently planning is the focus of one NEB member and that takes all year); and low overall membership participation (less than 1% of OPA’s total membership attends, 105 out of 8,000+). Basically, OPA on
average spends $50,000 for an event that serves 100 sisters over a 4–5 day period that takes a year to plan. To address these issues, the task force made these following suggestions: 1. Move to a new leadership structure that trims the NEB to strategic positions with two new levels of leadership to handle day-to-day operations. Along with this overall change came some other suggestions. a. M aking NEB terms two years. b. Electing TLCs at District Summits. c. Electing DAAs via an online election. d. Having 90% of appointed positions serve two-year terms. 2. Transition Conventions to every other year and shift OPA time and resources to making District Summits more significant with increased training opportunities locally since a greater number of sisters are able to attend. So what was accomplished at Convention? The delegates voted to accept the leadership structure changes. Therefore, beginning in 2017 the NEB will decrease to five positions: National President, VP Programs, VP Lifetime Membership, VP Communications, and VP Finance each serving a two-year term. TLCs will be elected for two-year terms starting in 2016. In addition, the two new levels of leadership will begin in 2017.
The National Structure Task Force recommendations were presented by Andie Hixson (Past President), Pamela McEwen (VP Advancement Planning), Ginger McGarity (VP Alumnae Relations), and Leann Williams (VP Finance). Below: The presentation addressed the necessary changes that needed to occur for OPA to prosper.
The discussion about moving to a biennial Convention was a lengthy debate. Ultimately, the amendment failed by a handful of votes. Some delegates felt there wasn’t enough information about what requirements and financial assistance would be in place for chapters in regard to shifting responsibility to larger summits. For now Convention will still occur every year; however, a large effort will still be made to grow the importance of District Summits. The National Structure Task Force plans to meet again this fall to continue efforts and plan next steps for the leadership transition, as well as examine the questions raised regarding District Summits.
“Ophia Fit” to Promote Physical Fitness and Healthier Lifestyle 2014–15 President’s Project During the past year, our national president moved 2,500 miles from Atlanta to San Francisco, started a new job at a 70-person startup and delved into her first year serving as OPA’s national president. As you can imagine, all of the change and new responsibilities was stressful, to say the least! The many transitions she encountered along the way became pivotal factors in her selecting the 2014–15 President’s Project. In her speech, National President Heather Pritchard expressed, “I have a few things that help me manage these stresses in my life. I consult friends; I sing loudly in the car to let it all out, but most significantly, I’ve adopted a regular exercise schedule. While my primary motivation is stress relief, I discovered several additional benefits to regular physical activity: it improves heart-lung and general muscle fitness; improves my sleep; will help reduce the onset of certain cancers; prevents weight gain and promotes healthy weight loss; relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety; can extend your lifespan by five years; and boosts your energy! That said, as individuals, we can make small choices every day to be more physically active.” America is increasingly becoming one of the unhealthiest countries in the world. Currently, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development reported America is ranked fifth among the most overweight or obese with 30 percent of boys and girls in the U.S. weighing more than they should. When asked, many women think breast cancer would be the leading cause of death (1 in 8 women). In actuality, most women don’t realize far more attention should be placed upon heart disease, which will strike 1 out of every 3. More than 500,000 women die in the U.S. each year of cardiovascular disease, making it, not breast cancer (40,000 deaths annually), the No. 1 killer. Statistics from the American Heart Association show that more women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined. Almost eight million women in the United States live with heart disease, but only one in six women in the country consider the disease her greatest health risk. Ninety percent of women have one or more
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risk factors for developing heart disease. What many don’t consider is that recognizing the culprits and making specific lifestyle changes will greatly reduce those factors. It has been proven that eating healthy combined with regular exercise are just a few ways that greatly help reverse heart disease and in many cases prevent it from happening in the first place. Although for some getting healthy may seem overwhelming, starting to recognize the simple steps that will lead to a healthier life is easier and more tangible than you think. Pritchard suggested alternatives to start the process, “Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Ride a bike to the grocery store instead of taking a car. Take a 10-minute walk after you grab lunch. When ready, on a larger scale, aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week. Moderate physical activity is anything that burns 3–7 calories per minute, such as brisk walking, water aerobics, yoga, general gardening or even ballroom dancing. Start slowly then build up— Rome wasn’t built in a day. And outside of physical fitness, consider other ways to live a healthier lifestyle.” Simple adjustments all add up in decreasing the onslaught of future health risks. Drink a glass of water instead of a coke. Leave your work at work. Get an appropriate amount of sleep each night. Order grilled instead of fried. Turn your phone or electronic devices off for a short period of time each day. Participate in Meatless Mondays. Living a healthier lifestyle has numerous benefits. Foremost it develops a stronger immune system and improves brain function and memory. Additionally it contributes to an improved appearance, which greatly increases self-esteem and overall confidence. Why does all this matter? Pritchard stated, “Aside from making an active effort to be my best self, I encourage others to do so as well. So, I am proud to announce the 2014–15 President’s Project will be “Physical Fitness and Healthy Living.”
As an organization, there are multiple ways OPA can contribute to healthier lifestyles and better fitness. Consider the following ways: • Volunteer with Girls on the Run • Coordinate a series of free yoga workshops on your campus • Hold workshops on how to consistently eat healthy on limited income • Create a “Get off your Couch Campaign” to exercise and watch one less hour of TV a day • Partner with local fire department to host a health clinic offering free screenings • Hand out water at a local 5k (or better yet help plan a 5k) • Start a program where sisters and fellow students have gym buddies to keep them accountable • Adopt a class or community center youth to teach the importance of living healthy and track their progress The possibilities are endless for promoting and living a healthier life — and not just for yourself. Take the opportunity to serve as a role model and positive influence for those around you. Whether fellow classmates, underactive children or seniors who need to become more active, there are numerous individuals who need the encouragement and support to take that first step that will lead to a longer, healthier and more active life.
Through out the year, share your President’s Project experiences and progress on OPA’s social media. Facebook: Omega Phi Alpha National Service Sorority or OPhiA Sorority Fit Club http://instagram.com/ophia67 http://twitter.com/OmegaPhiAlpha (use the hashtag #OphiaFit) by Lynn Andrews (Omicron), former VP Communications
In Memorium: Brittany L. Disney August 4, 1990 — July 20, 2014 Brittany was truly a sister who embodied every principle that Omega Phi Alpha stands for: Friendship, Leadership, and Service. She always extended a helping hand to anyone that needed it and she complemented it with a smile. She pledged Gamma, Fall 2010 and remained active until Winter 2013. Following graduation, she was diagnosed with Burkitt’s nonHodgkin’s Lymphoma and after a year lost her fight to the cancer. Expressing her gratitude for being Brittany’s Big Sister, Brittany Gross, shared, “When you join a sorority one of the best parts of your experience is when you are blessed with a little. You go through active years bonding, learning, and growing close with each other. You find yourself planning life experiences together — birthdays, engagements, weddings, etc. You are never prepared for the day when you sit at her funeral and have to say goodbye, realizing you’ll never get those moments you both planned to be by each other’s side. It is true what they say, “only the good die young” and Brittany was such a special woman who left an impact on every one around
her. I am not sure that I will ever be able to find words that truly describe her or the amazingly beautiful woman she was, even through her illness. Of all the things I am most proud of in my four years with OPA, having Brittany as my little was my favorite. Although Gamma sisters only had a few short years with her, she filled each and every one of us with enough love, laughter, and memories to last a lifetime. There is never a day that goes by that I don’t think about Brittany and miss her. In order to honor her memory the only thing we as sisters, friends, and family can do is live our lives without sadness, or regret and to live each day with as much love and happiness that Brittany gave every one of us.” Gamma sisters will join with Alpha sisters during District Summit to volunteer at the Ann Arbor Dog Day Care to honor their beloved sister Brittany Disney. She absolutely adored pugs so the sisters could not think of a better way to pay tribute to her than to bring everyone together and volunteer with dogs. by Kierstyn Matthews (Gamma)
National Service Week’s Annual Serve-a-Thon November 2–8
To commemorate National Service Week — Sunday, November 2 through Saturday, November 8 — Omega Phi Alpha members will once again have the opportunity to plan and participate in the National Serve-a-Thon. Last year proved a success and the perfect occasion for actives and alumnae to partner on projects together, not only in support of one’s home chapter, but to also promote sisterhood within Omega Phi Alpha nationally. The National Serve-aThon is also an excellent way to earn money for your chapter and is essentially the best and perhaps most profitable fundraiser you could do. Why? Because it’s an instant fundraiser and free money for your chapter! In preparation for the National Serve-a-Thon,
your chapter should research and select a service project event that will be held during National Service Week. Once the project is determined your actives will reach out to alumnae, parents, businesses, and anyone you know to invite them to sponsor your sisters for that service project. For every service hour up to 5 hours that a sister completes for that project, her sponsor donates $7.25 (up to $36.25). The funds raised will go into the your chapter’s national savings account to use as needed, or assist with funding delegates’ travel to Convention 2015 in Chattanooga. Many chapters raised enough money to send extra delegates — so start planning and preparing for great National Service Week projects and securing sponsors.
Chapter service directors will be able to provide all of the information, letters and forms that are needed to help make your chapter’s event successful. The goal is to have at least one alumna sponsor per sister. To increase OPA’s awareness in the community, members can also ask friends and family to be sponsors as well. Contact the National Service Program Director at email@example.com for more information or questions. Remember this is a great way to raise money and make new connections with alumnae — start planning now so sisters can celebrate a successful and memorable Serve-a-Thon and National Service Week for Omega Phi Alpha.
OPA Chapters That Are “Taking the Lead in Service” National Service Award The National Service Award went to Alpha Gamma Chapter for excellence across OPA’s six areas of service. Service to the University Community Alpha Alpha Chapter participated in Louie’s Cupboard, which is an on-campus food bank for students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Alpha Alpha collected and donated items to the food bank as well as volunteered in the kitchen weekly for the length of the project. By the end, the chapter had donated more than 300 items to the food bank and spent approximately 30 hours working in the kitchen. Service to the Community-at-Large Alpha Lambda Chapter worked with a week long campus event called Shack-a-Thon where campus organizations built shacks and lived in them for 24 hours a day every day of that week to raise awareness and funds for Habitat for Humanity. Alpha Lambda not only participated by raising money, but also intended to make a statement with their shack! Instead of creating a wooden shack, they partnered with Wolfpack Environmental Student Association to create the “Sustainable Service Shack,” which was made out of more than 8,000 plastic water and soda bottles representing only a small portion of a week’s waste at NC State. The chapter raised more than $500 for Habitat for Humanity and had hundreds of students sign a pledge to use less single-use plastics. Service to the Members of the Sorority Alpha Gamma Chapter held a self-defense class to educate sisters on the importance of being able to protect themselves, whether walking on campus at night or visiting a new city on a study abroad trip. They started the class discussing prevention and then focused the rest of the class learning simple techniques and release methods that will get you out of basic holds if someone grabs you. Service to the Nations of the World Alpha Gamma Chapter arranged a fundraiser for LifeStraws, a device that filters water so that people in underdeveloped countries can have fresh water to drink. To raise money, the chapter held a dodge ball tournament. Alpha Gamma partnered with the men of Tau Kappa Epsilon who provided the game equipment and assisted with advertising on campus. The tournament became super competitive with 19
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teams participating in the event. They were able to raise $700 in addition to the money they had raised earlier in the year at a silent auction. A total of more than $1,500 was donated to LifeStraws. Permanent Project – Mental Health Rho Chapter hosted its 5th annual St. Baldrick’s headshaving event. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation raises awareness and funds for childhood cancer research. Students, athletes, and community members who participated came together after a home baseball game to cut their long hair or shave their heads. They had 21 total shaves and 6 people cut several inches of hair. This project remains very close to heart for the chapter because one of their sisters is a two-time cancer survivor. Rho was able to raise a total of $16,450 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation through bake sales, a 5K run event, and their annual St Baldrick’s event. President’s Project – STEM Epsilon Chapter held a Science Day at the Enrichment Zone, a local after-school program specializing in STEM activities. Throughout the semester, sisters collected recyclable items such as paper towel holders, plastic bags, bottles, bottle caps and boxes to use in their science projects. During Science Day, the chapter taught kids to build towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows, how to build a car out of recycled items, and taught them the mechanics of building an egg drop. Chapter Development Award Alpha Zeta National Membership Award Alpha Nu National Travel Award Alpha Alpha National Website Award Alpha Theta National Scrapbook Award Alpha Gamma Alumnae Travel Award - Individual Megan Bodmann (Delta) Alumnae Travel Award - Chapter Delta
Ann DeMatteo Alumnae Service Award Pamela McEwen (Epsilon) Omega Phi Alpha Scholarship Trust Winner Kelley Bigney (Rho) - majoring in nursing
Chapter Excellence Program Gold: Nu, Alpha Gamma, Alpha Zeta Silver: Alpha, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Mu, Rho, Alpha Delta, Alpha Lambda, Alpha Mu Bronze: Chi , Alpha Alpha, Alpha Theta Top 10 Individual Achievement in Service Award Winners 1) Layla Seward, Alpha Theta — 209 hrs. 2) Mary Riley, Rho — 199 hrs. 3) Siobhan Kibbey, Chi — 191 hrs. 4) Katherine Sobolewski, Alpha Theta — 169 hrs. 5) Madeleine Sova, Alpha Theta — 162.5 hrs. 6) Hope Nilson, Alpha Theta — 154.5 hrs. 7) Elizabeth Tumpa, Alpha Theta — 150 hrs. 8) Danielle Brueningsen, Alpha Theta — 146.5 hrs. 9) Addie Dodson, Rho — 143 hrs. 10) Allison Tedesco, Alpha Theta — 142 hrs. Outstanding Chapter President Alpha Gamma, Alpha Zeta, Alpha Lambda, Outstanding Chapter Vice President Delta, Epsilon, Nu, Alpha Zeta , Alpha Lambda Outstanding Chapter Service Director Delta, Nu, Alpha Zeta, Alpha Theta, Alpha Lambda, Alpha Mu Outstanding Chapter Membership Director Delta, Nu, Rho, Chi, Alpha Zeta, Alpha Theta, Alpha Lambda Outstanding Chapter Secretary Delta, Nu, Alpha Alpha, Alpha Zeta Outstanding Chapter Treasurer Delta, Nu, Alpha Zeta, Outstanding Chapter Alumnae Liasion Delta, Nu, Rho, Alpha Alpha, Alpha Zeta, Alpha Lambda
1. Alpha Gamma accepts National Service Award from Brittany Thornton, VP Programs. 2. Alpha Zeta, Alpha Gamma and Nu delegates receive Chapter Excellence Program — Gold Seal. 3. Alpha Alpha accepts Service to the University Community Award from Brittany Thornton, VP Programs. 4. Delegates were presented Individual Service Awards for earning most hours served. 5. Alpha Lambda accepts Service to Community-at-Large Award.
6. Alpha Zeta receives Chapter Development Award from Kasey Stevens, VP Business Operations. 7. Rho Chapter accepts Permanent Project Award from Brittany Thornton, VP Programs. 8. Two Alpha Lambda members receive Outstanding Chapter Membership Officer Awards. 9. Alpha Alpha, Alpha Theta, and Chi each receive the Chapter Excellence Program — Bronze Seal. 10. Epsilon Chapter accepts President’s Project Award from Brittany Thornton, VP Programs.
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Pamela McEwen was presented the Ann DeMatteo Alumnae Service Award by Andie Hixson, past president and Lynn Andrews, VP communications, who submitted her nomination.
Ann DeMatteo Alumnae Service Award Winner In January 2014 during the NEB’s mid-year meeting, then VP Communications Lynn Andrews and former National President Andie Hixson were discussing the numerous contributions that Pamela McEwen has made, not only to Omega Phi Alpha over the years, but to the community in which she lives, works and worships. Earlier that day, McEwen had shared with the board her much anticipated retirement in the fall. Within a few months of each other, McEwen would be rolling off the NEB as vice president advancement planning, and soon thereafter, retiring from her professional career as chief financial officer for the Metropolitan Social Services Department of the city of Nashville. Pondering the ways in which McEwen could be recognized, and shown great appreciation and love from her sisters (after all she had already won the Susan Terzian Award), Andrews and Hixson decided to nominate McEwen for the Ann DeMatteo Alumnae Service Award. Presented at Convention, the award is given each year to one (or more) deserving alumna(e) for service performed in or outside the organization. The award is named for Ann DeMatteo, a former national president who passed away from breast cancer in 2013. Epsilon alumna Pamela McEwen was awarded the Ann DeMatteo National Alumnae Service
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Award for her dedicated work in establishing the sorority as a charitable nonprofit organization 501(c)3 per the Internal Revenue Code. This status allows the sorority to receive taxdeductible donations and will help create grants and corporate sponsorships. The nomination letter stated the numerous contributions of McEwen: “The service the sister we are nominating has performed is endless. She has been serving OPA and her community for over 40 years. She has held a national level leadership role at least 26 times in her OPA career. However, this year our beloved sister has really outdone herself. For years, OPA has been limited in its capabilities by our tax status. In her latest term on the NEB and especially this year, our amazing sister has taken on the task of changing the tax status of our organization. Now that might not sound like a big deal, but it is huge. By becoming a 501(c)3, OPA will finally be able to receive tax-deductible donations, which will be a game changer as we continue working on fundraising opportunities, seeking grants and corporate sponsorships. This project has taken hours and hours of research. The research has been followed by hours and hours of filling out forms and extensive applications. If you really want to see a smile on her face, ask her
about completing OPA’s 1023 or finding out which state was the best to register in, or finding a trust agent. This has been a job all in itself and we are lucky enough to have a sister who has made this a major priority in her life. In addition, Pam has spent hours researching and creating new giving programs for OPA. She introduced new ways of giving, including the idea that sisters can make OPA the beneficiary of their life insurance policy or retirement plan. She has also worked hard to make the thought of putting OPA in your will a happy thought by calling this giving program the Legacy of the Rose. For OPA to succeed as a whole, it often takes consistency. Consistency is something that you can always count on from our sister Pamela McEwen. She is always thinking of OPA and ways to contribute. Pam is looking forward to her professional retirement this fall and she is already talking about volunteer opportunities she wants to take part in for OPA and her community. When we think of a sister who is consistently helping OPA, Pamela McEwen is the first sister that comes to mind.” The following words were expressed during the presentation of the award, “Humanity is used to describe the human race, but it is also associated with the word humane, which encompasses kindness, compassion, and mercy. We would like to recognize a woman who epitomizes the meaning of having a humanitarian heart. Who has devoted her life to serving others, not just in her personal life, but also in her professional life. Her devotion to serving others and living by the Cardinal Principles has transcended to all aspects of her life. With humility she has offered guidance and support to numerous charities, dedicated her life to her church and community, and chosen a profession that enabled her to acknowledge and give back her expertise sharing her talents.” Upon receiving the award, Pamela remarked, “I served with Ann DeMatteo on the national board for many years, and she was an inspiration to everyone, so this award is particularly special to me.” As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Everyone has the power for greatness, not for fame, because greatness is determined by service.” Pamela McEwen may not expect or aspire to be accredited with greatness, yet her dedication and life of service, warrants our abundant gratitude and recognition by giving her the Ann DeMatteo Alumnae Service award for her consistent service to our entire organization. In the future, as you make your tax deductible donations to OPA put a little smile on your face and think about our sister Pamela McEwen. by Lynn Andrews (Omicron), former VP Communications and Andie Hixson (Epsilon), Past President
Historic Symbol of Service Discovered National Leadership Program Opens Enrollment The Omega Phi Alpha National Leadership Development Program officially opened enrollment in August for its premiere Leadership Module. The Leadership Module is the first of six training curriculums that will be offered under the new program. The Leadership Module will serve as an introduction and basic building block for the remaining five modules, all of which are centered on OPA’s core values: Service, Sisterhood, Traditions, Education, and Diversity. Completion of the Leadership Module is required before enrolling in any of the remaining five modules. Going forward opportunities to participate in certain modules will be made available at District Summits, as well as, during Convention. The five-week course started on Monday, September 8, for those with confirmed enrollment. The Leadership Academy strives to build strong leaders and create lifelong connections within OPA. The overall goal is to better equip OPA members with the necessary tools and foundation for leading a happy and successful life in all future endeavors, whether collegiate, professional or personal. To participate in the program or for more information, email the VP Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org. by Brittany Thornton (Alpha Kappa), VP Programs
At Convention 2014’s opening reception, delegates were treated to the news that the national organization is reintroducing a symbol of service that is linked to OPA’s historical roots: the bee. The bee symbolizes hard work and coordination across many world cultures, but only recently did current OPA leaders realize the link between our founding chapters and this busy creature. As part of the 2012 national president’s project “Archiving OPA,” a copy of an original national crest was discovered that featured a beehive on it. A little digging also unearthed an old motto: “The raised hand of friendship; the beehive of industry.” Delving more into its meaning, the bee represents productivity and is a symbol of accomplishing the impossible. Have you ever wondered how a bee could fly with such little wings? Aerodynamically it is not feasible, how-
ever, with high rate of activity, the bee is able to achieve the impossible, which also makes the bee a symbol of accomplishing anything you put your mind to. And if that isn’t enough, the bee lives inside a honeycomb, which is hexagon shaped and created by adjoined chevrons! As the 50th anniversary of the alignment of our three founding chapters (Alpha, Beta and Gamma) approaches, the national executive board is pleased to see this historic symbol of service resume its place among our other symbols: the yellow rose, the chevron, and our beloved mascot Ophia. Guidelines for official usage to come. To view the introductory slideshow, download the PowerPoint file from the Announcements page on www.omegaphialpha.org. by Ginger McGarity (Delta/Nu), VP Alumnae Relations
Friend of Ophia Donor Recognition If you make a gift of $5 in any year, you become a Friend of Ophia. In the two years of the program, over $1,200 has been contributed. This year at convention, we were pleased to be able to recognize three alumnae who made donations of $25 or more in 2014. The following donors were recognized for their fiveyear (or more) commitment before the national delegation: Lynn DuDash (Nu) Susie Larson (Mu) Heather Pritchard (Nu) Members, both active and alumna are encouraged to make a gift of $5 annually to become a Friend of Ophia. The money collected from the program is used for the OPA Operating Fund, which directly supports member services, chapter support, publications, and OPA’s leadership programs. Your gift will help OPA grow and continue to develop programs and services. Actives who make a donation each year that they are active, and alumnae who make a do-
nation for five consecutive years, will be recognized for their years of participation at national banquet. The program was created with the idea of “catching-up” by contributing for the years prior to the program’s inception. For example, if a sister activated 10 years ago, she could contribute $50 and be caught up to the current year of the program, or opt to donate $25 to have five years invested toward her catch-up plan. Please make your contribution payable to Omega Phi Alpha, indicate in the memo line Friends of Ophia and mail to: Omega Phi Alpha, National Office PO Box 955 East Lyme, CT 34655 Be a Friend of Ophia every year and know that your simple gesture helps support the work of Omega Phi Alpha’s mission and purpose. by Pamela McEwen (Epsilon), former VP Advancement Planning
OPA 101 Introduced Across All Chapters Among many other exciting announcements and projects revealed at Convention 2014, one new program introduced was OPA 101. In recent years it has been discovered, that several chapters are educating their new pledges in a completely different way than other chapters, and the established trend continues as that chapter recruits new pledges. With the increasing need for having updated materials, this discovery also made it apparent that to ensure all pledges across Omega Phi Alpha chapters were being educated and taught the same material, that a new program was essential. Thus, OPA 101 was born. What exactly is OPA 101? This new program is a standardized pledge education program to be used at all chapters for all pledges. There is
even a new version created for colonies to ensure colonists are being educated on all the same principles, history, and traditions of Omega Phi Alpha, as well. OPA 101 is a structured, 10-week program that includes lesson plans, pre-written quizzes ready for testing, and other resources that will be provided to membership directors. OPA 101 will not only benefit pledges to ensure they are all learning the same materials nationwide, this also benefits the membership directors and/or pledge educators across our chapters. With all pledge education materials being provided, membership directors will now be able to redirect their time to aid their pledge classes in planning projects, retreats, and events that are required to be completed prior to activation. This will allow more focus on the pledges
themselves, instead of spending time prepping on how to teach the history or symbols of Omega Phi Alpha. OPA 101 was tested at Alpha Alpha, Alpha Iota, and Alpha Xi chapters in the spring of this year. Registering success during the test phase, the program is due to be implemented at all chapters this fall. OPA is pleased to offer OPA 101 to all chapters and encouraged with the prospect of seeing improvements in the pledge education process. This program should make a world of difference in ensuring that new members are properly educated on the Cardinal Principles and prepared to be the future of OPA. by Megan Johnston (Alpha Alpha), VP Membership
State of the Sorority Omega Phi Alpha is embarking upon the final year of Vision 2015. By following a five-year vision plan, strategic efforts made and progress toward accomplishing set goals can easily be tracked. Many projects came to fruition this past year, and other major works continue to move forward and are due to be completed in 2014–15. Basic facts and an overall assessment of Omega Phi Alpha during 2013–14 can be found below. Active Chapters • 28 Collegiate Chapters • Newest Chapter - Alpha Xi at University of Central Florida • Colonies - University of Florida - West Virginia University - Rutgers University Active Chapter — Membership • Fall 2013 - 896 active sisters - 502 pledges • Spring 2014 - 1,162 active sisters - 278 pledges • Average Chapter Size - 42 members • Three Largest Chapters (Spring 2014) - Rho with 95 members - Delta with 79 members - Nu with 75 members Active Chapter — Service • 986 service projects • 53,433 hours • Worth $387,389.25 (based on minimum wage)
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Active Chapters — District Summits • 8 of 9 districts held a summit * • 25 of 27 chapters attended • 2 colonies attended • 450 attendees * Carolina District forced to cancel due to severe weather. Alumnae • 7 Alumnae Chapters - 2 of these are provisional • 6,652 alumnae in our database • 70 Alumnae Society Inductees - 10 to be inducted at Convention 2014 Projects and Initiatives • Chapter Level - OPA 101 - Selective Rush rollout - National Leadership Development Program • National Level - 501(c)3 standing paperwork completed and filed - National Structure Task Force - Digging for Diamonds - National Leadership Development Program - National website redesign/relaunch - Chevron redesign/printing in full color
- Created OPA eNews and established national email marketing - Increased members connected on social media - Expanded use of National Database - National Standards Board Planning for Future • Vision 2020 Strategic Task Force • Full rollout of Leadership Program • Continued alumnae society inductions • Continue branding and website redesign project • Continued focus on member retention • 50th Anniversary planning
Districts Realign to Make Way for Expansions With the recent growth in expansions that added two new states, Florida and West Virginia, to Omega Phi Alpha’s territory, the realignment and addition of Districts was necessary to better accommodate OPA’s active chapters. With Florida Colony and West Virginia Colony poised for induction this semester, and hopefully the addition of Rutgers Colony putting New
Jersey back on the roster by summer, certain chapters will most likely be shuffled again within the 2014–15 year. The goal is to enable chapters to be as close as possible to improve communication and planning with the fellow chapters in their assigned district. Below are Omega Phi Alpha’s current Fall 2014 Districts:
District 1 — Liberty District
District 4 — Cajun Country District
District 6 — Cactus Pine District
District 9 — Heartland District
Upsilon — Louisiana at Lafayette Alpha Beta — University of Mississippi Alpha Epsilon— Southeastern Louisiana
Phi — Arizona State Alpha Alpha — Northern Arizona
Alpha Gamma — Oklahoma State Alpha Kappa — University of Kansas
Alpha Theta — Pennsylvania State Alpha Iota — Notre Dame of Maryland Alpha Mu — Boston University District 2 — Bluegrass District
Epsilon — Tennessee Tech Mu — Middle Tennessee State Rho — Western Kentucky Sigma — Tennessee at Chattanooga District 3 — Azalea District
Nu — Georgia Tech Omicron — Auburn University Alpha Zeta — Kennesaw State
District 7 — Founding District
Alpha — Bowling Green State Gamma — Eastern Michigan
District 5 — Lonestar District
Delta — Texas A&M Tau — University of Texas at Austin Psi — Texas A&M at Corpus Christi Alpha Nu—Texas State University
District 8 — Carolina District
Chi — University of South Carolina Alpha Lambda — North Carolina State Alpha Eta — South Carolina at Aiken
District 10 — Name TBD
Alpha Delta — Georgia Southern Alpha Xi — University of Central Florida Colonies to be Added in 2014–15
University of Florida West Virginia University Rutgers University (New Jersey)
by Rachel Whitten (Alpha Kappa), VP Chapter Support
Top Row: Rutgers colonist Nicole Demos attends Service Workshop. UF colonist Maria Mejia dresses up with newly inducted UCF Alpha Xi sisters Ashley Estimable and Haley McConnell in the photobooth. The colonists were selected to judge the National Scrapbook Award. Bottom Row: WVU colonist Summer Ray with Tau’s Priya Patel and Soniya Surani during the Service Project. Rutgers and WVU colonists attend banquet with fellow delegates. UF Colony President Maria Mejia with Lynn Andrews, VP Communications who is a founding member of Omicron.
Colonists Connect with OPA in Indy The world of expansions continues to flourish, with three colonies diligently working toward earning their charters and becoming members of Omega Phi Alpha. All three colonies sent representatives to National Convention where they met sisters from all chapters, learned more in depth the resources available to OPA chapters, and experienced firsthand how OPA functions on the district and national level. Representatives from each colony expressed what attending convention meant to them. Florida Colony Twenty-two hard working ladies in the University of Florida Colony will be inducted as the founding members of the Alpha Omicron Chapter later this fall. They are holding their first recruitment the second week of September. More details regarding UF’s induction weekend will be announced via email and social media. Join OPA in Gator Country to welcome our newest chapter! Colony President, Maria Mejia represented UF in Indy. She expressed how her respect for Omega Phi Alpha tremendously grew after attending convention. “It was incredible to learn how the dedication to service has grown throughout time from each individual sister, as well as, the whole organization. I am proud to 14
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be affiliating myself with an organization that not only supports my passion for service, but also allows me to be my true self.” Mejia said she treasured the entire experience, “Having the opportunity to meet sisters with similar interests and hear their stories was wonderful. I enjoyed learning about all the admirable service events held by other chapters. It is incredible to see the impact each sister has had by lending a hand. Best of all, I was able to live in the moment with a few founding sisters. Being at convention made me realize I have made the right decision to become a sister of Omega Phi Alpha — a service sorority that upholds meaningful cardinal principles.” West Virginia Colony West Virginia University Colony continues on their colonization journey. Their President, Summer Ray, attended National Convention and expressed how she enjoyed every minute of her experience. Ray said, “Convention honestly gave me a whole new perspective on OPA. Meeting so many service minded girls made me realize that bringing Omega Phi Alpha to WVU was such a great idea. I now better understand what OPA stands for and see what a great organization it truly is.” A colony retreat held August 22–23, kicked-off their new semester, during which national tests were completed and
passed. Fall semester will be busy for WVU as they plan recruitment for end of September and work toward finishing their last few colonization requirements before submitting their Petition for Charter. Rutgers Colony The Rutgers University Colony has delved head first into completing their colonization requirements as they work toward being rechartered. Our newest colony, as of March 2013, has already completed several service projects and its first fundraiser. Rutgers Colony Vice President Brianna Brothers on coming to Indy said, “Convention helped me really see OPA as a whole. I truly enjoyed being able to listen to others’ experiences and hear firsthand other OPA girls’ stories. And my favorite part was probably the workshops.” Rutgers Colony President Niki Demos, noted that the workshops were very eye opening and great way to learn what had worked successfully for other chapters. Demos further said, “I was so thankful for the advice and input more established chapters were able to give us. The best part of the weekend was the service workshop. The other chapters have done so many fun and unique service projects that I can’t wait to bring back and try at Rutgers.” by Jessica Toms (Phi), VP Expansions
West Virginia, Forges Ties During Retreat Tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains lies Morgantown, WV, home of OPA’s West Virginia University Colony. This colony consists of exactly what OPA is looking for… a diverse group of young women dedicated to service. To assist them on their journey in becoming a chapter, past national president, Andie Hixson, and former VP Communications Lynn Andrews traversed the mountains to lead their colony retreat. When they arrived on campus Saturday morning, the two were greeted by Chi alumna and WVU Dental School student Krystin Bourdua. The three welcomed the colonists to their retreat with goodie bags and an icebreaker asking them to share their favorite smell. First on the agenda — reviewing for the national test and then taking the test, which everyone, of course, passed. Celebration from passing their national test and completing one more requirement, transitioned into learning more about O-Phi-A by watching a slideshow showing off our local chapters. Then the ladies participated in an activity called, “What’s on your Plate?” Each colonist closely reviewed their life and selected specific colored stones to represent the numerous time commitments and responsibilities within their day and week. The girls shared their plates in small groups to illustrate and gain an understanding of what each person was juggling. Lastly, they identified who the time management guru in their group was so she could mentor them if they struggle with time management. The ladies then had a break taking group photos on campus to use on their website and for recruitment. The colonists had shirts featuring bows and the phrase, “The Tie That Binds Us.” Next, on their agenda was learning Robert’s Rules of Order. The colony President Summer Ray practiced running a mock meeting in which the colonists went back and forth using their new skills to theoretically debate whether or not to wear pink on Wednesdays. The ladies then held a quick meeting to elect officers for vacant positions. Following Robert’s Rules was a session on recruitment. The colony brainstormed ways to recruit new members and how to incorporate their “Sail Away With O-Phi-A” rush theme. To ensure the colonists were ready for recruitment,
they learned OPA songs and chants. After dinner the colonists were surprised with a pinning ceremony, which following many exclaimed, “I had no idea we would be getting a pin!” To celebrate being officially pinned (and since the girls were all dressed up) more photos resumed, but this time props were involved, to introduce the colonists to the OPA-style photo booth. The colonists’ momentum continued to grow as they realized later that semester they would be pinning the members of their first pledge class. Retreat concluded Sunday morning with another icebreaker, a discussion about Induction planning and a sentimental sharing activity called Memento. The colonists had been instructed to bring a meaning item with them that morning. During Memento the ladies each revealed to the group, the item they cherished, explaining the
significance and meaning behind its sentimental value. Each story brought laughter and tears drawing the colonists closer and closer together. This activity didn’t leave many dry eyes, but did immediately make these young women realize the essential qualities that truly binds them together in fellowship. And to draw from one last tradition, the colonists experienced their first Passing of the Rose to conclude the colony retreat. WVU Colony has already scheduled its last service requirements and is presently planning its first recruitment. An induction may be coming soon, so look for WVU activities and more information on social media. They have high expectations for this semester and have already reported their meetings have gotten better by using Robert’s Rules. by Andie Hixson (Epsilon), Past President
Convention 2014 Alumnae Society Inductees — Front Row: Carrie Johnson (Epsilon), Chanda Glover (Nu), Nichole Barnhart Barton (Epsilon). Back Row: Heather Pritchard (Nu), Julie Filson (Epsilon), Leann Williams (Nu), Paula Welsh Fogt (Alpha), Pamela Mudd Conlan (Delta), Megan Johnston (Alpha Alpha). Inset: Marlene Dietrich Purdy (Alpha) with VP Alumnae Relations Ginger McGarity and Thelma Riehle (Alpha).
Ten Gems Join the Alumnae Society Since the inauguration of the Alumnae Society, Omega Phi Alpha continues to recognize members who have dedicated their lives to serving others and being leaders within their communities. The society also enables sisters to reunite with treasured friends and connect with new members still carrying on the tradition of service. Omega Phi Alpha is pleased to introduce the 10 newest inductees who proudly represent the principles of OPA. Each has demonstrated in her personal and professional achievements the importance of being a lifelong service-minded leader. Convention 2014 Inductees Pamela Mudd Conlan — Diamond Inductee from Delta. Pledged Fall 1973. Summary of life: I am still alive – ha ha! Cherished moment: Digging for Diamonds Induction into Sapphire Society with friends and induction into Diamond Society with Pam Faulkner – What an Honor! Julie L. Filson — Topaz Inductee from Epsilon’s Alpha Iota Pledge Class in 1990. Summary of life after OPA: After receiving a BS degree from TTU, I worked in advertising/ design and marketing for a Nashville, TN, newspaper. I have since held positions in accounting, management and operations for various companies, as well as completed my MBA at Southern New Hampshire University. I have served on the NEB. I am a member of the Nashville alum chapter, Omega Delta. Celebrating nine years at Dollar General Corp., I support and manage two executive officers. I 16
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enjoy travelling, making pottery, photography, supporting community events, sporting events and spending as much time as possible with my family. Cherished moment: OPA continues to be important to me, as are the sisters that I have now treasured for almost 25 years. Too many to pick one, but here are a few: Pledge Overnight Outing, Dance-a-Thon, having five little sisters, Bra Wars (you know who you are), multiple conventions, time on the NEB, and quiet (yeah right) moments just hanging out with sisters. Paula Welsh Fogt — Diamond Inductee from Alpha. Joined in 1971/1972. Summary of life: I married in 1975; I have four children and seven grandchildren. I was involved in community theater for many years, and one season, I was a street character in the Ohio Renaissance Festival (Lady Pennywise, the tax collector). I taught high school German and English for 13 years; I worked with at-risk adults in the JTPA (Job Training Partnership Act—a federal program). I retrained in computer technology and for the last 18+ years worked at Miami University in computer technical and support. Cherished moment: Being part of something larger than myself for the purpose of service is the feeling that permeated my time in OPA. The realization that a group of 30-40 college women could make a positive difference in our little corner of the world — that was absolutely amazing! Megan Johnson — Topaz Inductee from Alpha Alpha’s Eta Pledge Class in Fall 2003. Summary of life: I ventured into the world
of higher education and serve in university administration roles, where I’ve bounced around from grad school in San Diego to Texas to Georgia and back home to California now! I’ve served in various roles in OPA nationally as well, first as a TLC in Texas and Georgia, and now on the NEB as the VP membership. Cherished moment: All, both as an active and an alumna, but especially those that involve being connected outside of OPA. Whether running 200-mile relays or meeting sisters at a random concert in San Diego because I spotted letters… knowing that I have sisters whenever I go and wherever I HAVE been, has been the best feeling and support system in the world! Heather Pritchard — Topaz Inductee from Nu. Pledged Fall 2003 with the “Six Pack.” Summary of life: No such thing. I have stayed involved with OPA in various capacities since graduation through serving on OPA’s national executive board. Cherished moment: It’s all the little moments for me — Theta Love, coffee dates, the Technotronics, planting ALL the trees with Trees Atlanta (usually in rain or cold), Subway runs, countless retreats and inductions, and lately, banging the gavel. Marlene A. Purdy — Diamond Inductee from Alpha. Pledged in 1968. Summary of life: Graduated with BSEd in 1969 and MEd in 1970, both from BGSU and Ed Spec from University of Toledo in 1984. Retired as dean of students at Vanguard Career Center after 30 years in education. Have traveled extensively (including all 50 states and eight cruises). Currently active in Toastmasters (past District 28 Governor), Garden Club (state secretary and flower show judge for Ohio Association of Garden Clubs), and Purdue Master Gardeners. Cherished moment: Celebrated 50th wedding anniversary in October 2013 with husband Lee. by Lynn M-H Andrews (Omicron), Former VP Communications
Alpha actives and alumnae playing in the photobooth
ALPHA Bowling Green State University — Bowling Green, OH Founded in 1967 47 Actives / 15 Potential Pledges Rush Theme: The Bachelor — we will ask our potential new members to accept our yellow rose at the end of recruitment. Fall Service: Bingo at Woodhaven Nursing Home; cleaning our adopted highway, and volunteering at Ronald McDonald House in Toledo. September 11th made care packages for soldiers overseas. Relay for Life, a 12-hour event incorporating both university community and community-at-large. Fact: We introduced an Academic Chair on executive board to keep us on our feet academically. Based on previous semester’s GPA, certain study hours must be completed weekly and mandatory study events will be held with other members, other sororities, and at the library.
75 Actives / Rush: September 15-19 Rush Theme: “New Bids on the Block,” which is a ‘90s theme Fall Service: Kyle Field Clean Up, Chalkboards for Children in Developing Countries, Adopt-a-street, Pulsera project, and many more. Fact: Omega Phi Alpha was the first women’s organization on the Texas A&M campus!
Epsilon’s Kayla Walker and Alexandria Pecora with Rebecca Lauth of Rho
EPSILON Tennessee Technological University — Cookeville, TN Founded in 1973 37 Actives / 47 Pledges Rush Theme: NFL — Nation’s Finest Ladies Fall Service: Ghouls at Grassmere, Susan Komen Walk, and Free Rice Fact: Our chapter mascot is a turtle.
Omicron’s Katie Brown and Shannon Leach with AT actives and Delta alumna
OMICRON Auburn University — Auburn, AL Founded April 4 1992 48 Actives / 26 Pledges Rush Theme: Sweet Home O Phi A Fall Service: President’s Project: hosting a yoga night at yoga studio and all proceeds go to the charity of our choice. Community at large: participating in Junior Mad Scientist, a night where children of grad students and within the community perform cool science experiments. Nations of the World: raising money to go to an elephant orphanage in Kenya. University Community: hosting a military appreciation tea around Veteran’s Day for ROTC members and their families. Fact: Our chapter is older than any active member.
Rho Chapter Fall 2014 Bid Day Members of Mu Chapter Fall 2014 Gamma with their Founding District Alpha sisters
GAMMA Eastern Michigan University — Ypsilanti, MI Founded in 1967 30 Actives / Rush: September 8-12 Rush Theme: Sail Away with OPhiA Fall Service: Buster Bash, Arbor Dog Day Care, Trick or Treat for UNICEF, Sisterly Love, Omega Phi Alpha Street Clean Up, volunteering at the Ann Arbor Community Plunge (helping alongside local non-profit organizations with issues such as food access, youth empowerment, environment, and homelessness), and Recycle Ann Arbor (assisting customers at the drop-off station unload recyclable materials).
Delta’s Fall 2014 Recruitment “New Bids on the block”
DELTA Texas A&M University — College Station, TX Founded in 1970
MU Middle Tennessee State University — Murfreesboro, TN Founded January 29, 1983 23 Actives / Rush: September 15-19 Rush Theme: Tiffany (Omega Phi Alpha) and Co. Fall Service: Campus clean-up, Self-defense class, OPhiA fitness challenge
RHO Western Kentucky University — Bowling Green, KY Founded in 1993 72 Actives / 55 Pledges Rush Theme: Garden Party Fall Service: Relay for Life; Lakeshore Cleanup at Barren River Lake; Blood Drive; Volunteer at the International Festival Fact: Our local mascot is the Lady Bug; therefore our pledges are called “Baby Bugs.”
Nu sisters Frankie Hall and Mercedes Shannon with AG and AK delegates
NU Georgia Institute of Technology — Atlanta, GA Founded in 1988 60 Actives / 32 Potential Pledges Rush Theme: Service, Southern Style. Fall Service: Atlanta Community Food Bank, First Aid Kits for Girl Scout troops, Reece Center for the Handicapped (Horse Rides), Gigi’s playhouse Fact: Nu has received Chapter Excellence Gold Seal for 11 years!
Sigma Delegates at Convention
SIGMA University of Tennessee at Chattanooga — Chattanooga, TN Founded December 5, 1993 26 Actives / 24 Pledges Rush Theme: Finding OPhiA Fall Service: 30 Hour Famine for Nations of the FALL 2014
CHAPTER REPORTS World; Veterans 5K for our President’s Project in November; “Snacks to Class” is our University Community project where we will provide snacks and tips for our fellow students during midterms week. Fact: This year we are striving to become more involved with other organizations on our campus so we can get connected and make a mark.
as well as provide each staff member with a goodie bag. Community at Large is Polar Run 5K, which is completely organized and hosted by our chapter. Runners wear clothing they wish to donate, and at every “ half K” they shed a piece of clothing.
Alpha Gamma sisters at Convention
Psi Fall 2014 Pledge Class
Tau delegates Soniya Surani and Priya Patel at Convention
TAU University of Texas at Austin — Austin, TX Founded April 30, 1994 12 Actives / Rush: September 2–12 Rush Theme: Red, White and Blue (America) Fall Service: National Service Week for the President’s Project (campus kickoff rally, guest speaker, etc.), Caritas soup kitchen, Boys and Girls Club of America Fact: Celebrating our 20th Anniversary
PSI Texas A&M at Corpus Christi — Corpus Christi, TX Founded May 2, 1998 10 Actives / 13 Pledges Rush Theme: Dr. Seuss. Fact: Our local mascot is Franklin, the turtle.
Alpha Alpha actives and alumna at Convention
Phi Chapter actives and alumnae during Convention
PHI Arizona State University — Tempe, AZ Founded in 1998
ALPHA ALPHA Northern Arizona University — Flagstaff, AZ Founded in 2000 44 Actives / 27 Pledges Rush Theme: OPhiaA in Wonderland Fall Service: Pesticide Free NAU, Save the Bite — The Danger of Endangerment, Fitness Fun with the Boys and Girls Club Fact: This semester’s Rush was bigger than ever! We are so excited for what this year will bring.
ALPHA GAMMA Oklahoma State University — Stillwater, OK Founded in 2004 61 Actives / 24 Pledges Rush Theme: “Catch Your Dreams with Ophia” Fall Service: We paired with To Write Love on Her Arms to help with suicide prevention/ awareness week and participated in QPR training, which teaches us basic knowledge on how to handle suicide with people, who are struggling with it. We are participating in homecoming activities including construction of a parade float with Alpha Sigma Phi. ALPHA DELTA Georgia Southern University — Statesboro, GA Founded April 8, 2006 44 Actives / 17 Pledges Rush Theme: OPhiA in the City Fall Service: Stirrup Some Fun, Harvest Ball, School supply drive for an orphanage, Zombie Run, and Trick or Treat at Mill Creek Fact: Our rush week was the most successful it has ever been!
Chi Chapter Fall 2014
CHI University of South Carolina — Columbia, SC Founded April 19, 1998 51 Actives / 19 Pledges Rush Theme: “Up and Away with OPhiA” — a tribute to the Disney movie “Up!” Fall Service: Service to Sisters:“TedTalks” given to sisters by sisters, each talking five minutes about a subject that is of interest to the speaker. University Community is Custodial Appreciation since they are often overlooked and underappreciated. Sisters will have the opportunity to help clean up campus 18
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Alpha Delta with Alpha Epsilon and Epsilon at banquet
Alpha Beta sisters Kala Thomas and Yasmin Glover
ALPHA BETA University of Mississippi — Oxford, MS Founded in 2003 15 Actives / 10 Pledges Rush Theme: Carnival Fall Service: More Than a Meal, Leapfrog, GED Program
ALPHA EPSILON Southeastern Louisiana University — Hammond, LA Founded in 2006 ALPHA ZETA Kennesaw State University — Kennesaw, GA Founded October 15, 2006 29 Actives / 29 Pledges Rush Theme: Carnival — Set up a tent with popcorn, animal crackers, cotton candy as well as
CHAPTER REPORTS Hiked Mt. Nittany with Sigma Nu Fraternity where we cleaned and helped widen the trails.
Alpha Zeta receives Chapter Development Award
large stuffed animals and plenty of balloons Fall Service: Light the Night — a walk to “take steps to cure cancer” in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. Books for Africa — collecting textbooks and any other reading material for ages pre-K through college, we help sort books and ship to Africa to kids that don’t have any books. Side by Side — supports families with children with cancer, will visit kids in the hospital and host a game night.
Alpha Eta Fall 2014
ALPHA ETA University of South Carolina at Aiken — Aiken, SC Founded March 31, 2009 8 Actives / 3 Pledges Rush Theme: OPA Goes Back to the 90’s Fall Service: Breast Cancer Walk in honor of our sister Yukia Gibson who is battling Breast and Bone Cancer, Biggest Loser for our President’s Project, and cleaning out our storage unit. Fact: The majority of our sisters have a deep obsession with Frozen. Our founding mothers’ pledge class was our largest with 29 members.
Alpha Lambda delegates at Convention
Alpha Iota 2014 Active Retreat
ALPHA IOTA Notre Dame of Maryland University — Baltimore, MD Founded in January 2009 40 Actives and 2 LOAs studying abroad / 10 Pledges Rush Theme: O-Phi-A & Co. inspired by Tiffany & Co. Fall Service: Threads of Hope for Philippines, Sister Yoga, Soup Kitchen and Birthday Cards for Hospitalized Children, Student/Professor Appreciation And SSND Letters, Alzheimer’s Walk, Secret Sister and Do-it-Yourself Sessions Fact: We are the only sorority chartered on our campus and make up roughly 10% of the Women’s College at Notre Dame of Maryland University.
ALPHA LAMBDA North Carolina State University — Raleigh, NC Founded April 10, 2010 28 Actives / Rush: September 14-21 Sugar Rush: How Sweet it is to be in OPhiA Fall Service: Miracle League, Shack-A-Thon, Trip to Nursing Home
lpha Nu receives National Membership Award
ALPHA NU Texas State University — San Marcos, TX Founded January 19, 2013
Alpha Kappa Fall 2014
Alpha Theta sisters Layla Seward and Gillian Cedrone
ALPHA THETA Pennsylvania State University — Park, PA Founded June 6, 2006 54 Actives / 16 Pledges Rush Theme: Under the Sea with OPhiA Fall Service: Hosting Alzheimer’s walk Oct. 11: participating in Jared Box Project to lift children’s spirits who are in the hospital; Hosting two Blood Drives through the American Cancer Society.
ALPHA KAPPA University of Kansas — Lawrence, KS Founded February 27, 2010 38 Actives / 27 Pledges Rush Theme: Woodstock Fall Service: Packaging more than 7,000 meals with Something to Eat for crisis victims; Promoting a healthy lifestyle for children through Hawks, Cops, and Kids; Setting up and acting in the Tunnel of Oppression at UK to help people of privilege understand oppression; Putting together Birthday Bags for children in the community who have a Court Appointed Special Advocate. Fact: We raised our chapter’s service hours requirement this semester. It was a unanimous vote!
Alpha Xi delegates Ashley Estimable and Haley McConnell
ALPHA XI University of Central Florida — Orlando, FL Founded March 15, 2014 The newest chapter was welcomed to Convention 2014 with a Disney princess cake. VP Communications Lynn Andrews and VP Finance Leann Williams also presented a gift to Alpha Xi a chapter gavel. FALL 2014
OMEGA PHI ALPHA NATIONAL SERVICE SORORITY National Office PO Box 955 East Lyme, CT 06333 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED