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Triangle of Sigma Sigma Sigma Fall 2009

This issue:

Finding your True North

New AFA President FindingYour True North

Convention 2010

Recruitment Success


Epsilon Phi

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SSS Kelly Jo Karnes

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009


from the president

Let’s Talk


Convention 2010: Mark Your Calendars! Annual Event Set for July 9-12 in Minneapolis

Laura Ward Sweet Alpha Sigma | National President

Sigma Sisters will gather from the north, south, east and west at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel, Minneapolis South, which is located just outside of Minneapolis, MN. The theme is Finding Your True North, making the location we are headed especially fitting. There is joy when alumnae and collegiate Sisters from across the country come together to celebrate Tri Sigma. There are those Sisters who meet regularly at Convention, and there are Sisters who arrive with this being their first Sigma meeting. Within minutes all are connected and the miles between each disappear as participants begin to explore our shared “True North.” The Convention theme of Finding Your True North has been derived from the work of Harvard management professor Bill George. In his book “True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership,” George writes, “Just as a compass points toward a magnetic field, your True North pulls you toward the purpose of your leadership… Although others may guide or influence you, your truth is derived from your life story and only you can determine what it should be.” I am struck by how similar this passage is to parts of our Ritual that were authored more than 100 years ago. It is appropriate that Convention also serves as a celebration of our founders and all of the empowered women who have led us to being the progressive organization we are today. During Convention, you will hear many “True North” stories from our Sisters and our distinguished guests, including Ann Bancroft, one of the world’s preeminent polar explorers and an internationally recognized leader dedicated to inspiring women to unleash the power of their dreams. You will be given the opportunity to explore your


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009

own authentic leadership through an outstanding series of educational programs. You will be able to reconnect with your True North as a Tri Sigma by participating in The Triangle and Circle Degrees, and many other celebrations of friendship, character and conduct. Convention will be about sorority legislation. Tri Sigma bylaws state: “Article V, Government, A- Convention, Section 1. The supreme governing body of Sigma Sigma Sigma shall be the National Convention.” To be sure, those attending Convention create Sigma history! There is no greater responsibility or deeper honor. The 2010 Convention body will deliberate on changing the volunteer and elected structure of the sorority, perhaps one of the most significant operational changes our Sorority has experienced in more than a century. Delegates will elect a new Executive Council, leaders who will set the vision for the next triennium and guide our strategic initiatives. The words from our Ritual, “Ponder well your responsibility,” were meant for moments like this. Convention will be about educational programs. Alumnae and collegiate chapter officers will be able to learn the why and how of our policies and procedures. Volunteers will participate in a special Summit meant to inspire and motivate our activities and help us recommit to our role in leading the Sorority. Convention attendees get a first glimpse of the outstanding programs being launched for 2010 and beyond. Many Sisters have worked tirelessly over the triennium to revolutionize

our leadership development programs. By coming to Convention, you will be afforded a glimpse of these programs and realize how they will impact your chapter and the future of Tri Sigma. Convention is about putting faces with the names we learn as new members, see on the Web site or read about in The Triangle and the Century of Sisterhood. Our amazing staff will be interacting in programs and afterhour events. Participants will become engaged with National Officers and alumnae advisor volunteers as we discuss and set the course for the next decade. At the end of Convention, the new Executive Council will be elected and installed. Awards will be distributed at The Laurels Banquet, and our Festival of Lights Banquet is always very special, sentimental and memorable as we recognize members from every chapter. What an exciting time for all! Make sure you are a part of every moment. Each alumnae and collegiate chapter sends one delegate, but the more who attend, the easier it is to bring the Convention experience back to the chapter members. I have never met anyone who did not believe attending Convention was one of the high points of her Sigma experience. I look forward to welcoming back our returning Conventioneers and saying hello to all those making their first excursion. Bring your camera…bring your shopping money for the Mall of America…bring your friends…be ready for the trip of a lifetime!

Your Voice

Share your thoughts on The Triangle

One of our goals in publishing The Triangle is to open a dialogue between Sigma Sisters from across the country. We want to share stories about accomplishments, members, events and all that is happening in the world of Tri Sigma. And when we have asked for your contributions through submissions and providing us tips on interesting and inspiring stories, you have been more than willing to share. Truly, the interaction we enjoy with our readership contributes greatly to shaping The Triangle. And with this issue of The Triangle, we are taking that interaction a step further with the introduction of the “Your Voice” column. This column will feature feedback from readers on topics of interest from past issues. If a story touches you – whether in a positive or not-so-positive way – we encourage you to share your thoughts with fellow readers. You may submit letters to “Your Voice” by emailing Please remember to include your name, chapter, email address and phone number in your correspondence. Because we have a limited amount of space, letters to “Your Voice” should be about 200 words in length. We will print a cross-section of letters each issue. Continue to dialogue and share your voice today.

Dear Sisters of Alpha Upsilon, I am Megan Canny an Alumnae of Epsilon Rho chapter of Tri Sigma at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I too have fought an eating disorder for most of my life. I was inspired by your work to increase awareness of eating disorders that I read about in The Triangle. In my last year at Mankato I started a plan for a non profit to support those with eating disorders and their families. This nonprofit was to provide money for care for those who needed, scholarships for those who are going to school to treat eating disorders, support and education for the families with loved ones battling an eating disorder,

as well as preventive education in schools. I wanted this nonprofit to provide want I thought the national eating disorder org was not, something more personal. My plans had to be put on hold due to my health, but I am more determined than ever to make this nonprofit come to be. Your work makes me very proud to call you my sisters. Your actions are truly supporting your sister Leslie George as well as Sigmas and other men and women all over. Thank you very much.

In our bonds. Sigma love and mine, Megan Canny

Design & Editing Innova Ideas & Services

Executive Council 2007–2010

Alumnae Editor

National President Laura Ward Sweet, Alpha Sigma

Katie Wadington, Epsilon Xi

Collegiate Editor Jackie Wise, Alpha Chi Features Editor

Hillary Ashton, Zeta Beta

Copy Editors

Katie Wadington, Epsilon Xi Jocelyn Harper, Alpha Beta

Executive Director Marcia Cutter, Beta Gamma Sigma Sigma Sigma 225 North Muhlenberg Street Woodstock, VA 22664-1424 p 540.459.4212 | f 540.459.2361 E-mail:

National Treasurer Barbara Stoe Stone, Beta Tau Alumnae Vice President Mandy Meehan Chocheles, Gamma Eta Collegiate Vice President Emily Eure Ellis, Gamma Beta Membership Development Vice President Bethany A. Deines, Beta Kappa Publications Vice President Allison Swick-Duttine, Psi National Panhellenic Conference Delegate Reatha Cole Cox, Alpha Zeta


Triangle Volume 9, Number 3

Features: 16 When Passion Meets Purpose 18 Destination Alaska 20 Kelly Jo Karnes: New AFA President

Departments: 4 Empowered Women 6 Inside Sigma Sigma Sigma 14 Housing 15 Our Leadership 22 Our Collegians 34 Our Alumnae 38 Our Foundation 40 Omega Chapter

Changes of names and addresses and death notices should be sent to National Headquarters, 225 North Muhlenberg Street, Woodstock, VA 22664-1424. Postmaster: Please send notices of undeliverable copies on Form 3579 to Sigma Sigma Sigma, 225 North Muhlenberg Street, Woodstock, VA 22664-1424. The Triangle of Sigma Sigma Sigma is published two times a year by Sigma Sigma Sigma, 225 North Muhlenberg Street, Woodstock, VA 22664-1424. Payment of membership dues includes $2 toward the cost of The Triangle subscription. Articles are invited for publication in this magazine. Manuscripts should be submitted to the Editor for consideration. Acceptances are on a contributing basis only and are subject to editorial review. All copies and photos become the property of Sigma Sigma Sigma. Member of National Panhellenic Conference and FraternityT Communications h e T r i Association. angle © 2009 Sigma Sigma Sigma

| Fall 2009


empowered women

Impacting the World byVolunteering Locally Sherri Varsek Ballard, Alpha Nu As Vice President of her alumnae chapter, Lichtenegger’s goal is to help women connect with one another.


Brenda Christie Lichtenegger serves as Chapter Advisor of Alpha Iota and Alumnae Vice President of the Tulsa Alumnae Chapter.

As many of our Sisters do, Brenda Christie Lichtenegger, Alpha Iota, credits her experiences in Tri Sigma with inspiring her to help others. Volunteer hours were not stressed as part of her high school experience. Her family did not model volunteerism. It was her experience as a collegiate member at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma that helped her understand the impact one person can make in the lives of others. Volunteering is something she continues to do today with a passion. Living in Tulsa, OK, with her husband John, Brenda continues to give back to Tri Sigma by serving as Chapter Advisor of Alpha Iota and Alumnae Vice President of the Tulsa Alumnae Chapter. Professionally, she is an attorney who has reached out to help others in her community by performing pro bono work. She also supports her local Make-A-Wish® chapter as an event volunteer. As Vice President of her alumnae chapter, Brenda’s goal is to help women connect with one another. She not only enjoys meeting new people, she enjoys introducing them to one another. For Brenda, the networking possibilities Tri Sigma offers are inspiring. She asks, “Why stay friends with those three or four Sisters from college, when you can be connected to 200 women across the nation?”


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009

As a Chapter Advisor, Brenda hopes to foster a safe environment for collegiate members to blossom into women. She admits it can be frustrating watching new officers struggle while making the same mistakes others did before them. She works patiently with them as a guide and mentor. For her, the reward is seeing them learn from their mistakes. Brenda has also been doing her part to inspire other attorneys to perform pro bono work. As an adjunct professor at Tulsa University Law School, she encouraged her students to seek out ways to serve others. One student started a food bank; while that may not be legal work, it is about making the community a better place. In her work at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services in the Child Support Division, her options to do pro bono work for others are limited because of potential conflict of interest. In the past, she has helped with adoptions for children who were in state custody or no-contest divorces for people who may not have been able to afford them on their own. She sees this as her way of using her talents to help others who may not be able to afford legal assistance. Brenda continues to support her community by helping with local Make-A-Wish events. Although she is not a fully trained volunteer, she gives her time when she is available. She has taken kids on stage with Reba McEntire. Most recently, she was able to take a group of children and their families to a Blue Angels performance where they met the pilots. Brenda explains that, “It is about taking kids’ minds off whatever is going on with them.” She enjoys the one-onone connections she is able to make with them at events. Brenda’s philosophy is, “The world is a much bigger place than you think it is and you should make it a better place.” She says she believes everyone has the responsibility to do their small part. With her compassion and enthusiasm, the world truly is a better place!

Connecting to Others Through Volunteering


Sherri Varsek Ballard, Alpha Nu For Ballard, it is important that women have strong role models and mentors available to them. Sherri Varsek Ballard, Alpha Nu, sees her life as living proof that those who give much receive much. From Tri Sigma to Girl Scouts and the Zacharias Center Against Sexual Abuse, she is focused on the people who have touched her life. In Tri Sigma, Sherri is always looking for the next great adventure. As Chapter Advisor for Alpha Nu, she worked closely with the collegiate members. “Sometimes I think they inspired me more than I inspired them,” she says. Now volunteering as a Regional Support Team Member, Sherri enjoys encouraging her AAB members to develop those relationships. For her, it is important women have strong role models and mentors available to them. Sherri believes in signs. It was a sign that brought her to the Zacharias Center Against Sexual Abuse. Driving home from work one day, she saw a sign recruiting volunteers, and the cause was something she felt pulled to. As a Medical Advocate, Sherri responds to calls to provide crisis support at area hospitals. When someone comes to the emergency room after sexual assault, the support can range from explaining the services the Zacharias Center can provide to answering questions and helping family members begin to process what has happened. Since immersing herself in the Zacharias Center, she has become involved in other aspects of volunteerism. She is in her third year of co-chairing a fundraising event called Women Helping Women for the Zacharias Center. This annual event is attended by nearly 600 guests and includes a guest speaker and silent auction. Sherri also mentors a teen group called Youth Allies CARE (Creating a Rape-Free Environment). When she joined the Northern Illinois Lakes Alumnae Chapter, Sherri met many Sisters who would make a great impact on her life. For example, Jessica Thompson Szatkowski, Alpha Beta, now co-leads a Daisy Girl Scout troop with Sherri.

Sherri Varsek Ballard, Alpha Nu, offers her time and talent to serve Tri Sigma, Girl Scouts and those impacted by sexual abuse.

Becoming a Girl Scout leader was an opportunity to spend time with her daughter and her friends. And her connections with other leaders helped her find a job. Sherri says, “Another leader knew I was looking for a job. From her recommendation I was able to become the substitute teacher in my daughter’s school.” Many people wonder how Sherri finds the time to continue volunteering while obtaining her Master’s degree in education. Sherri agrees that you have to make adjustments, and her daughter has always helped out. “Sydney loves spending time with Sigma women,” Sherri explains. “She’s grown up stuffing envelopes and setting up tables for fundraising events.” Sherry says that If you are doing something you are passionate about, your life will adjust itself. “When you have less time, you waste less time,” she says. “Whatever you choose to do, it is important to find a group you enjoy being with.” T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009


inside sigma sigma sigma

0 1 0 2 n o i t n atConve

FindYour True North Bring your shopping shoes.

The Twin Cities Alumnae Chapter welcomes Sigma Sisters near and far to experience something more than awesome skiing, world-renowned shopping and the peace and serenity that can only be found in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. We invite you to join us in Finding Your True North in beautiful Minneapolis, MN. Sigma Sisters will gather July 9-12, 2010, at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel – Minneapolis South for a Convention filled with Sisterhood and memories to last a lifetime. Located in the heart of Bloomington, the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel – Minneapolis South is a 10-minute drive from Minneapolis / St. Paul International Airport and the worldrenowned Mall of America. There is free parking at the Convention hotel available to all Sigmas. After a full day of Sisterhood and educational sessions, ease your tensions in the Sheraton’s state-ofthe-art fitness center with all new workout equipment. Or perhaps you may even get an the urge to swim a few laps in the heated indoor pool, or just relax in the sauna or indoor whirlpool.


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009

As one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations, the Mall of America features something for everyone – 520 stores, 50 restaurants and the nation’s largest indoor theme park – Nickelodeon Universe and the Underwater Adventures Aquarium, where you get up close and personal with stingrays, sharks and other sea creatures. However, if the more daring side of you still needs a bit more persuasion to tackle the MOA while on break at Convention, perhaps a coaxing with no sales tax on clothing or shoes will.

For the cultural arts lovers, there is something to admire… In the past few years, Minneapolis has experienced unprecedented growth in its already rich cultural landscape. USA Today, New York Times, Time, Newsweek and Travel + Leisure rave about Minneapolis’ booming arts scene, enhanced by $500 million in new arts infrastructure. The Walker Art Center, designed by international architects, has doubled in size with a recent expansion, and houses a newly-appointed restaurant inspired by world-famous chef Wolfgang Puck, equipped with a performance space. It also offers galleries for its contemporary collection. The Guthrie Theater has a spectacular new threetheater complex on the Mississippi

Riverfront, making it not only a destination for shows, but one to eat, shop and simply enjoy the views. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is known as one of the country’s best comprehensive museums where attendees enjoy art that spans centuries in a newlyexpanded building. Minneapolis is a theatre town. With more theater seats per capita than anywhere but New York, Minneapolis boasts more than 30 venues and nearly 100 theater groups. Only Chicago can claim as many Tony Award-winning theaters as Minneapolis. The Children’s Theatre Company and Theatre de la Jeune Lune – both earned Tonys in the last few years. The Guthrie was our first in 1981. The ties Sigmas have to Minneapolis may be surprising. From the breakfast table to inspiring refrigerator poetry, many of the products Sigmas consume every day have their roots grounded right here in Minneapolis /St. Paul, including: • Aveda beauty and wellness products • Caribou Coffee • Dairy Queen® ice cream treats • Magnetic Poetry • Post-it® notes • Rollerblades® • Sandpaper • Scotch® Tape …Just to name a few.

What makes Minneapolis / St. Paul a uniquely different Tri Sigma Convention city? • Experience what it means to be “Minnesota nice”; • Recently named the “Most Fun City in America”; • Named the “3rd-fittest city in the nation” by Men’s Fitness magazine in January 2009; • A multitude of golf courses (there are more golfers per capita here than in any other city); • More theater seats per capita than anywhere outside New York; • Voted by the AARP as the 8th “Healthiest City” in the Nation; • Forbes magazine rated Minneapolis as the 4th “Best City for Couples”; • Travel + Leisure/AOL readers’ poll ranked the city as the “fourth best place in the country to shop”; • Forbes Magazine named Minneapolis the fifth cleanest city in the world in 2007; • Minneapolis was ranked 2nd- best in the nation for recycling in a national survey by BioCycle magazine and Columbia University’s Earth Engineering.

For more information, call (888) 676-MPLS or visit the website at The City of Minneapolis is now on Facebook: search under “Meet Minneapolis” for more intriguing photos and information about this beautiful city.

Sigmas gather in front of the altar at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans during the Sigma Sisters Getaway weekend in July.

Sigma Sisters Getaway Those who have attended Tri Sigma’s triennial Conventions know there are many special moments included in those busy, congenial, sleep-deprived days. But there is not always time to actually relax, tour the city where the Convention is being held, and spend some lazy time with Sigma Sisters. And who wants to wait three years before seeing friends again? Thus, the idea of a Sigma Sisters Getaway was conceived: a casual gathering of alumnae Sisters, in a location that offers sightseeing, shopping, good food, and time to enjoy one another. Mandy Meehan Chocheles, Gamma Eta, took on the assignment of arranging the first Sigma Getaway. Living near New Orleans, she knew the downtown area in this interesting city offered easy access to sightseeing, great food, multiple shopping opportunities, tours to nearby plantations, and even boat cruises on the Mississippi. The midsummer dates proved perfect for taking advantage of excellent rates at hotels. The Country Inn and Suites, a smaller hotel close to the French Quarter, welcomed the Sigma alumnae, who came from Michigan, North Carolina, Illinois, New Jersey, and Florida; alumnae from the New Orleans area also attended, and enjoyed playing tourist in their own city. Several alumnae brought family members and friends with them as well. A highlight of the Getaway occurred thanks to Ann Williams, Gamma Eta and Past National President, who is member of the New Orleans Alumnae chapter. Having retired from teaching after 39 years, Ann is now a docent at the St. Louis Cathedral and at one of the historic homes in the French Quarter, the Hermann-Grima House. She used her tour guide experience to give Getaway attendees fascinating tours of both sites. It was truly an inspiring insight into the history and culture of New Orleans. The Sigma Sisters Getaway was enjoyed by all who attended. It was agreed this event should be continued in the future; some ideas discussed were to have the next Getaway near a beach, or in a different city in another part of the country, or possibly on a cruise. Since Convention will be in Minneapolis in 2010, the next Getaway will likely be held in 2011. Start thinking now where you might like to get away with your Sigma Sisters. T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009


inside sigma sigma sigma

Scholarship Ring Recipients 2008-2009 Megan Marie Anderson Beta Xi Southeast Missouri State University Lindsey Ann Avitt Alpha Epsilon Northwest Missouri State University Elise Marie Bailey Mu Truman State University Ellen Webster Beane Alpha Upsilon James Madison University Carolyn Mary Bernard Alpha Zeta Northwestern State University

Lauren Gesslein Eta Kappa Texas Woman’s University

Whitney Lynn Mixon Alpha Zeta Northwestern State University

Eileen Marie De La Cruz Zeta Pi Virginia Wesleyan College

Viviane Anna Grisoli Gamma Mu Southeastern Louisiana University

Jessica Marie Morgan Eta Pi Metro State College

Caitlin Ann Deming Epsilon Phi University of North CarolinaWilmington

Emilie Mae Hannon Omicron Eastern Michigan University

Trisha Lynn Myers Mu Truman State University

Sarah JoAnn Hazi Epsilon Delta Gannon University

Lori Michelle Nelson Gamma Mu Southeastern Louisina University

Sarah Marie Hildebrand Eta Nu Ramapo College of New Jersey

Sara Margaret Oakland Beta Epsilon Western Illinois University

Megan E. Hudelson Alpha Chi Murray State University

Valerie Lynne Sager Epsilon Chi Northeastern University

Abby Marie Huhtala Epsilon Chi Northeastern University

Kristin M. Schnell Epsilon Eta East Stroudsburg University

Sara Nicole Hyatt Eta Beta Newberry College

Katelyn B. Schrandt Epsilon Kappa University of Wisconsin– Oshkosh

Leanna Palma Derrick Epsilon Delta Gannon University Elizabeth Frances Dewhurst Delta Upsilon Widener University

Monica Lee Blodgett Chi Pittsburg State University

Jennifer Ann Dooley Epsilon Rho Minnesota State University – Mankato

Elizabeth Ashley Bonanno Mu Truman State University

Sarah M. Dotta Zeta Eta Winona State University

Alison M. Boyle Epsilon Upsilon Marist College

Heather Marie Drebitko Delta Upsilon Widener University

Kay Lindsey Bruemmer Mu Truman State University

Christine Joy Duchouquette Epsilon Iota St. Mary’s University

Anita Lynn Bulcher Eta Beta Newberry College

Hannah Kate Dunn Epsilon Delta Gannon University

Jessica Lynn Burchfield Eta Kappa Texas Woman’s University

Susan Rebecca Eberly Mu Truman State University

Katelyn Leigh Burton Chi Pittsburg State University

Karin Lindsay Edenfield Eta Rho Armstrong Atlantic State University

Tiffany Marie Caisse Epsilon Sigma Virginia Commonwealth University Haley Elise Chambliss Alpha Zeta Northwestern State University Leah Erin Christy Epsilon Delta Gannon University Mary Elizabeth Cristina Gamma Mu Southeastern Louisina University


Nicole Leigh Dalsimer Epsilon Upsilon Marist College

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Kimberly Ann Fahle Zeta Pi Virginia Wesleyan College Amy Elizabeth Faiola Alpha Pi Clarion University of Pennsylvania Jessica Elizabeth Fazzie Beta Theta University of Pittsburgh Valerie Michelle Fedon Zeta Theta Idaho State University

Mary Ruth Gentry Eta Rho Armstrong Atlantic State University

Jessica Ann Sheerer Lambda Indiana University of PA

Lauren Marie LaCute Epsilon Delta Gannon University

Samantha Jo Travis Alpha Chi Murray State University

Jessica Mary La Rosa Epsilon Chi Northeastern University

Hattie Jo Vaughn Alpha Zeta Northwestern State University

Rachel Marie Latz Epsilon Omicron Illinois State University

Kayla Nichole Warner Alpha Epsilon, Northwest Missouri State University

Ashlyn Elise Ludwig Gamma Mu Southeastern Louisiana University

Holly Amanda Wasson Beta Xi Southeast Missouri State University

Julie Ann Maggioncalda Zeta Pi Virginia Wesleyan College Christa Leeann McAlpin Alpha Zeta Northwestern State University Emily Jo McCormick Alpha Pi Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Brittany Leigh Watson, Chi Pittsburg State University Kaitlyn Elizabeth Weitz Epsilon Delta Gannon University Chantel Nicole Wetzel Gamma Mu Southeastern Louisiana University

Tri Sigma Award Winners Named ALUMNAE

Individual Awards Steadfast Alumna Citation Caroljoan (Cj) Donovan, Beta Lambda, Long Beach Emily Gates Alumna Achievement Karen Leo, Omicron, Western WayneWashtenaw

Excellence in Overall Programming Denver

Outstanding Senior of the Area Area I: Lauren Harper, Eta Upsilon

Outstanding Single Program Nashville

Area III: Eileen De La Cruz, Zeta Pi Area V: Leigh Buttrick, Alpha Chi Area VI: Jessica Tloczynski, Alpha Pi

Sisterhood Award for Alumnae Chapter in a College Town Piedmont Triad

Alumna Recognition

Sisterhood Award for Alumnae not in a College Town San Francisco – East Bay

Raquel Bishop Delta Zeta, Northern Virginia

Website of the Year San Francisco – East Bay

Lisa Collins Chi, Wichita

Honor Roll Alumnae Chapters Region 3: Metro Detroit, Milwaukee, Omaha-Council Bluffs, Western Wayne-Washtenaw Region 5: Harrisburg, Nashville, Piedmont Triad Region 6: Columbia, Greater Cincinnati, Indianapolis Suburban, Toledo Area Region 7: Central Florida, Daytona Beach Area, Lakeland-Winter Haven, Pinellas County, Sarasota/Manatee Counties Region 9: Denver, Greater St. Louis, Tulsa Region 10: Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Northshore LA, Phoenix, Shreveport, Tucson Sunshine Region 12: Anchorage, Inland Empire, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco – East Bay, San Jose Peninsula, Seattle, Wichita

Susan Dean Beta Kappa, Inland Empire Karen Feger Omicron, Western Wayne-Washtenaw Lynn Harrington Iota, Denver Jane New Kappa, Nashville Frances Redmon Alpha Nu, Northern Virginia Jane Seiboldt Beta Mu, Dallas Melinda Sigal Beta Phi, Northern Virginia Pauline Stewart Alpha Gamma, Denver Outstanding Alumna of the Area Area I: Kim Kokko Davids, Omicron, Western Wayne-Washtenaw

Chapter Awards Alumnae Chapter of the Year Denver Member Recruitment Western Wayne-Washtenaw Member Recruitment Recognition Eastern North Carolina, Metro Washington


Outstanding Advisor of the Area Area III: Tracy Mitchell, Gamma Xi

Chapter Awards Chapter of the Year Beta Delta Jane E. Kinderman Standards of Efficiency Alpha Upsilon Outstanding Achievement in Standards of Efficiency Lambda, Alpha Upsilon, Alpha Phi, Beta Alpha, Beta Delta, Beta Xi, Gamma Xi, Gamma Phi, Delta Beta, Delta Delta, Delta Omicron, Delta Chi, Epsilon Delta, Epsilon Mu, Zeta Alpha, Zeta Theta, Zeta Kappa, Zeta Omicron, Eta Beta, Eta Theta, Eta Nu, Eta Sigma, Eta Upsilon Outstanding Recruitment Program Epsilon Nu Commitment to Excellence Epsilon Chi Member Development & Educational Programming Chi Horizons Programming Award Alpha Psi Panhellenic with 5 or fewer groups Eta Nu

Individual Awards

Panhellenic with 6 or more groups Psi

Margaret Freeman Everett Outstanding Senior Lindsay Maggio, Alpha Zeta

Greek Advisor of the Year Lauren Moran, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Eta Tau

Outstanding Member of the Area Area I: Desiree Paulhamus, Alpha Omicron Area III: Samantha Straube, Zeta Lambda Area V: Jennifer Mottar, Alpha Psi Area VI: Megan Buckley, Beta Alpha

Ritual and Values Programming Alpha Iota Website of the Year Beta Pi Alumnae Advisory Board of the Year Delta Delta T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009


inside sigma sigma sigma

Digging Deeper into Sorority Life


Results of the Fraternity/Sorority Experience Survey

Kaye Schendel, Gamma Phi, Coordinator of Programs and Research Chris Smithhisler, Iota Alpha, Director of Programs Tri Sigma is again making history! In the fall of 2008, Tri Sigma became the first national sorority to conduct an assessment of its undergraduate membership. Sigma partnered with the Center for the Study of the College Fraternity (CSCF) to administer the Fraternity/ Sorority Experience Survey (FSES). “Tri Sigma is leading the way in becoming a true educational partner with colleges and universities through assessment,” says Steve Veldkamp, CSCF Executive Director. The FSES, formerly called the Greek Student Experience Survey, was originally developed in 1986 at the University of Minnesota and has been noted as the premiere assessment tool for the University President’s Call for Values Congruence. The FSES is a 12-part survey that assesses fraternity and sorority student experiences and a wide range of learning outcomes. The survey includes sections on student demographic information, early sorority experiences, chapter housing facility, gaining new members, new


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009

membership intake process, chapter affairs, chapter advising, personal involvement, academics, personal growth and development, and alcohol. The survey was administered online over a period of three weeks in late October and early November 2008. Sigma Sigma Sigma had an overall participation of 2,138 collegians. We learned some interesting things about our collegiate chapters. The information below represents a small fraction of the data, and was selected on the basis of what appears, in our opinion, to be of interest to our membership. Background Information A total of 2,138 members of Sigma Sigma Sigma participated in the Fraternity/Sorority Experience Survey. Of those: • 99.1% identified as female • 0.9% identified as transgendered or ‘other’ Of particular note is that: • 62.6% stated that while academic work and progress are important, they believe an equally significant part of their college experience exists outside the classroom

Perceptions Prior to Joining The survey asks a number of questions related to why women join Tri Sigma. The most commonly cited reasons for joining Tri Sigma were: 1. Friendship 2. Opportunities for Involvement 3. Opportunities for Leadership Development The most commonly held concerns prior to joining were: 1. Financial 2. Academic New Members One purpose of the survey was to gain insight into what members are learning as part of the new member program. We learned that: • 94.9% cited Sisterhood as the major thing that has aided their chapter in successfully gaining new members • 97.6% cited ideals/values/ principles as something learned during their membership in their chapter • 7.2% indicated that their mem- bership had failed in helping them learn more about integrating the purpose of their organization

• 39.3% stated that they had participated in activities during the new member/intake process that could be deemed inappropriate Chapter Operations The five most commonly cited chapter problems were: 1. Getting members to share chapter work 2. Having active alumnae 3. Getting members to pay chapter bills 4. Keeping upperclassmen involved 5. Maintaining member support of officers • 9.6% believed their chapter spent too much time on meetings, while 49.7% did not believe that the chapter spent enough time on alumnae activities • 64.2% felt that their alumnae advisors were very involved with chapter advising compared with 29.1% who felt that their faculty/ staff advisors were very involved with chapter advising Personal Involvement The survey asks a number of questions about how involved the member is in chapter activities, leadership roles, volunteer experiences, and involvement in groups other than Tri Sigma. The survey found that during this academic year, 25.7% volunteered more than 10 hours per month in service to others, while 44.2% volunteered fewer than five hours per month in service to others. The most commonly referenced venues for active involvement outside of the chapter were: 1. Academic (major) organization 2. Intramural or Club Sports 3. Honorary Societies Intellectual Development Intellectual development simply refers to the growth of individuals in such a way that they become

more capable of understanding, analyzing and evaluating concepts to make sense out of the world around them. There were questions in this section of the survey that related to scholarship and academic achievement. We learned that: • The perceived most effective academic support mechanisms were wireless connectivity and having a chapter officer dedicated to academics, while chapter owned computers and study/test files were perceived as being ineffective • 58.7% regularly engaged in discussions regarding major social issues and 53.5% regularly worked on class assignments/ projects together • Overall, 33% believed their sorority experience had a positive effect on their grades Personal Growth Seventeen questions were asked about the effect the individual’s membership in Tri Sigma had on personal growth and development. In this section we learned that: • 89.3% reported that their sorority experience had a positive effect on leadership abilities • 88.1% reported that their sorority experience had a positive effect on their sense of involvement serving the community • 86% reported that their sorority experience had a positive effect on decision-making • 2.3% indicated that their sorority experience had a negative effect on interpersonal development • 2.1% reported that their sorority experience had a negative effect on interpersonal competence Alcohol The FSES asks several questions related to alcohol and other drugs. Here are some examples of what our membership reported:

• The average reported number of drinks consumed per week was 4.4 During the past 30 days: • 41.8% of our membership reported that they drank non alcoholic beverages when alcohol was being served, three or more times • 38.1% reported that they refused an offer of alcohol, three or more times • 28.8% reported that they set a limit on how much they were going to drink, three or more times • 4.6% reported that their chapter’s alcohol policies were not enforced • 11.4% agreed that there was a lot of pressure for them to drink in the Greek Community The information shared in this article is but a fraction of the information we collected. Individual chapter analyses are being shared with Chapter Services staff, Regional Support Team members and Chapter Advisory Boards. In addition, the Programming Team is using this information to develop current, relevant programming for our undergraduate members. In addition, after reviewing the data, Executive Council voted to create two task forces to look at learning and academics, mentoring and career preparation.

If you want to learn more about the study or have a specific question, please feel free to contact Kaye Schendel at or Chris Smithhisler at

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009


inside sigma sigma sigma

Epsilon Phi:

A Case Study on Recruitment Success Sarah Lively, Alpha Alpha The key to any chapter’s recruitment success is to identify strengths and weaknesses, play up those strengths and work on improving the weaknesses. When you mention the word “recruitment” to any Tri Sigma, you usually get one of two responses: “Oh, I love participating in recruitment and encouraging women to join Tri Sigma! Recruitment is one of my chapter’s strengths and we always do a great job at it;” or “Recruitment? Yeah, we do it because we have to but it’s my least favorite thing about being in a sorority. Conversations are forced, everyone is fake and I’d rather write five English papers than participate in one recruitment event. But as a Tri Sigma, it’s something we have to do – the future of our chapter depends on it, right?” Ideally every woman, whether collegiate or alumna, would think of recruitment fondly. Unfortunately, recruiting women to join our organization is something that doesn’t come easily, and can be a real struggle. The key to any chapter’s recruitment success is to identify your strengths and weaknesses, play up those strengths and work on improving the weaknesses. The Epsilon Phi chapter at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington did just that, and that chapter’s story of how members went from so-so recruiters to recruitment rock stars is one each of us can learn from. Of course, this success didn’t happen overnight and wasn’t the work of one person; it involved a number of dedicated Sigmas over the course of a few years to get


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the chapter to where it is today. One Sigma who played an important role in the process was Amy JohnstonWard, Epsilon Nu, who was the chapter’s Collegiate Coordinator from fall 2003 to spring 2006. Amy worked with the chapter to identify where their recruitment efforts needed focus and found it came down to two words — attitude and practice. Since Epsilon Phi was one of the smallest chapters on campus, members were used to finishing behind the other chapters in things like recruitment, Greek Week, etc. Amy found they were a great group of women who just needed a boost of confidence. “Together we made a list of goals, and when we made the plan to achieve these goals the chapter realized they could be like all the other groups on campus that made quota every year,” Amy says. Amy made a number of chapter visits for recruitment training and focused on things like conversation skills and determining the “brand” of member they wanted. At this point, she knew the chapter members had all the tools they needed and it was now time to practice putting those tools to work. She says “Once Epsilon Phi made formal recruitment success a top priority by programming weekly and monthly recruitment practices, recruitment became a way of life….and they were GOOD at it!” As with anything we try to learn in life, practice makes perfect. Once the Epsilon Phi women realized this

ter’s 2008 Membership Recruitment Director, the chapter goal this year focused on the “…important qualities we think should embody every Sigma or potential Sigma” and not the number of women they needed to acquire. The chapter created a list and hung it up at every workshop so the women would be reminded what they wanted. They also made sure to enjoy recruitment instead of getting caught up in the stress of it, and they implemented bump groups for the first time which allowed for more meaningful conversations between chapter members and PNMs.”

is especially true when it comes to recruitment, they started to see their “luck” with PNMs start to change. Another major player in Epsilon Phi’s recruitment success was Paula Underwood. Paula was an Epsilon Nu collegian from 1994-98 and has served as the Chapter Advisor for the past four years. Paula attributes some of the chapter’s recruitment upswing to the fact that UNCW started using the Release Figures Method about three years ago. She says “that has made all the difference in the world.” She also identified three main changes in their recruitment strategy that seemed to have a positive impact: • For its second round of formal recruitment, the chapter started using the “speed dating” technique. Paula said, “With speed dating, the PNMs got to see a lot of the personalities that make up our extremely diverse chapter. We get rave reviews every year from everyone since we began using speed dating.” • The chapter spent two full days on conversation skills and basic Sigma Sigma Sigma knowledge

during one of Amy JohnstonWard’s visits. This effort helped ensure that every member was well informed on any question that might arise, plus the best way to handle the tough questions. • The chapter changed its voting strategy. In the past, it essentially invited back all PNMs who were eligible to receive a bid, but this seemed to give the impression that Tri Sigma wasn’t as exclusive an organization as the other sororities were. According to Paula, “The same year they started release figures, we started eliminating women based on whether we really felt they would be a good fit with our sorority instead of just randomly taking everyone.” This selection process led to Tri Sigma becoming one of the more desirable groups on campus and its return rates started to climb. Every year since Epsilon Phi made recruitment success a top priority, the chapter has seen improvement in one area or another. Formal recruitment in Fall 2008 was especially sweet for the chapter as it exceeded total for the first time. According to Katie Craig, the chap-

This plan seemed to be the perfect combination for the chapter and it has the numbers to prove it: • Preference round return rate of 83 percent (up from 58 percent last year). • Quota was 20, and the chapter offered 27 bids (highest of any sorority on campus). • 36 of the PNMs who attended their preference party ranked them as their top choice. • The chapter is now five members over total. Any of these items would be an accomplishment taken alone, but the fact that Epsilon Phi achieved all of this in one year goes to show that with the right attitude, some support, lots of practice and dedication, any chapter can achieve its recruitment goals, no matter how big or small.

Congratulations to Epsilon Phi for being one of Tri Sigma’s recruitment success stories – keep up the great work! T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009



Delt a Delt a

Delta Delta Chapter House University of North Carolina

History Built in 1856, the house was reported to be a Fraternity house prior to the 1930s when it was purchased by the Bason family. Mr. Bason was an engineering teacher at UNC. Because houses were not numbered in those days, the Basons named their home “Whitehall.” The house was much larger than the family required so Mrs. Bason decided to rent out the extra rooms. Mrs. Bason was well known in Chapel Hill for selling antiques. She traveled around the world in search of pieces to sell. Mrs. Bason sold the antiques from their enclosed porch and then in the right front parlor room. As the business grew, she had a basement dug under the house were she moved the shop, and then out to a separate building erected behind the house. Eventually the family moved to a farm and opened Whitehall Antiques Shop just down the road on Franklin Street, where it still exists today. Around


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1970 Sigma Sigma Sigma acquired the house on 307 E. Franklin St. where they thrived for several years before leaving campus. The house was leased to other campus organizations until Sigma renovated it in 1995 and returned to campus in the spring of 1996. In 1998 the house went through another renovation by adding a dining hall and three bedrooms. In addition, Sigma connected the house to the carriage house to create an apartment for the House Mother, along with a study room. Sigma is going strong and the House Corporation continues to maintain the house with updates and minor renovations. Statistics • Built in 1856 • 10,920 square feet • Appraised value $1,559,500 • Houses 41 women and House Mother apart. • Sprinkler system throughout • Required 3, 6, 9, or 14 meal plans for all Sisters Amenities

Delta Delta House Corporation Currently, seven volunteers function and vote as a board. Responsibilities are split via: • Board Lead (CIO) • Finance • Payroll • Human Resources • Legal • Special Consideration • AAB/Chapter Liaison • Project Manager Primes Upcoming Projects

• Exterior siding renovation • Redecorating majority of first floor and dining space

Check Out the Housing Corporation Forum at Convention 2010 For more information, please contact Barbara Bonapfel, Housing Director, or Chris Smithhisler, Director of Programs, Calling all house corporation members, house directors and managers. A successfully run chapter house does not have to depend on a roll of the dice! As a part of Convention 2010, we will host a Housing Forum to equip you with the skills to manage the property with efficiency and certainty.

• Full kitchen with chef and staff This three-hour forum, scheduled for Saturday, of three July 10, from 2:15 – 5:30 p.m., will provide an • Waiters for evening dinners understanding of the new regional structure, • Laundry facilities liability and safety issues from a housing perspective, coaching on running a business while • Wireless Internet throughout being a Sister, information on Bill Highway, the house and a priceless opportunity for open discus• Study room outfitted with desk sion and networking. space for all We are very excited to offer this Forum during • Digital flat screen TV with DVR Convention and look forward to seeing you there.

our leadership

New Structure of Executive Council Reflects Mission Kaye Schendel, Gamma Phi, Coordinator of Programs and Research One of the most frequently asked questions about the proposed restructuring of Tri Sigma centers on what our Executive Council members will do under the new structure. In past issues of The Triangle, and in information presented to the membership through the website and via webinars, we have attempted to answer this question. The intent of this article is to provide further clarification of Executive Council’s role under the new structure. Currently, our Council operates with specific areas of responsibility for each position. For example, the Collegiate Vice President has the responsibility of supervising the collegiate department, the Publications Vice President supervises all things related to the Web site, and printed communication, and likewise with the rest of the positions on Council. Under the new model, we will be moving away from direct responsibility areas to a governance model. Under the new model there will be a shift in responsibilities to paid staff positions who will work with our volunteers to achieve our mission and goals. The new model is not designed to create a “hands off” Council, but rather to ensure that Executive Council has its “hands on” the right things. Through its written policies, Council will give clear guidance to our Executive Director, and through careful monitoring, hold the Executive Director accountable for organizational performance. This means that our Executive Council will focus its energies and time in our mission, ritual, and strategic plan. As a membership-driven organization, our strength lies in the lifetime commitment made by our members through volunteering, financial contributions, and continued activity. This restructuring proposal only adds value to the entire Sigma experience by ensuring that our volunteers have a balanced volunteer experience focused on areas of personal interest. The structure of an organization is a function of its mission, culture, and resources. The reorganization committee has been closely examining how the culture of our organization might best support the needs and wants of our chapters and membership as a whole and reflect the mission and the strategic goals for the future. The proposed structure reflects a goal of creating a culture of creative collaboration and teamwork and would build an atmosphere that minimizes hierarchy and boosts lateral communication while increasing our overall effectiveness as an organization.

If you have additional questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact Kaye Schendel at

Join the Leadership Team in 2010 Talent Sought for 2010-2011 Regional Leadership Consultants The most important qualifications for a career at Sigma Sigma Sigma are your own values – a commitment to excellence, enthusiasm for hard work, personal integrity, and a desire to contribute to a winning team. Sigma Sigma Sigma is seeking outstanding and motivated individuals to join our dedicated team as Regional Leadership Consultants for the 2010-2011 academic year. Please send a cover letter and resume with two letters of recommendation to Lorin Phillips ( by December 1, 2009. Recommendation letters must be from a current/previous employer OR from your supervisor/advisor of a leadership role such as orientation, Fraternity/Sorority advisor, Student Government, leadership organization, or Tri Sigma advisor or National representative. Applications will continue to be received until all positions have been filled. Duties The Regional Consultant is a critical staff member on a Regional Support Team. The Regional Consultant serves as the primary contact for collegiate chapter leaders and members, oversees the general operations of designated chapters, collaborates with National volunteers to implement Individualized Chapter Support Plans, and must represent the National Organization positively at all times by upholding all policies and procedures regardless of personal opinions. Regional Consultants work from National Headquarters and travel to our collegiate chapters as directed by their Supervisor, the Director of Chapter Services. Consultants work to: • Support our chapters • Strengthen the National Organization • Develop personal and professional skills • Make an impact in Tri Sigma About the Position • Training: Tentatively July 1 – August 15. Must be available to attend all training sessions and Convention. • Job Timeframe: July 1 – May 1 with option to renew contract for a second year. • Benefits: Opportunities to attend professional training sessions; health insurance; travel and training expenses covered by the National organization; scheduled time off from travel (fall break, spring break, Thanksgiving and extended winter holiday break); and opportunities for advancement. NOTE: There are no requirements about past chapter or Panhellenic leadership roles. Please consider applying even if you have not been a chapter officer! The Region Consultant requires the following qualifications: • Bachelor’s degree and undergraduate leadership experiences. • Must be a self-starter; highly organized and detail-oriented with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously; and able to work well with members and volunteers at all levels in the organization as well as campus professionals. • Must possess excellent written, verbal and interpersonal skills. Must be proficient with Microsoft Office products and publications software programs. • Must be able to quickly problem solve, develop action plans, and respond to unanticipated events in a calm and professional manner. • Experience in facilitating retreats and leading teambuilding experiences is preferred. What can you gain from this position? • Professional experience • Management and organizational skills • Independence • Lifelong friendships • Ability to adapt to difficult situations

Want to know more? See the Leadership Consultant page on our National website for a short video, details on a November informational call and more! T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009



When Passion Meets Purpose Hillary Ashton, Zeta Beta and Features Editor


Ann Bancroft has always had a passion for adventure. Her parents helped to instill a sense of exploration in her when they moved her and her siblings to Africa for two years when she was in elementary school. But it is not the desert or jungle where Bancroft has made her mark on the world – it’s on ice and in freezing temperatures.


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Bancroft is the first woman in history to cross the ice to both the North and South Poles, and at the 2010 Sigma Sigma Sigma Convention she will serve as the Keynote Speaker. Growing up in Minnesota, Bancroft did not plan to be in the world spotlight. After earning her degree in physical education from the University of Oregon, she was working as an elementary school teacher when she took a chance in life and joined a dogsled team going to the North Pole. “It was an extraordinary opportunity,” says Bancroft.“I don’t know why I kind of sensed this was going to be something I should grab onto, but I did.” “There was something in me that stirred, even though I was scared, that said ‘Take this opportunity, it won’t come again.’” So in 1986, she traveled 1,000 miles from the Northwest Territories in Canada to the North Pole as the only female member of the Steger International Polar Expedition. “This was really an opportunity to change my own personal dream,” says Bancroft. When she returned home, she realized that her school had been following her journey, clipping articles and incorporating aspects of her journey into their lessons. “I was blown away. I realized that even as I stepped away as a teacher for a year, I could be a teacher outside the four walls of the formal classroom,” says Bancroft. “I thought, ‘If I ever do this again I want to do that on purpose and not just by accident and not just with my school.’”

This is when Bancroft says her passion met her purpose, which will be the topic of her keynote speech at Convention. She gathered a team of teachers and developed curriculum using her expeditions to spark learning in a variety of subject matters. Since her first expedition, Bancroft has led the first American women’s east-to-west crossing of Greenland (1992) and the American Women´s Expedition to the South Pole (1993). In February 2001, Bancroft and Norwegian polar explorer Liv Arnesen became the first women in history to sail and ski across Antarctica´s landmass, a 94-day, 1,717-mile trek.

“In the last 20 years I have seen tremendous change in the way people view what women are capable of doing and where they can go,” says Bancroft. “For me the best way to demonstrate you can [break stereotypes] is to simply go and follow your passion.” Bancroft has undoubtedly found her “true north,” but it was not a direct path. “I think that we have to be much more accepting that our path to finding our true north often times is not as linear as we sort of map it out or plan it,” she says. “I think we have to open up and be receptive to all that comes at you.”

most ambitious to date. In 2011, they are going back to Antarctica with six women from the six other continents. “Our goal for the journey is to begin a conversation of positive change and once at the Pole, ignite the discussion to actions around the world,” says Bancroft. Her many achievements include being named among Glamour magazine´s “Women of the Year” (2001); featured in the book Remarkable Women of the Twentieth Century (1998) and inducted into the National Women´s Hall of Fame (1995).

The Ann Bancroft Foundation Ann Bancroft has started a small foundation to reach out to young women and help them realize their highest dreams and potential. Central to mission of the foundation is the Dare to Dream Minigrant Program, which provides small grants to girls in Minnesota ages 10 through 10th grade. These grants are used for each girl to take part in an experience that interests them, such as going to camp or taking a trip to visit a university. “The girls we serve are not very excited about anything in life. They’re on the cusp of being girls at risk,” says Bancroft. “They don’t think there’s anything that could possibly interest them and it is an absolute 360. It is amazing what a small simple thing can do to change everything.” For more information, or to if you live in Minnesota and would like to get involved, visit

The next expedition on the horizon for Bancroft and Arnesen is their T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009





Destination Alaska Kara Miller, Epsilon Delta, Extension Director As Sigma Sigma Sigma looks toward its 2010 Convention in Minneapolis, MN, we hear the theme, “Superior Sisterhood. Finding Your True North.” In this spirit, we decided to learn more about our northernmost chapter, Zeta Mu at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks (UAF). Tri Sigma actually has two chapters in Alaska: Zeta Mu and Eta Zeta chapter the University of Alaska-Anchorage. The Zeta Mu chapter at UAF certainly has a unique perspective on being Greek. A number of members of the chapter are Eskimo. Janelle Fritze, President, is both Yupik Eskimo and Caucasian. Fritze has been a member of a native dance group on campus, “I taught the members a native dance, and we performed it at our formal that year,” she recalls. “It was fun and it looked like the members had a good time as well!” Chapter members live in one of the coldest areas in the United States, with temperatures as extreme as minus-60 degrees Fahrenheit and colder in the winter and up to 90 degrees in the summer. “We do not live in igloos, but we are proud of the way we live our lives. We enjoy being outside the mold and living as such,” says Jennifer Phillips, Ritual Advisor. “We try to take advantage of the natural area surrounding us by going to the hot springs…and sledding in the foot-plus of snow that


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we receive in the winter. In the summer, we take advantage of the almost-24-hour sunlight that we get to experience.” Sigma Sigma Sigma is the only sorority at UAF, with Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and Alpha Phi Omega co-ed service fraternity also on campus. “Greek life is small but close-knit between Sigma Phi Epsilon and Tri Sigma as many members between the two groups have dated and even married,” says Phillips. Zeta Mu was founded in 1993 and is one of Tri Sigma’s smaller chapters with membership ranging from four to 20. “It is pretty standard for new members to take on chair positions right away and many Sisters become officers as newly initiated members,” says Cheryl Hartbauer, Chapter Advisor. “This dynamic requires all of our members to be motivated and willing to take on leadership roles in order for the chapter to reach its goals.”

The other Sigma chapter in Alaska is Eta Zeta. Founded in 1997, it is located 350 miles from Zeta Mu at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. The distance keeps the chapters from being able to visit frequently. But the distance from the lower 48 states has not kept the chapter membership from participating in national Tri Sigma events. “Experiencing National Convention in 2004 made the concept of a national Sisterhood much more tangible,” says Cheryl Hartbauer, Zeta Mu Chapter Advisor. “It also made me realize that the experience of being a Sigma Sigma Sigma can be very different from chapter to chapter…at the same time we all are rooted in the same principles and values.” “It really opened my eyes to a larger world of women I can call my Sisters. Being a chapter in Alaska, while great, can have its downsides of disconnect and understanding the point behind all that we do throughout the year,” says Carlisle Glies, Zeta Mu Accreditation Advisor, who attended Dunham Leadership Institute in 2006. “Meeting the National Officers and volunteers was beneficial because I could then connect a face to the individuals I so often spoke to on the phone. I was very grateful for the experience that helped open my heart to Sigma again!”

Did You Know? • Alaska is the largest state in the U.S. It is roughly double the size of Texas. • Alaska has about 50 historically active volcanoes. The most recent eruption was earlier this year at Mount Redoubt. • The largest recorded earthquake in North America occurred in Alaska in 1964. • Alaska has approximately 1.1 persons per square mile according to the 2008 census.

What Makes Your Chapter Unique? We thank the women of Zeta Mu and Eta Zeta for sharing their sorority experience with us and invite you to tell us what is unique about your chapter. Chapters are invited to email information about unique chapters to

Members of Zeta Mu at Starvation Gulch, a university tradition where organizations work together to build a large structure for bonfires which once symbolized “the passing of the torch of knowledge.”

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Meet the new AFA President: Kelly JoKarnes


Hillary Ashton, Zeta Beta and Features Editor When Kelly Jo Karnes started sorority life in the Pi Chapter at Emporia State University in Emporia, KS, she could never have imagined where she would be today. Karnes has gone from a sophomore just looking for a way to make new friends to the future president of one the largest fraternal networks. In December 2009, Karnes will be installed as President of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA), an organization for higher education professionals committed to creating positive experiences for members of fraternal organizations. “This is the first time in AFA’s history that a Tri Sigma will be at the helm. With no question, AFA is in capable hands, and I am confident she will do a stellar job in this role,” says Beth Deines, Beta Kappa and Membership Development Vice President. “She’s worked extremely hard to get to this position and knows the association inside and out.” As AFA President, Karnes will serve a membership of more than 1,700 and will lead a seven-person Executive Board, while supervising the AFA Executive Director. “For me, I know it can be done right and I’ve always said that when Greek is done right it’s an amazing experience,” says Karnes, who is the Associate Director, Office of Student Life, at the University of Iowa and has been working in higher education for 12 years. “Kelly Jo is a valued and respected member of the fraternity and sorority advising profession. Her commitment to advancing the fraternal movement guides her interactions with students, professionals, alumni/ae and all others,” says Dr. Carrie Whittier, current AFA President.


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As a collegiate member of Pi Chapter, Karnes began to love Greek life. “I just had an amazing undergrad sorority experience…numbers were good across the board and being Greek was a good thing. It was just phenomenal,” says Karnes. “I kind of went the route of Panhellenic and that’s really where I found out that higher education is a career.” While working on her bachelor’s degree in elementary education she had what she calls her “a-ha” moment during a conversation with her Greek Advisor, Rueben Perez. “I sat down with him and said ‘tell me about this job,’” says Karnes. During that conversation she says she realized she wanted a career as a Greek Advisor. “I truly feel honored to have known her all these years and to see, firsthand, how being a sorority woman greatly benefited her and then to see that rare turnabout where Kelly Jo is now giving back, and quite generously, to the community that means so much to her,” says Perez. Realizing she would need a master’s degree, Karnes returned to her hometown of Lawrence, KS, to get her degree in higher education administration at the University of Kansas. She started out as an intern and then Assistant Director of Greek Programs. This is where she met Dr. Bill Nelson, a mentor for her as her supervisor in Kansas and now in Iowa. “Bill kind of took a chance on me,” says Karnes. “When the job came open (at the University of Kansas) I know I didn’t have nearly as much experience as the other candidates. Maybe I wasn’t the first choice but I ended up getting the offer and really got to work alongside Bill. He’s beginning to be an icon in our profession.” “She is an AMAZING student affairs professional and an even better Tri Sigma volunteer. I am a finer professional and a better manager because

of all that Kelly Jo has taught me, her supervisor,” says Nelson, the Director of the Office of Student Life at the University of Iowa. Karnes started volunteering for AFA when she joined the field. “I am just one of those eager joiners,” says Karnes. “I wanted to learn as much as I could.” Small volunteer roles led to her serving on the Annual Conference Committee, and becoming the Conference Chair for the 2006 Annual Meeting in New Orleans. She was then elected Executive Vice President of the Association and last year she ran for President-Elect and won. “I decided that if I was going to do it, now was the time,” says Karnes. She has also been a powerful leader within Tri Sigma. Karnes started out as a National Collegiate Chairman in 2000. She remembers the moment every National Officer experiences when they receive their manuals from National Headquarters. “I’ll never forget my roommate, who is also a Sigma from Pi Chapter, and I opened the box and saw there was a ritual manual and we sat in the kitchen for like an hour and read the ritual,” says Karnes. “I don’t know if I had ever sat down and really ever read the ritual and really took it to heart what it really meant and how it really shaped my experience as an undergrad and what the oath I took meant.” Karnes served as Tri Sigma Membership Education Coordinator and on the 2007 National Convention Planning Committee. She was also an integral part in the development of the Essential Sigma membership program, alongside fellow Sister and good friend, Ellen Shertzer, Beta Epsilon. “Kelly Jo, or KJ as we call her, has more love and passion for Tri Sigma than most volunteers I have worked with. She is always the first person to send an e-mail on Founders Day, mail me a purple note or sailboat nail file, or

make a donation to the Foundation in honor of you,” says Shertzer. As AFA President, Karnes will spend much of her time as president traveling to conferences and meetings, serving as the spokesperson for the Association, including visiting Capitol Hill to lobby on behalf of issues affecting sororities and fraternities. This is a trip in which she already has experience. She traveled with Tri Sigma President Laura Ward Sweet to the nation’s Capitol in 2007. “It was inspiring being on Capitol Hill and talking to our government decision makers with a very dear Sigma Sister. It was also a hilariously fun, that day stands out as a highlight in my Sigma career,” says Sweet, Alpha Sigma. When asked about Karnes, many of her Sigma Sisters say it’s not only her leadership that makes her stands out, it’s her sense of humor. “She makes people laugh and that immediately puts people at ease around her,” says Deines.

Has Karnes found her “true north?” “I do think I’ve found it,” says Karnes.“ At the end of the day the people I have worked for have been phenomenal and have given me the latitude to run with some crazy ideas at the time. They feed my passion and they have helped me to guide me to my true north.” When asked what advice she has for our next generation of leaders, Karnes says, “Make sure you surround yourself with people who support you.” “I wouldn’t have done half the stuff I have done, had I not had people saying ‘yeah that sounds great.’ I think there are amazing opportunities in Tri Sigma.”

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our collegians

Collegiate News Collegiate Chapters, Alumnae Make a Connection Bringing together collegiate chapters and alumnae can lead to new ideas, new connections, and new friendships for both groups. Check out how some of Tri Sigma’s collegiate chapters are connecting with alumnae and how it is impacting their chapters. Omicron – Omicron Chapter recently held an alumnae barbeque in the backyard of its new home in an effort to bring collegiate members and alumnae closer together. The turnout was a success, and the chapter now plans to hold one every summer. Chapter members feel fortunate to have five alumnae advisors, four of whom are from Omicron Chapter. Their advisors are part of the award winning Western WayneWashtenaw Alumnae Chapter, which has helped both chapters remain in close contact. To stay close, they have played laser tag and have been part of their new member initiation. Alpha Phi – “To learn about the past is to understand the present.” It is a motto that history teachers surely use around the nation if and when their pupils question learning about battles from different centuries. The ideal, however, reaches a great deal further than the classroom. At Central Michigan University, Alpha Phi Chapter uses this notion by having respect for its alumnae and involving them in as many chapter activities as possible. Sigma Sisters of Alpha Phi use the opportunity to learn as much as they can about the Sisters who have become alumnae. Time is taken to get to know the alumnae as they are now and also as they were as collegiate Sisters. Homecoming is traditionally a huge alumnae event that includes a gourmet brunch, an interesting display of the chapter’s history through artifacts and poster boards, as well as a huge family tree board with every single member of Alpha Phi Chapter as a branch. The Sisters at Central have used Homecoming to help them connect with women who still care deeply for what we are all a part of, and to reacquaint themselves with our rituals and values from the eyes of the alumnae.


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Megan Black, Alpha Chi, with her grandmother, Marilyn Thompson Burklow, also an Alpha Chi.

Alpha Chi – Murray State University’s Outstanding Senior Woman, Megan Black, and her grandmother, Marilyn Thompson Burklow, also an Alpha Chi from 1955, became linked in a special way as they culminated Meg’s graduation ceremonies by taking Circle Degree together. This is the first time at Alpha Chi that a legacy and a grandmother or mother have taken this important step side-by-side. Additionally, Alpha Chi collegians, parents and alumnae were busy with several annual activities during Founders Day weekend. Chapter members and alumnae, as well as others, participated in the annual Jan Jones Wilson 5K Walk/Run to raise donations for the Sigma Sigma Sigma Foundation. The day after the race, more than 200 members, alumnae and parents celebrated Founders Day with a program and meal together. Graduating seniors and alumnae also participated in the Circle Degree ceremony the weekend before graduation.

Beta Epsilon – Beta Epsilon Sisters and alumnae gathered together to celebrate the past, present and future of their chapter as they reflected on the values of Sigma Sigma Sigma. Members both young and old shared numerous memories, stories and triumphs Beta Epsilon achieved over the years. Alumnae were able to reflect on the fond memories Sigma Sigma Sigma has provided them, while younger members were able to see what they could look forward to in Tri Sigma. The hope is that these fond memories and moments will encourage the current members of Sigma Sigma Sigma to reach their highest achievements. Beta Theta – Last fall Beta Theta had an alumnae appreciation dinner where 20 women gathered. Founders Day was another day of reconnection as Beta Theta Chapter members and alumnae gathered together to celebrate Tri Sigma’s establishment over a Saturday lunch. The connection Beta Theta has with alumnae was also shown in April, when 25 alumnae came out to support Beta Theta Sisters in Greek Sing, a university Greek-life talent show. The alumnae were more than helpful with creating a cheering section that was one of the loudest. Although they didn’t go home with a top placement, one of their newest alumnae, Erin Dowdell, helped them win best vocals. These events are what help Beta Theta stay connected with alumnae, not only having them as a helping hand but also as friends. The chapter’s newest graduates used these connections to their full advantage, such as Maria Mastellino asking for help applying and moving on to graduate school and Ali Bach using her sources for future jobs. Delta Psi – Delta Psi prides itself on extending its bonds of Sisterly love to all chapter members and local alumnae. With a large number of alumnae staying in Philadelphia following graduation, Delta Psi plans and hosts events with all Sisters, both active and alumnae. Whether it is as simple as assembling a balloon arch or offering wise advice on Pref Night, Delta Psi treasures every contribution from its alumnae. Chapter advisors Linda Henderson and Barb Carlin have continued their commitment to Delta Psi well beyond their college years. Following in Linda and Barb’s impressive examples are Delta Psi’s newest alumnae, Kori Csanadi and Dara Abate, who played major roles in planning and facilitating important recruitment and philanthropic events during the spring 2009 semester. Since its installation, Delta Psi has been blessed with CORRECTION: The summer issue of The Triangle incorrectly listed the collegiate chapter of Helen Lehman Kinney as the Madison Alumnae Chapter. She is a member of Alpha Xi.

Connecting with alumnae has been beneficial for the Sisters of Epsilon Eta. The chapter has launched a Facebook page to keep in touch with alumnae, and some Sisters have started to complete family trees.

the selfless dedication of its alumnae, whose bonds of Sisterhood extend beyond graduation commencement. Epsilon Eta – Epsilon Eta Chapter began rebuilding bonds with alumnae in the spring of 2009, when it gained a second member of its Alumni Advisory Board, Karen Gower. Also in the spring of 2009, Epsilon Eta’s alumnae relations chair created a group on Facebook as a way to get to know more chapter alumnae. It took a while to get going, but the group now has more than 100 members. This was a great way for members to get to know alumnae, and some Sisters have even started to complete family trees. At its Founders Day Celebration, chapter members met Grace Moore-Mattes, a founding Sister of Epsilon Eta. She came with gifts to donate to the chapter and stories to tell. She shared some of her wisdom by talking about faith, one of Tri Sigma’s core values, during the program. Epsilon Epsilon – It has been said, “You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family.” Sorority life is one of those unique niches where you can choose both your friends and family. By encouraging and nourishing our alumnae commitments, we develop a deep and satisfying network of connections with the past and future. Epsilon Epsilon Chapter has made a strong and concerted effort to foster alumnae relations this past year. Last semester, in particular, showed an extremely enthusiastic surge of alumnae involvement and bonding. Through recruitment and philanthropic activities, donations, and social gatherings such as Founders Day, alumnae participation and experience has been welcomed with open arms.

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Chapter Connections, Continued The newer Sisters of Epsilon Epsilon were delighted and honored to see not only recent graduates but also those of many years past, join together at the 2009 Founders Day celebration. Collegians and alumnae took turns introducing themselves individually, each stating the year she joined and what the Sigma Sigma Sigma Sisterhood means to her. Many Epsilon Epsilon alumnae are also excited to join a newly created South Jersey Alumnae Chapter, initiated to keep involvement fresh and energetic. Rekindled friendships, shared expertise and insights, and delight in common interests are the just rewards for helping to nurture and encourage collegiate Sisters to lead happy and fulfilling lives.

Collegians and alumnae of Epsilon Epsilon gathered at the annual Founders Day celebration to share stories of Sisterhood and learn more about one another.

Epsilon Mu – Epsilon Mu members find it essential to stay involved with alumnae to keep traditions alive. They are part of the Chapter’s past and future because they have created the foundations used today for success and Sisterhood. At Epsilon Mu Chapter at Rowan University, they engage in various activities with alumnae because it is a way to keep in touch while having a great time. This allows them to share new ideas and seek advice from alumnae who always have helpful suggestions. Sisters look forward to Founders Day every year as alumnae get involved and meet new members. They also plan barbeques


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throughout the year and during the summer to keep current members and alumnae in touch. These events allow them to gain new ideas for recruitment and other events. Epsilon Mu members also send out periodic e-mails to their alumnae updating them on the Chapter’s most current accomplishments. Epsilon Chi – In order to create a closer bond between current members and alumnae, the alumnae relations chair of Epsilon Chi organized a panel of alumnae that met with collegian Sisters and discussed the importance of networking and how being in a Sorority helped them later in life, particularly in the job market. The alumnae told stories about when they were collegians, what it was like looking for a job, and where their career paths took them. Sisters were then able to ask questions about how to write resumes, what different careers were like, and how what they learned in the Sorority helped them. The panel was very informative, and it was a great opportunity for Epsilon Chi members to get to know alumnae. Later in the semester, the recruitment chair invited several alumnae to assist in recruitment training exercises. The alumnae pretended to be possible new members while the Sisters practiced how to have a good conversation with potential new members. This was a great way for the newest Sisters to practice how to be friendly and comfortable with fall recruitment, and to meet a great group of alumnae. Zeta Mu – Zeta Mu started the year off with a visit from one of its founders, who flew into town specifically to meet with the chapter and discuss ways Sisters could refocus energy to the principles and values that the chapter was founded on. Meeting and discussing our chapter’s past and present, Sisters realized how important the connection with alumnae members would be for success. Throughout the school year they took this new found understanding and planned events and meetings to involve alumnae members as often as possible. Alumnae were invited to UAF’s annual Starvation Gulch, a fall event where different student organizations on campus compete to build the largest bonfire, and the Formal Dance in the spring. Alumnae were also invited to different philanthropy events including sending valentine cards and making blankets for local children.

Officer Academy Approaching Tri Sigma Officer Academy 2010 is just around the corner.

Sisterhood between collegians and alumnae of the Zeta Pi Chapter were fostered at the wedding of an alumna.

Zeta Pi – Zeta Pi Chapter strives for excellence, but has been challenged in keeping up with and making use of alumnae connections. This is beginning to change, however. The chapter is remembering that Tri Sigma Sisterhood does not just last the four years one spends in college; it extends a lifetime. The chapter is striving to improve alumnae connections in order to make these lifetime bonds more present within the heart of the chapter. Alumnae connections are being re-established, thanks in part to a significant moment in one Sister’s life. Both collegiate and alumnae were in attendance for Zeta Pi alumna Lauren Protzman’s wedding. The event reminded Sisters how important and strong the bonds of Sisterhood really are. In addition, Christy Soo-Hoo Donovan, an alumna from the class of ’99 is organizing a Tri Sigma Reunion. The chapter will be attending and will get the opportunity to make connections with alumnae from all over the area. This will be a great way to jump start the semester and establish strong alumnae connections that will make the chapter even stronger.

Each chapter must send a minimum of the following three officers: President, Treasurer, and Membership Recruitment. Registration and fees are due December 1. Go to, login to Sigma Connect, and click on the Conferences/Leadership Opportunities container for more information on this program.

25 Years

Epsilon Alpha Celebrates of Sisterhood On Founders Day 2009, the Epsilon Alpha chapter at California State University East Bay celebrated its 25th anniversary as a chapter. The chapter gathered in a local park on a sunny day to celebrate Founders Day and the chapter anniversary. Both alumnae and collegians were present, including several Sisters visiting from out of town. After time to socialize, a buffet lunch was served followed by the presentation of awards. Kellie Parker, Collegiate Coordinator for the chapter, presented President Derya Arac with a gift from National Headquarters and gave a short address recollecting news items from 1984 and wishing the chapter well in its next 25 years and beyond. After the presentation of local awards, the Sisters posed for group photos and spent the afternoon enjoying each other’s company.

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our collegians

Collegiate News Collegians Finding Their True North For this issue we asked collegiate chapters to reflect on their journey to find their identities or their “True North.” Read below to see how some of our chapters are finding their groove in Tri Sigma.

Sisters of the Alpha Beta Chapter won a number of awards, including Greek Week, at the annual closing ceremonies for the Kent State Greek community.

Alpha – Recently, Alpha Chapter has been striving to find its “True North” by strengthening Sisterly bonds. Sisters have started to embrace individual differences and use them to help the chapter grow in the values of Tri Sigma. This focus on diversity has helped each Sister to see what makes her unique and how she can best serve the chapter in ways that will appeal to her individual passions and talents. A better understanding has led to firmer Sisterly bonds and a strengthening of Tri Sigma’s pillar of friendship. With this stronger pillar, members hope to also improve upon character and conduct so that Alpha Chapter may not only impact the lives of its Sisters, but also the lives of all people chapter members interact with. Chi – Chi Chapter has had a lot to celebrate this year after receiving numerous awards throughout the school year. However, even after all of this success many Sisters still felt something major was missing. Members began to feel that instead of joining Sigma for the Sisterhood like they had planned, they had


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joined an organization that was all about winning. Sisters felt like they were giving much and not receiving much Sisterhood in return, and this was not the chapter that they had once so eagerly joined. The officer team acknowledged this challenge and sent Chi Chapter sailing in a new direction. To fix the issue Sisters began planning Sisterhood events, setting aside different nights each week where members living in and out of the house gathered to enjoy a casual dinner together. During chapter meetings a new tradition was started called “Silly Sigma,” where members could share funny stories about themselves or other chapter members. One of those stories would eventually be picked as the silliest Sigma of the week. Shortly after these movements were made the whole atmosphere of the chapter changed. Members began appreciating each other, and the chapter, for Sisterhood instead of recruitment statistics or awards. They found that their true north was their Sisterhood, not awards. Alpha Beta – Alpha Beta Chapter began finding its “True North” through a series of events during the 2008-2009 academic year. Chapter members started off having a tough recruitment, which dampened spirits. Over the semester, they began holding more workshops and fun activities to find the true Sisterhood they had all joined. They began to pull together, and after doing so they gained more Sisters who have all taken on important roles to help the small chapter achieve what it can. The women of the chapter were able to see that all the hard work had finally paid off when they attended the closing ceremonies for the Kent State Greek community. Alpha Beta Chapter won numerous awards, including Greek Week, and was also recognized for its success in Greek community participation, philanthropy, multicultural programming, substance-free program-

ming and risk education and programming. The women of Alpha Beta are still looking for “True North” with the knowledge that just because some things don’t go the way you want them, your chapter isn’t any less important. Alpha Pi – Having a smaller chapter doesn’t stop Alpha Pi. Over the past year it has worked hard to increase chapter numbers, and through that, the bonds within have grown stronger. As several chapter leaders departed, the remaining Sisters and new officer team had to rediscover what Tri Sigma meant to them. For some, it was the sense of family and for others it was involvement and lasting friendship that came with Alpha Pi. The officer team used a campus counselor to openly discuss the direction of the chapter and began to include more social events for Sisters to spend time together outside of normal chapter activities. As a result of the past semester’s hardships, they have all grown as people. They have learned that no one is truly better than another person, and that everyone has differing strengths and prowess. Beta Alpha – Beta Alpha chapter found its “True North” by traveling 157 miles to the Wisconsin Dells. The chapter rented three cabins. Within those cabins, women were assigned randomly in order to give people the opportunity to spend the weekend with a mixture of Sisters. Daytime was spent swimming and enjoying the water slides, and at night the chapter congregated in one cabin and played games, watched movies and just enjoyed sitting around together. One night that was particularly memorable was when every cabin took on a different part of a meal to prepare. After the meal, each Sister had brought a piece of fabric and decorated it for another Sister. The next day, the square was presented to the

Beta Alpha Sisters worked together to create a quilt that now hangs in their house.

woman it was decorated for and upon the chapter’s return, each square was used to make a quilt that now hangs in our house for all to see. The weekend helped the chapter as a whole to find its “True North,” as it was all about going back to what makes you, You. Epsilon Kappa – Epsilon Kappa Chapter delved deep into its academic responsibilities this past semester. In the beginning of the school year, the chapter as a whole did not excel the way it had previously in education. It was disappointing to our chapter, advisors, and the Greek community as a whole to see the lack of effort put into our schooling. As a chapter, we realized we were getting caught up in other areas, such as volunteer work and Sisterhood. Although those are excellent things to work on, we still needed to focus on education. To improve academics Sisters promised to help one another, not only to improve grades, but to improve study habits. By doing so, they found their “True North” and improved their GPA ranking by two places in the UW-Oshkosh Greek community. They found by having group study sessions, required study hours, and incentives to Sisters who put in the extra effort to improve their grades, the chapter as a whole came together to form a solid academic foundation. Epsilon Nu – In finding its “True North,” Epsilon Nu Chapter is not trying to reach a particular point, instead it is continually aiming for higher goals. In the 20 years since the establishment of the chapter, Epsilon Nu has come a long way, facing obstacles many chapters go through every year. One particular obstacle the chapter faced took place in 2006, when it went into formal recruitment with only 17 Sisters. However, by the end of fall semester, Epsilon Nu had 22 new women, which doubled the chapter. Together, those 17 women not only added almost twice as many Sisters but they unconsciously sparked

In finding their “True North,” members of the Epsilon Nu Chapter focused on recruitment, and more than doubled the number of Sisters during 2006.

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True North Stories, Continued a flame of hard work and dedication that has continued to burn today. Since that semester, as the chapter prepares for recruitment or any other big event, it reflects on the efforts of those 17 Sisters and uses that success for strength and as a reminder of what just a few women can do. The journey continues to go on and although they still do not know their final destination or what obstacles they may face, they know that they are in it for the long run and are in it together. Epsilon Omicron – With chapter numbers low, Epsilon Omicron came together to make its chapter better and stronger, and in doing so discovered its “True North.” Sisters’ dedication and devotion to their chapter and Tri Sigma showed when their hard work paid off and numbers increased significantly. Through the difficult time, they have learned that they can do anything if they work together toward a common goal. They learned that the chapter is stronger than they gave themselves credit for, and when times were tough, they fought for what they cared so deeply for. They discovered, while members did not look the same, talk the same, or think the same, their collective identity lies in the different strengths each Sister brings to the chapter. Every Sister in Epsilon Omicron has an exceeding passion for the chapter and Tri Sigma, and have all taken into consideration the values every Tri Sigma woman holds. Epsilon Rho – In finding their “True North” Epsilon Rho relies on individual Sisters to help the chapter as a whole discover its authentic self. As individuals, they follow Sigma values in their daily lives, and as Sisters they accept each other for who they are. Having a group of Sisters there to offer a shoulder to cry on creates a safety net that allows each person to try new things and discover who she really is without fear. The chapter’s diversity complements each Sister in her quest to find her True North, and exposes them to a variety of different experiences and ideas. As a chapter, members discover their path by embracing Sigma traditions, completing fundraisers, organizing events, working on recruitment and most of all bonding with each other. Their bonds stretch and mold every day when they encounter new challenges and oppor-

tunities, and when they attempt new things, they know whether they fail or succeed, their Sisters are there to console or celebrate. Zeta Upsilon – Finding time to cram in a quick study session while struggling with balancing a job, friends, and family can be difficult for anybody. Being able to also find the time to set aside for others can add even more stress to a hectic schedule. However Zeta Upsilon Chapter of Fitchburg State College works hard to maintain the values Sigma teaches them by contributing to clothing drives on campus, running philanthropy events, and helping out other organizations. The chapter tries to create fun philanthropic events to help reach more people and raise awareness on campus. By creating a bond through helping others, supporting each other, and having fun while doing it, they have found their “True North.” Eta Beta – Sisters of Eta Beta are a unique group of Sigmas, as they truly embrace the saying “Individually Unique, Together Complete.” Sisters are involved in a variety of activities on the campus of Newberry College, from athletics, theater, student government, music and religious organizations. The chapter strives to support Sisters in their extracurricular activities by regularly going to music performances, plays, athletic competitions and student forums to see their Sisters in action. This lets each Sister get a better feel for what they enjoy taking part in, which allows them to better understand who they are as a person. Some of the women have even found new interests by going to watch their Sisters. Tri Sigma has taught Eta Beta Sisters to love who they are and embrace themselves,

Epsilon Rho Sisters work together at a fundraiser.


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ment. The chapter meetings have been completely revamped with the help of the AAB by incorporating fun programs like Sigma Barbie Princess and giving out Best Dressed Awards at CBMs. Not only are connections within Eta Rho growing, but they are expanding to their alumnae. For Eta Rho Sisters, finding “True North” involved not only bonding activities, but connecting with alumnae.

no matter what. These Sisters find their “True North” in their differences, as they take these differences, embrace each one and grow as women because of them. Eta Xi – At Ursinus College, Tri Sigma has helped a number of its members become their best selves. In every member of Eta Xi, one can find evidence of Tri Sigma’s strong impact on aiding its members in their search for their passion and life purpose. Community service chair Holly Brizell has realized how much she loves community service. “Sigma is great for me because I get to do what I love with my Sisters, whom I love more than anything,” Brizell says. “Our Sisters are always willing to help each other out, whether it be community service related or not. It’s just really nice to share what I love, with the women that I love. It really helps us come together.” Without Tri Sigma, Brizell may not have discovered her passion for helping others. Through fundraisers for the Sigma Sigma Sigma Foundation and the V-Day Campaign, as well as volunteering at Columbia Cottage, a nursing home near Ursinus’ campus, and many other activities, Brizell has put her passion into practice. She also helps to inspire the rest of the chapter to be involved in such activities so that they can fulfill much more than the designated service requirement. Eta Xi’s Sisterhood upholds Tri Sigma standards and values and helps individual Sisters find their “True North.” Eta Rho – As Eta Rho set on a journey to discover its “True North,” there were many questions. “What characteristics do we want to portray to others? How do we want to get our name out on campus? What qualities are we looking for in potential new members? What can truly help strengthen our bonds?” Through a semester of changes and finding the answers, Eta Rho has grown even stronger. Finding Eta Rho’s “True North” came not only from group bonding activities but also from alumnae involve-

Eta Tau – Sisters of Eta Tau Chapter believe the meaning of Sisterhood to be more powerful than the average collegiate Sorority. At Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL, the Sisters face an unusual obstacle in everyday life: they attend a school that is 85% male. In return, these women must define themselves, not just as empowering individuals trying to better their school and community but also as equals to their male contenders on campus. Every day, the Sisters of Eta Tau strive to prove that the power of womanhood on their campus is a force to be reckoned with. Since their establishment in 2006, the Sisters have set a prominent and persistent example for their peers to follow. Around campus, the Sigmas are known for being leaders as well as scholars, having the highest GPA of any of the Greek organizations on campus. Eta Tau still has a ways to go in order to find its “True North,” but using its inherited Sigma knowledge, as well as the focus and determination acquired from day-to-day campus life, the Sisters prove to be a strong group of empowering women on the way to making a difference in the lives of women all over their campus and beyond. Eta Upsilon – Everyone’s journey toward finding themselves is different. Each person takes a unique path and ends up in a distinct place. Tri Sigma’s values are promoting a perpetual bond of friendship, developing strong womanly character and inspiring high standards of ethical conduct, and each member of Eta Upsilon lives these values, plus others, each day. Stephanie Harms, a recent graduate from Eta Upsilon feels that being in Tri Sigma brings out the best in her, and it took her accepting an internship hundreds of miles away to recognize this. “I never realized how much the sometimes monotonous meeting or event brings out my true self. Just being around my Sisters makes me who I want to be. My true north was only discovered when I went in the opposite direction and I am so glad I did because it not only brought me closer to myself, but also to my Sisters and Tri Sigma’s values – no matter how far away I was.”

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In Their Own Words Collegiate Sisters reflect on finding their ‘True North’ and how Tri Sigma helped them along the way. Jessica Hernandez – Psi When you ask anyone how they found their true self, the usual answer is “Through my friends or through my family.” Yes, my friends and my family were huge contributors to who I am today, but it was my Sisters who brought me out of the dark. I had a horrible childhood, and an unstable home most of my life. My family had bad financial troubles when I was younger, which led to even bigger problems later on. My neighborhood was unsafe for kids my age, but my family and I had nowhere else to go that would fit our budget. I was a shy kid to my teachers and peers, but my family and what few friends I had knew there was more. When I was 17, I decided to attend Marshall University – 600 miles away from my home. I came to Marshall alone, with no friends. I saw women wearing Greek letters talking and smiling with each other on campus and realized: I want that. I attended the Hawaiian Recruitment Party at the Student Center for all Greek organizations. Coming in fashionably late was Sigma Sigma Sigma. Just by the way they laughed with each other and carried themselves, I knew that was it. I didn’t go to any other house when I went through recruitment, and I learned to love all my Sisters. Slowly, I started coming out of my shell. The older women would give me different responsibilities, as if they were testing my ability. Without Sigma Sigma Sigma, I probably would have never known I was a talented artist because I never really had to draw or make anything before college. They told me that being from another state wasn’t a bad thing, and I wasn’t going to be judged no matter what; even if I did say “water” a little funny. They brought me into the light, and that eventually gave me the strength to finally come out and be who


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I was deep inside. Because of them, I have the confidence to create anything and I am constantly asked to design works of art by other organizations. When I was assigned to write for the chapter to The Triangle, I was nervous because I didn’t think I could represent our chapter how it should be. Now, with their encouragement, I use my talent for writing to tell everyone what a marvelous chapter we have become. In the beginning, Psi Chapter was small and very vulnerable. Our hopes were getting down and everyone was looking at the floor with failure, until some of us simply refused to give up. We created amazing recruitment parties that attracted freshmen, sophomores and juniors. We showed our real personalities and we shared with everyone where we came from and how every person in Psi Chapter helped each other to find our “True North.” That fall we doubled our chapter, receiving 22 wonderful Sisters. After that fall, we realized that we could do anything.

My neighborhood was unsafe for kids my age, but my family and I had no where else to go that would fit our budget. If we just show everyone who we really are inside, it will show them that we are real women with real values, and have a true love for our Sisterhood. With this attitude, we’ve strongly enforced how important it is to our new Sigma Sisters and they too have been spreading the word of being your true self no matter what. Hopefully with time, everyone in Psi Chapter at Marshall University will find their “True North.” And together we can help each other to reach that goal.

Cate Chaney – Beta Xi Sigma Sigma Sigma is the type of organization that truly eases women though some of life’s most daring challenges. Discovering self-identity through the collegiate years is one of the hardest tasks of a lifetime, as so many new skills are learned and taught and habits are created that will never be broken or changed. Among all of life’s changes are paths of discovery; every woman and person has to determine what it is that will truly make him or her live a life worthwhile. Those of us who are fortunate enough to be in the bonds of Sisterhood that is Tri Sigma already have core values such as wisdom, power, faith, hope and love to guide us to the path of our true north. We each have our own truth to find, a personal goal that will help us find a way to the path of the eternal. It is a flaw of humankind for us to worry so much about getting through periods of change; many times the journey is more important than reaching the goal or final destination. As often as we hear statements such as that, we never truly let it seep into us. To become concerned with the process of something rather than the outcome is the challenge of finding our true north. Every goal that I’ve made and accomplished hasn’t been worth a thing without the hours, days, or even years of hard work put into accomplishing the goal. And in a way college is just like that. College isn’t meant to be the final goal: it’s simply a pathway in between two things. And as collegiate members of Tri Sigma, we must firmly believe in enjoying the years we have together searching for our lifelong meanings because we won’t have long to linger. As I searched this past spring for a job, I knew that I wanted to do something fun and different to pass the time in which I’d be hours away from most of my Sisters. I wanted a unique job that would replace the void that would exist in my heart while my busy college life would be on a hiatus. As I took a look at some of my contacts, I remembered a place I had been to for a retreat with a school group a few months prior. In the summer that place was a camp for children ages 8-17, and I applied and got a job working as a cabin counselor at a YMCA camp. I had never really been the type that was very athletic or enthused by sleeping outside, but I knew that the challenge would be worth it in the end. Unlike the aforementioned, when people typically think of Sorority members they see women who wear

It is a flaw of humankind for us to worry so much about getting through periods of change; many times the journey is more important than reaching the goal or final destination. lots of makeup, like to party, and would have nothing to do with sweat and mud. Even though I knew no one in my chapter really represented that, I still felt some sort of a duty to live up to that stereotype. But by going to the summer camp, I left it behind. Though you could say I found my “true north,” I don’t think that a simple term like that can even describe it. Spending time in the outdoors alone is inspiring and refreshing. Once a week, I sleep outside with my cabin group and cook food around a campfire for 10 campers and myself. Learning to live truly independently from a piece of society is so irreplaceable. In a day and age where being eco-friendly is so important, it’s even better to be able to teach the next generation’s leaders how to appreciate all of the assets that lay compellingly around us. Perhaps what I have learned is that my true north really has nothing to do with how much change in society I can create, but more with remembering the roots of the ancestors and predecessors in my bloodline as well as in Tri Sigma. Being truly intelligent and successful can happen only when our knowledge is based on the hard work of those who forged this journey prior to us, with perhaps more courage than we’ll ever know. Today we are living proof of the true north of our founders, living in peace, harmony and love with all that is around us and always moving forward to find our true north.

Emily Powell – Beta Pi Through the many homes, neighborhoods, and environments I have lived in, I have learned about people and financial problems. Growing up on the low-income side of town, I often heard of difficulties including food stamps, medical assistance, and money struggles. Knowing I never wanted to travel this road myself I decided at a young age that I needed to go to school and pursue a well-paying career. My childhood observations helped me to find my “True North” because not only do I T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009


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In Their Own Words, Continued not want to be poor when I grow up but I would like to help people in bad situations, including tense financial situations, overcome difficulties and get back on their feet. I am attending the University of Wisconsin-Stout to help me follow the path of my True North and one day help those less fortunate. It excites me to know that people will no longer need to suffer when these people can receive help from me. The Beta Pi chapter has grown so much over this past year in so many ways, but most of all I am proud to say that we have strengthened our bonds of friendship more than anything. Through workshops with our Leadership Consultant and through everyone stepping up in their positions in the chapter and giving each other support and helping hands, our Sisterhood grows with each goal we set and reach. We have a renewed sense of not only Sisterhood, but of scholarship and community involvement and I am so proud to be part of this chapter. Beta Pi is doing some remarkable things, and we cannot wait to see what challenges we will overcome next.

It excites me to know that people will no longer need to suffer when these people can receive help from me. Trish Mullinix – Delta Omicron For me, my authentic self has been discovered while in college, when I first looked into joining a Sorority. As a freshman, I was a timid, unsure girl. Some of the Sisters at the time, now alumnae, saw my potential and gave me responsibility within the chapter. Being trusted with this responsibility gave me more confidence, and the support from my Sisters enabled me to be my true self. Now, I am comfortable to be myself and to accept new responsibilities and challenges, expected or not. I’ve realized that challenges make life exciting and worthwhile and that in the future, my career should give me daily challenges and excitement. I’m not entirely sure what I want to do after graduation, but with my background of fulfilled responsibilities and completed challenges, I know that I will be able to succeed.


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Camille George – Delta Chi Tri Sigma has played an integral part in helping me find my true north. When I was applying to colleges I decided I wanted to go far from home and experience something different. The University of Virginia seemed like everything my high school wasn’t; instead of a grade with 120 kids I’d known forever, it would be thousands of exciting new people and tons of new experiences and things to do. However, when the time came to actually leave, I found I was terrified to move 1,300 miles away to a town completely different from Houston. The first semester was full of a lot of new experiences, and I loved my roommate and my dorm. However, as winter break rolled around I still wasn’t sure coming to Virginia was the right decision. I decided to go through recruitment in hopes of finding a place at UVa where I really belonged, and that’s exactly what happened. It might sound cheesy, but through Tri Sigma I’ve made friends that I know will last a lifetime. The friendships I have made in Tri Sigma have not only given me the opportunity to have a lot of fun and create a social network but have also helped me become more confident in myself and more outgoing: things that will serve me well long after I graduate. With my Sisters in Tri Sigma I have learned how to be myself, embrace my flaws, and find my true north.

Colleen Shanahan – Epsilon Tau My journey toward my authentic self has been interesting, and it is still going on. I feel I am changing constantly, but that is OK because the things I go through will eventually lead me to where I am supposed to be. Although I have faltered at certain points along my journey, I have had far more good come out of those experiences that has come in handy down the road. Being an only child and an Air Force brat, I’ve come across many different places (California, Alaska, and Florida), people, and situations that have all helped in shaping the person I am today. While I am nowhere close to my authentic self, I am happy to continue down the path to find it by simply being what I think encompasses me: silly, loving, loyal, and determined.

I am pursuing my passion actively. I am preparing to apply for my graduate studies in a creative writing Master’s of Fine Arts. The programs are very competitive, so I am pushing myself to get things done early because that will put me closer to my dream job as a professor of creative writing and possibly an author. It is just amazing to be able to create something in your mind and transform it from thought to something others can understand. I can’t imagine doing anything else. Epsilon Tau has found its groove within its Sisters. Because we are so diverse, we feed off of each other to enlighten and make us aware of different areas of our lives. While we are a small chapter, the Sisters depend on each other to propel our chapter forward. If something goes wrong, someone is always there to put things back on track or in perspective. On the other hand, when things go right, we come together and realize that we are growing in every possible arena and understand we are making the things we accomplish happen ourselves. While Epsilon Tau has found a nice groove, it certainly isn’t the end. We are constantly moving ever forward to our true north.

Ashley Wilson – Zeta Lambda I never saw myself in a sorority. I felt I had enough friends, family, and schoolwork, and didn’t need any more added responsibility. I went to class each day, and saw the women of Tri Sigma meeting in the hallways in their bright purple shirts, and thought to myself that if I were to join a Sisterhood that would be the one. They seemed so kind. They were leaders with bright futures and shining personalities. They, to me, were not a negative stereotype that can be carried with Sororities, but leaders I thought I would like to be associated with. This idea stayed with me as I attended Wingate University for two years. I became friends with many people and some of those were Tri Sigmas. They always spoke so lovingly and enthusiastically of their Sorority, and though it would have appeared to anyone that I was not paying much attention, I always listened intently. Then, at the beginning of this year, I decided I wanted more from my college experience. I wanted to lead, be active, share, experience, and give. I didn’t only want to go to class, but I wanted to be a part of a group that contributes to not only each other’s lives, but to campus life as well. I then knew wanted to join a Sorority, and I knew it was Tri Sigma.

Leadership, social activity, and philanthropy are why I joined, and in doing so I came to realize I was gaining a family. Looking at my new Sisters loving faces during my initiation, it hit me; the realness of Tri Sigma in their lives. I am still new to this family, and have so much to learn from them, so much to share with them, and already so much love for them. I want to share with all of you my excitement of spending the next four semesters with these beautiful women, and how I can’t wait to know them more!

Chloe Kalna – Eta Phi College is an amazing environment to foster growth as an individual, and can be a perfect opportunity to create a new identity. Already nervously anticipating my move to Brooklyn, I was more afraid that I would fail in pursuing my passion in art than I was worried about meeting new people. I set off for college hoping I would survive grueling art training and wondering how I would find my place as an individual amongst a sea of unique students at Pratt Institute. Coming from a college prep school in Northeastern Pennsylvania, an unusual piercing or tattoo would have merited me extra attention, but I quickly discovered on move-in day that my normal white-and-navy ensemble attracted more attention than a full-body tattoo ever could. Being surrounded by so many personalities, I was afraid that I would be unable to express myself through my art and that I would merely fade into the background. After a few weeks of searching for my identity at Pratt, I realized that I have known exactly who I am all along. Looking back on my year, I am so glad that I remained my quirky, outgoing self instead of transforming into one of the quiet and cool hipsters that I admired and envied around campus. I proved to everyone back home that I could be an art student without necessarily looking the part. Because I was so comfortable with myself, I was more accepting of everyone that I met, and I was able to make a range of great friends that I normally would never have met. I also became more spontaneous when approached with amazing opportunities, such as joining Sigma. The amazing Sigma women at Pratt made me feel comfortable being myself and encouraged me to continue my individual growth. Being apart from my Sisters this summer, I know that I will return to school in the fall feeling as though I had never left.

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009


our alumnae

News and Notes from our Alumnae Anchorage, AK – One event that is sure to bring Sisters in the Anchorage area together is the Alaska Run for Women. This race has been held every June since 1993, and has raised more than $2.5 million in the fight against breast cancer. Sisters from the Anchorage Alumnae Chapter not only donated their time, money, and special Sigma T-shirts to participate, but they were also a part of a record 5,484-woman turnout this year. Approximately $120,000 was raised in 2009 during the five-mile trek. Finding our “True North” in Alaska is pretty easy at our latitude. But we know it’s the spirit of events like the Run for Women that will keep us together for the long haul. Central Florida – The Central Florida Alumnae Chapter celebrated Founders Day with a lovely lunch at Hannibal’s in Winter Park. Twenty-five members attended and shared what faith, hope, love, wisdom and Sisterhood meant to each of them. The chapter honored outgoing chapter officers Pat Nichols, Jan Shay and Judy Malcolm, who served and led our chapter with grace and diligence for two years. From September to May, the chapter served the community by preparing a meal at the Ronald McDonald House, appreciated art and beauty at the Orlando Museum of Art, sold pecans to support the Sigma Foundation and Eta Tau chapter, and enjoyed the bonds of Sisterhood throughout!

Daytona Beach, FL – Daytona Beach area alumnae welcomed the 15 spring graduates of Eta Tau with Circle Degree. The graduates were all presented with a special Sigma bead necklace, compliments of the Deland area and Daytona Beach area alumnae. Those grads who were going to remain in the area were invited to join an alumnae group. Denver, CO – The Denver Area Alumnae strive to bring together all the generations that make up their chapter. With members ranging in age from their early 20s to their 90s, it can be a challenge to find things that everyone enjoys. Each year the executive board plans activities that help bridge those generational gaps. During their monthly meeting, the Sisters of the chapter spend a few minutes playing a different get-to-know-you game like “get-to-know-you bingo.” Each Sister is given a bingo card in which they search out a Sister who shares a common characteristic, like the same number of siblings or the same birth month. This allows Sisters of all ages to find things that they have in common. In addition to activities at the monthly meetings, special outings are planned such as a tour of the Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory in Boulder, CO. In January, about a dozen Sigma Sisters enjoyed an afternoon

Colorado Springs, CO – See picture at right. (From left) Sandy Elliott Rodas, Iota; Jan Martin, Iota; Kathryn Ashton Carlson, Zeta Beta; Helen Friedmann Armstrong, Alpha Xi; and Vivian Heidel Patton, Pi, congratulate Jan Martin, Iota, for receiving the highest award from the Colorado Springs Panhellenic Association, the Alumnae Achievement Award, at the May Panhellenic Luncheon. The Alumnae Achievement Award is given to the outstanding woman representing exemplary sorority values who has given much to her community through service over the years.


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009 Colorado Springs Alumnae Chapter congratulating Jan Martin, Iota

enjoyed a great lunch in town and then spent the day looking at all the wonderful items at the house. They loved the doll collection.

The Harrisburg, PA Alumnae Chapter has recently added five members by establishing a Facebook page and making use of the Sigma Connect website.

out as they went to the production of “Girls Only: The Secret Comedy of Women” at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Denver alumnae continue to build their membership connecting with recent graduates as well as new residents. By planning activities that bridge the generation gap, they are ensuring that members of all ages find something to keep them active Sigma members. Detroit Metro, MI – The Detroit Metro Alumnae Chapter (previously known as Oakland Alumnae Chapter) began 71 years ago. Throughout the years, one of the traditions that has become a part of the chapter’s heritage is its Saturday luncheon meetings at one of the Sisters’ homes. In the earlier years, the Sisters dressed in their Sigma best attire while their hostess set the table with her good linen and china. In the more recent years, it has been a bit more casual on dress except for special occasions; however, we still use our good linens and china. Our Golden Violet, Blanche Hoffman, often shares her times in the chapter. Harrisburg, PA – The Harrisburg Alumnae Chapter had several members attend a great Founders Day weekend in Clarion with the Alpha Pi Sisters. The alumnae chapter members are excited that their adopted collegiate chapter will be back in a house this fall and planned to stop in during move-in weekend. The chapter added five new members through networking on Facebook and the Sigma Web site. The chapter has increased its gatherings throughout the year to social and working meetings, which has helped attract new members. Members are working on our projects for the Sigma Shop at Convention. The Harrisburg Alumnae Chapter also spent an afternoon at the Walton House. Members

Madison, WI – The Madison Wisconsin Alumnae Chapter received its charter in March. Lori Trebatoski Ness, Epsilon Kappa, and Jill Kammer Wozniczka, Epsilon Kappa, began in November 2008 to contact members of Tri Sigma who live in the Madison area. The chapter had its first meeting in February 2009. Barbara Stoe Stone, National Treasurer, presented the charter on March 29, 2009. The chapter’s first Founders Day was celebrated with the Milwaukee Area Alumnae Chapter, who welcomed Madison alumnae graciously. The Madison Sisters had a wonderful time getting to know them and members of the Alpha Xi chapter from UW-Whitewater. Northwest Pennsylvania – The NWPA Alumnae Chapter is moving forward with reorganizing and again becoming an active group of Sigma Sisters. So far there are 40 women interested in being a part of our chapter. If you live in the northwestern Pennsylvania area (Erie to Pittsburgh, PA, and Youngstown to DuBois, OH), you’re welcome to join in the Sisterhood and fun activities. Anyone wishing further information about our group can contact chapter President Angela (Canovali) Walsh at Piedmont Triad, NC – This spring, the Piedmont Triad Alumnae Chapter kept busy. In March, some of the members volunteered at a walk for the Special Olympics. Members cheered on the runners and handed out water. Members also participated in the Race for the Cure. Alumnae raised money for breast cancer research and had a wonderful time. Recently, members went to the Walton House for a weekend getaway. Some of the chapter’s members had never visited, and it was a real treat for all who spent time there. Sisters enjoyed spending time playing mini golf and riding go-karts as well as going on a cavern tour as we left the Walton House to head back to North Carolina.

Calling All Pennsylvania Alumnae! Epsilon Delta is looking for alumnae to help celebrate the chapter’s 25th anniversary. The reunion is set for January 16, 2010 at Sienbenbuerger Club in Erie. For information, contact Morgan Gaylor at (717) 649-7455 or

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009


Congrat ulat ions!

Congratulations to the South Jersey Regional Alumnae Chapter, in New Jersey, newly chartered in April 2009. Charter members of this alumnae chapter are: Paula Saxton, Beta Rho

Paula Hassall, Epsilon Epsilon

Sarah Chapkowski, Epsilon Epsilon Gretchen Hayes, Epsilon Epsilon

Sisters from the Pinellas County Alumnae Chapter in Florida host a Founders Day celebration.

Pinellas County, FL – Sigmas gathered from Pinellas County, Fla., Alumnae Chapter, Tampa Alumnae Chapter and Sarasota/Bradenton Alumnae Chapter to celebrate Founders Day hosted this year by Pinellas County chapter. A collection of $215 raised from opportunity drawings for three Sigma gift items was donated to the Robbie Page Memorial fund. Western Wayne-Washtenaw, MI – Western Wayne-Washtenaw Alumnae Chapter members found their “True North” when they decided to choose themes for the chapter’s yearly events. Members must be creative to find activities that fit into each theme. During the chapter’s International Year, members took a day trip to Frankenmuth, a Bavarian town in mid-Michigan. Sisters toured a violet exhibit at the botanical gardens and read “The Girl with the Pearl Earring” for Classic Sigma. In keeping with the music theme of the Nashville Convention, the chapter invited Kate Gaston and Nancy Craig to talk to us about the Foundation’s GOLD program at Detroit’s Hard Rock Café. One of the chapter’s most challenging themes was Unconventional Sigma. Falling in an un-Convention year, chapter members could be as outrageous as they dared. Most of the alumnae members have been out of college for a while, so playing laser tag seemed pretty unconventional! Visit the chapter’s Web site at to see the direction this coming year’s theme will take.


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009

Beth Ann Davi, Epsilon Epsilon

Brianne Holmes, Epsilon Epsilon

Deborah DeCross, Epsilon Epsilon

Ashley Klug, Epsilon Epsilon

TaraLynn DeVault, Epsilon Epsilon

Stacey Lenz, Epsilon Epsilon

Samantha Funaro, Epsilon Epsilon

Julianne Reinhardt, Epsilon Epsilon

Meredith Gelfand, Epsilon Epsilon

Ellen Sigel, Epsilon Epsilon

Congratulations to the Springfield Area Alumnae Chapter in Missouri, chartered in June 2009. Charter members of this alumnae chapter are: Marilyn Bockhorst, Beta Beta

Jill Nieman, Beta Beta

Sherry Cook, Beta Beta

Janis Pusateri, Beta Beta

Debra Doolittle, Beta Beta

Diana Robinson, Beta Beta

Beverly Francis, Beta Beta

Virginia Sheppard, Beta Beta

Carole Hutcheson, Beta Beta

Lori Webb, Beta Beta

Laura Kinne, Beta Beta

AAB & Volunteer Summit… Soon to be CAB & Volunteer Summit sum·mit (sum•it) noun 1. the highest point, part, or elevation; top or apex; 2. the highest degree or state; a. the highest level of officials; b. a conference at the summit

Are you a chapter advisor struggling with understanding college-aged women today, or maybe coaching the chapter on any number of issues? Do you want to learn more about the Fraternity and Sorority Assessment and how that is shaping the direction of our programs? One of our four key National Leadership Programs, the AAB (CAB) & Volunteer Summit is an opportunity for chapter advisors and national volunteers to spend a day and half together learning new skills to effectively work with collegiate chapters. This program is not about going over policies, procedures, dates, and schedules. Rather, it is about skill development applicable to your many life roles right now, and specifically what you do for Tri Sigma. We will meet together and challenge ourselves to achieve. This inaugural summit will take place the day before the start of Convention. There will be a detailed schedule in the March issue of The Triangle and on the Convention section of the Web site beginning in January.

Georgia Peaches Love Tri Sigma The Greater Savannah Alumnae Chapter of Savannah, GA, held its installation banquet June 13, 2009. These young women have worked extremely hard to finally reach this great accomplishment. They have their calendars full with upcoming events such as a Mad Hatter Tea Party, fundraising activities and helping the local collegiate chapter during recruitment. They are also helping a local family who lost their home due to a fire. These women are truly dedicated to the values of Tri Sigma and it shows. They are excited about the year ahead and look forward to being represented at the 2010 Tri Sigma Convention. Front Row From Left: Mary Fran Morris Asmus, Sandi Chamberlin, Carolyn White Wallisch, Dorothy Kay Alden Gurtler. Second Row From Left: Katie Courtner Smith, Wanda Alexander Shipman, Joann Estes Coble. Third Row From Left: Jan Bursch Wall, Sharon White Roland, Marilyn Deus Anderson

50 Years

iota celebrates

S igma S isterhood T ruly L asts F orever



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Ten Tri Sigma Sisters from Iota Chapter met this summer at the home of Marilyn Deus Anderson in Windsor, CO. Sisters came from Colorado, California, Arizona, and Montana to celebrate 50 years of Sisterhood for the 1958-59 Iota Pledge Sisters.

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Several Sisters went on an excursion to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs for a brunch and tour. The memory-filled weekend’s events made each participant grateful for her 50 years




as a Tri Sigma as the Sisters experienced the

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astounding impact Tri Sigma continues to have on the lives of alumnae women. Golden Violets attending included Jo Ann Estes Coble, Wanda Alexander Shipman, Katie Courtner Smith and Carolyn White Wallisch. Take this opportunity to commemorate this special anniversary of your Tri Sigma membership with a unique jewelry piece, created exclusively for Alumnae!

T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009


our foundation

The Foundation at Convention Help Yourself, Help Us, Help Others Can you walk 1,090 miles? That’s the distance from Woodstock , VA – site of Tri Sigma’s National Headquarters – to Convention 2010. We don’t expect you to walk the whole distance, all at once. But why not walk during the year? The total miles you walk – on a track, in your neighborhood, in a mall, with your Collegiate or Alumnae Chapter, your new member class, a group of Tri Sigma friends – make you eligible for special prizes. To walk, you have to raise a minimum of $50 per person. Naturally, we hope you’ll raise lots more! You can walk as an individual AND also as part of a group for the same $50 registration fee. For details, a registration form, and a form to track the miles you walk throughout the year, go to and click on “Foundation,” then “Foundation Walk.” If you have questions, contact the Foundation office at or (540) 459-4212. An online pledge form for you to forward to potential sponsors will be sent to all members in a January e-mail.

Auctions Online The Foundation plans to repeat its well-received online auction in the spring. Watch for the e-mail announcing the availability of vacation homes and other exciting bidding opportunities. If you have a vacation house or other merchandise you’d like to donate to the Foundation auction, please e-mail with details, and a committee member will contact you. Katherine (Katie) Henke Scherping, Beta Alpha, and Heather Mergler Mitchell, Epsilon Xi, chair the committee. Silent Once again, Alumnae and Collegiate Chapters are asked to donate a basket or tote bag full of items that illustrate the part of the country your chapter is located. Convention delegates should bring these to Convention where they will be available for bidding.

Why not HELP YOURSELF (by walking healthy), HELP US (with funding for Foundation programs), and HELP OTHERS (as the Foundation gives grants and scholarships to women and funds children’s programs)? You can still walk, if you’d like, during Convention. A casual walk is scheduled before breakfast (free to anyone who has raised $50 or more) on Saturday, July 10, at the hotel. Foundation Board members Jan Stroker Horner and Elizabeth Wakeman Hoffert, both Beta Xi, are chairing the Walk committee. Major Donor Breakfast Donors of $1,000 or more to the Foundation (the “Sixty for Sigma” donor recognition group) between July 1, 2009, and June 15, 2010, and those who belong to the Foundation’s Heritage Society will be invited to a donor recognition breakfast on Sunday, July 11. It’s always a special event – to be part of it, be sure to have all donations totaling $1,000+ to the Foundation office by June 15.


T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009

Save The Date for the Tri Sigma Foundation’s GOLD Reception Saturday July 10, 2010 Minneapolis, MN

Where Are They Now? Catherine Birdsey, Alpha Rho

Catherine Birdsey, Alpha Rho, received the Violenda Seppala Nelson Scholarship from the Foundation in 2008. Where is she now? She writes from Lock Haven University in Lock Haven, PA:

“Though I graduated and moved on from my undergraduate career, I have not forgotten the fun I had with Tri Sigma or the gifts it has given me. Thank you and the rest of the Foundation committee and contributors again for the scholarship I received.

“I cannot say that I have discontinued my education (who can!). Today was my first day as a graduate physician assistant student at Lock Haven University. I can tell already that it will be a long and grueling two years of education, but the outcome will be worth the struggle. “Thank you again for the scholarship. The generosity and kindness of others are truly outstanding at times, and it has allowed me to pursue my dreams.”

Foundation Scholarships Awarded Although the Foundation’s scholarship endowment funds during the past year were affected by the country’s unprecedented financial crisis, the Foundation Board at its annual meeting in July voted to award scholarships to the following women: The Michael and Barbara Welsh Scholarships – to Sarah Jane Carter, Epsilon Theta, graduate of Oglethorpe; enrolled at American University for graduate school The Emily Lewis Lee Scholarship – to Amanda Rae Mulfinger, Alpha Rho, graduate of Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania; enrolled at the Pennsylvania State University for graduate school The Lucile Mertz Hendrick Scholarship – to Kathleen (Kat) Gillan, Alpha Zeta, graduate of Northwestern State University of Louisiana; enrolled at University of Alabama for graduate school The Ann Williams Scholarship – to Sarah Kathleen Collins, Eta Tau, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University The Lori Dahm Scholarship – to Stephanie Kerkaert, Epsilon Rho, Minnesota State/Mankato

Ge t Under the

Tri Sigma Umbrella This summer’s e-mail from the Foundation included an invitation to a “virtual” garden party, and in case the party encountered stormy weather, a special offering for a Tri Sigma umbrella. For a gift of $33.33 or more, respondents to the e-mail could receive the 15-inch umbrella pictured above. If you didn’t receive the e-mail or haven’t ordered an umbrella yet and would like one, e-mail Nancy Benedict, director of philanthropic programs, in the Foundation office: T h e T r i a n g l e | Fall 2009


omega chapter

Omega Chapter During the period from April 1 – July 31, 2009 the following Tri Sigmas were reported to have entered Omega Chapter. We offer our sympathy to their friends and families and honor them for their lifetime commitment to Tri Sigma.

Member badges are the property of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority. It is the responsibility of every initiated Sigma to see that the badge she wears is protected and never worn by or in the possession of a non-member. When a Tri Sigma enters Omega Chapter her badge may be buried with her or returned to the National Headquarters. A badge should never be sold by any means. The National Treasurer is the official custodian of Sigma Sigma Sigma badges.

Alpha Claire Kreienbaum Hannan Gazelle Ware Kamp

Alpha Delta Florence Talley Atkinson Mary Deans Pileggi

Zeta Jeanette Erwin Joslin Evelina Medlicott Schopp GOLDEN VIOLET

Alpha Zeta Ethel Mestoyer Lawrence Elaine Truly Pearson

Iota Mary Logan McKernon

Beta Rho Shirley Yates Edington

Alpha Sigma Virginia Sugg Ellard Frances Moore Walker

Alpha Kappa Elsie McCall Rinehart

Beta Phi Deborah Lamor Williams Beta Chi Ruth Harlacher Schaefer

Alpha Tau Lois Cooper Pridgen

Kappa Nancy Pfeifer Carrier

Alpha Lambda Betty Liese Langhauser Audrey Pillman Lewis

Lambda Betty Little Hicks

Alpha Mu Marion Schorr Brown

Mu Umatilla Murdock Arnold

Alpha Xi Dorothy Rusteika Banerdt Betty Barfknecht Freehling GOLDEN VIOLET

Omicron Elizabeth Mitchell Clipper

Beta Lambda Carol Dawn Graetz

Alpha Pi Edna Ahlgrim Holler GOLDEN VIOLET H. Louise Ande Ruesch

Gamma Gamma Mary Catherine O’Brien

Alpha Upsilon Sherry Helsley Gordon Bettie Steele Smith

Gamma Xi Julie Morgan Hensley

Alpha Phi Carole Stier Young Eloise Dickerson Sparks

Gamma Rho Julie Prenatt Higgins Epsilon Theta Linda Elliott Mills

Beta Alpha Elfriede Henke Sarina

Pi Rosemary Dabbs McKenna #SNAKE

Rho Tanya Luther Pumillo


Sigma Nancy Bair Perenyi Chi Erlene Hoppes Scheer GOLDEN VIOLET

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Triangle - Fall 2009  

This is the Fall 2009 issue of our national magazine.