February 3, 2011

Staff Profile: "Fresh Faces" Series

Name: Hope Erin Gray

Hometown: Orange County, California

Chapter: Eta Upsilon at Chapman University

Job Title at the EO: I am the Program Manager of Collegiate Housing Operations

How long have you been working at the EO? I’ve been at the EO for over 2 years. However, I have been in my new full time position since October.

Major in college: I majored in Communications Studies and Leadership and Organization Studies

What was your plan post-graduation? I would have loved to stay a college student forever. I was obsessed with student affairs and I thought I would pursue a career in Higher Education. Ultimately, I was inspired by my mentor and Chapter Advisor Wendy Sugg. She and my work alongside other attorneys at my political internship led me to law school. Initially, I worked as a political consultant for a year after college – managing campaigns and establishing a Political Action Committee that was dedicated to promoting excellence in education. I began law school at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles before going a little California stir-crazy and applying to transfer to law schools in Chicago.

Why did you decide to take a job with Alpha Phi International Fraternity? When I was considering moving to Chicago I was looking for a support network and a way to keep busy. I had visited the Executive Office when I was a collegiate on the COL (Committee on Leadership) and I knew that the EO was close to Chicago. I visited the website and saw that there were several job openings. I decided to move and had an interview at the Executive Office that first week. I began my second year of law school at Loyola Chicago, lived downtown and worked part-time at the EO.

What do you like best about working at the Executive Office? I love working collaboratively and acting as part of a team. When I go to the office I never feel like I’m going to work.

What are some of your goals for the next few years? My goal for the next few years is to learn as much as possible about Fraternal Law, housing/real estate, and other legal issues facing professionals in Higher Education. I’d also like to get my former Southern California tan back!

What is your favorite memory of Alpha Phi—as a collegian, alumna, or staff member? There are too many to pick just one. Alpha Phi has changed my life for the better on so many occasions. With each milestone I have a favorite new memory. At this point in my life, it has been so wonderful witnessing sisters, that I was in college with, fall in love, get engaged and then get married.

Do you have any advice for current collegiate members? My advice is to volunteer for any and every position possible and pursue leadership opportunities in your chapter, whether big or small. There is nothing like the personal growth and skill development that can be obtained through coordination of events or management of chapter operations (I overcame my debilitating fear of public speaking by leading weekly chapter and Executive Council meetings). Also, attend as many sisterhood events as possible and recognize that sometimes the best relationships with your sisters grow out of attending an event where only a few others show up.

Kristen Mitchell is the Program Manager of Marketing and Communications at the Executive Office. She can be reached at kmitchell@alphaphi.org

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