March 28, 2011

WPI Installation

In 1879, Alpha Phi adopted its official colors, silver and bordeaux, distinctive shades that have come to represent the rich history and timeless bonds originally established by our Fraternity's ten Founders.

Since their adoption, members have worn these colors in the form of a silver and bordeaux ribbon under their badges to acknowledge special occasions. These recognized occasions include Alpha Phi Founders’ Day, the anniversary of a chapter’s installation and the installation of a new chapter.


On April 2, Alpha Phi and its members will honor the installation of our Iota Omicron chapter at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA.  On this day, we ask members to participate in our Fraternity’s long-standing tradition by wearing silver and bordeaux ribbon beneath our member badges.

We have also created a recognition icon for use on Facebook profile pages, and ask members to upload it as their profile pictures or post it to their walls, spreading awareness about Iota Omicron’s installation. You can download this icon here.

Take this chance to embrace tradition and wear your Alpha Phi colors proudly in recognition of these two exciting events!

Stay tuned to our blog for a follow-up post next week, which will include photos and highlights from Iota Omicron's installation.

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

March 24, 2011

“Smaller Scale, Same Heart:" A Day in the Life of a Theta Psi



Just like any member of Alpha Phi, the sisters in the Theta Psi chapter at SUNY Plattsburgh in upstate New York share the same values, motivations, drive and love for their organization as their fellow sisters at much larger chapters.  The biggest difference is the scale on which this is done.

Plattsburgh State is a relatively small public university situated approximately thirty minutes from the Canadian border; so understandably, our chapter is relatively small in comparison to its larger counterparts.  After recruitment this semester, and before our continuous open bids are given out, we have fifty-nine sisters in our chapter—equivalent to new member classes at some larger universities.  For this reason, there is an undeniable strength in the individual bonds grown between our sisters, and we make every attempt to complete the work of hundreds of women with half of the numbers.  

As Alpha Phis, we love to make a difference.  That difference comes in various forms, but the reflection of our personal, organizational and interpersonal integrity is always defined by the actions we take both as individuals and as a sorority.  One way we do this is through the women that we recruit for our chapter.

Melissa Smith, Social Chair, says that joining Alpha Phi was the best decision of her life.  Smith says, “I got involved on campus and within the community.  I learned how to manage my time, and being busy is much more fun than you think.  I’ve met some of the most amazing people whether it is in my organization or in others, and my life has been brightened since I became a sister.  All of Alpha Phi and all of its sisters in our chapter have made me a better person, and it’s still helping me make positive decisions in my life.http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/186192_1357110052_7922711_q.jpg

i think that joining alpha phi was the best decision i ever made. i got involved on campus and within the community, i learned how to manage my time and being busy is funner than you think! ive met some of the most amazing people whether it be in my organization or in others and my life has been brightened since i became a sister. its hard to explain it though because i guess people cant undertsand the love and fun we have if they arent apart of us. but overall, all alpha phi and all its sisters in our chapter have made me a better person and its still helping me make positive decisions in my life. i just love alpha phi!
There are unique challenges that face every woman interested in embarking on a life-long journey of sisterhood, and for this reason, it isn’t a decision that comes lightly in both offering and accepting membership into our chapter.  The Plattsburgh campus does not participate in a formal recruitment process, so all of our events are held in a slightly different fashion, spanning the first few weeks of a semester up until bids are given out.  A lot of hard work and dedication goes into the preparation of our recruitment events by Ashley Lybert, Vice President of Member Recruitment, and her committee, which I am a part of.  Some of the events that we held this semester included a craft night, game night, Valentine’s brunch, an open house event and a Zumbathon.  These events allowed us the opportunity to get to know each of the women individually over an extended period of time, which is essential in determining if a woman possesses the integral qualities of an Alpha Phi. 

Sisters celebrate Greek Week.

Currently, we are in the overwhelmingly emotional and hectic stage of organizing potential big sisters with their future little sisters.  This results in endless nights of crafting and ordering merchandise from Alpha Phi vendors, praying it gets here in time for the various ceremonies. There is an infinite desire to produce craft projects into the late hours of the night, but luckily it is something that we enjoy together.  These projects range from utilizing our calligraphically inclined puffy paint skills to sewing letters from our favorite fabrics. 

Having a smaller chapter allows us to bond and even hold sisterhood events to produce crafts on occasions.  Melanie Swartz, Sisterhood Chair and member since Spring 2010, says that one of the benefits of Fraternity and Sorority life at Plattsburgh is the fact that we are a smaller campus, since “it not only gives us a chance to know all of the members of our organization very well, but a chance to get to know and work with other members of Greek organizations.” 

Fostering positive Greek relations is something that every sister works hard on every day.  Not only do our actions affect the reputation of Alpha Phi, but it has an impact on the perception of Fraternity and Sorority life as a whole on our campus. There is a constant need to improve how we are perceived by the community to oppose the societal stereotypes created by renditions of Greeks in popular culture. 

Our daily life goes beyond recruitment, though we are always looking for wonderful, new additions to our organization, and it even goes beyond fostering friendships within our own and other Greek organizations.  Our primary function is service.  Beyond the social aspects of being part of Alpha Phi, we aim for the highest ideals of an individual, which are born from service to our university, our organization, our community and ourselves. We are sure to represent our values within ourselves and outwardly to the public.  In fact, one of our recruitment events, the Zumbathon, was also a fundraising event for women’s heart health that allowed our potential new members to see us actively working toward a healthy lifestyle, fundraising and getting to share our values with the community.  We also participated in a wellness fair held by our campus with other Greek organizations to promote the benefits of exercise and eating healthy.

Another fundraising event that is being planned by our chapter this semester is an event called “Dance Your Heart Out.”  Unfortunately, the size of our campus doesn’t lend itself to host a Red Dress Gala, although we would love to, so we opted for an alternative.  This event, which has been in the works since last semester, is going to be a dancing competition.  The winning team in the competition will receive a donation to the charity of their choice.  This is the Theta Psi take on a unique event to help promote our philanthropy and the unity of the diverse organizations on our campus. 

Sisters unite with other Greeks on campus for a philanthropy event.

Being involved isn’t easy.  It is frantic and exciting; causing every sister to achieve a balance they never thought was possible.  The primary reason our sisters come to college is academics, but adding Alpha Phi into the mix creates a juggling act between this, social interactions, community service, organizational involvement, leadership development, friendships and other extracurricular activities.  There is hardly time to think, yet we all do it gracefully with a smile on our faces.  This is because we love Alpha Phi.  There is no other way to explain why we do the things we do. 

As a chapter, we maintain the highest GPA of all sororities on our campus.  Our sisters range from pre-med majors, to education, to hotel management, all the way to art. Maria Trumbull, New Member Educator, says the following about her membership: “Life as an Alpha Phi isn’t normal.  It’s hectic. It’s busy, insane, and just plain crazy.  It requires a lot of attention and demands much of you.  It’s not perfect, but it’s all those imperfections, all these demands, all the crazy, hectic, insane things that it throws into our lives, that make Alpha Phi so special.  It’s why I love Alpha Phi so very much.  It’s the moments of bliss that create unforgettable memories.  It’s the times with your sisters that make it so hard to leave.  It’s the crazy weekends and busy weeks that make life as an Alpha Phi so extraordinary.  The bond that is created through these wonderful and chaotic years is what makes our sisterhood so unique, so unified and so amazing.  Alpha Phi may not be perfect, but it’s the women that are in it that make it so wonderful, so ideal.  So I say, yes, Alpha Phi may not be perfect, but it’s perfect for me, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

As a sister since Fall 2010, time management is something that has become a scary reality for me.  I am a triple major in Art History, English Literature and Anthropology, along with holding the alumnae relations chair position, serving on various committees, holding positions outside of my sorority and working a part-time job.  There is hardly time to rest, but when I do, it is almost always with late-night dinner trips with my sisters, gym sessions, crafting and listening to my entire chapter talk about Jersey Shore, which I ignorantly thought was an anthropological study of culture in the greater New Jersey area—turns out, I was wrong.  Although I may not be in tune with popular culture, my sisters help keep me in check, since it’s easy for me to become enveloped in academia with little to no escape. 

Since our chapter is in small, we face challenges that may be less prominent at larger chapters.  Every sister’s GPA counts, so long hours studying in the library are a must.  Our Executive Council even offers prizes for the sisters that log the most study hours and earn the most “A’s” on their papers.  Many of our sisters are involved and active in various facets of both our university and our community, including sports teams, school publications, clubs, honor societies and alternative spring breaks.

Though we may spend a lot of time studying and volunteering, Alpha Phi goes way beyond that.  We wear our letters everywhere we go, whether physically or metaphorically.  We may not always be doing Alpha Phi related activities, but we are always proudly bearing the symbol of the forget me not, our Silver and Bordeaux crest, our loyalty to our precious Teddy and our love for every sister of our chapter, old and new. 

The 2011 New Member class.

Being in a smaller chapter provides the perspective of a sorority through a magnifying glass.  Since there are so few of us on campus, every action that we perform is Alpha Phi and every action is magnified.  This is why we strive to uphold our values on a day-to-day basis and proudly share our love for Alpha Phi.

There isn’t a better way to describe my life as an Alpha Phi than to say it is crazy, at its best.  A day doesn’t go by that I am not frantically calling a sister to help coax me through the complexity of everything that I am trying to deal with at once.  I’m busy, I’m stressed, I’m donating what little time I have to help a greater cause, and I’m almost always thinking about ways to solve a problem that may not even exist yet—but the greatest part?  I’m never alone.  I have fifty-eight other women with me every step of the way.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  The friendships that I have formed in my chapter will never leave me.  I have had the opportunity to create bonds with alumnae from the beginning of our chapter, and I could easily express at least one interesting fact about each of our current members.  I don’t think I would have had this opportunity in a larger chapter.

So sure, we don’t have a Greek Row.  We also may not have the capacity to host a Red Dress Gala, or have a designated Alpha Phi house, or have existed for over a hundred years, but that doesn’t falter our commitment to our organization and each of the sisters who are members.  We may go about things a little differently, on a bit of a smaller scale. We may not have the numbers of larger chapters, but we work with what we have and represent Alpha Phi in everything that we do, which gives a little Theta Psi touch to our university, and a little pride in ourselves for all that we strive to accomplish.

Chelle Haynes is a senior at SUNY Plattsburgh (Theta Psi).

March 22, 2011

A Director of New Member Education Reflects




While preparing to be Director of New Member Education for the Spring 2011 New Member Class, I reflected on what I loved about Alpha Phi: sisterhood, character development and the ritual. For Assistant Director of New Member Education, Palida Noor, and I, our main goals were to share our love for our chapter with the new members and educate about the various facets of being an Alpha Phi through fun programming.

Through different events, traditions and bonding activities, the new members are able to connect with sisters, their new member class and grow as individuals. One of our favorite events at the Theta Kappa Chapter is “tunnel painting” that caps Big/Little week. Bigs and Littles paint a major tunnel together on the University of Rochester’s campus displaying their Alpha Phi pride.* In addition, Bigs and Littles write messages displaying their special bond. Events, traditions and ceremonies allow the new members to find their place in Alpha Phi and begin lifelong relationships.

Photo by Leah Peres

I spoke with a few of our newly initiated members about the new member process, and overwhelmingly, sisters talked about how it pushed them in a positive direction. Some remarked that they developed effective study habits, or  learned how to manage their time more efficiently. Others discovered their love for philanthropy and are excited to become involved in various efforts.  

A good number of new members described how they have found a group of women who they can finally be themselves around, without fear of judgment or censure. Taylor McKenty, class 2014, perfectly captures why so many members see Alpha Phi as not only an organization, but a home as well. She remarked enthusiastically, “I see so much of myself in everyone.”

Older sisters, due to their involvement on campus, academic achievements and leadership, have inspired new members to take risks, gain confidence and become comfortable with their individuality. Lila Cantor, class of 2014, reflected how the new member process developed and refined her leadership skills. Lila states that the new member process “reinforced my patience and understanding, and proved that I can be a great asset [to Alpha Phi] as well as a leader.”

As Alpha Phis, we strive to live the ritual and uphold the highest ideals of womanhood. Throughout the new member period, our women develop intellectually, form leadership skills and learn the importance of sisterhood. By sharing certain ceremonies, the new members get a glance of the ritual that connects all Alpha Phis. By planning events that focus on the Alpha Phi values, and combining that with love and enthusiasm from older sisters, new members will continue to be an integral part of your chapter and simultaneously become better women.

Devin Denny is a senior at the University of Rochester (Theta Kappa).

*Editor's note: "Tunnel painting" is pre-approved by the University of Rochester and Campus Panhellenic.

March 16, 2011

The Silver and Bordeaux Tradition: Gamma Phi Chapter’s Installation at FSU


In 1879, Alpha Phi adopted its official colors, silver and bordeaux, distinctive shades that have come to represent the rich history and timeless bonds originally established by our Fraternity's ten Founders.

Since their adoption, members have worn these colors in the form of a silver and bordeaux ribbon under their badges to acknowledge special occasions. These recognized occasions include Alpha Phi Founders’ Day, the anniversary of a chapter’s installation and the installation of a new chapter.

On March 19, Alpha Phi and its members will honor the re-installation of our Gamma Phi chapter at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. On this day, we ask members to participate in our Fraternity’s long-standing tradition by wearing silver and bordeaux ribbon beneath our member badges.

We have also created a recognition icon for use on Facebook profile pages, and ask members to upload it as their profile pictures or post it to their walls, spreading awareness about Gamma Phi’s installation. You can download this icon here.

We also look forward to the installation of our Iota Omicron chapter at Worcester Polytechnic Institute on April 2, and once again ask our chapters to take part in these events on that date.

Take this chance to embrace tradition and wear your Alpha Phi colors proudly in recognition of these two exciting events!


Stay tuned to our blog for a follow-up post next week, which will include photos and highlights from Gamma Phi’s installation.


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

March 14, 2011

Meet Alpha Phi's Collegiate Perspective Guest Bloggers!



We are excited to announce our 2011 Collegiate Perspective Guest Bloggers! Stay tuned to read their pieces on a variety of topics: everything from Alpha Phi fashion to philanthropy ideas and more! For now, get to know each of our guest writers by reading their bios below. Welcome to the Alpha Phi blog team!



Alison Parker is a sophomore member of the Theta Iota chapter at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. Originally from
Martinsville, VA, she is a Media Arts and Design (Journalism) major
with minors in Dance and Conflict Analysis/Intervention. She is the Vice President of Marketing for her chapter and believes online media has a huge impact on Alpha Phi’s image. Alison was instrumental in creating a Twitter account and blog for her chapter and is currently designing a new website. In her free time, she enjoys kayaking, photography, theatre, dancing and swimming. She loves Alpha Phi and strives to live the ritual every day.







Chelle Haynes is a senior at SUNY (Plattsburgh) where she is a member of the Theta Psi chapter. She currently serves as the Alumnae Relations Chair, a member of the Recruitment Committee and part of the campus wide Future Fraternal Leaders program. Outside of Alpha Phi, Chelle is the president of Lambda Pi Eta, the communications honors society, and a member of Anthropology Club, Honors Student Association and Omicron Delta Kappa, the leadership honors society. She is a triple major in Art History, English Literature and Anthropology with minors in Journalism, Spanish and Archaeology. Chelle waitresses at the restaurant Friendly's on the weekends and also runs her own photography business. She was the Art Director, Photo Editor and Web Editor of a student run, award-winning newspaper, Cardinal Points, along with serving for two years as the Editor-in-Chief of her school yearbook. She speaks Spanish and two dialects of Elvish fluently (yes, the Lord of the Rings language), loves Wonder Woman and plays the keytar.



Alex Jackson, born and raised in Southern California, is a senior at George Mason University with a major in Communication and a minor in Business. She has recently completed her term as President of the Eta Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi and was recently awarded Greek Woman of the Year by GMU Fraternity and Sorority Life. Outside of school and sisterhood, Alex would like to be traveling around the world and visiting friends around the country. She is excited to fulfill her passion for travel upon graduation, as well as moving back to the west coast, but her time in Alpha Phi is something she will never forget. Alex’s Alpha Phi experience has changed her life, and she is excited to enjoy her last few months with her sisters and write for the Alpha Phi International blog.


Devin Denny is a senior at the Theta Kappa Chapter at University of Rochester. She is currently finishing her degrees in History and Religious Studies, writing her thesis and hoping to attend graduate school in the fall. Eventually, Devin would
like to become involved in a non-profit that focuses on women's educational rights. During her membership in Alpha Phi, Devin has served as the Panhellenic Delegate, Marshall, a Recruitment Counselor, and the Director of New Member Education. Devin loves used bookstores, popsicle stick jokes, Humphrey Bogart and the Chicago Cubs.






Grace Roberts is a charter member of the Beta Mu chapter at the University of Alabama. She is a junior finishing her degree in Dance and pursuing another in Public Relations. Grace currently serves as the Director of Parents’ & Family Weekends for the Beta Mu chapter. She is also part of Nu Delta Alpha, a dance honors society on campus. Besides cheering on the tide, Grace spends her free-time working at a local dance boutique and watching Chelsea Lately with her sisters.








Stephanie LeBlanc is the current Vice President of Marketing at Alpha Phi’s Upsilon chapter at Washburn University. Next fall, she will be a 5th year senior finishing up her degree in Psychology. This extra year of school is the result of Stephanie exploring her options to find a path that she genuinely loved, rather than declaring a major early on. A few years ago, she transferred to Washburn from a school that didn’t offer Greek Life and, without hesitation, decided to go through formal recruitment. She found a perfect fit with Alpha Phi and confidently jumped into involvement both in her chapter (a month after initiation, she was elected VPPD) and within other organizations including Psychology Club, Gamma Chi Lambda, Campus Activities Board and Gamma Sigma Alpha. In February 2011, she was selected to join Mortar Board and nominated for Washburn’s Greek Woman of the Year award, which will be decided in May. She looks forward to getting even more involved during her last two semesters and, of course, sharing her Alpha Phi experiences through this amazing opportunity!

March 5, 2011

Alpha Phi: Our Mission


Video created by Kristen Mitchell
Music compliments of Maya Filipic, Stories from Emona III
Film graphics compliments of 123rf.com
Photos compliments of Alpha Phi Archives

March 4, 2011

Calling All Alpha Phi Alumnae!


We are looking for a few alumnae to be on our team of rotating Alumnae Perspective writers. It is our goal to show the lifetime membership of Alpha Phi from a variety of different perspectives. The possibilities are endless and we want to hear your ideas for future posts!

So if you are....


An avid writer
Social media savvy
Passionate about Alpha Phi

Then consider applying to be a guest writer for the Alumnae Perspective section of the Alpha Phi International blog.

In order to be eligible, you must:
- be an alumna member.
- be able to write blog updates monthly, at the minimum.
- be available to write for the next 12 months on rotation.


The application is now closed. Thank you for your interest.


Contact Paige Stallings at pstallings@alphaphi.org with any questions! If you have ideas for blog posts, but don’t have time to be a regular blogger, please let Paige know.

March 3, 2011

Staff Profile: "Fresh Faces" Series

Name: Heather Scheuer

Originally from: Michigan – but I’ve lived in Georgia and now Illinois.

Chapter: Delta Eta at Adrian College

Major: Marketing major with an Art History minor

Job Title: Program Manager of Collegiate Chapter Services

How long have you been working at the EO? Since August 2010

What was your plan post-graduation? I moved to Georgia to work for IBM as a Client Representative for the Sales Department. I’m not a technical person, but I do enjoy working with people to help solve problems. I want to get a graduate degree, however, I haven’t decided what my focus will be yet.

Why did you decide to work for Alpha Phi International Fraternity? I have stayed engaged as a volunteer since graduation. I worked as an advisor at a colony and enjoyed working with collegians a lot. I understand how my role impacts the members of our organization and I feel lucky to be able to work for an organization I truly believe in.

What is your favorite memory of Alpha Phi—as a collegian, alumna, or staff member? It’s impossible to pick just one… but one of my favorite Alpha Phi stories is from the first week I was living in Georgia. I had just graduated college and moved to a new state. While I was unloading my car one of my neighbors came outside and got into her car. She started to back out of her parking spot and then suddenly hit the breaks. She ran over to me because she saw the Alpha Phi sticker in my back window. It turns out my next door neighbor was an Alpha Phi and was President of the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter! It really helped knowing there was someone I had a connection with in a new city.

What do you like best about working at the Executive Office? Even though I have a really long commute to the EO, I enjoy working in such a collaborative environment. Each department is willing to help because we are all working towards the same greater good. Not to mention if you ever need a break you can get lost looking at the memorabilia we have on display in the office!

What are some of your goals for the next few years? The Alpha Phi Experience is continuously evolving and there are always new opportunities for growth and assistance. I enjoy learning from our collegiate members and want to help keep the education and guidance we provide for our chapters relevant and impactful. I’m working with our chapters to help reestablish their history and make the changes necessary for advancement.

Do you have any advice for current collegiate members? Enjoy every moment of your collegiate experience – it goes by way too fast. But more importantly, understand that your experience doesn’t stop once you graduate. My sisters in Georgia, who came from all over the country, helped me build a home there. When I moved again to Illinois I got to reconnect with sisters from Delta Eta and other chapters. I can’t imagine how different my life would be if I stopped being an active participant in the fraternity when college ended.


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

March 1, 2011

Quarterly Review

The Winter 1984 Quarterly featured articles about the National Panhellenic Council.This month, support the NPC and celebrate International Badge Day on March 7, 2011!

Learn how you can promote International Badge Day here:
http://www.npcwomen.org/events-meetings/badge-day.aspx