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Ellen Flynn Benedetto, Epsilon Zeta/Mississippi, is the community involvement advisor at Delta Kappa/LSU. This is her first year serving the Fraternity in a volunteer role.
Undergraduate officer positions held: Service/philanthropy chairman and vice president public relations (now chief marketing officer).
How did you learn about the opportunity to become a Theta volunteer? An advisor at Epsilon Zeta Chapter recommended me for the position, and everything sort of fell into place from there.
What made you want to become a Theta volunteer? It's always been something that I have wanted to do and when the opportunity presented itself, I knew it was meant to be!
Do you, or did you have, a Theta mentor? I have learned so much from so many people during my time as a collegian and now as an advisor. Every woman I have met has taught me something new, but I would not be where I am today as a Theta alumna nor an advisor if it wasn't for one of my former advisors at Ole Miss, Erin Smith, Epsilon Zeta/Mississippi. She is the reason I joined Theta my freshman year and also the reason I am an advisor today.
Why do you stay involved with Theta? Theta gave this girl from a small town in southeast Louisiana a home away from home. Moving five hours away for college and only knowing a handful of people on campus can be extremely frightening. For all that Theta gave me, it seemed only fitting that I pay it back.
Do you have a special volunteering moment? With this being my first semester at Delta Kappa Chapter, it was so special to me to see recruitment from the advisor's point of view. It was great to see all of the hard work our members put in and how successful recruitment was. Seeing their excited faces on Bid Day reminded me of my college days!
Do you have a special Theta moment? Epsilon Zeta Chapter gave me the opportunity to meet new people from different areas of the country. My special Theta moment is having the feeling of sisterhood no matter where I am. It's a great feeling to have!
Do you have a professional or personal passion? I am currently an office assistant at an oil company located in New Orleans. When I am not volunteering with Theta, I am helping at my former high school. I am a strong believer to give back to those who helped build the person I am today!
Michelle celebrates her opportunities to attend Grand Convention and, like so many of us, relishes in the opportunity to see so many Thetas together celebrating our sisterhood and coming to a meeting of the minds of our Fraternity's forwarding-thinking programs and initiatives. She has made special memories as an alumna, seconded only to her time as a collegian hanging out at the chapter facility and solidifying the friendships formed with her sisters. As a volunteer, Michelle loves the opportunities she has had to get together with her sisters at committee meetings, conferences, DLCs, conventions, and more. She loves catching up, telling stories, and sharing laughs.
Michelle is the communications manager for an international school in Hong Kong where she moved to be with her husband. Her professional life is a wonderful blend with her volunteer life, as she has been working for the last ten years in higher education advancement (communications, alumni relations, fundraising). The experiences she has gained in giving professional presentations, committee work, conflict management, volunteer management, and so many other areas have strengthened her professional profile. She is really interested in college student development/student affairs, so the volunteer work she has done with Theta is a perfect fit for her as it allows her to give back in a way that she finds meaningful, and it also makes use of her skills and interests.
Do you know a Theta who's made a difference in her local Theta chapter? Let us know!