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Mary Bocek Comstock, Alpha Sigma/Washington State, is ritual, education and scholarship advisor for Alpha Sigma/Washington State. She previously served at administrative advisor for the chapter. From 2015-17, she volunteered for Theta Foundation's Seattle Scholarship Application Review Committee. Between 2012-2013, she was a member of the Alpha Sigma Centennial Planning Committee, during which she started the Alpha Sigma Alumnae Mentors Program.
Undergraduate officer positions held: House manager (now facility management director) and president (now CEO).
How did you learn about the opportunity to become a Theta volunteer? I'd always known there were volunteer opportunities, of course, but I'll admit I didn't put myself out there as life seemed just too busy. Each of the specific opportunities happened because someone I knew asked me! It's the power of being asked, I suppose.
What made you want to become a Theta volunteer? Theta has always been very special to me. Of course Theta gave me lifelong friends and sisters, but there is more. It is not an exaggeration to note that Theta took a shy, awkward 18-year-old and gave me the confidence and tools to become a leader. I want to be a small part of empowering young leading women to grow into their best selves and watch them pay it forward. We lead, and we develop leaders.
Do you, or did you have, a Theta mentor? I have been influenced by so many Thetas, it is hard to choose just one, so I'll reach back to the very first. If she's reading this, my guess is she will be surprised. The day I pledged was super-busy, exciting and a little scary. I thought, "How will I get to know all of these women? They're never going to like me after they really get to know me." I had an English placement exam the next day and needed my student ID to take it. I realized I'd left my ID at the chapter house when I left Bid Day to go back to my dorm. I couldn't go back to the house alone! Who could I even call? My first academic challenge and...failure. I decided I wouldn't take the test and would not save the money to place out of 101. An hour later, I received a phone call from my Bid Day Buddy, Cindy Robinson Stevens, a woman I barely knew. She told me she had my purse and asked if she could drop it by my dorm; she remembered I had a test. She cared about my success and she was my sister. It was one of those moments that was both profound and taught me that Thetas take care of each other. Ever since, I hope that in big ways and small, I too, have been taking care of Theta and Thetas.
Do you have a special volunteering moment? The Alpha Sigma Centennial in 2013 was beyond special. Serving on the committee, meeting the alumnae and college women, and working with the ritualist, Renee Hausske, really stands out.
Do you have a special Theta moment? I love our ritual. Two special initiations stand out, without a doubt. In 2008, I was present for my daughter Sarah Comstock's initiation. I was so happy for her and I knew this was the beginning of a lifelong adventure for her. In 2009, I was present when our then chapter president (now CEO) Hillary Hadland and many other former chapter presidents initiated our decades-long and retired house mom (facility director), Judy (Julia) Smith, into Kappa Alpha Theta.
Do you have a profession or personal passion? I am a Librarian Services Manager for the King County Library System. My personal and professional passion is for reading and information in all its iterations. In a public library setting this could include a patron's next great read, a student's concern about the validity of a source, where a family will find shelter for the night and everything in between. It's great to be able to serve in a place where libraries are so well supported!
Kristin Quartuccio Schopac, Eta Iota/San Diego, is president of the Providence Alumnae Chapter and permanent alumnae secretary (PAS) for Eta Iota/San Diego. She previously served as administration advisor at Zeta Rho/UC San Diego; website and events coordinator for the Providence Alumnae Chapter; and on the Fraternity's Young Alumnae Board. Kristin is a charter member of both Eta Iota/San Diego and the Providence Alumnae Chapter.
Undergraduate officer positions held: Music chairman and vice president of administration (now chief administrative officer). Also served as a recruitment counselor for San Diego's Panhellenic Council.
How did you learn about the opportunity to become a Theta volunteer? Being a founding member of my college chapter, I had a close relationship with the educational leadership consultants (ELCs) who established our chapter as well as our advisors. Many of our advisors were members of the San Diego Alumnae Chapter, so after graduation, I decided to join them as a member. I first learned about the opportunity to volunteer as a chapter advisor through the alumnae chapter.
What made you want to become a Theta volunteer? I had gotten so much from my membership in Theta (lifelong friendships, leadership opportunities) that I wanted to give back. Being an advisor at a college chapter gave me the opportunity to serve as a mentor to younger Thetas, as our advisors had done with us.
How long have you been a Theta volunteer? I'd say it's probably been a total of 10 years volunteering for Theta in some capacity. I volunteered right out of college as an advisor for a few years, then had a hiatus when I moved back east. I began volunteering again when we established the Providence Alumnae Chapter in 2010.
Do you, or did you have, a Theta mentor? I have so many Theta mentors! The ELCs based at my college chapter, Kristen Kaiser and Stacy Rini, were my first Theta mentors, along with Advisory Board Chairman Christiane Hoffman. Since then I have gained even more Theta mentors, most notably Liz Drake, Theta's director of alumnae engagement.
Do you have a special volunteering moment? Every time I introduce a recent graduate to Theta life as an alumna, it is special to me. So many think that their experience ends after graduation, and I just love showing them how much more Theta has to offer after graduation. I've made just as close friendships and had just as many great experiences as an alumna!
Do you have a special Theta moment? There were so many special Theta moments, but one that stands out was the first time I attended Grand Convention. I was in awe the entire weekend meeting so many Thetas from around North America, all different ages from all different chapters, bonding and sharing our Theta stories and ritual! It will forever remain one of my most memorable Theta memories.
Do you have a profession or personal passion? Before I had children, I worked in residence life at Providence College and as a career advisor at Johnson & Wales University. I took a hiatus from work to raise my three young children, but I love working with college students and I hope to go back to work in the university setting once my children are a bit older. I love seeing students grow during their college years and following their successes after college!
Beth Spransy Dickinson, Delta Theta/Florida, is alumnae district director in Alumnae District IV and event coordinator for NC Triangle Alumnae Chapter. She has previously served as advisory board chairman (ABC) and education advisor for Eta Theta/Central Florida; alumnae district officer and alumnae district president; member of the Raleigh scholarship application review committee; and chapter establishment volunteer.
Undergraduate officer positions held: Archivist & historian and member of the alumnae relations and ritual committees.
How did you learn about the opportunity to become a Theta volunteer? After moving from Florida to North Carolina, a state in which I knew no one, I was definitely missing my alumnae chapter and the interactions I had as a Theta volunteer. While looking on the Theta website, I found out about an opportunity on the alumnae committee. The rest is history!
How long have you been a Theta volunteer? I first became a college chapter advisor in 2001, and with the exception of about four months after moving, have been a volunteer ever since.
Do you, or did you have, a Theta mentor? There are so many Thetas who I look up to, admire and respect, but my Theta mentor has definitely been Debbie Allen, Delta Theta/Florida. Our first connection was our love for Theta and then our love for our Florida Gators! She was the first Fraternity vice president alumnae with whom I had the pleasure of volunteering. She is a volunteer at heart like me and has helped me grow in many of those roles.
Why do you stay involved with Theta?. I get so much out of my continued involvement with Theta! I love the opportunity to connect with Thetas across the district in which I serve (currently Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky) as well as those on the alumnae committee. I had a great time during college, but the relationships I have built as an alumna are even stronger.
Do you have a special volunteering moment? One of my favorite "special volunteering" experiences has been as the member of a chapter establishment team. I have been fortunate to contribute in this role for Zeta Omicron/Wake Forest, Theta Theta/NC State, and Epsilon Nu/Virginia Tech. I enjoy meeting the potential new members, but my favorite part is presiding over the Pledge Service and seeing the look on a new member's face as she recognizes me as one of her interviewers.
Do you have a special Theta moment? The Theta moment that is most special was my wedding day. In addition to my six bridesmaids, our soloist and scripture reader were my Theta sisters. At our reception, we were surrounded by Thetas who serenaded us with the candle lighting song!
Do you have a profession or personal passion? I am a preschool director, and children are my passion!
Do you know a Theta who's made a difference in her local Theta chapter? Let us know!