While Valentine's Day provides a scheduled opportunity for families, partners, and friends to shower one another with love, affection, and cheap candy, I enjoy celebrating the unofficially titled "Galentine's Day" on February 13. To me, this day serves as a chance to reflect on the impressive and vibrant women I have crossed paths with in my life and who I continue to emulate and admire each day.
I spent the last week working with fellow ELCs, Fraternity volunteers, HQ staff, and alumnae at Gamma Kappa Chapter's reestablishment at George Washington University. As I met new member after new member and saw friendships budding between the overwhelmed—but enthusiastic—women, I was continuously overcome with emotions of excitement, sincerity, and love as I thought about these women beginning their experience with Kappa Alpha Theta.
Bettie, Hannah, Alice, and Bettie sparked the original Theta bond. Today, the love I have for the Fraternity and its members is due in part to our founders, but also to the contemporary women who have shaped my own Theta experience. Love can present itself in different and often unexpected ways, but the love that exists in the Fraternity appears in many facets of my life.
It is pride for the international organization of which I am a part and my constant effort to better the chapters I work with while traveling around the continent.
It is my excitement for the Gamma Kappa charter members and all new members who have yet to realize the impact Kappa Alpha Theta will have on their lives and my gratitude for the exposure to new cities, good eats, fresh ideas, and worldly perspectives.
It is support of and from my peers who continue to pursue the widest influence for good in all their endeavors, and it is my appreciation for the brilliant, creative, authentic, hardworking, talented, conscientious, thoughtful, and inspiring members of Kappa Alpha Theta who are unapologetically themselves.
With Thanksgiving behind us and the busy holiday season underway, it is important to take a few minutes to practice gratitude. Recently, I have been reflecting on the many reasons I am thankful to be a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, and I thought I would share a few with you.
- Theta has given me some of my truest friends. In my three years on staff as an educational leadership consultant (ELC), I have had the privilege of serving on four different ELC teams with 44 different women who were initiated at 35 different campuses. Those numbers alone represent the magic of Theta—the magic of bringing together women from across the continent who might never have been friends if it weren't for the ties that bind us. For example, last year, I had the opportunity to establish the Theta Lambda Chapter at Rochester with then-ELC Savannah Vogel. As someone who has spent the majority of her life on the West Coast, it's unlikely I would have a roommate from Wisconsin, but Savannah is now one of my very best friends and future bridesmaids. I have Theta to thank for bringing phenomenal women like her into my life.
- Theta helped me find my passion. Throughout my time in college, I loved to try new things. I had a job on campus, interned off campus and over the summer, and was involved in several student organizations, all with the intent of narrowing my post-graduate focus. It wasn't until I began serving the Fraternity as an ELC that I found my true passion of working with undergraduate students. I love being on college campuses, I love learning from young leaders, and I especially love supporting women as they lead the way in their communities. I am so thankful I took a leap of faith and chose to pursue the ELC program three years ago, because in doing so, I started working in a field I have come to wholeheartedly care about.
- Thetas inspire me. I am proud every single day to be a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. Our network of thousands of women leaves me in awe of the outstanding work we do. First, there was this article featuring leading women of the Epsilon Upsilon Chapter at Columbia. Then there was this initiative by the women of the Delta Omicron Chapter at Alabama, spreading the widest influence for good by raising thousands of dollars for suicide prevention. Most recently, this video was recorded by members of the Beta Omicron Chapter at Iowa, addressing the effects of sexism. These Thetas, like many others, are paving the way for their peers to create positive change on their campuses and in their communities. It is truly an honor to be a member of an organization that cultivates and inspires leading women to be their very best each day.
These are a few of many reasons to be thankful for Theta. What are you grateful for this holiday season? Share in the comments below!
What made you fall in love with Theta?
In honor of Valentine's Day earlier this week, it is exciting to think about what attracted you to Theta. There are so many aspects to love about our organization; Thetas of all ages should continue loving Theta throughout life! Whether it was Theta's focus on service, sisterhood, scholarship, or something else that made you choose Theta, here are some ideas for how you can celebrate Theta love with your sisters!
Sisterhood: Have a movie night or make a "Galentine's Day" meal with sisters! While these are fun activities to do with your sisters year-round, it is the perfect opportunity to watch a sappy romantic comedy.
Scholarship: Study as a group! Many members choose to study together frequently. Add more fun to your studying by bringing along some chocolates and candies! Plus, all the Valentine's Day candy will be on sale. Win, win!
Service: Write letters to our troops or make valentine's treats for your local CASA chapter. Many chapters choose to write letters to our troops for Day of Service, so why not send valentines to our troops for the holiday? Sending Theta love to your local CASA chapter is another wonderful way to thank CASA volunteers for everything they do for our international philanthropy, as well as an opportunity to send love to children supported by CASA volunteers. Remember too to take part in our 150 Days of Celebrating Service!
These are just a few ideas of fun activities you can do with your sisters to celebrate Theta love. No matter what, cherish great times with your sisters. Let us know in the comments section what ideas you have to share!
Halloween is a fun and exciting time of the year. Friends get together to celebrate with festive decorations, lots of candy, and of course, dress up in costumes. Halloween costumes are an opportunity to be creative, but it is important to be intentional about a costume choice. Walk into any costume store, and you are bombarded with hyper-sexualized costumes that are anything but creative and do not support the image of a strong, empowered woman that we value as members of Kappa Alpha Theta.
Whether you are celebrating an historical leader or dressing up as a favorite female character, there are many strong women you can be on Halloween. Here are three costume ideas that are easy to make and celebrate leading women!
Hermione Granger: Hermione Granger, the leading woman of the Harry Potter series, is academically excellent, compassionate, and a fiercely loyal friend. Grab an Oxford shirt, pull-over sweater, skirt and tights, and a small stick for your wand.
Katniss Everdeen: The Katniss costume takes a little more work because you'll need to create a bow with arrows, but all you need beyond that is a braid and combat boots. Katniss put her own life on the line to protect her sister, and is a wonderful role model for young women.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Justice Ginsburg is the second woman ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Breaking countless legal and professional barriers for women, she is the perfect example of an empowered woman. All you need for this costume is an old graduation gown, white scarf, eyeglasses, and professional shoes. Throw your hair in a bun, and you will look as professional as Justice Ginsburg.
We would love to see your final costume! Post your image on social media, and use the hashtag #ThetaHalloween to show off which leading woman you chose this Halloween.
What I love most about Theta Thanksgiving is the special recipes Thetas bring from their family traditions to share with their Theta sisters. At both chapters, I was overwhelmed by the incredible home cooked food; endless amounts of mashed potatoes, biscuits, sweet potatoes, and of course, turkey. As the chapters gathered, the event was of course about the food, but it was also about so much more. The opportunity to reflect on things you are thankful for is invaluable to Theta sisterhood. As a first year ELC, I have countless things to be thankful about, but I thought I would share just few.
1.The Women I Meet — Through my travels to different chapters and in my role as second year support, I have the opportunity to meet Theta collegians from across the country. I am constantly inspired by the women I meet and amazed at the things they have accomplished. From student government presidents and community volunteers to published authors and college athletes, Thetas are truly a group of leading women.
2.The Cities I See — One of my favorite parts of being an ELC is the opportunity to visit new cities and college campuses. This semester, I have traveled to Philadelphia, Charleston, Montreal, and Louisville (just to name a few). Flying in to each new city is exciting and I am thankful to experience new foods and traditions.
3.The Support I Have— Between moving to Boston to support Eta Psi/Tufts and traveling to countless chapters, I would not have been successful as an ELC if it weren't for the incredible support I have been given. I cannot express in words how thankful I am for my friends, family, and Kappa Alpha Theta.
4.The Opportunities I've been Given— As my first semester as an ELC draws to a close, I am more aware of how wonderful the opportunity to give back to Theta has been. Each plane ride I take is a new adventure, each woman I meet is a new inspiration, and each and every day is an opportunity to learn something new.
If there is one overarching thing that I have taken away from this year's Theta Thanksgiving celebrations, it is that I will practice being Theta thankful all year round.
I think we all can agree that we are blessed to be a part of an incredible organization, Kappa Alpha Theta. Not only has the Fraternity provided me with a wonderful undergraduate experience, but it continues to be a source of light in my life, not only as a Life Loyal member, but also as an Educational Leadership Consultant (ELC).
Over the past year traveling for the Fraternity, I have had the opportunity to expand my circle of friends and family, which I now realize includes over 250,000 sisters, ten of which I am proud to work with as consultants.
This past week we were able to come together at headquarters to wrap up the semester and to catch up before returning to our different corners of the United States for the holidays. It was truly heartwarming to be able to spend time with these incredible women, my co-workers and sisters, whom I am blessed to have in my life.
I'm counting the Fraternity as one my my biggest blessings this holiday season. What are some of yours? Happy holidays!