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Fraternity Blog

Posted On: Monday, February 5, 2018 10:00 AM, by Jenni Broughton Schmaltz

Are you looking for an opportunity that will help you "further develop and hone your leadership skills, bring people with opposing viewpoints together, and learn to strategize" (Kathy Bennett Tonkel, Eta/Michigan), gain "the confidence to go outside your comfort zone" (Lisa Sombart Street, Alpha Mu/Missouri), and build "a wider circle of dear, dear Theta sisters from all over North America of all ages" (Jill Pedicord Peterson, Beta Gamma/Colorado State)?


We recently asked some former board members to reflect on their Theta board service and these are just a few things they identified having gained. There are three board level opportunities across the Theta enterprise. Because each Theta entity has a unique purpose and mission, each board requires different work.


  • Grand Council serves as the governing body of the Fraternity, exercising general supervision over the business and affairs of Kappa Alpha Theta and determining long-term vision and strategy for the Theta enterprise.

  • FHC Directors serve the Fraternity Housing Corporation (FHC), which oversees all housing for Kappa Alpha Theta.

  • Foundation Trustees manage the affairs of Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation in order to fulfill the mission to secure and manage resources for the educational, leadership, and philanthropic programs of the Fraternity and for the scholastic, professional, and service pursuits of its members to help them reach their fullest potential and make a difference in the world.

While individual strengths and background may make a candidate better suited for one board over another, it seems everyone is initially drawn to board service for a different reason, whether it was simply "a desire to make a difference and contribute" (Zita Enloe, Gamma Phi/Texas Tech), "curiosity about how Theta worked on a national level" (Elizabeth Prosser, Alpha Omicron/Oklahoma), a "love of Theta" (Lisa Street), an eagerness to "experience Theta governance and oversight on a national level" (Kathy Tonkel), or seizing the "right opportunity at the right time after not being able to have a full four-year experience while in college" (Lyn Stewart Simensen, Gamma Gamma/Rollins).


No matter what drew them to a Theta board, "rewarding, fulfilling, and enjoyable" were just some of the words used to describe their experiences. Some board members serve only one or two terms, while others have served several terms across multiple boards.


If you are interested in serving Theta in a board capacity, these former board members have the following advice to offer:


  • "Keep an open mind and think outside the box when looking toward the future. For it will only be by being forward thinking that our organization will remain relevant for future generations of women." Lyn Simensen

  • "Make sure you serve for the right reasons. Don't serve with your own personal agenda, and ensure your intentions are altruistic." Zita Enloe

  • "Be prepared to extend yourself in many ways. Give it your all!" Lisa Street

  • "We never stop learning! What a privilege it was to share my professional expertise while learning more from others! Theta encompasses extraordinary leaders! Continual growth both personally and professionally." Jill Peterson

  • "Do it! What you will learn and benefit from as an individual and in your life experience—the challenges, the exposure to various situations and various individuals--far outweighs any negatives. And you will have been involved in determining the direction of a wonderful organization! I would have not traded it for anything!" Kathy Tonkel

  • Are you interested in board service or do you know a Theta who would be a great candidate? Please nominate yourself or a Theta sister for any of the three board service opportunities during the 2018-2020 biennium. Nominations must be submitted by March 1, 2018. Interest Indicators will be available February 7, 2018.

    Jenni Schmaltz, Gamma/Butler, is the chief operating officer for Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity.

    Posted On: Monday, November 28, 2016 07:57 AM, by Liz Appel Rinck
    Autumn 2016 issue

    "My best friends to this day are women I met because of Theta," Jessica Lee, Phi deuteron/Stanford


    "Theta's tagline is about more than sisterhood; it's about enabling, mentoring, and fostering growth in women," Gretchen Wherry West, Epsilon Psi/Richmond


    "True leaders keep adapting and improving in this world of unending change," Joelle Jay, Beta Mu/Nevada


    In each issue of the Theta magazine, we're delighted to introduce you to sisters who personify Theta's ideals of individual achievement and work for the common good, as well as our shared experiences of service, scholarship, and sisterhood. You can meet Jessica, Gretchen, and Joelle in the Autumn 2016 issue, as well as many other Theta collegians and alumnae from across the globe.


    During this season of thanks and giving, let us be grateful for one another and for the first Greek-letter fraternity for women.

    Liz Rinck, Gamma/Butler, is the director of communications at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity headquarters.

    Posted On: Monday, July 25, 2016 08:39 AM, by Laura Kassenbrock Stelsel
    L-R: Cheryl Naasko-Pounds, Psi/
    Wisconsin; Amy Finnegan, Beta Kappa/Drake; and Nichol James, Gamma Mu/Maryland

    Now that we're a month removed from Convention, I've had the opportunity to reflect on one of my favorite observations while in Phoenix: the amount of love that was shown and shared among our Theta volunteers.


    I was overwhelmed by what I saw: alumnae seeing each other for the first time in months or years and embracing, laughing, crying, or squealing with happiness.


    Some of them shared their beautiful stories of friendship with me, and when we returned home, I wanted to hear more. We posted the following on Facebook this week: Have you made any close friends through volunteering for Theta?


    The number of comments, reactions, tags, lovey emojis, etc., that we received was incredible. Here are few:




    Five years ago, a recent graduate Theta asked for assistance from Theta alums in Massachusetts and I was the lucky one to answer the call. Abbey Shea is now a fabulous friend and inspiration -- thank you Kappa Alpha Theta for bringing us together!


    My friendship with all of you has been such a blessing! It's hard to believe we haven't known each other forever. You are all such an important part of my life and I will be forever grateful to Theta and the Alumnae Committee for bringing us all together!"


    You all were there through so much and were such dear friends and sisters. And I'll never forget how you were all there for me during some of the toughest parts of my life even after my official Theta volunteer time was over. You're the best!


    I would say my friends met volunteering mean as much to me as my close pledge sisters I've now known over half my life.


    This just made me tear up a little!! No words describe how thankful I am for Theta and meeting you! Sisterhood is not limited to our individual chapters!




    What struck me about these posts was how these women would never have known one another if they hadn't volunteered with Theta. Many of the friends were intergenerational, and most didn't live geographically near one another.


    But what struck me even more was the real and undeniable bond that is created among women when they work hard for a cause they love.

    Laura Kassenbrock Stelsel, Gamma/Butler, is an assistant director of alumnae engagement at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity headquarters.

    Posted On: Thursday, June 9, 2016 08:15 AM, by Lauren Lewis

    ThetaConnect is the new mobile app created for Thetas! ThetaConnect allows Thetas to connect with other Thetas in their area based on hobbies, interests, and career fields. Users are able to create and attend events in the area that fit in their schedule and that they are interested in. It is free for all Android and iOS users!


    And today is ThetaConnect Day! To celebrate, share your photos and stories to social media using #ThetaConnect and email socialmedia@kappaalphatheta.org with any special photos or stories to feature on our social media channels. Even if you only have time for a quick phone call to a sister you haven't seen in a while, make the call and share your story!

    Some of the app features include:


    Meet a Theta appears on your home page and allows you to connect with Thetas in your area with similar hobbies, interests, and career fields. Tap their profiles to see similar connections you have with them. Be sure to then add her to your contacts, to make it easier to invite her to upcoming events.


    Theta Events appears on your home page and allows you to see what upcoming events are happening in your area. Tap an event that interests you to learn more about the event and to RSVP. See an event that a Theta sister would be interested in attending? If she doesn't have ThetaConnect, please send her an invite by typing in her email address.


    My Events is available by tapping the red button at the top right-hand corner of your screen, called Events. Here you can create a new event, see events in your area, find the events you are going to, as well as the events you're invited to.


    Please download the app today and use #ThetaConnect to post photos of your events with sisters!

    Lauren Lewis, Delta/Illinois, is an assistant director of alumnae engagement at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity headquarters.

    Posted On: Friday, October 30, 2015 10:00 AM, by Melissa Shaub

    What are you passionate about?


    Whether or not you realize it, the answer to this question is an intrinsic part of you and your life. It's what you naturally talk about when you meet someone new at an interview or a party; it's what builds your network and connects you to others who share this passion; and it's the starting point to figuring out what you really want to do after college.


    Unrealistic? No. Finding a job or career that actually ignites your passions can seem impossible, but it's not. Knowing your passion is the first step to understanding what types of jobs will excite and energize you.


    To help ambitious millennials design a career they're passionate about, Levo League created a series of online guides that take you step by step through creating a career planning action plan—to find the one that's right for you and that you would be amazing at.


    We're excited to announce that we've partnered with Levo to offer their Complete Career Toolkit to you for free! The toolkit is comprised of various guides designed to help you find a career you love. Each guide offers coaching videos, tips, and action items to get you the ultimate result: a job and career path that matches your passions.


    To make this announcement even sweeter, Levo is giving away a $100 Modern Citizen gift card and $100 cash to four lucky winners. To enter, just sign up for your guide by November 4.


    Get access by joining Levo today at www.levo.com/kappa-alpha-theta!

    Eva Valerio is a staff member at Levo League.

    Posted On: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 08:28 AM, by Liz Appel Rinck
    Summer 2015 issue
    If you find yourself irresistibly drawn to the Travel Channel whenever you sit down with the remote control, if your bookcase is crammed with Rick Steves's guidebooks, or if you've ever accumulated enough frequent flyer miles to actually cover the cost of a flight, then you will find lots to enjoy in the Summer 2015 Theta magazine.

    Our cover Theta, Tracey Long Carisch, Beta/Indiana, and her family traveled in 25 countries in 15 months on an adventure they dubbed "100 Ways to Change the World." During the two to six weeks they spent in each location, they became part of the community by participating in service efforts, from habitat restoration in New Zealand to assisting with preschool classes in Fiji.

    The subject of our In Her Own Words feature—Louise Lev Geil, Beta Iota/Colorado—is also an enthusiastic traveler. In addition to skiing black-diamond runs, she has been trekking in Nepal. Twice.

    Finally, our "How To" expert, Lisa Smith, Delta Kappa/LSU, offers tips on taking great photographs, whether you're using a DSLR to shoot Mount Everest or a smartphone to shoot the family vacation.

    If you're receiving the print version of the magazine, it should have already arrived in your mailbox. If you're not, an explanation of our distribution system can be found on our website. That's where you can also access the online version of all issues, dating back to 2006.

    Whether you're reading the online or print version, we hope you enjoy the current issue of our magazine!

    Liz Rinck, Gamma/Butler, is the director of communications for Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity and editor of the Theta magazine.


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