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I Am a Theta   [Clear]    (Found 4)

Fraternity Blog

Posted On: Monday, December 16, 2013 08:00 AM, by Ashley Atkins
Ashley Atkins
Beta Rho/Duke
Two years ago, I was asked to serve as the strategic planning committee chairman, responsible for implementation of the Fraternity's relatively new Plan of Aspirations. Grand Council had adopted the plan in February 2011 after several months in development, and I was thrilled to take on this job! I get really excited about strategic plans and I thought, what a better way to give back to the Fraternity than by using my skills in strategic planning. You may be thinking, "You actually like strategic plans?" But, I truly believe that they are so important to organizations like Kappa Alpha Theta. They provide us with a roadmap for the work that we do. And for an organization with nearly 200,000 members spread across the world, it helps everyone have a shared responsibility for moving the organization forward in the same direction.

Developing and implementing a strategic plan like our Plan of Aspirations focuses an organization, its chapters, and its members to think about "Where are we? Where do we want to go? And how do we get there?" In looking at the Plan of Aspirations, you will see that it is focused on the fundamental values of our organization: high scholastic aims, the widest influence for good, creating a relevant experience for all members, along with the addition of efficient operations so that we can do all the other things. In developing this plan, Grand Council assessed where we were in each of these areas and set targets for where we want to go. Some of these targets are very specific: that we will increase by 15 percent the number of members graduating with honors, or that we will double our alumnae member engagement. Others are less specific, and the Fraternity workforce—both staff and volunteer officers—have been working during the last three years to develop action plans to define "how we get there."

We are well along the path to meet our goals and targets that are set out in the plan. A significant part of the early efforts were focused on the Fraternity workforce and ensuring that we have the right structures and systems in place to focus our efforts on achieving the rest of the plan. With those systems now in place, efforts have shifted to developing programming to achieve some of the goals that Grand Council defined. In our efforts to extend the widest influence for good, there have been significant increases in member engagement with CASA, the development of the Kappa Alpha Theta Service Trip to engage college members in service learning tied to our core values, and a 21 percent increase in donations made to CASA. In terms of scholarship, 26 percent of our chapters were first in scholarship on their campuses, with 79 percent of chapters at or above the all-sorority average (ASA), just one percentage point away from our 80 percent target. And new programming has been developed to provide relevant materials for all members, both college and alumnae, including the addition of mental health screening resources as part of our Sisters Supporting Sisters program.

While we are proud of our many accomplishments over the last three years, you might be wondering, "How can I help advance the goals of the Fraternity on a more local level?" Individuals and chapters can think about the questions "Where are we now? Where do we want to go? And how do we get there?" This time of the year is a perfect time to do this, too, as the year winds down and you think about your own personal and chapter goals for 2014. I encourage you to think about how you spend your time. Are you focused on achieving your highest scholarship? Are you helping extend the widest influence for good? What are you doing to help make your Theta experience relevant? For leaders at both college and alumnae chapters, think about how you are spending your time as a chapter. Do your activities align with the goals of the Fraternity? If not, how can you change or tweak those activities to help the Fraternity meet its goals?

Here's one key point to remember, too: As you think about these questions and set your own individual and chapter goals, be sure to track your progress. And communicate your successes along the way! The Fraternity wants to hear your stories of how you are living and engaging with the strategic plan. Submit a story to the I Am a Theta campaign, or let us know by emailing How are you using your membership experience to continue to live the values of Kappa Alpha Theta?

I look forward to hearing and telling your stories over the next few months. And watch this blog for more updates on the great work of Thetas everywhere.

Ashley Atkins, Beta Rho/Duke, is a Fraternity vice-president and strategic planning committee chairman. She is also a Life Loyal member.

Posted On: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 09:47 AM, by Amy Hayner Kates
Amy Hayner Kates
Alpha Phi/Tulane
Every holiday season, my mailbox fills with family newsletters. I never send one, but I love catching up on what our friends are doing. One sends us a "top ten" list of family experiences. Another always sends a photo collage of her adventures. These letters make me think about the past year: What have I done? What have I accomplished?

This year, I was encouraged to blog about our Fraternity's accomplishments in 2012. It's particularly appropriate because we have just completed year one of our Plan of Aspirations, and I am very proud of the momentum that has developed toward achieving our lofty goals.

One goal is to invest new energy and focus in our alumnae program so that it better meets the needs of our members. We have invested tremendous resources and developed an ambitious plan to double the number of alumnae actively engaged by 2015. To that end, we have launched the links program, which connects alumnae via social media to their college chapters, and expanded the circles program, for towns and cities in which an alumnae chapter isn't feasible but the relevance of Theta for a lifetime has not been lost.

We have also seen greater participation by alumnae in our extension efforts. Our new chapter at Boston University was installed with a full advisory board of alumnae. Our Zeta Omicron and Alpha Beta chapters at Wake Forest and Swarthmore will be re-established this year. It is so exciting to bring back disestablished chapters and watch them soar to success, as we did at Alpha Xi/Oregon in 2012. It is a privilege to watch our Fraternity chapters grow in quantity as well as quality!

Speaking of quality, Theta has always strived for excellence in scholarship. In our Plan of Aspirations, we place a renewed emphasis on scholarship. Highest scholarship does not mean "average"; it means HIGHEST. The results of this new emphasis are staggering: 33 chapters ranked number one on their campus for grades, and 80 percent of our chapters above the all-sorority average on their campuses.

Academic excellence is not achieved in a vacuum. This was the first year for our Top Ten Faculty program, in which every college chapter voluntarily nominated a faculty member to be recognized by our Fraternity. The reaction and recognition this program received is overwhelming, and it has been very rewarding to see our college women build these crucial relationships and personify Theta pride to their professors.

Theta pride was overflowing at the annual meeting of the Association of Fraternity Advisors. It was there that our Sisters Supporting Sisters mental health initiative received the Excellence in Educational Programming Award. We are so excited to continue to build this ground-breaking program.

2012 was the fourth year of our International Day of Service when Thetas unite on Bettie Locke's birthday to serve their campus or community. College and alumnae chapters organize events for their members, but individual Thetas also spread the widest influence for good by giving time to help those in need.

These are the big accomplishments that I wanted you to know about, the ones I think about when I think about being your president. I also think about many, many Thetas who are telling me their stories of their lifetime of Theta experiences. The stories of small gestures like wearing your badge on Founders Day and amazing accomplishments like a chapter that raised more than $10,000 for CASA make my job so rewarding. I would like to thank every Theta for her loyalty to the Fraternity and to encourage each of you to tell your story. You never know who you might inspire.

Amy Hayner Kates, Alpha Phi/Tulane, is president of Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity and is a charter Life Loyal member.

Posted On: Friday, August 10, 2012 08:30 AM, by Liz Appel Rinck
"I Am a Theta" is a special video that was shown during the opening session of Grand Convention 2012 in June. Featuring alumnae and collegians from Alpha/DePauw, Beta/Indiana, Gamma/Butler, Nu/Hanover, Omicron/USC, Alpha Chi/Purdue, Beta Rho/Duke, Gamma Zeta/Connecticut, Gamma Iota/Kentucky, Delta Zeta/Emory, Delta Sigma/Ball State, Epsilon Epsilon/Baylor, Epsilon Theta/Stetson, Epsilon Mu/Princeton, Zeta Sigma/Ohio Northern, and Eta Phi/Belmont, it beautifully illustrates how the Fraternity is part of each and every one of us ... yesterday, today and tomorrow. If we didn't already know that Theta is for a lifetime, this video would remind us!

We hope you'll take a few minutes to view "I Am a Theta"; perhaps you'll want to share it with a Theta sister. And if viewing the stories of why other women became Thetas makes you want to describe your story, we'd love to hear it. In the I Am a Theta area of the Theta website, you can watch the video, read stories by other Thetas, and share your own story. We hope you'll be inspired.

Liz Rinck, Gamma/Butler, is director of communications at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity and is a charter Life Loyal member.

Posted On: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 10:05 AM, by Jessica Siegel
Jessica Siegel, Gamma/Butler
Kappa Alpha Theta is an exceptional fraternity—not because of the symbols or the ritual, or the fun activities and events, but because of the extraordinary women across the world who have chosen to become members.

Each Theta is unique, and each member's experience is different and relevant. Some Thetas work outside of the home, some have families, some are abroad, while some have remained in their hometowns. No matter who we are, or where we are in life, we are Thetas... and we are making an impact.

Because of the uniqueness of our members, the Fraternity has created the "I Am a Theta" campaign. You may have already seen it on the website, and you will continue to see more of it in the weeks and months to come. "I Am a Theta" provides the opportunity to showcase our amazing, diverse group of women. It allows members to reflect upon what Theta is to them and to share their Theta story!

This is where you, as Thetas, come in: What is YOUR Theta story? We encourage you to visit the I Am a Theta section of the website and think about what YOUR story may be. How is Theta impacting your life right now? Were Theta sisters there for you in a time of need? Did Theta help shape you into the woman you are today? Each Theta has a story to tell, and we would love to hear yours!

I am Jessica Siegel. I am a Butler Bulldog. I am an event coordinator for the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn. I am a friend, daughter, volunteer, and lover of life. And I AM A THETA!

Jessica Siegel, Gamma/Butler, is a public relations specialist for Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity.