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Melina Beeston, Beta Chi/Alberta, is advisory board chairman (ABC) for Beta Chi/Alberta. She has previously served as facility corporation board (FCB) vice-president, recruitment advisor, and finance advisor for the chapter.
Undergraduate officer positions held: Social chairman (now event director), facility manager (now facility management director), and vice-president membership (now chief recruiting officer), chief information officer (now chief education officer).
How did you learn about the opportunity to become a Theta volunteer? I always had an excellent relationship with my advisors and other volunteers while I was an undergraduate member. At Beta Chi, becoming a Theta volunteer is very common with women who have previously held officer positions once they have transitioned to alumnae status. I was asked to join both FCB and advisory board in the years following university.
How long have you been a Theta volunteer? I joined the FCB in the winter of 2011, and the advisory board the following winter in 2012.
Do you, or did you have, a Theta mentor? I've had the very special honor of working with Ruth Wong-Miller since I was an undergraduate member. She was my recruitment advisor when I was vice-president membership, and later the ABC when I was recruitment advisor and finance advisor. Ruth is now the college district director (CDD) in College District XIII and has been a wonderful resource to me as ABC, as well as our own CDD, Kateri Broussard.
What made you want to become a Theta volunteer, and why do you stay involved with Theta? The shortest answer is because I "promised" to. Being a volunteer has everything to do with the principles our Fraternity is based upon. We call upon all our members to carry forward our organization's spirit in their daily lives, and to me, that includes doing whatever I can to exercise the widest influence for good, especially when it comes to a group that has helped to shape the person I am today. There is no receiving without also giving back. It certainly doesn't come without both joy and pain at times, but there is a very special quiet pride in seeing the pictures of our women on Bid Day or dressed up for their winter formal, remembering that time for myself and my sisters. Nobody will get to feel the way that we felt (or that they feel now, in that moment) without the support of Theta volunteers.
Do you have a special volunteering moment? As the recruitment advisor, I had always enjoyed sitting on executive recruitment board (ERB) and getting to know the women who were also on that committee. This next fall will be the first time in six years that I won't be present for recruitment, and I will certainly miss the laughter, snacks, and infectious energy through the house after a recruitment party.
Do you have a special Theta moment? One of the greatest things Theta has given me is an opportunity to connect with my mother in a way we'd never quite been able to before. She was initiated in the winter of 1989—a mere nine months before I was born—and because both of my parents were busy undergraduates, I spent my share of time as an infant at our chapter facility. I'm told stories by other local alumnae who remember holding me at meetings or during chapter dinners. I'm not quite sure how it came about (because I didn't ask her), but she was asked to come speak at Parent's Tea one year, as she could touch on both the parent side and the alumnae side for most apprehensive parents of new members joining our chapter. Like most over-achievers, there were always other tasks to be quietly taking care of in the background while guests listened to the speakers, but the first time she came to speak, I could hear her from the next room over as she told the story of how I had taken my first steps as a child in the very spot she was standing in at that moment. She said that she believed this was also the house I had taken my true first steps in as an adult (I'd tend to agree).
Do you have a profession or personal passion? I am a passionate advocate for supporting local businesses whenever possible. I live in a city filled with so many courageous, talented people who want to share their creativity and passion with their community and I absolutely love that. I currently work in a role in which I can help local business owners in a particular industry develop and grow. I also co-run a volunteer-led not-for-profit called What the Truck?! that organizes pop-up events for local food truck owners here in Edmonton.
Elizabeth Mundy, Alpha Gamma/Ohio State, is a member of the Fraternity's risk prevention committee and the recruitment advisor at Alpha Gamma/Ohio State. She served as an educational leadership consultant (ELC) from 2012-2014.
Undergraduate officer positions held: Service & philanthropy director and member of the member development and nominating committees.
How did you learn about the opportunity to become a Theta volunteer? As a collegian, I remember working with our advisory board at Ohio State. This was the first time that "Theta for a lifetime" really resonated with me. I always thought it was so special that these women had chosen to make Theta a part of their life beyond college.
What made you want to become a Theta volunteer? After serving as an ELC for two years, I knew I still wanted to be involved with Theta. The Fraternity was such a huge part of my life as an ELC, and I couldn't imagine giving that up completely. I began volunteering a few months after I finished the ELC program, and I haven't looked back since!
How long have you been a Theta volunteer? Three years.
Do you, or did you have, a Theta mentor? She may not know this, but my Theta mentor is Madison Motley Nash, Alpha Omicron/Oklahoma. Madison and I were based together during my first year as an ELC, when we helped establish Eta Chi/Boston. Even though she was just one year older than me, she offered a wealth of knowledge and guidance beyond her years. Madison taught me so much: how to have difficult conversations, how to best utilize one's strengths, how to be a leader, and so much more. Most importantly, Madison and I became best friends. I just traveled to Oklahoma City to be in her wedding in December!
Why do you stay involved with Theta? I stay involved with Theta for two reasons. First, because I believe it's a small way to give back to an organization that has given me so much. And second, because I truly enjoy it. I love building relationships with undergraduate women and helping them to excel in their officer roles. They teach me so much, and they inspire me to be a better advisor every day.
Do you have a special volunteering moment? One of my favorite moments happens daily through social media: seeing the founding members of Eta Chi Chapter go out into the real world and have new life experiences and adventures together. When they joined this brand-new chapter, they didn't even know one another. Years later, they continue to be best friends, roommates, mentors, coworkers, and confidants to one another. It is a very special thing to know that I played a small part in fostering those lifelong friendships. And it's fun to follow along and watch them move to new cities together, start new jobs, and enjoy post-grad life!
Do you have a special Theta moment? I don't know if I could pinpoint just one moment, only because there have been so many! My younger twin sisters joined Theta a few years ago, and I was able to be there for Initiation. It was such a special moment for the three of us. I also have regular reunion trips with my new member class and my ELC team, which are always so much fun. So far we've traveled to NYC, DC, Scottsdale, and Dallas, with more destinations on the way!
Do you have a profession or personal passion? I work in medical device sales for Stryker and absolutely love my job. It's very challenging and forces me to go outside of my comfort zone every day. In addition to volunteering with Theta, I also volunteer as a Guardian Ad Litem for CASA of Franklin County in Columbus, Ohio. I have served three children thus far. I hope to continue volunteering with CASA for many more years to come!
Do you know a Theta who's made a difference in her local Theta chapter? Let us know!