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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!
Sara Lytle, Alpha Phi/Tulane, is advisory board chairman (ABC) for Zeta Upsilon/UT Dallas, Dallas Alumnae Chapter website coordinator, and permanent alumnae secretary (PAS) for Alpha Phi/Tulane. She has previously served as development advisor, Zeta Chi/Johns Hopkins; recruitment and Panhellenic advisor, Alpha Nu/Montana; Missoula Alumnae Chapter president; marketing and community involvement advisors, Zeta Upsilon/UT Dallas; and Dallas Alumnae Chapter membership communications coordinator.
Undergraduate officer positions held: Assistant membership chairman (now recruitment director).
How did you learn about the opportunity to become a Theta volunteer? Soon after graduating from Tulane, I moved to Baltimore and stayed with my Theta big sister Kelly Drake Torres until I found a permanent place to live. I tagged along with her to an advisory board meeting for Zeta Chi/Johns Hopkins, led by fellow Alpha Phi/Tulane Claire Breedlove Smith, who was ABC at the time. I signed on as development advisor the next semester, and the rest is history.
What made you want to become a Theta volunteer? I did not have the availability as a collegian to be as active a leader in my chapter as I wanted, so I made the decision as an alumna to be as involved as possible.
How long have you been a Theta volunteer? 9 years
Do you, or did you have, a Theta mentor? This has been the hardest question to answer. I have had so many Theta mentors over the past decade and I can see more being added to the list as I continue my Theta journey. Most recently I became the ABC for Zeta Upsilon/UT Dallas, which has been a challenging and very rewarding experience. As a new ABC, I relied heavily on my past mentorship from Suzanne Peterson, long-standing ABC for Alpha Nu/Montana, and contacted her frequently during the first year of my term. Most of all, what I take from Suzanne is her patience. She was very patient with me in a pivotal time in my life and helped me through some stressful situations. The patience she has with the collegians and her ABC duties is admirable and a testament of a true leader.
Why do you stay involved with Theta? It's the best way to stay updated with the Fraternity. It's truly amazing to see how our organization grows and changes over the course of time, and I've only been a member for 13 years. Secondly, I learn more about myself and leadership through Theta than anything else I've been a part of. Plus, the collegians are incredible. Watching them succeed is the best part of volunteering.
Do you have a special volunteering moment? Recruitment will always be my first love. As recruitment advisor for seven years at Alpha Nu/Montana, we experienced a large leap in enrollment for recruitment one year. As we were setting up for preference round, we realized that we were severely lacking in seating for the next day. We knew the Fraternity across the street would have tables and chairs that we could borrow, but because of Panhellenic rules, neither of us could be on one another's property. In the wee hours of the morning, the men dropped off furniture in between our properties, and Theta women ran out to retrieve it. It's one funny recruitment "emergency" I will never forget!
Do you have a special Theta moment? As a Tulane student in New Orleans, you become well acquainted with hurricane season. A hurricane usually passes by the area right before the first round of exams every year. My sophomore year, a dozen or so Thetas piled into cars and ventured off to northern Louisiana to invade a member's childhood home. It was one giant girly slumber party for a week. The next year, our hurricane break would last an entire semester and change our beloved crescent city forever. It was my junior year, and the force from Hurricane Katrina blasted through the levees of New Orleans. I watched from afar as the city I'd grown to love was drowning under the deluge. Because these hurricane breaks weren't uncommon, I had thrown a small bag of possessions together and didn't give it a second thought as I headed out the door the day before Katrina landed. This single bag ended up being the only things I owned for the rest of that semester. When we learned we would not be returning to Tulane, I decided to attend the University of Colorado in Boulder. I reached out to the facility director of Beta Iota Chapter to see if they had room for me that semester. She said yes of course and warmly welcomed me into the facility a few days later. Come to find out, they did not have an actual vacancy when I arrived, but they made room for me. It was the only Theta facility I ever lived in and is still some of the best food I've ever eaten. It was like a semester abroad complete with new Theta sisters. Beta Iota didn't have to accept me, didn't have to include me, and didn't have to make room for me. But they did it anyway. Whether it's moving, needing a place to stay, or help in a tight situation, Theta has been the only one there for me every. single. time.
Do you have a profession or personal passion? I have a passion for learning. I seek certifications, advanced degrees, leadership courses, and frequently read personal development books. As I advise for the college chapters, I'm always tempted by the new graduate programs the schools offer. Similarly, I find foreign culture extremely fascinating. I studied French and Arabic, dabbled in Spanish, and have Russian on my to-do list. I travel abroad as much as I can to immerse myself in the various cultures and greatly appreciate the unique qualities of each place. I am a dreamer who loves to explore and I honestly believe that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
Do you know a Theta who's made a difference in her local Theta chapter? Let us know!