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Karen Pryor, Delta Iota/Puget Sound, is a member of the diversity and inclusion group and an Alcohol Skills Training Program facilitator. She previously served as a facilitator at Emerging Leaders Institute and CEO Leadership Academy, co-lead on a Theta Service Trip, and scorer on the Golden Kite Scoring Committee.
Undergraduate officer positions held: Chapter president (now chief executive officer), vice president development (now chief operating officer) and vice president of Puget Sound's Panhellenic executive board.
How did you learn about the opportunity to become a Theta volunteer? After connecting with a few women who worked for Fraternity headquarters, I volunteered with the organization at a conference. From there, new opportunities kept popping up.
What made you want to become a Theta volunteer? I had such a positive experience during my college years and I was always so thankful for the time and energy that our advisors devoted to elevating the organization. For me, it's always been about paying it forward for the next group of college women.
How long have you been a Theta volunteer? About 4 years.
Do you, or did you have, a Theta mentor? I have had the opportunity to connect with a number of really inspiring women whom I consider professional and personal role models through my volunteer work. Working in student affairs and higher education can be challenging; we are often working long hours grappling with heavy topics such as binge drinking, hazing, and sexual assault. It's been hugely helpful to be able to lean on women like Melissa Shaub, Corin Gioia Edwards, Anne Arseneau, Melissa Rocco, and Lindsay Sell for support and guidance.
Why do you stay involved with Theta? I really believe in the power of this experience and a space for college women to feel supported, challenged, and connected is needed now more than ever. For me, it always feels like time well spent.
Do you have a special volunteering moment? The 2014 Theta Service Trip was a really special experience for me. I met so many inspiring collegians, many of whom I am still close with today. We had the opportunity to volunteer with incredible organizations and see the impact of our time and energy on the lives of others. It was 100 degrees and 100% humidity, but we still had a blast the entire time.
Do you have a special Theta moment? It was meaningful to win Chapter of the Year during my time as chapter president. We had been working so hard to improve our chapter in a number of areas, and it was so affirming to be recognized for our progress and for the quality of the member experience we were offering to women in Theta.
Do you have a profession or personal passion? I am truly passionate about women's empowerment and intersectional feminism. In my day job, I get to work with collegians on a daily basis and help the leaders of their organizations work to create and facilitate spaces for women to be truly empowered and to learn across differences. We are currently in a renaissance of feminist content and so many women from across identities and perspectives are getting a chance to tell their stories. I love being able to engage with all the podcasts, movies, books, and articles that are coming out.
Olivia Fryml Epps, Delta Phi/Clemson, is a member of the Young Alumnae Board. She previously served as advisory board chairman and finance and Panhellenic advisors for Beta Omega/Colorado College; facility corporation board treasurer for Beta Omega/Colorado College; and president and events coordinator for the Colorado Springs Alumnae Chapter, for which she was also the Grand Convention delegate in 2012.
Undergraduate officer positions held: I didn't hold any official titles as an undergraduate member, but I did a lot of the behind-the-scenes work for the chapter. I tried to fill in where I could with new member education, event planning, philanthropy execution and donations, etc. My true passion came as an alumna.
How did you learn about the opportunity to become a Theta volunteer? When I graduated from Clemson, I moved to Colorado to be a nanny for my nephew. Not knowing anyone there other than family, I immediately sought out Theta. I searched the website to find someone in the area and contacted Kim Matthews, Alpha/DePauw, a longtime Theta volunteer in the area. She welcomed me with open arms and provided wonderful information about volunteering and getting involved as an alumna. The website showed me information about volunteering, but it was really Kim who shared the opportunity to become a volunteer.
What made you want to become a Theta volunteer? Kim was really a huge catalyst for my volunteering. Additionally, the desire to make friends with similar experiences was a big motivator. Theta was such a big part of my life in college, I don't think I was ready to give it up as an alumna.
How long have you been a Theta volunteer? Eight years.
Do you, or did you have, a Theta mentor? I don't think she knows it, but I've always considered Maggie McKenny Harris, Gamma/Butler, a Theta mentor. As a new advisor for Beta Omega Chapter, I was able to work directly with her and found her spirit and love of Theta inspiring. Any time I had a question or needed support, she was there. She has continuously empowered me as a volunteer, Theta, and career woman.
Why do you stay involved with Theta? Honestly, Theta fills my bucket. I love giving back to the Fraternity in any way I can. It has been a rewarding experience thus far, and I'm so thankful to continue to have opportunities to volunteer, even overseas.
Do you have a special volunteering moment? There have been so many, but I recall feeling overwhelmed with joy and passion for Theta at Grand Convention 2012. I was the Colorado Springs Alumnae Chapter delegate, which in itself was an amazingly wonderful experience. While I was there, I connected with volunteers who encouraged me to revamp our Beta Omega Facility Corporation and advisory board.
Do you have a special Theta moment? A special Theta moment of mine was as a collegian experiencing our annual Fall Band Party for the first time. I went with 125 of my Delta Phi sisters to Pumpkintown, SC (it's true!) and danced the night away in the middle of the woods on an outdoor stage. We brought sandwiches, sodas and friends, and danced to a live band for hours. I felt so close and at home with these women and their friends, and it was the first time I really felt part of something so much bigger than myself.
Do you have a profession or personal passion? I have both! As a civilian contracting officer for the U.S. Army, I have a passion for customer service, providing solutions to my customers while being a good steward of taxpayers' dollars. My personal passion, other than Theta, has been disaster response. I've volunteered with a veteran-focused organization called Team Rubicon, and provided administration and financial management for both domestic and international emergency response operations, including several in Colorado and one in the Philippines. It's been an invaluable, humbling experience to help those during a time of devastation and trauma (for instance, after a flood or tsunami), while also providing purpose to veterans who just want to continue serving others.
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!
Do you know a Theta who's made a difference in her local Theta chapter? Let us know!