Serving a Theta Chapter Nearly 3,300 Miles Away
Note: A few weeks ago, I pulled a list of our permanent alumnae secretaries (PASes), which included mailing addresses. I was thrilled to see that several of our PASes do not even live within the continental United States! Among them was Ashley Whittredge de Zablah, Epsilon Pi/Bucknell. She lives in El Salvador with her husband, Jose Carlos. The PAS volunteer position is perfect for her, because you can do it anywhere, any time. You can learn more about being a PAS on the Theta website, and if you’re interested in serving as a PAS, check out the available positions on Betties List. Laura Stelsel, assistant director of alumnae engagement
My husband, Jose Carlos, and I met during a summer course at Fairfield University. My family lives in Fairfield, Conn., and I was taking summer courses in order to earn additional credits before studying abroad in London. After dating long distance for about three years, I moved down to El Salvador, leaving my job and family in the United States.
Geographically, El Salvador is about the same size as the state of Massachusetts, but with just over 6 million people. I had to learn Spanish, adapt to a new culture, and find a new job.
In the spring of 2014, I saw an announcement in The Kappa Alpha Theta Magazine that my chapter was looking for a PAS. I wanted to take on the role so that I could have a tangible connection to Theta. There aren't any alumnae chapters in Central America, so it was difficult to maintain that closeness to Theta after moving abroad.
Being PAS allows me to be close to my sisters, although geographically, I am far removed. With social media and the PAS resources on the Theta website, it's very easy to do my volunteer role. I can perform my duties on my time schedule, and there’s also a lot of creative leeway to connect with and involve my Epsilon Pi sisters.
There are so many opportunities to stay involved with Theta as an alumna. I encourage you to update your contact information and use resources like the Kappa Alpha Theta Magazine, the Theta website (www.kappaalphatheta.org), and your chapter's social media to find ways to stay involved.
Keep your eyes open! Just as I thought I wasn't going to be able to be an involved alumna, I found the role as PAS for my college chapter, and I absolutely love it!