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ELC Blog

Posted On: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 12:15 PM, by Sami Bahu
ELCs Sami & Courtney on JHU's Campus!
"I dream of the endless possibilities for the good and close friendship that this fraternity makes possible through the years, and it awes me a little to think that I had a part in starting it. Just think. If it grows and multiplies, it may someday bring together into sisterly relationship women from all parts of the country who have never seen each other before, who are all friends, because of Theta..."
-Bettie Locke Hamilton

These words, from our founder, Bettie Locke have always held a special place in my heart since joining the organization. Over the past seven months, I have had the pleasure of serving as the second year support consultant for the Zeta Chi/Johns Hopkins University chapter. During this time, I have frequently thought of the words above while watching this chapter grow during their second year of re-establishment.

Throughout my time with this amazing group of women, I have witnessed more accomplishments than I could have ever imagined. Without a doubt, the most memorable moment thus far was when the current executive recruitment board (ERB) submitted the chapter's bid list on preference night. While to some the evening may have seemed like it was just another ERB meeting, another list submitted and another late night, to me, it was much more. It was the moment I knew these women had truly transformed into the leading women Kappa Alpha Theta pushes us to be. The officers successfully lead the chapter through a long and tireless week of recruitment and were ready to welcome the next new member class.

Going back to Bettie Locke's words ". If it grows and multiplies, it may someday bring together into sisterly relationship women... who are all friends, because of Theta". This recruitment helped the chapter grow and nearly double in size. As I watched all the new members walk into Zeta Chi's bid day celebration, I knew wholeheartedly, these words were ringing true. From this moment on, these women would be welcomed into sisterly bonds and friendships with those who were previously strangers.

Just two and a half short months later, I am in awe each and every day witnessing the close friendships that have been formed. I am forever grateful to the Fraternity for allowing me to work directly with a college chapter during their second year. Being able to see this chapter further develop, I am able to continuously watch the Fraternity grow and multiply, just as Bettie Locke hoped it would.

How have you seen Kappa Alpha Theta grow?

Sami Bahu, Educational Leadership Consultant, Eta Theta/Central Florida

Posted On: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 02:15 PM, by Julia Hart
ELC Julia and Recruitment Advisor Kristin pose with Nu/Hanover after primary recruitment in January!
When I joined Kappa Alpha Theta as a freshman in college, like many other freshman members, I had no idea what an advisor was. Wait? Who is that older lady that sits at the front of chapter meeting? She's a Theta? Is she in our chapter?
After becoming an officer and working with wonderful advisors in my own college chapter (shout-out Zeta Upsilon), I knew that being an advisor was in my future. I experienced the mentorship and support that an advisory board provides, and I knew that I wanted to be that for a college chapter in the future.

During my travels as an ELC, I have seen the enormous impact and effect that advisors have on a college chapter. Advisors are wonderful mentors, resources, and such wise women. Being a part of the advisory board, extends your membership experience in a special way. It allows you to continue to see your personal college chapter grow, or watch another wonderful chapter succeed with your help and guidance. I have met so many wonderful women that support our college chapters around the country. Meeting these fabulous Thetas has strengthened my desire to serve the fraternity as a chapter advisor.

As my ELC experience is coming to an end, I am excited to begin a new chapter in my Theta membership experience. I am so blessed to have experienced being an ELC, but I can say with confidence that I could not be more thrilled to add another chapter to my Theta story by becoming a chapter advisor.

Julia Hart, Educational Leadership Consultant, Zeta Upsilon/UT Dallas

Posted On: Friday, March 13, 2015 11:34 AM, by Kaitlyn Luppino
ELC Kaitlyn Luppino and Assistant Director of Chapter Services Christa Samaha
"Why did you decide to become an ELC?" is a question I am asked on all of my chapter visits. Each time I reply, "Because of the ELCs who visited my chapter."

I remember my first meeting with an ELC. I did not know too much about ELCs, but I was able to meet with her as a member of MDC. She was able to provide insight that allowed my chapter to achieve its goals. The second time an ELC visited, I was able to spend more time meeting with her as I was an executive committee officer. She was positive, helpful and most important, I felt as though she was my biggest supporter even when I got us a little lost on the way to the airport.

By the time I was an upperclassman, I began thinking about the real world. After my meetings with the ELC as a junior and senior I became enamored by the ELC program. I had already seen how helpful ELCs were in helping chapters succeed, but I also realized that an ELC could make a huge impact on us as individuals.

Now that I am an ELC, I am still smitten by the program each and every day. From the students I work with at college chapters, to the headquarters' staff, to volunteers and other ELCs, I am amazed by these leading women. These women of Kappa Alpha Theta have the same effect on me now as they did when I was a collegian. I appreciate their advice and constant support.

As I reflect on my time as an ELC, I feel as though I have come full circle. The ELC who truly inspired me to be the best leader and woman I could be, as well as encouraged me to apply for the ELC program, is now my boss. She was there for me as a chapter officer, but also as an individual and this has not waivered despite her new role. I am reminded daily of how special this job is and I can only hope that I too will have the same effect on a chapter member during one of my visits.

Kaitlyn Luppino, Educational Leadership Consultant, Delta Omicron/University of Alabama

Posted On: Friday, March 6, 2015 09:00 AM, by Aquene Kenerson
ELCs Ann, Aquene, and Jenny at the CEO Leadership Conference
Kappa Alpha Theta held its inaugural CEO Leadership Conference this past weekend in Dallas, TX. In attendance were chief executive officers (CEOs) from chapters across the United States and Canada. Although the weather caused many travel frustrations, the chapter CEOs who were able to attend found the weekend very beneficial for their term in office. Attending the conference, along with chapter CEOs, were facilitators from across the country that flew in to assist with the curriculum and lead small group discussions. Additionally, there were three ELCs helping with the conference, Ann Crary, Jenny Cook, and myself!

After what was a long travel day for many on Friday, the CEOs had an opportunity to participate in an activity called "open space technology". This was an activity where CEOs could bring up topics they wanted to discuss with other CEOs. A few topics of conversation included campus risk management policies, officer transitions, monitoring members social media, recruitment ideas, chapter perception of MDC, and attendance policies. It was a wonderful opportunity for CEOs to exchange ideas and get perspective on what other chapters were doing.

Saturday morning came early and was packed with wonderful interactive presentations about social change and reflection on personal strengths. Prior to attending the conference, every CEO had completed a Strengths Quest assessment to understand their personal strengths as leaders and individuals. Throughout the day, CEOs were able to recognize the changes they would like to make happen within their chapter and were asked to identify the root causes of the issue and steps to make the change. The day was a combination of large group presentations by the lead presenters, Maggie Harris and Ryan O'Rourke, and small group discussions led by facilitators. The small groups sessions allowed CEOs to take what had been presented in the general sessions and discuss them on a more personal and intimate level with peers.

Speaking on behalf of myself and the two other ELCs present, it was a great opportunity to interact with CEOs we visited this semester and to connect with chapters we will be visiting in the coming months. Overall the CEO Leadership Conference was a wonderful opportunity for CEOs to connect, share, and grow as leaders. What a successful inaugural year!

Aquene Kenerson, Educational Leadership Consultant, Epsilon Psi/University of Richmond

Posted On: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 09:57 PM, by Margaret Burke
Margaret at Theta headquarters
Since my time serving the Fraternity as an ELC is coming to a close, I have begun reflecting on the numerous ways that the ELC program has shaped the person that I am today. I don't mean to be sentimental, but it is often when we make movement forward in life that we realize exactly what the past has meant. As a result, I have identified the top three skills I have gained throughout my time as an ELC:

3.) Flexibility.

Before starting my time as an ELC, I would have never described myself as flexible. I am a planner and like to know what is on the horizon. Although this is a great trait to have in many instances, I have learned how to balance my desire to know what's coming with finding the beauty in the unknown. As an ELC, things are constantly, daily schedules, time zones, etc. Change can be unnerving at times, but I have learned that there is something awesome about letting go and going with the flow, resigning to the fact that there is no way to ever know exactly what's to come...and that's okay!

2.) The Art of Travel.

Although I was never a full-time traveler, I like to think that I have become a pretty savvy traveler. I can efficiently pack an organized suitcase (thank you, packing cubes) without over-packing. In the past, I dreaded packing because I could never decide what I wanted or needed. After nearly two years as an ELC, I know exactly what I want and need when I travel. I also enjoy the process of traveling. Prior to my time as an ELC, I enjoyed the result of traveling - seeing new places and meeting up with friends and family, but never appreciated the process of making my way to a destination like I do now. There is something enjoyable to me about being in the hustle and bustle of an airport with so many fellow travelers who are going here, there, and everywhere for various reasons.

1.) Friendship.

As an ELC, I have had the opportunity to work alongside two ELC teams composed of the hardest working and most compassionate women. These women have inspired me in more ways than I can explain and will continue to inspire me throughout the rest of my life. They challenge me to be the best version of myself, while also accepting me for the person that I am. From my fellow ELCs to amazing volunteers I have met on the road, my Theta world continues to grow and multiply. I am continually in awe of the amazing Thetas I meet and work with in all aspects of this job! I count my lucky twin stars every day for the lifelong friends I have made throughout my time as an ELC. Although I have only known many of these women for less than two years, cannot picture my life without them. Developing this type of friendship has added a new layer to my Theta experience and has made me value friendship like I never have before.

Although this list is only scratching the surface of the many life lessons I have learned and skills I have gained throughout my time as an ELC, I think these are definitely the aspects of the program that have had the greatest impact on me. I am beyond grateful to have served the Fraternity in this capacity and owe so much to this amazing program for making me into the woman that I am today!
Posted On: Saturday, February 14, 2015 03:34 PM, by Annie Hornung
ELC Annie at Bid Day for Theta Iota
Happy Valentine's Day! On this special day, we are reminded of the love that surrounds us. In light of this, I thought I would share a few of the many reasons why I love being an ELC.

1. The team. I joined the 2013-2014 ELC team last March and was immediately welcomed by some of the kindest women I have ever met. These women quickly became a strong support system for me during my first few months in the role, and I would not trade the experience I had with them for anything. The same is true for the 2014-2015 ELC team. These women are more than my co-workers - they are some of my best and truest friends. I will always be grateful for the trust we built and friendship we share. They are truly the best of the best!

2. The travel. When I first learned about the educational leadership consultant program, I was immediately drawn to the travel. I never would have pictured myself seeing so many different areas of the country in such a short amount of time, but the opportunity to do so has been life changing. As a full-time traveling consultant this spring, I am visiting 15 college campuses in 11 different states and two different countries. Aside from exploring these new places, I love meeting new people, trying new food, and touring the college campuses to learn more about what makes them unique.

3. The challenges. As silly as it sounds, I am grateful for the challenges that come with being an ELC. Among other things, this job has taught me how to think on my feet and not take myself too seriously. I have had several important life experiences in this role and have learned many lessons as a result.

4. The skills. Being an ELC has changed me for the better. Last March, I moved across the country from my hometown in Woodinville, Washington to Washington, DC to help establish the Theta Iota chapter at Georgetown University. At the time, I had never been to the east coast and knew no one in the city. Living alone and working in a brand new place forced me to be independent in ways I had never been before. Today, I visit a new city at least once a week, which has taught me to be adaptable and confident. I am a better person because of this job.

5. The impact. My time as an ELC has been, without a doubt, one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. Building relationships with collegians, alumnae, and volunteers has been so rewarding, and giving back to the Fraternity in such a meaningful way has made this my dream job. I have learned that Theta love is really all you need, and it has been such an honor to serve Kappa Alpha Theta in this capacity.

Annie Hornung, Educational Leadership Consultant, Eta Sigma/Chapman University

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