This week I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute at Indiana University. At UIFI, I got to meet Greek Life leaders from all the country that want to improve their chapters and communities. It was the experience of a lifetime and I feel so blessed that Kappa Delta provided me with a scholarship to attend.
I have been to many conferences and camps before this but UIFI was much different than anything I had ever done. I bonded so quickly with my home chapter. From night one, we spent as many moments together as possible. Everyone was so insightful and contributed so incredibly much to our group. They may have made fun of my accent every chance they got but I wouldn’t trade them for anyone in the entire world. I feel so lucky to have all of them in my life. They all are going to do amazing things for their chapter, community, and the world.
This conference gave me so much to bring back to Kappa Delta and the Wayne State Greek Life community. The tools I was given will help improve things like participation, increasing chapter moral, and over all the culture of my chapter. UIFI is such a special place where everyone wants to do so much good in the world they don’t even know where to start. We spent hours talking about the hard stuff facing Greek Life and spent just as many hours laughing about any thing and every thing you could think of. Karen, the lead facilitator for the conference, made a huge impact on me. She put a lot of energy into investing in me personally and made me experience even more amazing. I will never be able to thank her enough for the advice, time, and ideas she gave me.
The people I met at UIFI made a huge impact on me. I was truly blessed when God put all these individuals in my life: from Hunter and I making fun of each other from day one, to Blair giving me pageant advice, to Tyler and I singing to country music all the way back to Indianapolis. Every person I met helped make the experience what it was. The conference gave me so much hope when it comes to not only Greek Life as a whole but our country. The future will be bright with people like these leading.
Joining a sorority is something I’ve always wanted to do. The leadership, sisterhood, and community service all sounded great to me! Those are all things I love and wanted to be a part of. Last week I went through formal recruitment at Wayne State and I found my home. Kappa Delta felt comfortable from the beginning but as the week went on I fell more and more in love. The first day pulled me right in when we talked about philanthropies. Our philanthropies are Prevent Child Abuse America and Girl Scouts of America. I am really looking forward to making an impact through these organizations. The preference ceremony sealed the deal for me on the last day of recruitment. The love and support in that room brought me to tears.
The last few days have solidified that I made the right decision to run home to Kappa Delta. My sisters have shown me nothing but love, support, and compassion. The active members have been so willing to answer questions and be friends with the new members. My pledge class has already grown close through our retreat, lunch dates, and homecoming festivities. It is hard to put into words how much happiness Kappa Delta has brought me already. I can’t wait to see what the next few years bring.
Being the feminist that I am the “Gender and Leadership” workshop was really important to me. Women leaders are still, in 2016, not as common as they should be. The idea that women aren’t strong enough or don’t know enough is a bunch of crap! According to research, women earn 57% of bachelor degrees, 60% of masters degrees, and more than 50% of doctoral degrees. I don’t want to hear women aren’t smart because you can’t argue with years of statistics. It has been proven that women lead in a more democratic style compared to men who usually go with a more direct style. This usually leads to better results because people feel more welcomed and open to share ideas. Being the next generation of ethical leaders, we can help to change this. I don’t blame men, I blame societies standards. I think it is important to also acknowledge agender people as well. Someone’s gender or lack of gender doesn’t affect how effective of a leader they are. I am committed to getting female leaders recognized in society’s eyes. I hope to one day hold a high leadership position in the National Athletic Trainers Association(NATA) or the American Kinesiology Association(AKA). I will not let others suppress me simply because I am a female.
My year at CMU has introduced me to some amazing people. I hope I impacted any of them as much as they impacted me. I may be over 100 miles away but I will always remember and appreciate everything they did for me. Here are just a few from the countless number of great people I met this school year.
Morgan and Derek- These two humans are truly gems in this world. I had a hard time making friends here but these two were always trying to break me out of my shell. Whether that be introducing me to new people or inviting me to go out. I could always count on these two for a word of advice or a listening ear. Derek is such a passionate intelligent person and the world needs more people like him. Morgan is truly a darling human being. She is not only beautiful on the outside but she is beautiful on the inside too. I will be visiting Cheboygan and Port Huron in my future!
2. Madi- She may be the most dedicated person I have ever met. I thought I loved school and learning then I met Madi. Not only is she majoring in math but she manages to kick butt at it too. She is always will to do that it takes to learn as much as possible. I wouldn’t have survived in or out of the classroom without her. She was always willing to help me with class work or with boy problems. We have spent so much time together talking about life and future plans. I can’t wait to see all the students she impacts when she becomes a teacher in a few years. She is going to be amazing.
3. Teddy- Whenever I talk about Teddy, which is often, I tell people “God decided he wanted sunshine in a person and made her.” I could write about Teddy forever. I was so lucky to have met Teddy at competitions day. She is the kindest person I have ever met, no questions. She would do pretty much anything for anyone. From our daily breakfasts to our late night Bachelor viewing parties I knew I would end up laughing. I always leave Teddy in a better mood than I came. Her commitment to God could inspire anyone. She is so passionate about her faith and I hope to have a relationship with God like that one day.
4. Sara- How I was blessed with such a great mentor, I will never know! Sara has been so helpful this entire school year. From the day I found out she was my mentor, I had probably ask more questions than everyone wants to get. She was always more than willing to help me out in navigating this crazy college life. Her dedication for her education is truly something I admire. With both of us getting a masters to be Physician’s Assistants I can only hope we can support each other on that journey.
5. Ladies of VOX- Never be afraid to stand up for your passion is just one of the many things I learned from joining VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood. VOX is an advocate for women’s health, safe sex practices, and pro-choice. We are an odd bunch but I wouldn’t change anything. These women are the most accepting group I have ever met. We have talked about thing I never dreamed about telling people because there was never any judgment. I hope to continue to advocate for women for many years to come.
To say LDR 200 was different than LDR 100 would be an understatement. In LDR 100, we just had fun and joked around most of the time. Not that I didn’t enjoy it but we didn’t really learn much about leadership. I was excited when I found out LDR 200 was all about learning what leadership really was. Over the course of the semester we were challenged in our ability to explain, show, and demonstrate. We had to facilitate a 15 minute initiative(not a game!) and a 40 minute workshop.
For my initiative, I had goal setting! I got to work with three other people and we created a fun, education initiative to teach the class. We worked really hard and created a really fun deserted island scenario. From what I saw, the class had a fun time and they had a good time competing with the other teams.
For my workshop, I had the path-goal theory. This theory talks about how leaders should motivate their followers through setting goals. According to the theory there are four different types of leaders. We wanted to base our activity on this aspect. I am so proud to say that I created the entire activity we did. We had a list of qualities from the book describing the four types. I came up with “Pin the Trait on the Leader!” The class was split up into groups and tried to figure out which traits corresponded with which type of leader. I was nervous to present but I think we did a great job and I am proud of the entire group.
This class was very interesting! I have always had a liking for history. I really enjoyed it in high school and passed all my classes with A’s. This class brought on struggles that I wasn’t use to facing. I also enjoyed it at the same time. My professor, Dr.Tobin, was odd but passionate. Everyday it was very prevalent that she knew what she was talking about. She was so knowledgable in the topics and I think that is great. Her little jokes always brought laughter and smiles in the room. She was vocal when talking about things she cares about and her door is covered with political stickers. She is a pretty hip lady!
We learned about many great historical leaders while in American Experience. Some being Martin Luther King, Alexander Hamilton, and Abraham Lincoln. We had to write a 10-page long research paper about a historical leader for our final project. I was dreading. However, once I started researching I learned to much! I researched Clara Barton, who created the American Red Cross. I really have grown to admire her. She did an insane amount of humanitarian work in the fields of education, medicine, and women’s rights. These are all things I really care about so it was cool to see how she overcame so many struggles in her life.
The Spark Leadership Series is a program at the Leadership institute at CMU. It is a program designed to help students develop their leadership. It is a four week program and each week you dive deeper into what leadership involves and why it is important to be positive, accepting leaders. I think it is so great that this program is offered to anyone on campus. I have gone to many different leadership programs but I am very fortunate. Not everyone gets to experience something like this. With Spark being open and free for everyone it gives everyone the chance to gain leadership skills. One of the greatest things I gained from Spark was connections throughout campus. I often interact with people in leader and the people I have in my classes. This program gave me the oppurtunity to interact and learn from people I would’ve have gotten to otherwise.