2018 Sorority Travels

Sunday, December 16, 2018

It's my last week in the office of 2018 and also the time to reflect on how I've spent my THIRD year with Alpha Xi Delta (crazy right?!). My job doesn't require that I spend a ton of time traveling or even visiting the chapters I work with. However, there are numerous opportunities to work with our volunteers, provide educational opportunities to our members, and participate in professional development. I traveled six times this year spanning a total of nearly 9,000 miles (also crazy)!

All About Books!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

I've always loved to learn but I never really loved to read. Growing up I'd hit the occasional series that I obsessed over and like many schools, I participated in an accelerated reader (AR) program that correlated books with reading comprehension tests. You aced the test and got a prize at the end of the year - which I was totally about. Nevertheless, after college I found myself obsessing over Netflix shows and spending wayyyyy too much time in front of the television - I ended up feeling kind of lousy about it. In 2016 I made it my resolution to read 10 books; a small but lofty personal goal at the time. Each year after I have tried to make reading a more frequent habit and by 2018 I am completely hooked. Finding a genre you like and good recommendations is key! So I'm here to help by tracking my reading list from 2016-2018 and what I've got in my queue! Have a good recommendation for me? Drop it in the comments ⤵
You'll see there are two fiction lists - this one is more "fiction with a twist", the best type of book. A ☆ indicates a favorite!
  • The Merciless ☆
  • Bringing Down the House
  • Big Little Lies 
  • The Last Mrs. Parrish ☆
  • The Woman in Cabin 10 (really not a favorite)
  • The Lying Game
  • The Wife Between Us 
  • Little Fires Everywhere ☆
  • Gone Girl 
  • Something in the Water ☆
  • Sharp Objects ☆
  • The Hate U Give ☆ (not really a fiction with twist, but fit best in this section - MUST READ book for our generation)
  • A Simple Favor ☆
I've deemed this list "fluffy fiction" - different than those above as I feel like not everyone likes both. These have fewer twists and generally focus more on a love story.
  • At First Sight
  • The Guardian
  • Skinny B*tch Gets Hitched 
  • Slightly South of Simple 
  • The Secret to Southern Charm 
  • Crazy Rich Asians 
  • China Rick Girlfriend 
  • Rich People Problems 
  • When Breath Becomes Air ☆
  • To Sell Is Human
  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
  • Year of Yes ☆
  • A Simplified Life ☆
  • Make it Happen 
  • Grace, not Perfection 
  • Reframing the Path to School Leadership (school requirement but still good!)
  • From the Corner of the Oval ☆
  • Educated ☆
  • The Secret Life of Bees
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • Pride and Prejudice 
  • The Handmaid's Tale


On my list: Cultivate, The Coaching Habit, The Light We Lost, The Alice Network, Truly Madly Guilty, The Nightingale, The Girl on the Train, A Man Called Ove, Still Lives, What Alice Forgot, The Great Alone, The Art of Gathering, The Winner, The Dinner List, The Cheerleaders, Everything I Never Told You, The Alchemist, Shatter

Popular Classics / Formative Reading List
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
East of Eden, John Steinbeck
Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
On the Road, Jack Kerouac
Moby-Dick, Herman Melville
The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
Catch-22, Joseph Heller
For Whom The Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
The Crucible, Arthur Miller
Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
The Color Purple, Alice Walker
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith

Getting "unstuck" | Program Design School

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Where are you stuck?

The words of Erin Fischer linger in my mind today as I go through my to-do list. 8:30a.m. answering emails from when I was out of the office over the past two days - Where are you stuck? 10:00a.m. emailing report edits to our traveling consultants - Where are you stuck? 11:00a.m. brainstorming my newest resource project outline - Where are you stuck? Everywhere. I am stuck everywhere.

2017 Sorority Travels

Friday, January 5, 2018

January | All-Staff Retreat at Fraternity Headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana
This was my second all-staff retreat and as usual, I relish any opportunity I have to get some face-to-face time with my coworkers. Not only are they inspiring women, but they’re wonderful and witty and just plain fun to be around.

In addition to getting #allthethings done, we had the AMAZING Erin Fischer come and speak to us. I had already heard her at our 2016 Volunteer Leadership Conference and was extremely impressed with her then, but now after seeing her presentation shift from a volunteer-focus to our roles in staff positions, I’m blown away. She’s a tremendously talented speaker and leadership-guru – please check her out!!
January | Recruitment Territory Director (RTD) Retreat in San Diego, California
This was the first RTD Retreat we did since I’ve been on staff. Our Recruitment Territory Directors are volunteer positions that work with our chapters across the country to provide consistent recruitment support. These volunteers make my job SO much fun and extremely help my workload when analyzing the needs of our chapters and creating new resources to fit those needs.
My boss was pregnant at the time and unable to leave her home of San Diego, so we all made the trip to see her! I’d have to say this trip was one of my favorites because our resort was absolutely stunning and my boss was able to provide us with fun local experiences like a bonfire on the beach and some awesome restaurants.

June | The Workout (recruitment training program) in College Park, Maryland
The Workout (TWO) is an Alpha Xi Delta summer experience that allows our chapter leaders from across the country to come together and learn about all things recruitment. This was my fourth time attending The Workout – the first two times I attended were as a collegiate, the third time and for this trip, I attended as a facilitator. Last year was my first experience serving as a small group facilitator and this year, I served as lead facilitator due to my boss being out of maternity leave – which was both scaring and exciting simultaneously!

One of the biggest take-aways I gained from serving as a lead facilitator was that I truly enjoy teaching. In college I served my chapter as Membership Vice President and I genuinely enjoyed planning and facilitating recruitment workshops – I didn’t recognize at the time how important those moments would be in shaping my future career. Being able to write curriculum for The Workout and present is alongside our National Recruitment Director was thrilling and left me with a newfound appreciation for education professionals – it also left me with a TON of ideas for how I can improve.
Outside of the professional items, this summer experience is close to my heart because it provides quality time with our volunteers who are not only my sorority Sisters, but as previously mentioned, have become close friends. Below are a few pictures from The Workout!

July | National Convention in Chicago, Illinois
National Convention only happens once every two years, so this was my first Convention on staff for Alpha Xi Delta! There really is SO much to share about this long weekend, but I’ll keep this short and sweet to just share some highlights! I loved exploring the city of Chicago with our staff members and our recruitment team (affectionately called the re-cute-ment team) – there were so many cool restaurants and landmarks! Two of our recruitment volunteers are from Chicago and greatly helped us navigate the area.

I also had the opportunity to brush up on my presentation skills by presenting two different programs to our alumnae and collegiate in attendance. One of these programs I was able to present with Whitley, my little from our chapter at East Carolina, which was truly fun to see our membership and involvement come full-circle! I couldn’t be more excited for the 2019 National Convention in Seattle, Washington!

August | Recruitment Visit at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas
Visiting Texas Tech was my first on-the-ground recruitment visit as a staff member. I had a BLAST seeing year-long plans come to life and helping our Kappa Beta Chapter select new members that will advance their chapter!

December | RTD Retreat in Charlotte, North Carolina
This was my second RTD Retreat (see San Diego trip above for the first)! We were able to plan ahead and schedule this retreat before our officer turnover which greatly aided in our abilities to get some bigger projects rolling before welcoming new officers into the mix for 2018. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate for this trip and many of our members weren’t able to make it – nevertheless, I enjoyed welcoming these ladies to my home state!