Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Remembering Patricia Peterson Danielson

“Your own self at your very best all of the time.”

If there was ever a Delta Gamma “call to action” this was it.   It came from one of my dearest friends, my mentor and my beloved 
Delta Gamma sister, Patricia Peterson Danielson….Patty, Theta-Indiana.

I met Patty for the very first time in 1977 when she was a Province Alumnae Chairman and I was the Advisory Board Chairman for Delta Xi-Ball State.  

She came to visit the Muncie alumnae, but as she always did, she wanted to spend time with the collegians.   When she walked into the chapter suite, the collegians were absolutely enamored with this beautiful, classy and kind lady…as was I.   Her message was simple:  “Your own self at your very best all of the time.” It was a message that resonated then and still does today.  It is the heart of Delta Gamma.

There was never a time when Patty was too busy to talk, to help, to counsel, to love and to care. I knew if I could just talk to Patty, the answer to my question would come….not directly, of course, but from her wise questions and sincere listening and her spoken and sometimes unspoken words moving me to the right answer.

Her most important gift to me was her constant reminder to “be my own self, at my very best, all of the time.”   The most important gift I can give back to Patty is to live this every day and to share it with others.

I take comfort in knowing that the “Three Amigos”, Eleanor Slaughter, Barbara Laederach and Patty Danielson are holding chapter in heaven today.

Written by Maureen Syring, Nu-Idaho.  

VIdeo with more about Patty here.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dallas Delta Gammas Are On The SPOT

Guess what I’m describing . . . “stand behind the line, cover your left eye with your left hand and read line 4”.  Vision screening at your doctor’s office!  The same tried and true method our parents used!

But vision screening, one of Delta Gamma’s philanthropic missions, has entered the digital era and Dallas Delta Gammas are at the forefront of using this technology.

“No longer do we have to lug the stereopsis (depth perception) kit and the vision screening equipment consisting of a light box that rested on cast iron legs.  Nor do we have to measure exactly 10 feet from the box to the client’s heels then instructing patients on how to communicate what they see”, says Janet Temaat, Delta Gamma Foundation of Dallas (DGFD) Vision Screening Chair.  “Now it’s point, click and results are digitally captured and are then downloaded to the school nurse’s computer or other health care coordinators.”

Enter the SPOT machine created by Pediavision out of Lake Mary, Fla.  The digital camera-looking device weighs approximately 2.5 pounds and provides a wealth of information at the click of a button.

How the spot machines works is simply entering patient names, dates of birth and sex into the SPOT machine, very much like adding information onto your smart phone.  This information can be downloaded via Wi-fi from the schools files or other administrators, saving even more time.  

Patients are instructed to sit still, look at the camera and click – it’s over.  But the immediate information gleaned from this snapshot include if there is near-sightedness (myopia), far-sightedness (hyperopia), unequal refractive power (anisometropia), blurred vision, eye structure problem (astigmatism), pupil size deviations (anisocoria) and/or eye misalignment (strabismus).  Information shared enables the patient, or their caregivers, data to determine if a professional follow up exam should be scheduled.

Information, screening results and recommendations are then easily stored and transferred to support various electronic records, thus being able to compare data on a patient from year to year.

In addition to the high-tech offerings, the SPOT machines allow screeners to test more patients in a shorter time.  Gone are the days of communicating what the patient should do, especially lengthy if the English is their second language.  Gone are the days of reading multiple lines with one eye and then with the other.  Additionally, gone are the days when trained volunteers had to calculate the results.  This process usually took four to five minutes per patient.  These steps now are all replaced with the click of a button or “a blink of an eye!”

At a recent screening of four-year olds to 2nd graders, students shared they “didn’t feel a thing”, “they told me I had Super Man vision”, “I just sat there” and “they let me see the picture of my eyes”.

This is the second year DGFD volunteers have used the SPOT machine.  “We were first introduced to the SPOT machine during our annual training with Texas Prevent Blindness”, said Temaat.  “Their director suggested we might be interested in this newest technology. “  Through fundraisers and grants, two SPOT machines have been purchased.  Last year, DGFD volunteers screened over 1200 clients and this year are expecting to screen even more. 

DGFD is fund-raising umbrella for the four Dallas-area Delta Gamma alumnae groups-- Dallas Day, Dallas Night, Dallas Northwest Cities and Dallas North Cities and its mission is to provide service, funds and public awareness regarding all areas of sight.

For more information, or to schedule screenings, please contact www.DGFDInc.org.

Written by: Laura Stockdale, Gamma Zeta-Louisiana State

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Many Joys of Teach For America

There are many joys that come with teaching. There is no other job where you see your students’ ecstatic fist pumps after getting that A on a quiz. Or where you set Hot Cheetos on fire to teach students about thermodynamics as well as nutrition. Or where your sneezes prompt a chorus of “bless you!”(This is one of the most endearing things that I wish all people could experience).

Teach for America is about building relationships with students and partnering with coworkers to build a better school.  It’s about supporting children so they have the chance to see themselves achieve success inside and outside the classroom. 

I will be the first to tell you that it is not an easy journey. But I will also be the first to point out that with those challenges come many opportunities to make a positive impact on a community.

Erica Duh, Beta Theta-Duke grew up in the Washington metropolitan area. She is currently in her third year as a high school chemistry teacher in South Central Los Angeles. She can be contacted at Erica.d.duh@gmail.com with any questions or concerns regarding the application process and the TFA experience.

Teach for America application: http://bit.ly/16VeG8l

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Costume Reminder

Halloween can be a fun time and dressing up can be a way to be someone else for a few hours, but this Halloween we ask that you consider your costume choices carefully.

The posters below show students from Ohio University standing up to cultural stereotypes depicted in Halloween costumes. The students are part of the STARS program which, according to their website,  “aims to raise awareness about social justice, and promote racial harmony.” You can learn more about the group HERE.
Before you dress up, ask yourself some serious questions:
 ·        Is my costume supposed to be funny?  Is the humor based on making fun of real people, human traits or cultures?
·         Does my costume perpetuate stereotypes, misinformation, or historical and cultural inaccuracies?
·         Would I want my costume pictured in the next issue of ANCHORA?

Halloween is no excuse to damage property, your credibility as a Delta Gamma, or your relationships. Please be safe and responsible.

Remember that Delta Gamma was founded on promoting education and cultural interests and a sense of social responsibility.

We know that you will “Do Good” this Halloween.

Delta Gamma Fraternity International Council 

Executive Offices Staff

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

10 Winter Weather Driving Tips

While you can still find a nice day, prepare for the rest of the season by winterizing your vehicle. Then, follow these 10 steps from our friends at Geico to ensure a safe commute … or trip to the grocery store for the last gallon of milk.

1. First things first … you want the snow off your car but you probably want to save the paint. Opt for brushes designed for auto snow removal and leave the shovel in the shed. Whatever you do, don’t forget the roof! In fact, failing to clean off your car can be illegal. You don’t want a block of ice the size of a mattress flying off your car into traffic.
2. You can prepare for winter driving by practicing. Go to an open parking lot and practice braking on icy or snowy surfaces. (Yes, you are allowed to think this is fun.)
3. When you are ready to hit the road, shovel around your wheels and under the front and rear bumpers to clear away any snow. Spinning your wheels can dig the hole deeper, build up ice and wear out your tires.
4. Slow down. In normal conditions, you should maintain a following distance of three seconds between you and another car. On winter roads, increase that to a full 8 to 10 seconds.
5. If you do get stuck, keep in mind that the sharper your front wheels are turned, the more resistance to movement in either direction you create, so try to keep the front tires as straight as possible. You can also keep sand or kitty litter in your trunk to spread around the tires for traction.
6. If your car skids, follow these steps:
o Don’t panic.
o Don’t slam on the brakes.
o Take your foot off the gas.
o Steer your car in the direction you want to go.
o Wait for the car to slow down so you can regain control.
7. Remember: do not use your cruise control on any slippery surface — even if the roads are just wet.
8. When going up a hill, try to build some inertia by increasing your speed as you approach the hill and let it carry you up. Increasing your speed while on the hill will just make your wheels spin.
9. Know your brakes. Apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal and avoid sudden stops.
10. Once you’ve mastered it, teach your teen driver how to drive in winter weather.
And finally, our “bonus tip” would be to just stay home. Even if you know how to drive in the snow, that doesn’t mean everyone else on the road does. What are your favorite tips for winter driving?

By Nathan Erb, Posted in: Safety

Friday, October 11, 2013

"As I Write This, I am Sitting Through My Third Chemotherapy Treatment"

As I write this, I am sitting through my third chemotherapy treatment. I am 37 and was diagnosed in July with breast cancer. I found out about my cancer only a couple of weeks after being appointed as the ATC for Mu – Missouri. Among my many concerns when first diagnosed was whether or not I would be able to continue to serve this chapter and the Fraternity. I love these women with all my heart.

On the day of my surgery back in July, many of the Mu collegians changed their Facebook profile pictures to a logo they had designed in my honor. They posted an inspiring message on the chapter’s Facebook page and Twitter account. The logo was made into a T-shirt they all wore during Mock Recruitment. They continue to visit me at home often and attend events and lunch with my kids at their school. A group of sisters from my chapter of Initiation, Epsilon Nu-James Madison, sent me a large package of items I would need after surgery. One member of that group had also fought breast cancer and won. I also received many cards, messages, and Facebook posts from sisters all over the country.

The reason I want to share this with you is because of a response it generated. I received messages from those who changed their perception about the purpose of fraternities and sororities. The publicity in social media of what was being done to support me showed others what our values truly are. It showed friendship, sympathy, and assistance in the best light. Thank you, my dear sisters, for effecting change in the minds of those who didn’t understand what we stood for. They understand now.

Julie Ryan, Epsilon Nu-James Madison, is the Mu ATC.

Monday, October 7, 2013

"Doing Good" for a DG Mom

Sister, Melissa Rapenske, Epsilon Pi-Connecticut, has been working on something very special for the past few months. The American Cancer Society holds an annual walk on October 20 in Hartford, CT called Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and Melissa has made a team in support of her mother, Nancy, who was diagnosed this February. 

“My mom has overcome so many obstacles in her past, and this isn’t her first cancer. She beat lymphoma with Hodgkin’s disease when she was younger and has dealt with skin cancer as well as the removal of her thyroid. This new battle with breast cancer is a crazy experience for our whole family, and having been there with my mom for all of it, I wanted to do something to make a difference.” 

The team Melissa has created, named UConn Greek Life for Nancy, now has over 250 members and has raised nearly $5,000! UConn's Greek Life has come together for the cause, and is working hard to surpass their fundraising goal and Melissa is working even harder to become a “Pacesetter” by raising over $2,500 on her personal fundraising page. Talk about "Doing Good!"

You can donate or see how the team is doing in meeting their goal here: http://main.acsevents.org/goto/MelissaRapenske

Mayra Reyes, Epsilon Pi-Connecticut, is the director: rituals of her chapter and a supportive sister of Melissa. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

DG Values Flourish in Teach For America Classroom

After completing the first month of my second year as a Teach For America Corps Member, I am starting to truly understand what leads to my success and failures in the role.  While there are many criticisms out there regarding how effective Teach For America is and how a program that sends non-traditional teachers into difficult schools can even be effective, my students achieved many gains last year in both their personal and academic lives.  

Joe*, a fifth grader I taught last year, came to me at a third grade math level and with much perseverance on both of our parts, finished fifth grade working on a sixth grade math level, wearing new eyeglasses, and sporting more confidence.  Joe’s story and the countless other relationships I built over the past year showed me a lot about my character and my “true sense of social responsibility.”  

Values that I continue to recognize in myself and build upon in my alumna life directly contribute to my success as a Corps Member.  Members of Delta Gamma were chosen for their values and desire to continually develop themselves, which are qualities necessary of a Teach For America Corps Member and qualities that indicate successful Corps Members.

*names have been omitted

The third deadline for Teach for America applications is October 25. Find more information here. 

Courtney is an initiate of Epsilon Psi-Rutgers University. She is a Teach For America Corps Member in Delaware, where she teaches 5th grade math. She also serves as a Delta Gamma collegiate chapter adviser. Feel free to contact her about her Teach For America experience at courtneylanza@gmail.com. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hazing from a Parent’s Perspective

Hazing is usually associated with fraternity/sorority life; however, national data on hazing reflects that almost half of all college students report having experienced hazing prior to college. According to HazingPrevention.Org, hazing is defined as: any action taken or situation created intentionally causes harm to members of a group or team regardless of the person's willingness to participate. You may assume that your child has the intelligence and confidence to prevent him or her from falling prey to such a situation. The desire to fit in, however, can be a powerful motivator. 

Hazing may be suspected if:
1.) Your child suddenly seems reluctant to talk especially about club or team related activities. 
2.) Your child becomes particularly annoyed, irritated or anxious when you talk with her about club or team activities. 
3.) You note changes in his or her moods. If there are significant changes in patterns of eating or sleeping. 
4.) He or she presents as distracted or distant especially when you try to talk about them club or team events.
5.) His or her academic performance suddenly declines. 
6.) There is an increase in physical complaints and/or he or she requires hospitalization due to an unexplained physical injury or alcohol abuse.

You can help prevent hazing by discussing the topic with your child. If your child is now in a leadership role in an organization or team, you have a real opportunity to engage in the prevention process.

Talk with your child about hazing. Let him know that he or she has a responsibility to model appropriate behavior to other members. Remind your child that leadership is about helping others learn through his or her example. It’s not about abusing power in order to demand respect.

Hazing is an archaic and horrific practice. Parents can play a pivotal role in the intervention and prevention of hazing practices.

Jennifer Powell-Lunder, Epsilon Gamma-Virginia,  is the Program Director of the Lodge Adolescent Inpatient Unit at For Winds Hospital.  Jennifer is also a parenting expert consulting and writing for Yahoo!, The Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Parenting Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX.  She is the creator of www.itsatweenlife.com and www.talkingteenage.com. Jennifer earned her masters in school psychology and her doctorate in school-clinical child psychology from Pace University.  She is currently at adjunct professor at Pace.  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Vote to give DG businesswoman a Super Bowl commercial

While vacationing in Sydney, Australia walking along Manley Bay I met two guys in a Parker’s Organic Juice truck. Little did I know one taste of this refreshing organic fruit juice would change my life forever. I gave up my successful career in corporate America, to pursue the American dream; I started my own business to follow my passion and labor of love. I import Parker’s Organic Juices into the US, which launched at Whole Foods in Atlanta, GA over two years ago. Currently it’s sold at Whole Foods (9 states) and natural/organic shops across the country. 

Intuit is hosting a competition for small businesses to win a Super Bowl commercial courtesy of Intuit! This is an amazing opportunity for Parker's Organic Juices! I submitted my business story and need your help by voting daily and spreading the news!

You can vote DAILY until September 22nd! I put a daily reminder in my calendar :) Please share on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

You can find the link to vote and share:

Facebook | Parker's Organic Juices-USA
Twitter | @ParkersOrgUSA
Instagram | parkersorganicjuicesusa

Michele Peplinski, Delta Nu-Northern Illinois, can be reached by emailing: mpepatlanta@yahoo.com.

Friday, August 30, 2013

DGs Meet Sailing Abroad

From the beginning, I was told that Delta Gamma is a close-knit yet far-reaching community of like-minded women.

As a collegiate member of Delta Iota chapter, I began to see that this was a very true statement, meeting Delta Gamma women almost everywhere I went in the United States.

Through these experiences I grew to know the strength of Delta Gamma, but it was not until this past school year that I understood how easy it is to find and connect with like-minded Delta Gamma women.

I am currently studying abroad on a program called Semester at Sea. Each voyage has a group page on Facebook , which is used for communication amongst students. One student posted a question asking about Greek life affiliations . I proudly shared my Delta Gamma affiliation and was amazed when my comment got several likes in quick succession. I learned that these women were active Delta Gammas across the nation. I began talking with one girl named Anna, from the chapter at UConn. We agreed to meet in London and spend the first few days together before the voyage departed. Although I had never met Anna, I could trust that because she is a Delta Gamma that we would get along- and we have! We had great fun seeing Big Ben, riding the London Eye and seeing many other sights in London. In fact, as I sit here on the deck writing this blog, Anna is siting next to me working on homework for one of her classes.

I know there are many more Delta Gammas on the ship and I have been fortunate to run into and have conversations with many of them. It is a great comfort knowing that on this grand of an adventure, that I am surrounded by like-minded Delta Gamma women. Delta Gamma is truly forever, everywhere, and always.  

Morgan Kemper, Delta Iota- University of Georgia, is a junior double majoring in Social Work and Sociology.  She is currently pursuing her passions for travel and understanding new cultures by studying abroad with Semester at Sea. She can be reached at morgan.kemper.fa13@semesteratsea.org

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Importance of Breaking the Silence

After finishing my junior year in college, I went out to celebrate with my best friend. A night out on the town quickly changed when my friends had to report me missing. After several hours I was found partially naked, assaulted and raped. I then went through a rollercoaster of emotions learning and transforming from a victim to a survivor.

I turned to the internet for information where I learned the alarming statistic of 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted during college. Reading the statistic I knew I needed to share my story to bring awareness. 

The first time I publicly told my story was on my campus at Take Back the Night. The room was packed with students. After sharing my story, it was the first time I truly understood the importance of breaking the silence. A young woman came up to me after I had spoke, tears rolling down her face and all she said was “Thank you.” Still to this day I don’t know who she was but I knew in that moment I had to continue to share my story with both men and women across the world.

This was a horrific incident that happened to me but I believe it happened for a reason. This incident gave me a new passion in life. I share my story because I see how it connects people, it lets victims know they are not alone and it’s not their fault and it empowers bystanders to step up to prevent sexual violence.

Almost five years after my sexual assault, on April 1st, 2013 I launched my website telling my story to the world. It was one of the scariest things I have ever done in my life. 

To learn more visit www.SabrinaSadler.com

Sabrina Sadler, Delta Eta -California State, Sacramento, shares her story and hopes to bring awareness, breakdown myths, educate and help each community understand their role in preventing violence. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013


I Believe in bettering men and women. I Believe in not hazing. I Believe in standing up for what's right. I Believe in living out the values I stand by. 

I Believe in tearing down stereotypes. I Believe in reaching out and helping others. I Believe in making a difference. I Believe in fun times had by all. 

I Believe in lifelong friendships, memories, and networks. I Believe in a better tomorrow. I Believe in individuality and diversity. 

I Believe in being positive and encouragement. I Believe in guiding people to reach their highest potential. 

I Believe in joining Greek organizations and I Believe these organizations help you find who you are, better yourself, help you in the future, and give you a sense of eternity. Furthermore, I Believe in "Doing Good."


Shelby Bounds, Delta Zeta-Memphis was recently  voted by her sisters to attend a UIFI session. During the session, she created the above "I Believe" statements. They are statements in which she fully believes in.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Carly Speaks: Taking A Bite Out of the Big Apple "Give My Regards to Broadway"

A New York City icon is without a doubt Broadway. The term refers to both the street itself and also the plays and musicals that take place in the Theater District (yes, Broadway runs right through it). I remember the very first time I came to New York City at the ripe age of 13, I saw my first two Broadway shows: Hairspray and Chicago. I immediately fell in love with Hairspray; I purchased the original cast's recording of all the songs and even bought the musical's poster. For weeks I would listen to the music and after a while I knew all the words to every song. After seeing Hairspray I knew I had a newfound love for Broadway.

Since moving to New York, I hadn't taken advantage of the fact that the Theater District is a few blocks from my office until a few weeks ago. My mom has been in town for a while and we decided we wanted to see Jersey Boys. I had heard amazing reviews from every person I talked to who had seen it and we were able to get great seats at an even better price. We sat in the front row of the mezzanine and had an unobstructed view of the entire production. The show retells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and how they rose to fame. From start to finish Jersey Boys was entertaining. I especially loved the authenticity in their Jersey accents. But the one thing that made this show spectacular was John Lloyd Young starring as Frankie Valli. Young's voice was incredibly similar to the real Frankie Valli and the first time he came out on stage and sang, I got chills. The great part about the show was that even though I wasn't alive during the time the Four Seasons were at their peak, I still knew most of the songs. I would highly recommend Jersey Boys to anyone who is a lover of good music and all around amazing time.
For some unknown reason, my mom and I decided to see another show a few days after seeing Jersey Boys. My boss had recommended I see Once, which was previously a movie (which I had no idea before he mentioned it) and he also mentioned that the main song, Falling Slowly, is really popular. Intrigued, my mom and I bought tickets and took a leap of faith to see yet another Tony award winning show. I can say without hesitation that Once is by far my favorite Broadway show I've ever seen. I am still listening to the soundtrack over and over again. Once is a story about a guy who is trying to make it big with his music, but he is missing something. Enters girl (the characters don't have names!) and she becomes his advocate and champion. The most amazing part about this musical is that there are only 10 people in the cast and they play their own music live on stage; there isn't an orchestra whatsoever! The entire show I was mesmerized by the beautiful music and pure voices of the cast. If music along the lines of Jack Johnson or John Mayer strikes a chord in your life, seeing Once needs to be on your bucket list.

I'm still in disbelief that I have (hypothetically) unlimited access  to some of the best entertainment in the world. Broadway helps define New York City, and I'm lucky enough to call this place my home. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Everything Happens For A Reason

In November 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 28. While this was a very shocking and devastating time for me, I pulled a lot of my strength from my family, close friends, Delta Gamma sisters, and also Giuliana Rancic; whose battle was very similar to mine. It was a dream of mine to meet and talk to her to share our stories of survival & strength.

One of my best DG sisters, Ashley, informed me that Giuliana would be speaking at the Lectureship at OU. Knowing how important it was for me to meet Giuliana, Ashley graciously arranged our trip to attend the lectureship. The ladies of Alpha Iota did not disappoint and the reception & lectureship was beautiful. Giuliana arrived in a whirlwind of smiles, laughter and cameras. We were allowed a few brief minutes to chat and I will never forget those fleeting moments; my heart was so content. She genuinely cared about how I was doing and was very sympathetic to all that I'd been through. I felt like I could've sat and talked to her for hours over coffee!   

Even though our conversation was short yet sweet, I will never forget our time together and the quick bond we shared. Giuliana was so graceful and down to earth. Beautiful inside just as much as she is outside; her compassionate soul radiated the entire time we spoke. I am forever grateful for this experience-- to Ashley and to my other Delta Gamma sisters for making my dream become a reality!

Anne Embry, Gamma Tau-Texas Christian is an Air Force wife and stay-at-home-mom to a spunky preschooler. She dedicates her free time to raising awareness for early detection of breast cancer; it saved her own life. She can be reached at anneembry@gmail.com or her blog at www.annefightsback.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 18, 2013

For our DGs who are retired or are considering it

“The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.”
– Abe Lemons

When I was asked to do a blog post about retirement, I wasn’t sure if I was up to the task because I’m not retired. Upon more contemplation on the issue, I decided it would be exciting to do some research on the topic. In my doctoral studies, I focused primarily on interviewing for research. Interviews are wonderful, especially when one wants to get a glimpse of how someone got to be where they are. Retirement is also an appropriate topic for me because I get along with older individuals since I am an only child and am used to being around people at least 30 years older than me. For this post, I decided to interview a few people about their experiences with retirement, and I’ll share what I learned from them with you.

Why They Retired
The women I spoke with about retirement are in their sixties and worked in education and the nonprofit sectors. One of the women decided to retire because her father was in poor health and she wanted to care for him. Another was laid off from her teaching position, and after examining her finances, she realized that she could retire comfortably. One of the other women had a high-profile position with a local nonprofit and decided to retire after she had become burned out after working for so many years.

How They Keep Themselves Busy
Even the women who retired a few years ago are still getting adjusted to retirement since it is a significant life change. In fact, one of the women is thinking about going back to work part-time, probably as a substitute teacher since she loves being part of a learning community. She and the other women keep their ears to the ground about activities such as volunteering for nonprofit groups. Some other things that were brought up to keep the mind and body strong were getting involved in yoga, gardening and fencing, as well as adopting a dog that enjoys walks.

Words of Wisdom
One of the women interviewed said if retirement feels right, then go for it! It is extremely important to stay connected with friends and it takes real effort. Some great ways to do this are through email, phone and Facebook. If you’re finding the adjustment to retirement to be difficult, seek counseling or support groups. Although retirement allows freedom through a flexible schedule, it is important to have some purpose in your life and a reason to get up each day.

Dr. Margaret Moodian, Zeta Iota-Chapman, and her husband, Dr. Michael Moodian, live in Orange County, California with their rescue dog, Manny, and chinchilla, Marshall. You can reach Margaret at mminni100@hotmail.com or follow her on Twitter @mminni100

Monday, July 15, 2013

Carly Speaks: Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple, Sunday Brunch

If I have learned anything since moving to New York City, it is that Sunday brunch is one of the best meals of the entire week. Sure, I look forward to maybe going out to dinner or ordering my food from Seamless (online ordering website for food delivery!) at some point during my week, but it is going out to brunch on Sunday that I really look forward to.

I'm extremely lucky in the sense that I live close to a multitude of amazing restaurants that serve phenomenal brunches and I'm in the never ending process of trying them all. The first to mention is a place called Good Enough to Eat. With a name like that, it is understandable to have high expectations. "Is this place really 'good enough to eat' like the name suggests?" After my first time eating there, I wasn't sure if I was going to rush to go back. The food was good (I got the BLT omelette (sans lettuce) and a Bloody Mary) but wasn't unforgettable. I decided to give it a second try and got the Deep South (three scrambled eggs and biscuits and sausage gravy). The second trip was much better, the biscuits were nice and fluffy and the sausage gravy wasn't a thick glob of bland nothingness. My only gripe about this place is that they don't have Eggs Benedict, which forced me to have to find something else. My mom got the scones with strawberry butter and they didn't look like your typical rock hard, dry as the desert type of scone either. All in all, I can see why there is a ton of hype about this place (and the line out the door proves that as well).
One of my favorite local brunch spots is a place called Fred's. My roommate has been telling me to try out this place for a while, and when my cousin Kelly was in town we decided to give it a shot. They have plenty of sidewalk seating (a major plus) and it is a dog friendly restaurant, which is a perfect way of curing my homesickness of my yellow lab back in Portland. Just when I thought the sidewalk seating was going to be a major perk, I looked at the menu. They have a breakfast special where you choose any breakfast entree and either a Bloody Mary or a Mimosa for $16.95! That is a steal in NYC. At most restaurants, you will pay that much just for the entree and close to $10 for the Bloody Mary. Breakfast even comes with delicious little muffins and strawberry butter (I'm sensing a trend here...). In true Carly Stiles fashion, I ordered Eggs Benedict and a Bloody Mary (I live a predictable life) and it was divine!

But the one place I've been dying to get brunch for two years now is Sarabeth's. Known to be one of the best brunches in all of New York City, getting a reservation at this place on a weekend is near impossible. I was getting frustrated because the Sarabeth's West location is a block and a half away from my apartment and I really wanted to try the food. My boss gave me a simple piece of advice: "Just walk in and see if they have a table." Duh, why didn't I think of that. I was so caught up in the fact that reservations are as rare as a unicorn that I didn't even consider that there still could be tables available. Low and behold, my mom and I walk up to Sarabeth's around 9:00 am and they seated us right away. Around 11:30, the line was out the door. Timing is everything!

One would think I would live up to my stereotypical brunch life and order Eggs Benedict, but I decided to what Sarabeth's is known for, their Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and a Pickled Bloody Mary (complete with tons of different pickled veggies!). The pancakes were divine! I could really taste the tart lemon and the ricotta made the pancakes very light compared to your average buttermilk style. Butter, maple syrup and berries accompanied the pancakes; the dish was a simple classic with a modern touch. My mom ordered the Pumpkin Waffle with sour cream, maple syrup and various nuts and seeds on top. I thought for sure it was going to be a dense sort of waffle and sour cream? Really? I was wrong on all accounts, the waffle was light and fluffy and the sour cream was a great substitute for butter. Two amazing dishes, and neither one of them was Eggs Benedict. If my experience at Sarabeth's has taught me anything, it is that I shouldn't be afraid to stray away from my usual dish and I should branch out and look at the rest of the menu, I could find a new favorite!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Carly Speaks: Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple, "Sisters and the City"

As I've mentioned in my earlier posts, I moved to New York City knowing a handful of people. I utilized the NYC Alumnae chapter to help me find a roommate, so it is only natural that I use it to help find some friends too right?

Not too long ago, an alumna (Laurel Spinney, Phi-Colorado) posted in the NYC Facebook group about wanting to meet some DGs that lived in the city for drinks one Saturday night. My roommate, Cait, and I knew that it would be a great opportunity to meet new people and decided to go. We met up with four other DGs (including Laurel) at a fun Mexican restaurant in the Murray Hill area of Manhattan.

From Left: Trisha Guillen (Epsilon Lambda- Lehigh), Marisa Torch (Eta Iota- Reno), Cait Williamson (Zeta Theta- Columbia), Nicky Byrnes (Phi- Colorado), Laurel Spinney (Phi- Colorado) and Carly Stiles (Beta Upsilon- Oregon State)

Even though the six of us didn't know each other collectively (we each came with a friend), as an outsider you would have never known. Then in true Delta Gamma fashion, the small world discoveries started popping up throughout the evening. Cait interned for Marisa's uncle one summer and they both took pre-med classes at Columbia (most likely in the same classroom!), one of Trisha's good friends (also a DG!) works on my floor at work, and Nicky and Laurel, although from the same chapter, work in the same office and didn't realize it until after Nicky landed her internship. We spent a couple of hours talking about the upcoming alumnae events that we want to attend and how happy we were to meet one another. Marisa is in charge of the dinner club within the NYC alumnae chapter and we all decided it would be a great idea to do a brunch at Sarabeth's (rated one of the best brunches in NYC!) one weekend.

After what felt like only 30 minutes, we all left with new friends and a reinforced faith as to how amazing the Delta Gamma network really is. Without it, making friends would be that much more difficult in this crazy city of over 7 million people. Stay tuned for more fun summer activities, such as free movies in Bryant Park, Shakespeare in Central Park and maybe even a baseball game!  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Carly Speaks: Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple "Finding a Roommate"

Moving to a new city is a pretty scary thing, especially when you can count the number of people that you know in the nearest 100 zip codes on one hand. My first attempt at finding a roommate was to ask my friends that currently live in NYC if they needed a new roommate or knew someone who did. I quickly struck out and needed to look elsewhere. I was really scared to go onto Craigslist and find a random roommate, you never know what you are going to find with Craigslist!

As a CDC, I preached to collegiate members the importance of joining the local alumnae group after graduation. "It is a really easy way to meet people!" I would always say. I figured it was time to practice what I preach. I already was a dues-paying member of the NYC Alumnae group and was constantly checking out the Facebook group for any "roommate wanted" posts. I ended up joining a g-mail group for DGs looking for roommates and/or apartments in the city. I sent out an e-mail to the group and within a few hours I heard back from a collegiate member about to graduate from Zeta Theta-Columbia named Cait. 

The rest happened so quickly; we went through the usual surface level questions about living habits, hometowns (she is also from the west coast!) and what we are doing in NYC (she does neuroscience research at Columbia). Cait had already found an awesome true 3 bedroom apartment in the Upper West Side, and from the looks of the pictures it really was perfect, and was planning on seeing it in person with a broker later that week. One of Cait's friends from Columbia became our third roommate and we signed the lease a week after I posted my original "roommate wanted" e-mail. Cait and I love telling the story of how we became roommates to other DGs because it truly is a testament to how amazing the DG network is. The night before I e-mailed the group, Zeta Theta had their Senior Pursuit meeting and encouraged the seniors to join the local alumnae group for where they will be living after graduation. Cait went home and joined the NYC Facebook page and the G-Mail group and it paid off! 

Kudos to Zeta Theta for encouraging the senior class to stay involved in Delta Gamma. Cait and I get along great, and having our ritual and sisterhood in common was just the beginning. I like to think that Cait and I's story is proof that Delta Gamma is not just 4 years of fun while in college, it truly is a lifetime membership. There are DGs everywhere, so why not go out and try and meet them? You never know what new and amazing friends (or roommates!) you will make along the way. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Carly Speaks: Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple "Intro"

I can’t believe my CDC year has come to a close and now I’m a young professional in the Big Apple! I just moved across the country after landing an entry-level sales job that values hard work and dedication and I secured an amazing apartment on the Upper West Side with two roommates. Now I am here, living in the city that never sleeps and enjoying all of the amazing opportunities that come with it. Stay tuned for info on what life is like as a young graduate! I plan on posting my tips, tricks and anecdotes throughout the summer…but first, here’s a little more about me...

I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and received my Bachelor's degree in Marketing from Oregon State University in 2012. When I was a freshman, I knew I wanted to join a sorority; little did I know the impact it was going to have on the rest of my life. I enthusiastically joined Delta Gamma and was a sponge to the plethora of knowledge and information I learned my first year as member. It paid off; I was elected chapter president as a sophomore and I was very glad I paid close attention to everything that went on during chapter meeting, because now I was the one running those meetings. I was fortunate enough to attend the 64th Biennial Convention in Denver, Colorado at the end of my sophomore year and it was my first real exposure to the "bigger picture" of Delta Gamma. I got to see women who truly exemplified "lifetime membership" and the most memorable being the late Miss Eleanor Slaughter, Alpha Psi- Ole Miss. It is tradition at every Convention for the attendees to stand to show how many Conventions they have attended. I was excited to show that it was my first Convention, but I was more excited to see how many other women had attended. Ten, fifteen, twenty...wow, talk about dedication. Then they called upon 28 Conventions, and the only woman to walk up was Miss Slaughter. She received a standing ovation and cheers that brought tears to my eyes. This is what it means to be a Delta Gamma. I was forever inspired.

After my term as chapter president ended, I was elected vice president: membership and attended the Delta Gamma Institute in Columbus, Ohio in 2011. The 2011-2012 CDCs were there on their interview weekend and seeing them further inspired the desire that was already within me to consider applying the following year; but what really drove me to apply to be a CDC was my love for Delta Gamma and I wanted to give back to the organization that had given me so many wonderful opportunities. I was fortunate enough to have even been chosen to be a finalist, so I was ecstatic when I was offered the job.

The first year after I graduated college was a whirlwind. I got to live and breathe Delta Gamma all day every day and it was my goal to inspire at least one collegiate member to be the best member they could be. I met numerous women over the course of my year as CDC and I couldn't imagine what my experience would have been like if it wasn't for the spirit of our members across the country.

Read my first “official” blog post next Monday!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Young DGs Spend Summer "Doing Good" in Appalachia

In 2011, Carly Warner, Delta Lambda-Mississippi State, and I, (Melanie Pozuc, Gamma Epsilon-Kent State), met as staff members of a non-profit organization called Mountain T.O.P. The Tennessee Outreach project, fondly known as Mountain T.O.P., aims to meet needs of the Cumberland sector of Appalachia not just physically, but also socially, emotionally, and spiritually.

Mountain TOP has numerous programs that help to accomplish this including Youth Summer Ministry, Adults In Ministry, Spring Break Out, and numerous children’s programs. Carly and I have worked specifically with the Youth Summer Ministry for the past three years, taking on new positions with greater responsibilities each summer. Serving in this capacity has allowed us to not only encourage campers and fellow staff to serve selflessly but also to live out Mountain T.O.P.’s key philosophy of becoming “fishers of people.”

In our chapters, Carly and I have both held CMT positions: Carly as the VP of Foundations for Delta Lambda in 2011 and I am the current chapter president of Gamma Epsilon. Throughout our time on the mountain, we have grown as individuals, leaders, friends, and sisters. It’s no surprise that two people living out the values that Delta Gamma instilled in us would be brought together by the opportunity to “Do Good.” This experience has instilled in us the importance of servant leadership, an idea that encompassed our leadership styles and will help strengthen our chapters.

We would love to see more Delta Gamma sisters on the mountain to join us in “Doing Good”!

For more information on Mountain T.O.P and how to get involved, click http://www.mountain-top.org/

Melanie Pozuc, Gamma Epsilon-Kent State, attends Kent State University. She is majoring in Applied Conflict Management and minoring in Pre-Law and Non-Profit Studies. She plans on attending law school after graduating in Spring of 2014. Melanie currently serves as the chapter president for Gamma Epsilon-Kent State.

Carly Warner, Delta Lambda-Mississippi State, recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a focus in Management. Her future plans are not yet concrete, but she plans on pursuing a career in corporate giving.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"It looked like what you’d imagine if you put a house into a blender"

It’s the smell that hits first, dank and permeable, the kind of smell that unsettles you, that seeps into your clothes and your pores, warning that things aren’t right. At least that’s what it was for my friend Germaine and I on Monday as we turned the corner from Santa Fe Avenue onto SW 15th street, in Moore, Oklahoma, our Zone 1 assignment where we’d spend the next few hours helping with tornado clean-up. Not that there’s much to clean up, although there is, blocks upon infinite blocks of debris, the remnants of lives shattered as just one week prior an F5 tornado waged its wrath upon a 17-mile swath of now-barren landscape.

Visually, I’d become inured to it, at least from a distance. Photos from friends and in the newspaper, eye-witness accounts in the media and on the internet helped brace me for the enormity of it all. But then stepping off that bus and smelling it; smelling made it real.

I didn’t expect the smell, a fetid cocktail of rotting drywall, rain-soaked carpet and churned-up plywood. It was deep and heady, laden with the musk of dampened dust, both sour and earthy in one inhale --  like scavenging through grandma’s attic where years of neglect have settled, caking every surface.

When we got to the site at 1017 SW 15th, this band of twenty or so strangers, we really didn’t know what to do. We had no individual assignments, just shovels, gloves, dust masks and a willingness to dig in and make what progress we could. But somehow the rubble told us what to do, and we fell into an instinctive rhythm: big pieces first, then medium-sized things like shingles and chunks of insulation. Pieces then turned into morsels, which we dug up by the shovelful, hoping that with each layer uncovered, we might find something the family valued. We were ants on a hill, marching, digging, clearing, moving, never really stopping to talk or rest, as piece-by-piece and shovel-by-shovel we slowly dug down to the floor.

Large debris, such as walls and portions of house frames, were carried out with quiet precision, flanked on each side by volunteers. Like pallbearers at a funeral, they moved with purpose, striding gingerly from where the house once stood to the growing mound of detritus along the curb.

We identified rooms based on what was found there: the kitchen (tupperware and a Bundt pan), a bedroom (a comforter, pillow and waterbed still in tact), the living room (a maroon faux velvet La-Z-Boy and TV), the bathroom (toilet, still bolted to the floor and buried under several feet of debris). As we dug, the family’s story emerged. Cards from two versions of Trivial Pursuit  - 80s and Silver Screen - were strewn about almost every corner of the site. There were cancelled checks from 1980 from when the family lived in Hawaii. We found random rolls of Christmas wrapping paper, a Barbie Doll, its hair still attached to the original packaging, a cut glass dish, dirty but undamaged, men’s 36” x 30” trousers still with the tags on, a Harry Potter book (Half-Blood Prince, to be exact), toiletries, and a Woman’s Day magazine from 1992.

Our conversations were minimal, “Excuse me,” “I’m sorry,” “Thank you,” “Do we have any wire-cutters?” For the most part we worked quietly, lost in a reverent silence, creating our own syncopated cadence of scraping shovels and the clatter-clap of wood being thrown onto the pile. From time to time, our song was punctuated by the squelching beep of a tow truck as it removed damaged cars from the street. But there were no other sounds: no birds singing or dogs barking at squirrels, no radios blaring as cars passed by, no children playing in yards. No life.
What personal items we found were amassed onto what turned out to be the garage floor, awaiting their owners’ return.  All other debris was thrown atop mountainous piles along the curb where it will remain until hauled off by front-end loaders a few weeks from now. We celebrated minor victories: finding a box of new clothing virtually untouched, ladies’ jewelry found deep amid crumbled drywall near the bedroom area, a torn photo or two and silverware, mud-caked but still intact. We had no idea if the items we were collecting even belonged to the family, or to those from the family next door, or the next street over, or from a half a mile away. The monster tornado, which churned through the area with wind speeds topping 200 MPH, pulverized everything in its path, mixing and blending houses and their belongings into a dense soup of hardwood and brick.

One reporter on the ground, upon first seeing the damage after the storm passed, said it looked like what you’d imagine if you put a house into a blender, turned it on high, and let it go. Homes and businesses were ground into crumbs, cars shred to ribbons of steel that were then wrapped around trees like some macabre holiday tinsel. The few trees remaining were stripped of their canopies and bark, and now stand naked but no less proud, their sharpened branches reaching heavenward like ghostly cathedral spires, monuments to the power of nature and the unknown.

Our goal, such as we had one, was to unearth a shadow box of military medals belonging to the homeowners. Fitting that on Memorial Day we would focus our efforts on the home of a veteran. Whether by happenstance or design, it gave more meaning to our task knowing that we were serving someone who had once served us. Unfortunately, by the time we left, we hadn’t found the beloved box. We’re hoping it may still be unearthed somewhere, and that whoever finds it will post photos of the medals to one of the online communities for mementos of its kind.

The task ahead seems daunting at best and recovery will take months if not years. The house we worked on was but one of thousands, and while we felt our progress was mighty, its contribution to the overall effort seemed miniscule.

After turning onto my own street to arrive home that afternoon, I drove around the block, absorbing everything I saw. I wondered if SW 15th Street, before the killer storm, bloomed with the same idyllic air as my own street a mere twenty-five miles away. Were its lawns freshly mowed? Did spring annuals dot the flower beds with pink and purple? Were children playing out front, guarded by the houses that stood brick-and-mortar tall? It dawned on me that with a shift in the jet stream, or a break in the dry line, the house that brought together this band of twenty or so strangers - not just Oklahomans, but people from Austin and Denton and Kansas and Oregon - could have been my own. And then I wondered, would it have smelled the same?(copyright - jlmcommunications)

Jennifer Lindsey McClintock, Alpha Iota-Oklahoma is a member of the Oklahoma City alumnae chapter.