For some of us, Delta Gamma may be the biggest commitment of our college career, but since freshman year, two of my sisters of Zeta Alpha-Villanova have been committed to something much larger. Rachel Mannix and Elise Fink participate in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program where they prepare to become commissioned officers of the US Armed Forces upon graduation this month. I am beyond proud to call Rachel, Air Force ROTC and Elise, Army ROTC two of my wonderful sisters and friends.
My sister, friend, and classmate Rachel Mannix effortlessly juggles her civil engineering curriculum with an Air Force ROTC program, two club sports, a close-knit family and countless friendships- while being an active member of Zeta Alpha each and every day. On any given Tuesday or Thursday morning, Rachel’s iPhone alarm starts beeping at 3:45 a.m. so she can get out the door by 4:30 and arrive at her ROTC training by 5 a.m. She is currently serving as the Cadet Wing Commander of Air Force ROTC Detachment 750 at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, PA, where she is responsible for training and guiding 60 younger cadets through the program.
During the summer of 2011, Rachel was chosen from a highly selective pool of 6,000 candidates to complete a four week field training program in Alabama and Mississippi where she endured long days of boot camp to prepare for her future in the Air Force. After receiving an award based on excellent participation, Rachel was asked to return the following summer to train the younger cadets. She has been recognized and honored with the Air Warfare and Tankers Association scholarship in 2011, the Wenzel scholarship in 2012, and just recently, the Society of American Military Engineers scholarship. In October, Rachel will begin her four years of active service at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
I have been fortunate enough to serve as a team member on projects, lab reports, and class presentations with Rachel, and I can honestly say that I couldn't have gotten through my rigorous engineering curriculum without her by my side. Her apartment is decked out in a proportional mix of American flags and DG memorabilia, and she can often be seen throwing up her gamma. Rachel is one of the most responsible, generous, intelligent and driven people I have ever met, and I am so lucky to call her not only my peer, but my sister for life.
Elise Fink is another dedicated member of not only our Zeta Alpha chapter but Villanova’s Army ROTC program. Elise is a Communication Major with a minor in Criminal Justice. She currently serves as the Executive Officer of her Army ROTC battalion at Villanova, and has assessed the Adjutant General, Active Duty. Last summer, Elise completed a Cadet Troop Leader Training program at the Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, where she shadowed a Second Lieutenant of the 225 Brigade Support Battalion. Elise’s ROTC achievements include the Physical Fitness of Excellence award after receiving a perfect score on her Army Physical Fitness Test at the Leadership Development Assessment Course.
Just a few weeks ago, Elise found that she will be stationed in South Korea this upcoming September, and, judging by the massive smile she wore on that day, looks forward to serving our country from thirteen time zones away!
Last year, I had the privilege of spending spring break alongside Elise as we worked on Habitat for Humanity homes in Americus, Georgia. I have known Elise since joining DG our freshman year, but our spring break service trip brought out characteristics I never had the opportunity to see. Throughout the week, I recognized her strength, determination, wholeheartedness, and authenticity, characteristics that not only make her an amazing Delta Gamma sister, but an outstanding member of the US Military.
As Rachel and Elise graduate this month and leave Villanova to serve our great nation in new and far off places, we want to thank them for their dedication to our chapter and let them know that they are forever anchored in the bonds of Delta Gamma. We love them and are so thankful and proud of their service to our country.
Diana Chiavetta, Zeta Alpha-Villanova, is a Civil and Environmental Engineering major who is so proud of her sisters and wanted to share the GOOD they are about to DO in our world. If you have a sister about to enter the armed forces, Delta Gamma wants to know about her. Contact our communications department at EO at Maryellen@deltagamma.org. You can reach Diana at firstname.lastname@example.org.