Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Alpha Phi is internationally recognized for their Intellectual Development

Last weekend, seven of the newly elected members of Lehigh’s Alpha Phi executive board attended the Alpha Phi Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regional conference in Baltimore, Maryland. At the conference, the new executive board members had the opportunity to network with the Alpha Phi international office members, as well as fellow Alpha Phi executive boards from schools throughout the region. Each chapter contributed ideas and thoughts on how to generate a positive influence on our own campuses, along with explanations of how our individual chapters operate. Our executive board was able to gather many new ideas, and we are excited about introducing them to our chapter. Our chapter (Epsilon Psi) was awarded for our Intellectual Development Program, which is a program that is meant to generate positive influence throughout our chapter. Personally, the conference served as a great learning opportunity and experience and has helped to prepare me for the challenges that I may come across while serving as the President of our chapter.

The Alpha Phi regional conference was an opportunity for our new executive board to develop leadership skills relevant to our own individual responsibilities, as well as skills that can be used to help our chapter function sufficiently. Discussion-based lectures gave us an opportunity to share the practices of our chapter with others, while also allowing us to learn other chapters’ best practices. We hope to incorporate some of the things other chapters discussed into our own programs. Being in a group with fellow Presidents and VPs gave us the opportunity to openly discuss struggles different chapters face and ways to overcome them. These discussions educated me with ways I can shape our chapter’s future through effective management.

Our chapter’s executive board shared ideas from our Intellectual Development Program since it is one of the most successful programs our chapter possesses. Our Intellectual Development Program fosters women empowerment and open intellectual conversations. An important aspect of our Intellectual Development Program is our “Jam Sessions,” which are serious intellectual discussions between our members and faculty adviser, Professor Walsh. These discussions are based on both worldwide issues as well as campus-based issues. This year, our topic for discussion has primarily been sexism, in honor of the 40th anniversary of women at Lehigh. Other parts of our Intellectual Development Program promote intellectual relationships between our members and their professors. In events such as “Tea with A Phi,” members were given the opportunity to converse with their favorite professors outside of the classroom atmosphere. Events such as Tea with A Phi create an environment in which deeper discussions can be held, and learning can be taken to the next level. We believe there is more to learn than what is taught in the classroom, and our Intellectual Development Programs cultivates a continuous learning atmosphere within our chapter.

Alpha Phi Internationals has recognized this program and awarded us for its success. Over the course of the weekend, we were asked to share with other chapters the importance of the program and how we incorporate it into our chapter’s activities. Other chapters showed interest in the program, and we hope our ideas will be able to travel and have a positive impact on other chapters throughout our region. We were happy to contribute to the overall purpose of the Alpha Phi conference, and hope that our chapter was able to generate a positive influence and stream of ideas to other chapters.

-Kaitlin Slattery, President
Alpha Phi, Epsilon Psi
Photo:  From left to right - Ellie Fried (VP Program Development), Kaitlin Slattery (President), Rachel Sarakin (Director of Formal Recruitment), Val Phillips (VP Member Recruitment), Kelly Bloom (Director of Finance), Janine Necef (VP Chapter Operations), and Christine Caruso (Chapter Adviser)