Family & Friends · Uncategorized

To Kat & Kara


As you have probably deduced by now, I am your mentor! Sorry it has taken me a hot minute to reveal myself, moving home from college is kinda crazy. But the time has come, sooo here is a little blog about myself and my mentor (you G Mentor like a grandma lol). Hope you Enjoy!

About Me:

Well my name is Abbey Claes and I am a Senior in LAS. I have one brother who is also at Central in LAS which is pretty dang cool. Also, I have two very important redheads in my life who are my boyfriend Derek and my best friend Emily (who is also my mentor). As you noticed in the insta account I am from the Upper Peninsula, a town called Escanaba. Being from up north I really enjoy being outside even sometimes in the winter. My favorite things to do up here are going to the beach, hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing, and downhill skiing. However, I also love curling up on the couch and binge watching a show or movies. A few of my favorites currently are Parks & Rec, Game of Thrones, Brooklyn 99, Riverdale, and This is Us. Movies I like are To all the Boys I loved Before (my house crew this year watched it at least 30 times), any Marvel, Age of Adaline, and Say Anything (literally cried when they took it off Netflix). I am I am a big food lover, especially breakfast foods, my favorite place in Mt. Pleasant is Roz’s Diner! A few random facts about me are I love waking up early when everything is quiet and calm. Coffee is my bestest pal along with ice cream and popcorn. My favorite activity of all time is Goat Yoga, literally the best experience I have ever had. And the best fact of all is Dr. Davies and I were born in the same place which is wild. Besides food, shows, and other things I like to do here’s what I do at CMU. I am studying Communication Sciences and Disorders with plans to get my Master’s in Speech Language Pathology. My minors are in Child Development and Leadership. I work in the Office of the President which is the coolest job around. Being able to work there with such amazing people is a highlight of Central for me. Also, I am in a sorority, Circle K, Leadership Safari, and Order of Omega. You can always find me in either Warriner Hall or the Health Professions Building, I basically live in them lol.

About Emily:

Emily is my mentor, and she is the most genuine person on this earth. While she has already graduated and is in the real world she is one of the most important individuals in my life. Besides being my mentor she is also my Big in my sorority and basically my everything. She loves her dog Berklee who is the best dog in the world and will steal all scrunchies. Em is from the metro Detroit area so we still see each other when we are able too. She and I share a love for Parks and Rec and really relate to Amy and Leslie lol. If you want to check Em out her instagram account is @baierems.

So there is a little bit about the family you are joining. I am so excited to meet you both and take on CMU together in the fall. I can’t wait for all the adventures we will have like the Jonas Brothers. If you need anything over the summer let me know, I am always here for you! My number is 906-280-5647. Also, I somehow deleted the instagram account I made for you two (sorry) so if you want to text me your address and I will send you a cute little thing soon, thanks a bunch. ILY

Here are some pictures of me, what I love, and a few people who I am super close with!


Safari 2018

My Experience for my Second Year Safari Guide

What is Safari… well allow me to explain. Leadership Safari is a week long event that is put on through Central’s Leadership Institute. It is a program that is similar to freshman orientation. It helps get new students more familiar with Central Michigan University. Also, it gives the incoming students a time to meet other people at the university. Finally, the leadership aspect. This conference is all about leadership and opening peoples minds to different ideas and perspectives.

This past summer, I was a Safari Guide for my second year as a Leadership Safari Staff member. For my second year I was a guide for eight amazing Freshman on Team Aardvark. Besides my group of participants, I was also a part of the Back to Black core team and meet some of the best people ever.

To my Aardvarks: You are all such wonderful people and I am so lucky to know you. I have loved watching you all grow here at Central and find your place. You have all found your different places at Central and are thriving. I am so proud of all of you and can’t wait to see where life takes you.

To my Back to Black loves: Thank you all for the best Safari ever. Spending the week with all of you was truly a blessing. You are all such amazing leaders and are doing such great things for the world and the university.

The Future: This coming year I will be a Ranger on Safari Staff for Sharpay Evans Pink. A ranger is someone who still gets a group of participants during safari. However, rangers also help the Core staff members with training’s and picking out other staff members. I am so excited to have this new role and do my third and final safari!



New Member Educator for Alpha Sigma Tau

Serving as Alpha Sigma Tau’s New Member Educator for 2018

During the 2018 year, I had the privilege of serving as my sororities New Member Educator. In this position, I was able to help welcome new women into AΣT and teach them about the sorority. As New Member Educator I was tasked with helping the new members through our six week process that leads to initiation. Within the six weeks, they learn about the history of AΣT and what we hold most dear. Also, they get their bigs which is always exciting. Finally, at the end they become initiated and officially active members of the Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority.

To the Fall 2018 class: First of all, thank you to the whole Fall 2018 class. I am so thankful to have had such an great group of women to welcome into the chapter. Teaching you about AΣT and guiding you all through the new member process was so fun and reminded me what I love about the chapter. I loved being able to watch you all fall in love with our chapter and find your place in this wonderful group of women we have. You are all doing such great things within the chapter and I could not be more proud of you. I can’t wait to see where you all take the chapter and the positive changes you are able to make. You are all truly amazing individuals and the chapter is so lucky to have all of you. Thanks for making my time in Alpha Sigma Tau the best ever.

Advice for the next New Member Educator: Be there for the new members! It is your job to make them feel welcomed and love within AΣT. Make sure you are there to answer their questions and address any concerns they may have. Along with that, help them create a relationship with other member in the chapter. Help them reach out to others and find their place in Alpha Sigma Tau.

Final Thoughts: Being the new member educator was one of the hardest yet more rewarding positions I have held. There are things I wish I would have done differently or should have changed but overall it was an amazing time. I loved being able to see the chapter of actives from that position and watch them welcome our new members while also being there for the new members.


Order of Omega

The Greek Honor Society

Order of Omega is a national Greek honors society that recognized Sorority and Fraternity member who had high GPA’s and leadership experiences. This organization recognized Juniors and Seniors who are involved in the Greek community, are dedicated to leadership, and keep up a good GPA. I had the opportunity to join Central’s chapter of Order of Omega at the end of my Sophomore year of college. My big was a member and pushed me to apply for the prestigious organization. I then applied and then got in to the organization.

Through my time in Order of Omega, I have had the opportunity to be the Treasurer for our chapter. My job as treasurer is to collect everyone’s dues and send them to nationals as well as keep tabs on our bank account. Also, if we do any events or fundraisers, I manage the money we are able to use for any supplies needed. This position is fairly easy but it has allowed me to have a leadership role and give back to the Greek Community. Also, as a member I have been able to create relationships with many other individuals within the Greek Community. There are women from my own chapter, however, there are also many other people who are involved that I have gotten to know over the past year.

Order of Omega is a wonderful display of the good side of Greek Life. It highlights the many individuals who strive to make the world better. Also, it is a great way to get to know people in other chapters at your university. Order of Omega is one reason Greek Life is not just individual chapters but an entire community.


Leadership Development

The other side of Competition Day

Competition Day – taking a look on the other side

As a Leader Advancement Scholar, we have the opportunity to serve on a LEAD team as either a member or chair. This year was my second time as the Leadership Advancement Scholarship Competition Day chair. In this position I was able to work for Anna Dean and Logan Palm who were my co chairs. The three of us worked closely with Jesi and Jessi to plan another great Competition Day for the incoming freshman.

This year, we incorporated many different chances in hopes to make an overall better experience throughout the day. First, we did a major date change from the first weekend of the semester to the middle of February. This allowed us extra time after Christmas break to get everything in order for Competition Day. It helped to spread out of schedule of things to do as well, and spaced items out. Also, with the date change came a day change from Saturday to Sunday. This mainly happened because there was an event in the space we used on Saturday but it ended up working out really well. It gave our team an extra day to get everything in order from name tags to folders. The extra day was a total blessing to have especially since we invited more competitors than ever this year. Inviting more individuals to compete was another huge change we made this year going from around 80 to 100. The last big change we made was to the venue we used. Previously, competition day was mainly done in the Leadership Institute with a few rooms in the University Center. However, this year we moved everything except the use of one room to the University Center. At first, the change was a bit weird but as the day went on we all got use to it. Having more space to use and everything more centrally located was convenient and helped the day run much smoother. One smaller change we made (thanks to my moms suggestion) was continuing the panel for the parents after their student leave. While the students go through the competition, the parents have the opportunity to go through the parents sessions. This year we continued the panel from the opening into the beginning of the parents session to allow them to ask more questions. Finally, the best change of all was having to chocolate fountains instead of one! Just kidding, the best change was being able to accept 80 individuals for the Leadership Advancement Scholarship. This year we were able to almost double to the number of scholarships we handed out which was truly amazing.

Being in this position, I had the opportunity to not only with with the other co chairs but also our Lead Team members. These individuals were from the different cohorts of LAS and they helped us plan competition day as well as volunteers throughout the actual day. This is one of my favorite parts of being the Lead Team chair because I am able to get to know other people in LAS who I may not have had the opportunity to know.

Overall, I have loved being the Competition Day chair for my second year. Having this position although can be stressful is so much fun and rewarding.


Circle K: My time as President

A peek into my term as President of Circle K for Central Michigan University

Since high school, I have been involved with the Kiwanis family. When I came to college I knew I wanted to continue service the communities around me and what better way to do that than join Circle K (CKI). Once I became a member of CKI, I quickly got involved on the E Board as one of the service chairs. I served as service chair for 2 years where I helped get the club different volunteering opportunities throughout the Mt. Pleasant community. At the end of my second term as service chair, I decided to run for President. I wanted to take on a this new role and help to build our club. In March I was elected as President and was super excited to take on the new position within the club.

As President my duties were vast and various. I was the leader of the club so I did everything from running meetings to booking our room for events and meetings. Also, as President I served on the Michigan Circle K District board with my fellow presidents from schools around the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. I went to different  district events such as LovePit, Fall Rally, and DCON. Where we learned about serving others, leadership, and bonded with other clubs. Also, I worked on building my club by incorporating different things during meeting. This year I started doing small service projects during meeting such as making dog toys, cards, and fleece blankets. Also, I tried to make meeting more fun by sharing quotes and fun facts. Finally, I worked with our clubs Kiwanis advisor and club advisor who helped me throughout my term. Having this position was hard work and there are things I wish I could have done better or differently, however I am blessed to have had the opportunity to grow and learn. Also, I have learned that no leader is perfect, you will mess up especially when you’re juggling a job, extracurricular, and school. Just prioritize things you love and put your all into positions you hold.

Just over a year later I am now finished with my term as President and handing my duties over to Sydney (who is going to do amazing things). I am thankful to have been the President of such as wonderful organization. Through my position I have branched out and meet many new people. I have been able to work on my leadership skills as well as time management. Now I am excited to be back in my old position as service chair and finish my last year in Circle K.


Developing the next group of Women in Alpha Sigma Tau

This year, during the Fall 2017 semester, I had the awesome opportunity to be the New Member Assistant for Alpha Sigma Tau. In this position I helped the New Member Educator guide our new members through a six-week process. During this process the new members did activities such as big little mixes to meet potential bigs, big little reveal to finally meet their big, quizzes to learn about Alpha Sigma Tau, meetings, and much more. It was wonderful being able to share my love for AST with the new women and help then also fall in love with this amazing organization.

This year we brought in 20 new women in the chapter through formal recruitment and continuous open bidding. Because of the two separate bidding processes we had two different groups of fall 17 one was initiated before Halloween and the other before Christmas. This presented a different challenge but together Hannah and I changed things up a bit and got all the new members everything they needed to be initiated.

At the end of every Fall semester, we elect new women into each position for this sorority. This year, after working extremely hard in the position as New Member Assistant, I was elected into the Director of New Member Education. I am so excited to be taking on this role and to continue to help the newest additions to my chapter grow. Being in this position as the Director will allow me to help new members through the initiation processes as well as the big little process. I also have so many new ideas for the processes and can wait to see the differences I can make. Likewise I have a wonderful assistant Kelli who will help the new members and myself. She is such a fantastic person and one of my good friends so together we will be a dynamic duo.

I am thrilled to watch our next group of women flourish within such a wonderful organization. So here’s to you Fall 17! I am so excited to welcome the next group of women ♥


Circle K

Circle K is a collegiate service based organization (not the gas station). It is a part of the Kiwanis family which is an international organization. In the Kiwanis family there is K-Kids, Builders Club, Key Club, Circle K, Action Club, and Kiwanis. I became a part of this group when I joined my high schools Key Club. I loved my experiences in key club especially being a chair on the District Board for Wisconsin Upper Michigan. When I came to Central, Sean a friend from home who was in Key Club with me told me about CKI here. He let me know when the meetings were and got me to start going. From there, I got more involved in the club and continued to be a part of the Kiwanis family.

Service Chair: For my freshman and sophomore year in college I have served as one of Central’s two service chairs for CKI. I had a fantastic co-chair John and we worked together to create different service opportunities for the club. One of the larger scale service projects we put on is 12 Hours of Service. For this we partner with different places to volunteer around Mt. Pleasant and do volunteer work for 12 hours. This year we went to the Humane Animal Society, Discovery Museum, and food pantry. Also, we did in house service like making blankets and dog toys. I really enjoyed planning 12 hours and helping out so many people in the Mt. Pleasant community in just one day.

President: At the end of this year I had the pleasure of being voted in as the next Circle K President. I am so excited to take on this role in an organization that has made me who I am today. Circle K has given me so much already and I am thrilled to be able to be in this leadership role. I will be working closely with the Michigan District Board and my E- Board to revamp weekly meetings and get more members.

Circle K has made me into the person I am today and I am so excited to continue to be a member of this organization.

Leadership Education

COM 461L

Communication in Leadership 461L → An LAS Required Course

Class Overview:

COM 461L or Communication in Leadership is one of the cohort classes we take as second semester sophomores in the Leadership Advancement Program. It is the last class we take all together and brings many aspects of our other classes into one course on how everything relates to communication. For me, this has been one of the best classes I have taken for the Leadership Minor. I truly enjoyed learning about the communication side of leadership while also connecting aspects from all our other classes. Our professor, Dr. Carlson always made the class engaging with different case studies, activities, and in depth discussions. She was a fantastic teacher for the course and I learned so much from her.

What I learned:

As I said above, this has been one of my person favorite LAS classes and I learned quite a bit from the class. We learned about different follower styles, leadership styles, and ways to influence people through communication. Also, we discussed the gender gap, ethics, and discrimination in today’s society.  An aspect of the class that has really stuck with me is the Pygmalion effect. The Pygmalion effect is when someone sets high expectations for the group or individual and they believe that they can achieve these expectations. The studies show that this increases performances in employees and individuals. Another concept from the class that caught my attention was the servant leadership behavior. This type of leadership is when a leader puts their followers before themselves and anything else. It is based on the relationships between the followers and leader. I personally, really enjoyed this topic because I am the type of leader that tries to make their followers feel important. I want to be a leader who listens to their followers and gets all the input I possibly can.

How I can apply it:

Through this class, we learned ideas and concepts that we can apply to leading individuals and in everyday life. The Pygmalion effect is something I can use all the time with everything I do. Setting high expectations and knowing I can reach them is really important and this class has shown me how much I can accomplish through that effect. Also, I can use servant leadership for my Circle K position as President. It will allow me to create better relationships with my e-board and general members.

Overall, I really liked taking COM 461L. It was a fun class that I looked forward to every week. I learned so much from the different course work and our professor and will be a better leader and person because of it.

Family & Friends

To my lovely little

Just a short and sweet blog about one of the sweetest humans in my life

Dear Alyssa,

When we went on our first big little date, I knew you were the one for me. The day before had been a rough one but somehow at lunch you still managed to make me smile and not think about everything for a little while. During lunch, we bonded over our love of Special Education. Like me, you are so passionate about Special Ed and want to focus your career there. Our conversation continued and we got on the subject of food. It may not have been a deep conversation, but we still connected over our obsession for cheese, tater tots, and ranch. To this day we still eat and talk about our love for those three items way to often.

This year I have loved watching you flourish in Alpha Sigma Tau and everywhere you go. In the sorority you are always so positive and caring to all of our sister. Across campus you put passion into everything you do… even making omelets. Your passion for Special Ed is truly inspiring and I am so excited to see the wonderful teacher you grow into. Can’t wait to tag team with Speech Pathology and Special Ed once we are both finally out of college. You are kind of

crazy, but in a good way. You always make sure I have time for fun whether it is binge watching Atypical in one single night (the best show ever), food runs, or just a chat.

Thank you for coming into my life when I needed you the most. You are such a wonderful human and spread sunshine wherever you go. You have brought me so much happiness and continue to every single day. Thanks for the late night runs to Taco Bell because those are needed! Thanks for loving ranch as much as I do and always asking for more when we are at restaurants. Thanks for being the most perfect little a typical sorority gal could ask for. Most importantly, thanks for being my other half/ the same person as me. You and I are like two peas in a pod and I would not have been able to get through these past few months without you.

Thanks for loving me unconditionally and being the best addition the Banana Fam could have ever asked for.

Lots of Love, Big ♥