Community

Alpha Sigma Tau

{My home away from home}

With all of the stereotypes about sororities, here is why I joined one and how my experience is nothing like what you see in the movies. If you would have asked me as a senior in high school if I would be a part of Greek Life I would have laughed and said heck no. I, like so many other people, had these crazy ideas about sororities until I met my mentor, Emily. She is and was then, exactly like me but she was involved in Greek Life. Through her, my knowledge of sororities grew and I went through recruitment my Freshman Year.

September 30th, 2016 was the day I, and multiple other girls, jumped home. I found my home in the Central Michigan Chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau. Here, I fell in love with the colors Emerald Green and gold, sisters, Anchors, and philanthropy. I have so much love for my sorority and the women in it, I have no idea how to put it into words but I will attempt.

AST has given me so much this first year, and I always try my best to give back. For my new member class, I was the Historian, along with Shelby and we made the scrapbook, anchor, and teacup for the chapter. It was fun being able to see everyone’s different photos and have digital evidence of my class blossoming into our chapter. Currently, I am the Director of Fundraising and planned our Grilled Cheese Fundraiser. The Grilled Cheese Fundraiser is something my chapter does every semester and the money we raise goes to our philanthropy, Pine Mountain Settlement School. This year I planned our first ever Philanthropy week which was absolutely amazing. If you want to know more about Grilled Cheese and our Philanthropy week, there is a specific blog all about it! Also, I participated in the 2017 Greek Week, other chapter’s philanthropy weeks, and endless AST events. On Central’s campus, Alpha Sigma Tau has over 1,000 hours of community service for this semester, the highest GPA, and members from all parts of campus. We are a tight-knit, passionate, and welcoming group of people. Alpha Sigma Tau and all of my sisters mean the world to me. They always have my back and I always have theirs. When something happens to one sister, it happens to all of us because we support and love one another. Being a Tau is part of who I am today, it has made me more confident, compassionate, and strong.

Through AST, I found so many important people in my life, and yes they will probably be my future bridesmaids. First to my Twin Carly… after your sister told us we look more like sisters than you two, we started saying we were twins. Without all of our constant texting, a sleepover, forcing you to go to Leadershape, and being “mom’s” together I don’t know what I would do. You have helped me find my voice and place in a sisterhood of 70+ girls. My best friends Michelle and Ellen. With Garrett, we make our little Greek Life family. You both are always there for me when I need you most. Thanks for being my family and keeping me sane. My crazy G Brenna… without you I don’t know where Em and I would be. You make sure both of us have fun even when we are stressed to the max. Thanks for the endless HAPPs dates and laugher. Finally, the most important, my Big Emily. Em was my mentor even before I joined AST. After joining the same sorority as her, we only became more close. The past few months have been hard but we always have each other and I don’t know where I would be without her. There are countless more people who have come into my life and made an impact but it would take me years to go through everyone.

My version of “What is a Tau?”

A Tau is a mixture of a boisterous little girl, a troubled adolescent, a charming young woman and a wise old lady. She is a streak of gold and a flash of green. She is a Leader Advancement Scholar, Centralis Recipient, an Athlete, and anything she wants to be. She is a shoulder to cry on, never-ending “your mom” jokes, and a friend. You can find her studying at coffee shops, cheering on the football team, and scootering through campus. She is involved, kind hearted, driven, and passionate. A Tau is all of this and more. A Tau is my sister ♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Community

Getting Ready to Welcome the Newest Member of the Fam

{My Ideas about being a Mentor}

When thinking about being a mentor, I get a little bit nervous. My mentor, Em (in the picture above), is literally the most wonderful mentor and human so how will I ever live up to that for mine? But then I remember that through Em, I have learned how to be such a fabulous mentor. As a mentor, I want to be someone my mentee can always turn to and I want to always be there for her. I will let her make her own mistakes but be there to help her fix them \ and help her not make the same mistake again. Also, I hope to be my mentee’s friend, to be someone they can ask anything, and to be there to help her adjust to college and deal with all of the struggles that may come her way. All of these are things Emily has done for me. She has helped so much this past year and now I want to do the same for my mentee. Overall, I want my mentee to have a fabulous experience at CMU and I want to help her achieve that.

To help build on my ideas of being a mentor, I attended a workshop in LDR 200 specifically about being the most effective mentor. During the workshop we broke off into groups and talked about what we wished we would have known coming into college, what ways we can help our mentees, and what we want them to get out of their time at Central. For me, the workshop cemented my ideas about who I want to be for my mentee. Also, we talked about what we want for our mentee and helping them find their passion whether it is in their major, Greek Life, volunteering, or anything else Central has to offer. I believe that helping my mentee find her passion or even just something she loves is super important. I want to help her find her place here at CMU. Emily helped me find my love for things like Greek Life and it has changed me so much so I want the same for my mentee.

{How I am preparing to be the most effective Mentor}

I would lie if I said I wasn’t pinteresting cute gifts for her, so that is one thing I am doing in preparation of becoming a mentor. Other than that, I am talking to my mentor about fun family adventures we can go on because I want her to love and know her G. Also, I am making sure I know random things about the University like where the Registrar’s office is, how to sign a minor, and where you can get the best food. I want to be a resource for my mentee because I know how hard and confusing coming to college can be. With that, I am preparing myself by becoming a human resource, a good friend, and a person my mentee can trust.

{What I am most excited about}

I am most excited to have another wonderful human in my life and for the journey we will travel together. Also, I am excited to see my mentee grow and flourish at Central because it is such a fabulous thing to see someone fall in love with college and grow into who they are meant to become there. All in all though, I am excited for everything with my mentee. I will be there for all of their highs and lows and everything in between. It is the little moments that mean the most and those are the moments I can not wait for. 

{A few things I want my Mentee to know}

  • Do your research about textbooks before buying all of them at the bookstore, even if that means you rent books from the bookstore instead of buying them.
  • You will find your place at CMU. Sometimes you just have to look and it may take time BUT it is out there.
  • Being homesick is a normal thing & it really sucks sometimes.
  • You probably hear this all the time but you will change in college, probably more than you think, but change is good.
  • Being a part of the LI you will constantly be busy plus you will have other clubs and homework so multiply your high school business by 5 and that will be your college business. BUT don’t fret it is okay to be busy
  • You need to be organized at all times. Professors will not always remind you when you have quizzes or papers so get a planner and write everything down.
  • Being involved around campus is one of the best things you can do for yourself. With the RSO’s you join, you will meet amazing people and have awesome experiences so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there
  • Second semester sucks more than first semester. This is when you are out of the honeymoon phase and going to a senioritis phase. But if you have a strong support group and stay organized everything will be ok
  • Pace yourself… I did say get involved above but that does not mean you need to join 500 different clubs. Join one or two at a time and see how much you can handle because school does come first, especially when you’re paying so much for it.
Leadership Education

Leadership Lectures

Leadership Lectures › Connections Conference › Workshop Sessions

While at the Connections Conference, I had the privilege of attending three Leadership Lectures that I would like to highlight for you. If you would like to know more about the conference in general I have another blog titled Connections are Leadership. But, here are highlights from the wonderful workshops I went to and I hope you enjoy them and find a little nugget to take away.

{Jesi Ekonen • Happy Hour}

Let me just start off with saying that this was one of the most amazing workshops I have attended. Jesi {although I may be a bit biased since she is the LAS advisor} was a great presenter and the entire workshop was engaging, well put together, and had great content. I seriously felt happy after this workshop and I felt ready to do more with happiness in my leadership and everyday life.

So, the first thing we did was write down what happiness is to us and what happiness is not to us. For me happiness is music, movie nights with friends, Facetiming my mom or boyfriend, spending time with my friends, skiing with my dad, life talks with Em, snuggles, mac & cheese, cozy clothes, family, Christmas time, and of course coffee. On the other hand, for me happiness is not fake people, disrespect, stress, people who blow things off, global warming, and very very cold weather {like right now}. Then we started talking about a company called Zappos and their goal of Spreading Happiness Globally. Zappos is an online company BUT their main priority is having the best employees with the best customer service. From that priority came their long-term mission to spread worldwide happiness. This goal is backed up by their ten core values which are below for you to browse. After talking about Zappos, Jesi talked about how we are leaders can adopt that enormous goal and live like Zappos. Also, she went over how as leaders or even followers we can be that happiness and bring it into our different groups to improve and enhance what we do. A few of the points Jesi went over were, the importance of love languages, positive team spirit, the ability to trust everyone in your organization, and in general how to make things more fun. Furthermore, Jesi expressed the importance of recolonization, building others up, and being intentional.

Now here are some of my personal takeaways from this workshop and what I am trying to do within my organizations. It is extremely important to connect with your group on a personal level because that will develop trust and overall happiness. Also, make the things you do all the time more fun and enjoyable for people. If you do that, more people will participate and they will be happy to do so. Finally, encourage your followers. This is perhaps the most important aspect I learned because if people are encouraged and supported they will be able to achieve anything and as a group you will be able to do anything and everything.

Zappos Ten Core Values:

  1. Deliver WOW through service
  2. Embrace and Drive Change
  3. Create fun and a little weirdness
  4. Be Adventurous, creative, and open- minded
  5. Pursue Growth and Learning
  6. Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication
  7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  8. Do More with Less
  9. Be Passionate and determined
  10. Be Humble

{Kaela Humm & Royce Humm • Growing your Goals}

This workshop was an outstanding help for me because while I do have many goals, I do not always write them and I do not always plan specific ways to achieve those goals. Also, during this workshop we were very specific with the goals we developed. I found this very helpful because many times I am not the most specific person when it comes to creating goals. Finally, the Humm’s, our presenters, were fabulous in the way they presented and with their depth of  information. Here is what I learned from this workshop and some of the goals I developed during the session.

First, we talked about SMART goals which are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals. The Humm’s then went further and discussed objectives which are specific tasks you need to complete in order to accomplish a goal. They also talked about managing your priorities. A few ways you can do that are by deciding what makes the largest impact, what is the easiest, which one will take the longest, and what aligns with other goals. After explaining goals and how to make them, we {the participants} were able to create goals of our own. Several of my goals are; “get into the CDO major fall of 2018”, “Be on E-Board for my sorority for the 2017-2018 year” and “Get a position in my sorority for the 2016-2017 year”. One of the goals I already achieved is getting a position in my sorority this year as a freshman. I plan on achieving all my other goals with the help of this workshop and planning out exactly how I will accomplish them. After goals, the Humm’s went on to talk about mission statements, what they are and how to make one. Overall, mission statements are the purpose or what you tell someone when they ask why you’re here. Concerning mission statements, you have to think about what motivates people and why you are doing whatever you’re doing. The example we went over was Disney’s mission statement which is “We Create Happiness” and that comes before everything else no matter what. Consequently, they then challenged us to create our own mission statements. In the end mine states, “As a person I strive to be an accepting, respectful, and caring human. In the world I will be an ethical, compassionate, and gracious leader in whatever I do”.  All in all, I took away so much from that workshop and now will be able to make SMART goals and accomplish everything I put my mind too.

{Jamie Brown • Taking Care of your Leadership Garden}

This was another valuable workshop I attended while at the connections Conference. This session was all about how to grow your leadership and how to understand what your followers need. So here is the Taking Care of your Leadership Garden workshop, what we did and what I learned from Jamie Brown.

The first concept Jamie Brown talked about was different ideas to plant {like seeds}. A few of the ideas include identifying weak spots and working on them, intentional acts of kindness, making board positions more fun and interactive with the entire club, more reaching out throughout the entire club not just with friends, nurturing people so they are supported and productive, and having a great sense of trust with members or followers. Then we moved into discussing what followers need in our different organizations. For followers needs in my organizations, I put more encouragement, more interaction, better communication, incentives to complete goals, more direction, stepping in when needed, modeling enthusiasm and positivity, and more opportunities in general. Next, we talked about what a leader should be and how you can grow to become a great leader. Several characteristics that make a great leader are being able to engage people even after the first few weeks, having a vision, being able to switch between leadership styles, seeking input, and making people feel comfortable. Also, we talked about playing into your strengths and if multiple people are in a leadership role play into everyone’s strengths and some people can be direct and some be supportive.

10 Tips for Successful Leadership:

  1. Make Good use of your resources
  2. Start with engaging your team and keep improving it
  3. Plan a vision for yourself, team and organization
  4. Obtain good mentoring, advice and support
  5. Control for chaos and challenges
  6. Establish your moral principles and do what is right
  7. Listen to issues and identify before jumping to conclusions
  8. Visit your team, vision, and role daily
  9. Only lead when it’s necessary
  10. Work to get your team to peak quality

Leadership Training

Connections are Leadership

November 4th – 5th • Traverse City, MI • Great Wolf Lodge • LI Connections Conference

 

The very first weekend in November on {a very fallish ride} over 100 students from CMU traveled to the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City for the Connections Conference. As a part of the LAS program my whole cohort had the privilege of attending. The conferenceimg_3389, as its title implies, was about connections and how these connects translate into leadership. One of the big topics of this conference was how we as leaders can use the connections we have and how we can make new connections and utilize those as well. On the whole this conference was valuable and I am so excited to give you a little glimpse of what I had the privilege of participating in and what I learned during the weekend away from CMU.

Here is a little peek into what I did at the Connections Conference. First off, I ate some really really good food. But on a more serious note, we had two “Institute” Sessions, one at the beginning of the cimg_3404conference and one at the end. The people in these sessions made up our group for the weekend. During the “Institute” session at the beginning, we each talked about what we hoped to gain from the conference and at the end of the weekend we talked about what we actually gained. Also, in these sessions we discussed who/ what our resources are and how we can use them. We did this by getting into smaller groups of specific organizations such as Greek Life, Leadership Advancement Scholars, and the Business Residential College, etc. Once in those groups, we made a list of organization specific resources and discussed how we can utilize them to improve the organization. Another part of the conference was workshop sessions. We each attended four different workshops focused on connections but took that theme one step further. The sessions I went to were “Happy Houimg_3370r” with Jesi Ekonen, “Take Care of  your Leadership Garden” with Jamie Brown, “Rooted in Growth” with Jill Balliet, Emily Seward, and Madeline Klozik, and “Growing your Goals” with Kaela Humm and Royce Humm. Check out my other blog about my leadership lectures to learn more about each of these sessions. While the conference was busy, we got to have free to time make those connections with different people from CMU. There was time to go in the water park or just chill. Before the end of the night we had pizza and participated in an activity similar to speed dating in order to meet as many as people as we could.

My biggest takeaway from this conference was how to utilize the many different resources I have in order to develop the organizations I am in. Additionally, I learned about many new resources I can now access and was astonished once again at the many things Central Michigan has to offer. Overall, the weekend was phenomenal. I learned so much and as many times before the Leadership Institute has helped be become a better leader and a better human.