Wednesday, October 18, 2017

College Panhellenic Spotlight: Washington & Jefferson College


By Kira Baierl, W&J College Panhellenic president 

The Recruitment Counselor Training Online program provided us with an easy and smooth transition for our incoming recruitment counselors last year, in fact, we were able to retain all of our recruitment counselors from the time they were selected through the primary recruitment period which had not always happened in the past. This was our first time using this program and it definitely will be used in our future primary recruitment periods as well. 

This course featured videos that laid out everything nice and neat for everyone, and was stress free to follow along with. Coming into the actual height of recruitment last February, after revising the way we ran recruitment and with a new advisor, we as a recruitment team felt very comfortable and confident with our roles as we engaged in the process.  
We had tried previous online recruitment training programs but were unsuccessful in finding one that we really thought was exceptionable until last year. Each section of the program featured detailed videos or “courses” that were not too long, but straightforward with good, clarifying examples of everything from how to approach potential new members (PNMs) to how to handle different situations. Examples of scenarios included working with introverted PNMs, active listening and counseling skills like restating and paraphrasing to help the recruitment counselor show the PNM that she understood her thoughts and feelings in such a personal and important process. 

Each online course had a short quiz at the end to remind everyone of the main takeaways from the course. They weren’t long or tricky but helped recap the material. We were prepared to handle any situation that came up in the recruitment process and PNMs felt more comfortable approaching us since we felt confident in our roles.

The online training program was very flexible with the course itself. We were able to watch the lessons and take the quizzes when it was convenient for us, on our own time. We had women do the online training program on campus, at home and even on airplanes while traveling across the world. This helped make training stress free and when we reconvened on campus all together it was nice knowing that everyone was on the same page.   We are excited this coming year to use the Recruitment Counselor Training Online program again. We benefited so much last year when recruitment seemed a little hectic and crazy, and we look forward to benefiting from this program again. Primary recruitment really starts with recruitment counselors who can create a positive experience for PNMs which impacts the chapters’ side of recruitment. Having everything run smoothly from the start benefited everyone.

College Panhellenic Spotlight: Florida Atlantic University


By Samantha Sock, FAU College Panhellenic president


Like many College Panhellenics, here at Florida Atlantic University we are continuously trying to advance our community. In spring 2016, then Panhellenic President, Ashley Nalven, saw many areas for growth and improvement but didn’t know where to start. With the help of our advisor, who suggested we apply for a Consultant Team Visit (CTV), a request was made at the end of the spring semester for a visit for fall 2016. Consultant Team Visits are a resource offered by NPC where members from the team visit your campus and talk to stakeholders in the community. They evaluate what is working well and what could be improved, and provide you with on-site suggestions as well as a full report of recommendations after the visit.


In November 2016, we welcomed Julie Bunson and Betty Quick to our campus for the CTV. They spoke to active members in the community, including new members, chapter officers, recruitment chairs and recruitment counselors. They met with IFC members, chapter advisors, university staff and administrators, including our vice president for student affairs and others that interact with our Panhellenic community to give them a full picture of the College Panhellenic Association at FAU. From these meetings and discussions, they gave us some immediate feedback in the form of an executive summary of things we could begin working on right away, and later we received a comprehensive final report on the visit that outlined their suggestions in multiple areas such as recruitment, inter-sorority relations and marketing. We began implementing some items immediately and the new executive board that took over in the beginning of the year was able to continue working on these areas for improvement using the CTV report recommendations.


The CTV also had some additional ripple effects. After the visit, the Panhellenic chapter advisors scheduled another meeting of their own to continue discussing things that were brought up in the meeting they had with Betty and Julie. Our Panhellenic strengthened relations with university administration since their involvement in the CTV, as they saw the efforts of our Panhellenic officers in not only coordinating and hosting the CTV but also the implementation of the recommendations that came from it. 


One of the first recommendations that Betty and Julie provided was for the Panhellenic executive board to conduct introductory visits with each member chapter. What amazing advice! This allowed women in our community to meet the executive board officers and know who they are and their roles, which started off our term on a positive note. Other ideas that came from the CTV included the creation of a Junior Panhellenic and development of what we call an ‘All for One’ program. Junior Panhellenic (or ‘JPAN’) got started in spring 2017 and allowed new members to get involved in leadership and cultivate Panhellenic spirit. JPAN hosted a Panhellenic Pride Week (another recommendation from the CTV!) in the same semester. Through JPAN, I have seen so much growth in these young members, and as a result of their efforts, an increase in Panhellenic unity among our member chapters. The ‘All for One’ program was designed to help all member chapters satisfy a core requirement of their national organizations; for the first one, we hosted a Panhellenic self-defense class where we brought together members from all chapters to bond and receive some safety tips and training.

Our Consultant Team Visit inspired Panhellenic leaders on our campus in many ways and was a significant factor in some of our recent accomplishments. We even received our first NPC College Panhellenic Achievement Award from NPC this summer. The CTV program is an amazing resource that is well worth the investment and will have continued positive effects on your community.


To find out more about Consult Team Visits and request one for your College Panhellenic, visit :https://www.npcwomen.org/college-panhellenics/c-a-programs/ctv.aspx


Friday, October 13, 2017

Reflecting With Courage and Conviction

Preparing to assume leadership of a task force, a committee or an organization demands an individual prepare mentally and sometimes physically for the rigors of that role. In October 2015, I accepted the awesome responsibility of leading the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) as chairman. NPC is composed of 26 inter/national sororities representing nearly 5 million women worldwide, with chapters on over 670 college campuses and more than 3,700 alumnae associations in communities across the globe. 

In a large public setting in front of Panhellenic partners, industry collaborators, family and friends, I pledged to lead with courage and conviction during a time when the pendulum has swung to a place where advocating for, defending and protecting the very existence of the sorority membership experience is the rule of the day. With a legion of volunteers and professional staff, NPC tackles the challenges one by one, day by day as women of courage and conviction commit to ensuring a rich, meaningful and value-added sorority membership experience. For the passion and dedication of these individuals, I cannot say thank you enough.
 
Building on the work of previous courageous sorority leaders, my vision for NPC included advanced training opportunities for skill building and empowerment of young women; enhancing NPC’s partnerships with college and university administrations; continuing a strong partnership with the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC); and most important, seeking proactive opportunities to make the positive case for sorority whenever and wherever possible.
 
Reflection is only natural as a leader moves to the finish line. Was my vision shared? What was accomplished? Who did I meet along the way to promote change? Were there missed opportunities? When doing a mental inventory of those questions and more, I am reminded of the timeless leadership model of NPC and the expectation a seamless transition will occur from one leader to the next, helping ensure a forward trajectory. That leader, working together with a highly motivated and competent professional staff and alongside a legion of dedicated volunteers, will champion the mission, vision and purpose of NPC. I believe that is the charge framing the service of the NPC chairman; it guides her leadership and is reflected in what shapes her service. Oct. 28 marks the transition in NPC leadership. Please join me in welcoming Carole Jurenko Jones, Alpha Omicron Pi, as she assumes the chairmanship.    

My sincere appreciation and special thank you to all who made the journey with me and provided the opportunity to serve the women of the National Panhellenic Conference.

As NPC leadership passes from one member organization to another, our collective
Panhellenic values 
bolster our courage and conviction to advance sorority together.

Interfraternally,
 
 
Donna C. King
Chairman 2015-17

Monday, September 25, 2017

Harriet Macht Outstanding Alumnae Panhellenic Award

For the 2016-17 academic year, NPC proudly recognized 58 Alumnae Panhellenics for their work to advance the sorority experience. NPC annually recognizes Alumnae Panhellenics with achievements in areas such as programming, College Panhellenic relations and recruitment information events through the Citations of Merit and Programming Excellence Awards. Alumnae Panhellenics are evaluated on their programming accomplishments, submission of the Alumnae Panhellenic annual report and continued administration of their Alumnae Panhellenic online account. 

NPC also recognized the Atlanta Alumnae Panhellenic as the biennial winner of the 2015-17 Harriet Macht Outstanding Alumnae Panhellenic Award sponsored by Delta Phi Epsilon. It recognizes excellence in communication, programming, scholarship and service. Previous winners include Phoenix Alumnae Panhellenic (2013-15) and the Coachella Valley, Calif., Alumnae Panhellenic (2011-13).

Both Atlanta Alumnae Panhellenic and Phoenix Alumnae Panhellenic have answered questions about the Harriet Macht Outstanding Alumnae Panhellenic Award application process, what it means for their Alumnae Panhellenic to win and how they plan on sustaining excellence.

Atlanta Alumnae Panhellenic Association


1. Do you have any suggestions for Alumnae Panhellenics in completing the award application?
One thing that would help is to commence the planning process at the beginning of the biennium. Print a blank form and distribute a copy to each member of the executive board. As you plan your association’s activities during the next two years, use the application as a guide to ensure that all, or most, of the criteria are met. When completing the application, clearly, but concisely, answer every point, adding extra sheets if needed. Begin working on it early enough that you are not pushed to meet the due date. Most important: apply for the award every biennium!

2. What does it mean to your Alumnae Panhellenic and community being selected as the Harriet Macht Outstanding Alumnae Panhellenic Award winner?

Photo credit: Atlanta Alumnae Panhellenic,
www.atlantapanhellenic.org
Atlanta Panhellenic’s 21-member organizations work very hard to achieve excellence in all areas. They are so proud to be the recipients of this very prestigious award. AAPA has received recognition from the Governor of Georgia, the City of Atlanta and has been recognized as an Outstanding Georgia Organization, but to be recognized by NPC has a special meaning.

3. How do you foresee upholding Alumnae Panhellenic excellence in the future?
For the last 90 years, Atlanta Panhellenic has been serving the greater community through our programs, communication, scholarships and philanthropic efforts. Going forward, we will continue to expand our focus, as needed, in each of these areas, continuing current programs and exploring others. Social media has become a driving force in promoting all that we do, and we view it as a means to convey a positive message of Alumnae Panhellenic excellence and the overall Greek experience.
 

4. Do you have any words of encouragement or suggestions for Alumnae Panhellenics across the country that are striving towards excellence?
Focus on the basics: Collegiate support, scholarships, philanthropy and communication. Start with small objectives, and they will grow. Being a well-rounded organization is, in our opinion, as important as the numbers and/or dollars that come from your investment of time and talent in each of these areas. 

 
Phoenix Alumnae Panhellenic Association
 
1. As an award winning Alumnae Panhellenic, do you have any suggestions for keeping records for your Alumnae Panhellenic?
Each officer and committee chairwoman is given a thumb drive, containing information on all aspects of that office or committee, which is passed on annually to the next officer. Each officer adds to it each year, so officers and committees continue to build on a solid foundation. Officers also have access to a designated email address so they can easily see and reference past communications. We try to start each new year on a firm foundation without having to re-design every aspect of the position, although new ideas are always welcome. Dropbox folders have also been created for executive board and committee chairwomen to access.

Phoenix Panhellenic also maintains a database in Excel that includes all Panhellenic officers, council delegates, alumnae club presidents and treasurers; Panhellenic contacts at Arizona universities; and past Panhellenic presidents and Panhellenic Women of the Year. This list is updated as needed and provides a database to contact Panhellenic women in our area. We have also been keeping this list current with past council members as we look forward to our upcoming Centennial Celebration in 2020.

2. Since being selected as the 2013-15 Harriet Macht Outstanding Alumnae Panhellenic Award winner, how have you sustained Panhellenic excellence through this new biennium (2015-17)?
Photo credit: Phoenix Alumnae Panhellenic,
www.phoenixpanhellenic.com
Phoenix Panhellenic continues to have strong communications between executive board, committees and council. We host an annual summer retreat to make sure the incoming executive board and committee chairwomen are trained to understand the “big picture” as well as the particular duties and timelines for their office. Goals are set at this retreat, and expectations, responsibilities and timelines are annually reviewed and updated. It is also a great way for the new leadership team to get to know one another.

Sunflower Shout-outs! are included at every meeting to recognize the time, talents and treasurers of our sorority women, committees and alumnae chapters. Photos are taken at meetings with our Sunflower sign and then are posted to social media. Anyone may submit a Sunflower Shout-out! but they are typically received from executive board, committee chairwomen and council members.

3. Do you have any words of encouragement or suggestions for Alumnae Panhellenics across the country that are striving towards excellence?  
Phoenix Panhellenic’s executive board is chosen by rotation and has a 5-year commitment. Two years in advance, contact is made with the president of the next group to start the rotation to seek out potential delegates and to encourage participation and familiarity with our council. Executive board members are required to have served on Phoenix Panhellenic for at least one year prior to starting the rotation.

Although the delegate selection remains up to the alumnae club, we look for women who possess an enthusiasm about Panhellenic; exceptional interpersonal, communication and organizational skills; and the ability to motivate others through effective communication of desired objectives to engage all members.