Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chapter Development Advising

Last Spring we piloted a new model of advising for our chapters. Each organization was assigned to a staff person in the Student Leadership and Involvement Center that met with officers regularly and advised them on leadership development and University resources. This program is designed to be a supplement to the chapter advisors that are appointed by the national organizations. After gathering feedback and making some adjustments, I am excited to let you know that we will be continuing this program for 2012-2013. Here are some additional details on the Chapter Development Advisors program.

To offer the fraternity and sorority community support that emphasizes the importance of High Social Standards, Academic Excellence and Leadership through open communication, needs-based advising and direct interaction with organization members and advisors.

Advising Philosophy: 
We believe in the holistic development of members in the fraternity and sorority community. Our role is to provide supplementary advising that reinforces organizational and community values to enact positive and sustainable change.

  • Improve positive recognition of organizations.
  • Increase direct contact with and support of organization officers, advisors and members.
  • Provide guidance and support for each organization to self-govern.
  • Increase awareness of the SLIC staff and resources for officers and general members.
  • Increase the number of organizations that apply for recognition through the Dean’s Trophy process.
So what does this mean for you... As a general member, it may not impact your day to day experience. The design of this program is so that those in officer positions have a little extra support as they work to serve you. Presidents, New Member Educators, Risk Managers and Scholarship Officers will meet with their CDA throughout the semester. Your CDA will also visit chapter meeting at least once a semester - so keep an eye out for them. Regardless of whether or not you are serving in one of these positions, your Chapter Development Advisor is available to answer questions for you, so do not hesitate to reach out and take advantage of this resource.

Please meet the 2012-2013 Chapter Development Advisors (CDA):
Emily Cunningham
Emily is an alumna of Iona College and member of Phi Sigma Sigma. As a second year student in the Higher Ed Masters program, she will be working with Sigma Phi Epsilon and Alpha Phi.

Sam Keil
Sam is a USD alumna and a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She is a first year law student working as a Graduate Assistant with Gamma Phi Beta, Sigma Theta Psi and Kappa Delta.

Brianne McGann
Brianne is an alumna of USD and a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. She will be working with Alpha Delta Pi and Kappa Alpha Theta during her first year in the Higher Ed Masters program.

Katelin Rae
Katelin is an alumna of Loyola Marymount University and member of Delta Gamma. She will be working with Lambda Chi Alpha and Kappa Kappa Gamma during her second year in the Higher Ed Masters program.

Taylor Shramo
Taylor is a USD alumnus and member of Beta Theta Pi. He will be continuing his work with Delta Tau Delta and Phi Kappa Theta during his second year of law school.

Tierney Trujillo
Tierney is an alumna of USD and a member of Gamma Phi Beta. In her first year in the Higher Ed Masters program, she will be working with Alpha Chi Omega.

Mandy Womack
Mandy is an alumna of SDSU and a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. As the Director of Student Organizations and Greek Life, she will chair the CDA group as well as work directly with Beta Theta Pi and FIJI.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

30 Days of Encouragement: Daring Greatly (Part 2 of 2)

The past two weeks have been fairly busy for me. I have been a parent/partner, worked at my job, led the largest volunteer event that I do each year, planned for (and survived) a trip to Central America, and sat with friends in need. Even in the midst of my busyness, I am reminded that there are larger, bigger issues out there. There is grief at the loss of a soulmate, heartbreak in a relationship ending, dispair at a family being torn apart. Like all of us, these moments intersect in what can only be described as Perfect Timing. I found myself this week needing to revisit a TED talk by BrenĂ© Brown... Listening to Shame. (Back in March, there was a three part series on You Are Enough, inspired by a different TED talk by this same researcher.)

As I watched this message once again, I was left with the same question - How do we inspire courage?
I have continued to receive feedback and responses to my 30 Days of Encouragement Project and it seems that the impact on others has been significant. I am left with the question - What does it take to really inspire someone?

I had breakfast with an alumnus this summer. He was moving out of town to begin the next chapter of his life and wanted to say ‘goodbye’. While we covered many subjects during our time together, we got around to reminiscing about his undergraduate fraternity experience. He had always been one of my favorites – I know, I know… No one is supposed to have favorites. But, this one… Well, let’s just say he NEVER took anything at face value. He was one that continually “Challenged The Process” (The Leadership Challenge). Both in his chapter and in the larger fraternity community, he was never afraid to ask the tough question.

He inspires me.

For those of you that know me and work with me, you may be surprised to learn that I do not enjoy being the one to challenge and present the other side. I would prefer to work in a land of “yes” rather than having to ask the difficult questions. Sometimes, my position at the University demands otherwise. But, I always truly enjoy when I encounter a student that is willing to critically examine something. This alumnus is one of those people. He balances professionalism with a fun-loving nature. He can read people well – and often knows just what to say in a situation. He also knows his limitations, and has even been know to ask for help. As our interaction progressed, I started to wonder about how he had experienced all that I describe. As the conversation moved forward, there was a sense of self-questioning, a sense of “am I good enough to start this next chapter of my life?”

As our conversation continued, I was draw back to the TED talk. In it, she talks about listening to the messages that we have inside of us that says, “Who do you think you are? You aren’t _________ enough.” Her challenge is to support one another with empathy and real relationships. 

So as we share our lives together, are we sharing in those moments of encouragement? Do we take that moment of "wow - you are really remarkable!" and share it with the person. Here is an example of encouragement and Daring Greatly that I received last year from a USD student that I met on a retreat. I keep it on my bulletin board - where I see it every single day that I am at work. It was a reminder that encouraging someone sometimes means putting yourself out there first.

As we wrap up summer, I challenge you to consider... How can you Dare Greatly? And, how can I encourage you?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Difference of One

Monday was among the saddest moments I have had as a professional. I received a message from Jason (aka work spouse, other half at USD, "dad" to the SLIC) that Chuck Cook had died after a 6 week battle for  recovery from an auto accident. Chuck was involved with the Student Leadership and Involvement Center and was a vibrant voice in my work world for the past 2 years.  I should also mention that I am about an hour outside of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I am here working. I need to be focused on the students with USD Medical Brigades, yet my heart longs to be home. To be with my community, to care for them, and to grieve with them.

Like all of us, Chuck had a story. His was filled with joy and sorrow, but mostly pride. There is something about the drive to change who you have been that always impresses me. Chuck was never one to sit and maintain the status quo. He interjected, advocated, encouraged and confronted each and every day. All of that challenge was matched with a sharp sense of humor and a personality that allowed him to say out loud what the entire room was thinking. 

While Chuck was not a fraternity man, he was a friend to many of you. As we navigate this loss, there are a few things that come to mind for me, lessons that I can take from the brief time I knew Chuck...
-Don't be afraid to be yourself.
-When something doesn't seem right, have the drive to investigate and fix it.
-Love your friends beyond measure.
-If you are unhappy, make a plan and do something to change it.
-How you present yourself is how people will treat you. (It was not uncommon for fashion advice to be issued.)
-Never hold back laughter.
-Share a part of yourself with others... There is happiness found in community.

I am still filled with a sense of disbelief. How could this really have happened. He was just in the office a few days before the crash talking about the upcoming CPA exam and the hours spent studying. Chuck made an impact on me and many others. He made a difference.

On Friday there will be a celebration of Chuck's life at 5pm on the SLP 3rd floor courtyard. If you are able, please join us. Please know that the Counseling Center is also available to you, as students. www.sandiego.edu/usdcc