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Apply for a Summer Impact Internship Grant

If you are completing a summer internship with an organization that has a positive social or environmental impact, apply for the Impact Internship Grant. The grant is designed to help alleviate some of the financial strains that can come along with completing an unpaid internship. As guided by the vision of the University of Tennessee, highest consideration will be given to students completing internships that create value, original ideas, and ethical leadership through economic, social, and environmental development in local and global communities. The deadline to apply is noon on April 9. Learn more and apply.


From the Director

How do you love? Love is one of the most powerful emotions in the universe. It can lift you up to the highest highs. It can sustain and push you through the most difficult places of life. And for those who have been there, there are moments in life when it can seem to almost crush you from the inside out. But it won’t, love doesn’t work that way. With Valentine’s Day is a few weeks away, I was thinking this morning about all of ways we love. How do we let the people around us know they matter to us?
Romantic love is something that some say love can happen in an instant… My grandparents who were married for 70 years said that was how their love story began. He saw her and thought, that is the woman I am going to marry. He was the only man she ever dated and her mother gave her permission to go on a double date. They eloped and my grandmother would say, “ But we didn’t tell anyone.” A year later, he was drafted and found himself on the beaches of Normandy 5 days after the invasion. Their young marriage survived WWII and 2 years with
an ocean between them and countless letters to and from the battle lines. My dad was 2 years old before my grandfather ever held him. But maybe somehow they learned to cherish what they had because they realized the value of it when faced with a daily reality it might be lost. For as long as I can remember they held hands when they walked and she sat close to him on the bench seat of the car he drove. She will turn 93 in a few weeks, and he only passed away 4 years ago. In his hospital room at Fort Sanders just hours before he passed, he whispered to her, “But who is going to make you breakfast now?” Faced with leaving this world without her, his concern was for her. At the end of the day, love wasn’t about the big things, it was always about the little things, the details of life that fill in the story. Perhaps those are the reasons to keep falling in love with someone over and over again. Love is at the heart of brotherhood and sisterhood. Fraternal love is built over time not on generally unwrapped on bid day. When you join, you belong to a group of people who have
made a commitment to care about one another, look out for their best interest, like family. Love is foundational in a fraternity or a sorority. We show love when we take the time to build our relationships on a deeper level, beyond connecting on social media and sharing pictures and likes. We must dig into who people really are, what are their stories. We invest our time into actively listening to the heart of people. Connecting beyond letters and traditions, but through moments of bonding, laughter, or sometime sharing the pain and heartache of life. Brotherhood and sisterhood will test us sometimes. It is often messy and complicated. Yet looking at our brothers and sisters through the eyes of love and compassion is probably the best lens to have.
In those moments when you feel frustrated and begin to question is this worth all I am giving? I hope so. As I tell my children the first step in friendship is being the kind of friend to others that you want to have. The relationships in fraternities and sororities are timeless and can last well beyond the college years. Whenever you see someone with grey hair come to an event, just ask them and they will tell you what brotherhood or sisterhood has come to mean to them.

So this Valentine’s Season, don’t forget… it’s not just about romantic love, but think about how do I love and appreciation for the people who matter most to me.
In my own work, I chose to lead with my heart. At the end of the day, I want you to know that I care about our students and the fraternity and sorority experience. The people in my office care and pour themselves out in service to you in little unseen ways every day. We do what we do in working toward a better community out of a deep love for this experience and the people who are a part of it. We are all in this together.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sigma Alpha Epsilon

The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity recently partnered with the Veteran’s Resource Center and representative David Branum to send Valentine’s cards to US service members overseas. The cards that they made will be sent with roughly 1,000 other cards that the Veteran’s Resource Center is sending themselves. SAE is excited to lend support to our military members across the world and hopes to continue supporting them as often as possible. Great job, SAE!


Phi Mu

Phi Mu hosted the Phi Mu Foundation’s annual Phonathon this January. The Phonathon kicks off Phi Mu Foundation’s annual fundraising campaign. Phi Mu’s Kappa chapter successfully raised over $20,000 this weekend on-site and met the Foundation’s goal of fundraising! The Foundation supports Phi Mu Fraternity’s educational, leadership, and philanthropic efforts in innovative ways that directly benefit members.

Alpha Delta Pi

Alpha Delta Pi’s executive board attended ther District Leadership Conference in Kingsport, TN. At the conference, Alpha Delta Pi was recognized in many areas such as excellence in scholarship, recruitment and marketing, and philanthropy; however, their most exciting award was given to former Panhellenic President, Rachel Ricker. Rachel received the Ruth Pretty Palmer Philanthropy Award. She was recognized for her commitment to the Panhellenic community through her inclusion practices, her movement towards increasing diversity in the Panhellenic community, and through her personal connections with each chapter on campus. They are so proud of Rachel!


Delta Gamma

Delta Gamma’s chapter management team attended their regional training in Nashville, Tennessee, where they learned leadership skills and came up with new ideas to bring back to the community. They also invited twelve new members into their sisterhood. Congratulations!

Kappa Alpha Order

On January 11th, Kappa Alpha Order hosted MEDIC Regional Blood Center at the KA house for a Blood Drive. One of KA’s goals for this year is to encourage more student involvement with their philanthropy. As a result, they have been trying to look for ways to help the community without putting a dent in students’ wallets. They had great success with this event. People who donated received coupons for free Moe’s, Brenz Pizza, Texas Roadhouse, and a free MEDIC t-shirt. Their event even was even publicized on wbir prior to the event. Way to go Kappa Alpha Order!

Greek Awards

On January 31st, members of the sorority and fraternity community gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and campus partners. A list of the award recipients can be found below.


Chapter of the Year

NPC – Delta Gamma

IFC – Sigma Alpha Epsilon

NPHC – Zeta Phi Beta

MGC – Sigma Beta Rho


Greek Person of the Year

NPC – Rachel Ricker, Alpha Delta Pi

IFC – Hunter Jones, Alpha Gamma Rho

MGC – Jason Patel, Sigma Beta Rho

Chapter President of the Year

NPC – Alexis Withers, Delta Delta Delta

IFC – Noah Burbrink, Alpha Tau Omega

NPHC – Deonna Williams, Zeta Phi Beta

MGC – Megha Patel, Sigma Sigma Rho


Council President’s Choice

NPC – Annie Wright, Alpha Omicron Pi

IFC – Jon Reesman, Pi Kappa Alpha

NPHC – Janice Branch, Haslam College of Business


Outstanding Council Member

NPC – Eduarda Lague, Delta Zeta

IFC – Austin Sanders, FarmHouse

MGC – Devi Patel, Sigma Sigma Rho


Emerging Leader

NPC – Caroline Arias, Delta Gamma

IFC – John Calvin Bryant, Alpha Gamma Rho


Outstanding New Member

NPC – Emma Conn, Delta Zeta

IFC – Ryan Greer, Delta Tau Delta

NPHC – Kayla Tisdale, Zeta Phi Beta

MGC – Krishna Patel, Sigma Beta Rho


Advisor of the Year

DeeDee Cooper, Delta Zeta


House Director of the Year

NPC – Leslie Del Vecchio, Phi Mu

IFC – Anne Alyse Ricci, Alpha Gamma Rho

Innovative Program of the Year

Support Group, Delta Gamma

Wellness Corner

VOLentine’s Day Activities

February 12th & 13th

Hodges Library

10 am – 2 pm

Come learn about the aspects of a healthy relationship while you craft hand-made cards and personalized trail mix for yourself, friends, or significant others.


“Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic” Film Screening and Q&A

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

AMB 32

6 pm – 8 pm


Someone You Love is a documentary that follows the lives of five women affected by HPV, the virus that is responsible for almost all cases of cervical cancer. Learn more about what HPV is, why the HPV vaccine is important, and get your questions about HPV answered by a healthcare professional.


Did you Know? 50% of new HPV infections occur in 15-24 year olds. Most people clear HPV infections, but sometimes they do not go away which can lead to health issues including cancers. The most common HPV-associated cancer in women is cervical cancer, and in men it is oropharyngeal (throat) cancers. College students can still get the HPV vaccine. Resources and information about the HPV vaccine will be available.


From the Director

January is the time of year we think about a fresh start, a new year, new goals, a chance to look ahead to all of the possibilities that are before us.  As we turn the calendar to 2018, many of you have a new found optmism for what about ourselves must change to get to where we want to be.  Maybe we recognize unhealthy habits that are leading us down a path we don’t want to go.  Whether we need to eat healthier meals, work out a little more, make better decisions about how we spend our time, money, or just our energy and we start off the month believing that we can finally conquer our problems with the right plan.

On college campuses,  this same idea is at play.  The spring semester comes with a sense that it is time to focus.  Even our newest students now have some experience as college students to draw from to prepare for what is ahead.  This semester, I will: stay on top of my classes; get involved in an organization that is in my major; apply for summer internships; work on my admission to grad school; or search for a full time position after college.

For much of our Sorority/Fraternity community, there are new leaders and a fresh optimism for getting the business of our organizations right.  New teams of leaders will begin to strategize and plan for how to build a better fraternity or sorority.  For others it is a busy season of intake with new faces joining our chapters.  This all creates a new found optimism and a breath of life that energizes all of us.  What possibilities are out there to get it right, make good decisions and have a positive impact on our members, our campus and our community?

As with well intended set of resolutions,  we recognize the vast majority of folks who fill the gyms in January have abandoned those resolutions by Superbowl Sunday.  Many students seeking to make a 4.0 in the spring, find themselves stressed and playing catch up in their classes before spring break.  So why is that and how do we get to the lasting change we so desire?

Here are a few simple strategies that may help both individuals and organizations:

  • Start with a vision… or as Steven Covey, author of Seven Habits for Highly Effective People says “Begin with the end in mind.” What will it look like when I get to where I want to be? How will it make a difference in my life or to others?    Some folks use vision boards for personal reminders or create a message/ mantra to communicate the vision with others. Simple steps to remind yourself or your team where you are going and the underlying reason we do what we do.  In the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life at UT, we have a vision to be “a premier sorority and fraternity community.” You are all a part of that.  At the end of the day, never get so lost in the weeds you lose sight of the bigger picture.
  • Make a plan with identifiable, measurable specific goals. Sometimes we want to change the world at once.  We may be so dissatisfied by the current state of things that we fail to recognize we didn’t get here overnight and getting where we need to be may take some time.  What one thing do I/we need to accomplish today; before the end of the week; by the end of the month: before I/we leave for spring break; or before summer break.  The journey will always start with a single step moving in the right direction.  The ultimate definition of success is making small decisions/steps in the right direction every single day.  Well defined goals and action plans will make sure you are moving in the right direction and not walking in a circle.
  • Share the plan.  Write your goals and action steps down.  Put them where you can see there.  Maybe a screensaver on your laptop or printing them out and putting them  on a bulletin board or your refrigerator.   Talk about the plan.  Make it a part of the routine.  Make sure you involve others and listen to their insights.  Even for personal goals, people are far more likely to achieve their goals if they have communicated their plan and have surrounded themselves with people who are holding them accountable to doing what they said they wanted to do.  Whether it is a group of classmate that meets weekly to review for a statistics class or taking a chapter meeting where you connect the events of the week to the goals you established at your retreat, make sure your team of supporters know the road you are on and how they can help get you there.
  • Reward the small wins and the big accomplishments. Don’t forget to celebrate the wins.   Reward yourself with time with friends for getting the paper done first instead of putting it off until after you get back.  In organizations, be gracious with sincere praise and appreciation.   Tell people when they do something well, share your own wins with the people around you and give people credit for the support they give to you or the team.  Post the Positive on social media, share the good things happening that are making a difference.  People enjoy being on a winning team.  It is easy to fixate on what is not going well.  Remind yourself and your team of all the victories.
  • If you stumble, and at some point we all do, don’t give up. Failure is always more common than victory, but learning to persevere is one of failure’s greatest gifts.   In fact failure is often the prerequisite for some of life’s victories.  Getting back up, and going to work when its seems nothing is going your way is just an opportunity to take a look at what might need extra support, redirection, or an extra try,,,, it’s all a part of the process of getting where you want to be. As a lifelong Tennessee Football fan, some of my favorite memories have been victories after losing streaks against our opponents.  No one ever sought the losses, but it made the taste of victory much sweeter.

Wishing all of you in our Rocky Top Sorority and Fraternity Family the best for 2018!

Fraternally Yours,


The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.

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