Creed Devotional: To prepare for service and learn the nobility of serving

By: Alexa Wagner, Delta Psi President


“Women forget how much we can inspire one another. No one understands us like us.” -Alex Elle

A few weekends ago, I had the opportunity to attend Officer Leadership Academy for Zeta Tau Alpha in Atlanta, Georgia. Sitting in the car on my way to the hotel, I had no clue what to expect. I had just received the role of President and while I was excited, I had hundreds of questions in the back of my mind on what I needed to know, how I needed to start my role, how to properly run a chapter meeting, etc. OLA served not only as a guide for my role but gave me direction on how I can make Delta Psi better than I found it.

What is OLA?


OLA is a 3-day leadership conference filled with training, breakout sessions, ZTA games, and information we can use to take back to our chapters. Not only that, but you are surrounded with hundreds of women that love ZTA and share the same leadership roles as you!! Each person I talked to at OLA shared a small piece of their chapter with me. When I think about it, it really is one of the most amazing things ever. All of these pieces come together to create Zeta Tau Alpha, the fraternity that has made such a difference in each of our lives. I find it so amazing that each girl there has had a different experience in ZTA, but we can all come together at an event like OLA to learn more and grow from one another.

I was accompanied on this trip by our VPI, Kaley Claudepierre, our VPIII, Kylie Ballard, our risk manager, Shelby Luna, our treasurer’s assistant, Ashley Badin, and two of our amazing advisors Amanda and Jamie!

Some of my Takeaways….


 

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Individual Leadership


Day one was based around different leadership styles. Each of us took a test called the “Noble Practices Assessment” to see what leadership style we were. The different leadership styles are…

– Self- Author

– Humble Heart

– Encourager

– Giver

– Strategic Thinker

I learned that I was a giver while the rest of my group was something different. This activity reminded me to celebrate each other’s differences. Knowing how to work efficiently as well as make decisions with the other 11 girls on EC is crucial! The point of this activity is to learn how to communicate and make connections with different leadership styles so making those decisions is easy. In the end, we need to embrace our differences in the correct way and come together as one unit. I plan to do this activity with the rest of my EC who was not at OLA in order to start the year off with strong communication.

The ZTA Experience


On day two we covered the “ZTA experience.” ZTA has been such a light in my life and I truly believe that it has stemmed from the leadership opportunities our chapter has provided me with. Each position that I’ve held has not only helped me find myself, but it has helped me build connections with the girls I’ve had the opportunity to work with.

OLA taught me that everyone will have a different experience than me. For some, it may take time to find their place and that’s okay! But encouraging, guiding, and building connections is crucial for anyone to find their place.

During my time as president, I want to build our members up, encourage them to apply for leadership, and form real relationships with each of them. When we join any organization we want to feel welcomed, loved, and appreciated, I hope to make Delta Psi feel that this year.
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Before leaving on Sunday, I wrote down my three personal goals for this semester based on all the information that was given to me.


  1. START OFF STRONG!!! Your sisters will feed off of you. You will be leading this chapter for a whole year. Stay positive and be a good role model.
  2. Establish a relationship with each member in the chapter. Connecting with members on a deeper level creates belonging, and can even inspire them to take on leadership roles in the future.
  3. “Be humble in success and without bitterness in defeat.” A very important line from our creed that I needed to take into this new journey with me.

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Zeta Tau Alpha has impacted my life in so many ways. Of course through leadership positions and friendships, but also the opportunities we are provided with such as OLA to help us grow into the leaders we want to become. 

I feel that with everything that was said during OLA, it’s almost as if Zeta had read my mind. All my questions were answered, and I felt 10 times more confident in my position. I am truly honored to be the president of the Delta Psi chapter and I cannot wait to see what this year brings for us!!!

ZLAM

– Alexa Wagner, Delta Psi President

Creed Devotional: To be humble in success without bitterness in defeat

Welcome back to the blog! It’s been a while since a Creed Devotional has been posted, so let’s dive back in with the next line:

“To be humble in success without bitterness in defeat.” – ZTA Creed

Being humble in success is so much more than being polite when people are singing your praises. It is a quality that starts at the beginning, before you succeed. What was your initiative? The betterment of whatever you were working for, or attention?

“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” – Luke 14:11

Humility even extends to the work that you do not want to do. Maybe your efforts are not recognized and you feel discouraged. This is where our faith comes in. God calls us to do everything for his glory. If your work is unfulfilling, try changing your perspective.

“Whatever you do, work with all your heart, as if working for the Lord, not for human masters.” – Colossians 3:23

In the end it is not our work that matters, but God’s work through us. So we should not be focused on how our efforts will bring us praise, but how we can bring more praise to the glory of God.

“Do nothing of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others.” – Phil. 2:3-4

Being without bitterness in defeat is more straightforward. Be a good sport. We are told this from our time playing tag in kindergarten, and yet it is still relevant in our adult lives. We are all intelligent, accomplished women who should be more focused on the success of our sisters, rather than our own defeat. A friend told me today, “empowered women empower women.”  So let’s empower one another, regardless of our own success or failures.

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” – Hebrews 6:10

 

 

Welcome Home!

Happy first day of classes!

This weekend was move-in weekend and wow was it a happy one! We are so glad to be back together in the zouse.

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Here’s to an amazing work week before recruitment starts, and to cute little dorm rooms in our favorite house.

 

Alumnae Spotlight: Julie Mayfield

We are so excited to continue our alumnae spotlight series here on the blog! This spotlight goes to the Birmingham Alumnae Chapter’s president, Julie Mayfield.

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“I moved to Birmingham almost four years ago. I only knew a few people here. I was in this big city and I felt lost. Then my Themis arrived and I saw the contact information for AL/MS Zeta Day. I reached out and everything changed for the better. Now I’m serving my second year as President, just attended my first convention as an alumni and can’t wait for our monthly get togethers with my sisters.”

College & chapter: University of Tennessee at Martin, Delta Mu
Class of: 2002
Favorite zeta memory: “participating on our Step team and serving as New Member officer. I loved teaching new members the history of zeta and showing how wonderful zeta is.”
Advice to collegiate zetas: “document every moment, cherish your sisters, reach out to other Zetas, and remain ever loyal to the Fraternity.”
What does Zeta is forever mean to you: “It means a lifetime of sisterhood and service. Zeta gives us the opportunity, on the collegiate and alumni level, to give back to our community, to leave a impactful footprint in this world. We always want to leave it better than we arrived. Zeta is an amazing avenue for that.”

ZTA Convention 2018 Recap

By Brantley Taylor

A couple weeks ago I had the honor of attending the National Convention for Zeta Tau Alpha in Orlando, FL. I was accompanied by our recruitment chair, Alexa Wagner, and one of our upcoming leaders, Jenna Anderson. Going into the week I had no idea what to expect being surrounded by so many women from such a variety of backgrounds, but all tied together by the common thread of Zeta. It ended up being one of the greatest experiences I have had through our sorority.

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If you don’t know what Convention is, I’ll try and paint a picture for you. Imagine hundreds of women ages 18-80+, lots of cheering, even more crowns, and the celebrities of Zeta themselves, the national council. I soon realized that Zeta might be the most extra sorority when I saw that even the room keys were specialized to have the convention logo on them. Putting aside all of the bells and whistles though, convention helped me to realize how blessed I am to be in charge of the Delta Psi chapter.

I’ll be honest, I was intimidated going into the week based on the fact that there were huge state schools like FSU, Alabama, and Georgia in attendance and I didn’t know how a small private Christian school like Samford was supposed to stack against them. However, I quickly learned that it’s not the size of the school or the chapter that matters, it’s how your chapter is run and the quality of the girls in the chapter.

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Delta Psi ended up winning an Academic Achievement Award for our overall chapter GPA, a Quota Award for reaching quota set by nationals the past two years, and a Major Donor Award for reaching Founders Club Level by donating over $25,000 to our philanthropy. On top of these awards we also won Crown Chapter Award! We have been blessed enough to have received this award for the past couple years and are so proud to continue the streak. This helps prove to us that what we do matters and every event we have is worth it in the end.

The single greatest moment, however, was the night of the Silver Awards Banquet. Silver Awards the highest esteemed awards given to chapters across the nation for exceeding expectations and being the best of the best chapters in a variety of areas. Delta Psi hadn’t won a Silver Award in the past 10 years, so going into the night I admittedly was more excited for the dinner being served rather than watching all of these other chapters winning awards while we clapped graciously. Then came a moment that really blindsided me. Just about the time when they were reading off the description of the chapter who was winning 1st Runner Up for Collegiate Public Relations I was thinking, “Hey that’s not fair we do all of the same things that this chapter they’re about to call does.” Of course right after that thought crossed my mind, they called Delta Psi, Samford University up to the stage as the winners. We all just sat there at first not recognizing that we were indeed the winners, until Jenna said, “Hey! That’s us!” and we all ran to the stage to accept it. This is a huge milestone for Delta Psi, breaking a decade-long dry spell.

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I am so thankful to be in charge of a group of girls who work harder, do more, and seek to be better every year. It’s moments like those that give you clarity into why you do what you do. Convention also taught me the meaning behind, “Zeta is forever”. Being in college it’s hard to imagine the sorority itself being something that’ll last you past the four years you’re in it. The friendships, yes, but the sorority? Well, let me tell you Convention puts it all into perspective. You see that Zeta is so much bigger than just your own chapter. It’s easy to get so narrow-minded and focus solely on what you are doing, but when you zoom out of that view and see what the other 170 collegiate chapters and 238 alumnae chapters are doing as well you get a better appreciation for Zeta as a whole. You’re able to realize that Zeta matters, what we do in our sorority matters, but what we contribute to the overarching organization matters even more. We are young women, given the opportunity to make a difference. I’m beyond proud of my chapter and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for Delta Psi long after I’m finished being president. I’m also so proud I get to call myself a Zeta Tau Alpha.

 

A Zeta’s Guide to Studying Abroad: Greece

Who: Kylee Shanaghan
Where: Greece
When: Jan Term
Course: Greece: The Crucible of Civilization

The Class:  “This was an option for me to take as a humanities course, it was actually less expensive to take the abroad class than take a humanities class on campus during Jan Term (plus I wanted to go because of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants!). The actual course material gave a lot of backstory to the places we were going, so we knew what we were looking at. One thing that is really amazing about this particular trip is that you get to see so much of Greece. In many abroad programs, you are living in one place for the duration of the class, but with this course, you are only in one place a max of two nights. For us, we started in Athens (which is kind of like a REALLY old New York City), and after that we constantly moved around to new places. We split our time between the main land locations and the little islands off the coast.”

 

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Favorite Spots: “My two favorite places by far were the little island of Aegina (pronounced egg-in-a), and the seaport town of Nafplion. These two places are both quaint little locations that have less tourists and lots of breathtaking views of the water. In Aegina, you MUST try the pistachio butter that the venders are selling at the port. I was apprehensive and only got a small jar, and now I’m crying because it’s all gone and it was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted in my life (so get the big jar). In Nafplion you should wander around (it’s small and very safe) to see what fun things there are going on. After dinner one night we stumbled upon a street carnival and played bumper cars! It’s one of my all-time favorite memories, but you won’t find that in a travel brochure so you need to explore in the places you go! Another really fun thing we did was eat at this family-owned restaurant where they taught you all the Greek dances. We ate incredible food family style, then we danced for hours as everyone smashed plates and yelled “OPA!”, there are lots of these kinds of places in Greece, and you should definitely do some research to find one while on this trip!”

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Best Foods: “My top favorite foods I ate while in Greece would have to be the Pistachio butter, the fried feta cheese, and the gyro sandwiches. Let me tell you, if you are a fan of Greek food, after this trip nothing in America will ever measure up to the real thing. Some tips I would give about going on this trip is to pack layers, it’s hot during the day and super cold at night! You also need to be prepared to hike up a mountain one of the days (don’t wear a wool sweater like me). If you are worried about looking cute in pics on days where hiking is involved, bring some extra stuff in a backpack to put on for the pictures! You need to be prepared with cash as most places do not take card, you also need to keep in mind that you cannot split the check when eating in groups at restaurants. One person will need to pay the bill and the rest of the group will pay them back, so keep groups small! In general, I did not have to pay for many meals, we ate as a group most days and that fee is paid with the program tuition. I paid for maybe 8-10 meals on the 3-week trip. Technically they say you can get away with bringing no cash on this trip, which I guess is true, but you want money for souvenirs and last-minute things (like bumper cars!).”

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“Overall, this trip was the best experience of my life. I went into it knowing absolutely no one, and came out with some of the most meaningful friendships in my life.  So, whether or not you know anyone on this trip, or know anything at all about Greece, this trip is sure to be one of the most incredible experiences of your life!”

 

Creed Devotional: To look for the good in everyone

Not going to lie, it was hard to sit down and write this one. Not because I don’t believe that this is important, but because looking for the good in someone can be a hard thing to do sometimes.

“To look for the good in everyone” ZTA Creed 

As a kid, when I was told to look for the good in people, I thought it meant not to call them mean names. But as I grew up, and as my relationships grew up with me, I realized that thinking the best of someone isn’t just to contradict bullying, or keeping someone’s feelings from getting hurt (though valid reasons). When we think badly of someone it isn’t always an intentional, mean thought. We don’t go around criticizing everyone we see, but we do analyze their words and actions towards us.

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”Ephesians 4:31 – 32 ESV

I don’t think we usually set out to think poorly of someone. Actually, I don’t think we even realize that we are doing it. It’s almost as if we start on the defensive- guarding ourselves against this person who has yet to do anything wrong. Most of the time we don’t even realize that we’re doing it.

Usually, this stems from feelings of rejection and hurt. At some point in our lives we learned that not everyone will like us or be kind to us. And from these lessons, we changed how we react to other people. We started to operate out of a place of hurt and rejection rather than love and acceptance.

One of my favorite authors, Lysa TerKeurst, wrote:

“To love God is to cooperate with His grace. And since I’m so very aware of my own need for grace, I must be willing to freely give it away. Each hole left from rejection must become an opportunity to create more and more space for grace in my heart.” Lysa TerKeurst, ‘Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely’

So how do we change our perspectives and begin to live with grace in our hearts?

By being intentional with not only our actions towards one another (let’s not forget the golden rule now) but also our thoughts.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”Philippians 4:8-9 ESV
“And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear.”Isaiah 11:3 ESV
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”Proverbs 4:23 ESV

Let’s look for the good in everyone. Let’s stop the cycle of judgment and fear. And most of all, let’s see others how God sees us; with grace, love, and kindness.

 

A Zeta’s Guide to Studying Abroad: London

When I first enrolled at Samford, I already knew that I wanted to study abroad. Studying abroad can be a once in a lifetime experience that grows you and changes your perspective on the world. Luckily, Samford has a pretty amazing list of study abroad programs for you to choose from.

Already signed up to go, but don’t know what you want to see while you’re there? Don’t have any plans yet, but need help deciding where to go? Just interested in learning about new places? This blog series is for you!  Throughout this series, zetas who have studied abroad all over the world will share their experiences and tips with you.

We’ll start our trip around the world in…LONDON!

Who: Ashley Steiner
Where: London, UK
When: Jan Term 2018
Class: Arts in Society

Favorite Places:
1. Notting Hill: “THE cutest London neighborhood with storybook houses. Bring your camera and go on Saturday to visit the Portobello Market. Cath Kidston is my favorite store in the area but there are tons of local vendors set up at the market.”
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2. High Tea: “A London MUST. I went to The Orangery at Kensington Palace (yes, tea at the palace!). It was magical, that is all.”

 

3. Borough Market: “A really good food market with homemade grilled cheese, artisan coffee and tons of fresh produce (great lunch place!)”

4. Art Museums: “There are so many! The Victorian and Albert, Courtauld Institute of Art, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and more!”

5.  Ride on the Tube (London Underground): “It’s such an easy way to get around London and it’s fun!”

6.  The Shard: “A Super tall (like super, super tall) skyscraper with incredible views of the city.”

 

7. Covent Garden: “Really nice shopping area (Cambridge Satchel Co. is my favorite store!)”

8. Harrods Department Store: “It’s massive! Gotta see the chocolate room…. spent two hours in there, oops.”

9. Abbey Road: “It’s a real road with real cars. Real cool, but don’t get in their way haha.”

10. “Walk around the side streets and swoon at the houses in Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea- you’ll want to move in ASAP.”

11. Buckingham Palace: “A London staple.”

12. Red Phone Booth: “Like did you even go to London if you didn’t take a picture with one?”

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Food: “The food everywhere is amazing- Paul, Pret a Manger, Brown & Rosie, Kensington Creperie, and anything that looks local were my go-to places. You seriously can’t go wrong! Waitrose, the neighborhood grocery has great food too if you’re looking for a low-cost meal at home.”

Weekend Travel: “I went to Paris one weekend and it was so easy to travel there and back in a short 48 hours.”

Tips for studying abroad in London:
1. Bring converter electrical plugs
2. Have a credit card for international travel that doesn’t charge international fees
3. Get an international phone plan to use while you’re out and about during the day
4. Use Google Maps to figure out which Tube stops to take

“I could honestly go on and on forever about London. It is one of the dreamiest places I’ve ever been to! It was amazing to live in London’s best neighborhood (Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea) for 17 days!”

 

 

Creed Devotional: To seek understanding

Happy finals week everyone!

It’s officially time for all-nighters in the library, drinking obscene amounts of coffee and trying to balance studying with packing. Through this busy season, it can be easy to lose sight of why we are in college.

To seek understanding that we might gain true wisdom

We are in college for a degree, yes, but also to grow as women of academia and character. Between studying for finals, try to remember that knowledge is secondary to wisdom. (i.e. your grades don’t define you!)

 “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” -Proverbs 4:6-7

Knowledge is what we learn in class, but wisdom is what we learn by being a student. It is knowing when to say no, and study. It is learning how to recover from bad grades and try your best. But overall, it is the ability to, despite the circumstances of school and social life, recognize that the quality of character triumphs over the quantity of good grades.

“Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding.” -Proverbs 3:13

This is my encouragement to you: getting good grades is important (you’ve got this!), but how you act about those grades and grow from these moments is what will shape you.

With that being said, good luck on finals! You are all intelligent, capable women who are more than able to walk away from this week triumphantly.

Semi-Sweet! Spring Semi-formal 2018

Calling all sweet tooths!

Last weekend, Delta Psi held its annual Semi-formal function. The theme: Semi-sweet. Cue all the Willy Wonka feels.

 

 

 

 

The event, which was held at BridgeStreet Gallery and Loft, was a hit! Between dancing and making trips to the chocolate fountain, everyone enjoyed this semi-sweet end to the semester.