DPhiE Member Spotlight: Amora Laucella

St. Johns University

Amora Laucella has been active in the DPhiE network for over a decade, and she doesn’t see her commitment to the community changing anytime soon. 

As a freshman studying at St. John’s University, Amora lived away from her family for the first time. The physical distance from her two biological sisters pushed her to find an organization that could replicate their encouragement and support, leading her to DPhiE’s Beta Omega chapter. During recruitment Amora immediately felt comfortable with the members; she knew she had found a community both on campus and beyond.

She soon took on a position of leadership on the chapter standards board, where she worked to solve conflicts and promote positive resolutions between members. This experience addressing tough issues helped Amora overcome situational barriers and relate to others on a personal level, strengthening her leadership style. She later went on to become the chapter’s special event chair, and fell in love with the event planning process.

Amora currently serves as the Faith Formation Director of the Diocese of Rockville Center.

“I work with adults, children and families to learn about their faith. I love it, and I really feel like my time in leadership positions with DPhiE has led me toward what I do now,” she explained. “The experiences I've had with my own chapter sisters: officiating weddings, being a part of major life events and sharing in the lives of other people; it all comes down to supporting your community and being supported back.”

After graduating from undergrad, Amora continued her education at St. Johns and went on to earn a master's degree in theology. As a graduate student, she took on a temporary position as the Beta Omega lead advisor, which later turned into a permanent role. As lead advisor she won alumni partner of the year twice, and oversaw the organization as it won St. John’s ‘organization of the year’ award. After earning her master's, Amora also joined the advisory board for the Indiana University Delta Delta chapter, where she continues to encourage the personal growth of members.

This legacy of giving can also be seen in Amora’s own biological sisters, who joined DPhiE at St. John’s as undergraduates.

“I was able to give them the bid to join the organization and see them grow as women and leaders. Being able to see your family grow and succeed is an incredible thing,” she said. “To have something built on generations of sisters that came before you, to build to that success so many have worked toward - it was so special.”

Amora strongly encourages fellow sisters to give back to their community, even if it means starting small. 

“Eventually you can take on those larger roles once you have your life settled after graduation, she said. “You can always come back as a role model with life experience that collegiate members can benefit from, and even small acts of support are invaluable in so many ways.”

DPhiE Member Spotlight: Alyssa Fredin

Epsilon Lambda chapter - Michigan Technological University

When arriving on campus during her freshman year at Michigan Technological University, Alyssa Fredin was determined to find a way to get involved. Coming from a family of two brothers and attending a school with a large ratio of men to women, Alyssa knew that she was in search of sisterhood.

Fast forward to the present day, Alyssa is proud to say that she found that sisterhood and it has only grown since. She now serves as the lead advisor for her chapter and has held the position for the past five years. 

“Volunteering for a chapter allows you to continue your growth as an individual and offer support to growing chapters at the same time,” Alyssa said. “DPhiE brought me meaningful connections that have only continued to grow during my time as an advisor.”

Alyssa grew up locally to her university, with her parents only about 10 miles away from the DPhiE house. Nevertheless, she felt equally at home with her DPhiE sisters. 

“When I was first introduced to the sorority, I immediately connected to the mission and felt like DPhiE empowered well-rounded individuals. I felt like I had known the members for years after just meeting them and knew I would create connections for life,” Alyssa said.

Alyssa currently serves as the director of financial aid at her alma mater and is deeply grateful to work on a campus that shaped who she is today. Now as an advisor, she tries to offer historical data to the chapter such as past event successes and procedures, yet also encourages the new members to experiment. 

“As the only advisor local to the chapter, I am on the ground physically there for support,” she said. “I enjoy helping toward resolution and seeing my fellow members thrive in an environment that shaped so much of what I stand for today.”

In 2019, Alyssa was awarded advisor of the year by the Fraternity and Sorority Life on campus and was proud to watch DPhiE win chapter of the year at this year’s ceremony. 

“As a volunteer, I felt support from day one. From my chapter, from my fellow advisors, from IHQ, all of the above. I felt pushed to be the best version of myself.”

DPhiE Member Spotlight: Stephanie Cockerl

Cornell University – Delta Rho chapter

Flipping through the student newspaper one day during her junior year at Cornell University, Stephanie Cockerl (Delta Rho chapter) stumbled upon an ad that read, “Go for the purple and the gold.” Delta Phi Epsilon sorority was trying to refound the chapter on campus. 

Interested in expanding her involvement at school socially while balancing a difficult architecture major workload, Stephanie answered the ad and attended a meeting to start the discussion of refounding. 

“I loved starting the process from the ground up,” Stephanie said. “This experience taught me to be open to possibilities and go with what feels right. I had friends in other sororities and never felt a good fit, but I soon found that with the creation of DPhiE.”

After about a year of planning, the sorority became a chapter on campus. Stephanie served as the ritualist and corresponding secretary as an undergraduate member, but what really started her involvement with DPhiE was the creation of each sorority’s website on campus. The internet was just jumping off and Stephanie saw the platform as a great opportunity to engage members. 

The websites were so successful that International Headquarters caught site of the project and offered Stephanie a job to maintain the international website following graduation. She supported the website off and on for the next 10 years. 

“DPhiE taught me the importance of having a voice at the table, not being afraid to speak your mind and always daring to pick up the phone,” Stephanie said. “After two years of sheltering, I am looking forward to getting back with my sisters and embracing our sisterhood that taught me these life lessons.”

Meeting sisters at International Leadership Forum, at different chapter initiations in advisor roles and even joining a reunion of the original founding chapter at Cornell, Stephanie has felt support from members far and wide. 

Stephanie reflected on when she lost her mom 17 years ago, and when she had the privilege of initiating her grandmother 7 years ago – both events were filled with an overwhelming presence of support from her sisters. She now serves as the communications chair for the Educational Board Foundation, chapter president of the NYC alumni association and president of the NYC Panhellenic alumni association. 

“I feel like all of us in DPhiE leadership are like our own chapter as well,” Stephanie said. “Although we are all across the country, we know that we have a sister a phone call, text or a chat away.”

DPhiE Member Spotlight: Laura Miller

Beta Nu chapter- Wesley College

Laura Miller’s first introduction to Delta Phi Epsilon was a bit unorthodox. Although she wasn’t involved with the sorority during her undergraduate years, Laura proudly identifies with the organization that, according to her, pushed her to be a leader with empathy. 

Following a recent move to Delaware, Laura decided to attend an event hosted by the state’s alumni association to connect and network with other people in the area. She started the process of becoming an alumni member shortly after joining the association. 

“I knew I wanted to be part of something bigger,” Laura said. “Growing up I thought sororities were where you bought your friends. I learned quickly that it is not that at all. You are joining an organization that allows you to connect with others who are driven, focused and dedicated to our shared sisterhood.”

Laura now serves as the lead advisor of the Delta Delta chapter at Indiana University - Bloomington. For the past year and a half, she has been working with the leadership team of the chapter to improve morale and overall connection with the organization. Laura says she has seen great growth from her fellow members, especially when she had the opportunity to visit the Delta Delta chapter in person for the first time for a site visit last December. 

“Being an advisor, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from members in ways I wouldn’t get otherwise. My chapter is more aware of issues related to the gender binary and evolving identities and this has pushed me to become more of a learner,” Laura said. “I’ve brought the lessons I’ve learned from the chapter back into my personal and professional life.”

Laura currently works as the student learning initiatives coordinator at James Madison University and attributes some of her success to her time as a volunteer with DPhiE. 

“Although I wasn’t in DPhiE yet, I had great advisors when I was an undergrad,” Laura said. “ I wanted to provide a great support system to the next generation. Volunteering with DPhiE is an easy way to give back to a sisterhood that gives us so much.”

Looking back at her membership so far, Laura highlighted her unconventional introduction but noted that no one is a typical path. Members join from all different ways of membership and represent all different backgrounds and upbringings. 

“Our different experiences ripple and radiate through all members,” Laura said. “Life experiences may be different, but DPhiE still connects you.”

DPhiE Member Spotlight: Laura Bullock

Johnson & Wales University, Alpha Upsilon Chapter

Now an award-winning children’s picture book author and lead advisor for Delta Phi Epsilon’s Zeta Iota chapter, Laura Bullock wasn’t always so certain about where her college experience would lead.

Raised with a brother and no sisters, she knew it would be important to find a community of supportive women during her time at school. But as a freshman at Johnson & Wales University, Laura was hesitant to associate herself with the “cookie cutter” stereotypes surrounding sorority life.  

“My attitude totally changed when a friend invited me to an informal night with a DPhiE member,” Laura recalled. “I saw there were so many different types of people not only in diversity, but in attitudes, beliefs, and opinions – I knew I would fit right in.”

She quickly formed lifelong friendships, relying on the mutual support of her sisters to navigate the ups and downs of college life. The DPhiE community proved that she could be part of a close knit group and still be authentic to herself and her goals, and friends encouraged her to think big. With her self confidence growing, Laura decided to step out of her comfort zone and take on a key panhellenic leadership position on campus. In this role she learned an array of communication and teamwork skills, many of which she still relies on in her work today.

After graduation Laura decided to leave Rhode Island and travel across the country to Arizona, making sure to keep in touch with her sisters online. She also connected with new sisters in Arizona, and worked with local alumni in Phoenix to help North Arizona University found its first DPhiE chapter. In her new volunteer position as lead advisor of the Zeta Iota chapter, Laura noticed the need for additional advocacy and mental health support in the community. She soon became trained in mental health counseling and studied for her ASIST certification, providing key resources for struggling chapter members.

“There were a lot of tragedies happening on the university’s campus when I joined, so I strongly advocated for our chapter to add a health and wellness chair,” she said. “I hope that these types of mental health resources will become readily available across greek life, both on campus and nationwide.”

Laura’s experience volunteering with DPhiE created an entire new family in Arizona, and she cherishes the opportunity to give back to the people that supported her throughout college. She encourages other alumni to consider volunteering in their own communities, citing the countless connections available for the newly graduated.

“I’ve had opportunities that I didn't even know were possible, just because I connected with a sister,” she said. “It could be in the workplace, a new city you've just moved to, or even walking down the street wearing your letters - inevitably you’ll run into someone in the DPhiE network. You might not know where you’re going, but the community will always be here to support you.”