The Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation Awards $117,000 in Annual Scholarships

CONTACT:
Nicole DeFeo
International Executive Director
Delta Phi Epsilon IHQ
Ndefeo@dphie.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2024

Philadelphia, PAThe Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation takes great pleasure in announcing the academic year 2024-25 scholarship recipients. These members demonstrated outstanding scholastic achievement, chapter leadership and community service.

The Educational Foundation awarded 14 general undergraduate scholarships as follows:

  • Abbigail Renner, Zeta Alpha chapter at Tennessee Technological University
  • Angela Schettini, Beta Omega chapter at St. John’s University – Jamaica Campus
  • Ellis Eilering, Psi chapter at The University Of Georgia
  • Eliana Palmer, Delta Upsilon chapter at The University of Tampa
  • Emmagrace Gerbavac, Phi Tau chapter at Rutgers University-Camden
  • Je Leah Laurenceau, Psi chapter at The University Of Georgia
  • Kayla Smakal, Alpha Lambda chapter at York College of Pennsylvania
  • Martha Lake, Epsilon Zeta chapter at  La Salle University
  • Monica Rigby, Delta Pi chapter at  Pennsylvania State University – University Park
  • Naya Alani, Zeta Kappa chapter at Union College
  • Rachel Reiter, Alpha Kappa chapter at Fairleigh Dickinson University-Madison
  • Sydney Duncan, Beta Psi chapter at Brandeis University
  • Jenna Messer, Zeta Beta chapter at Truman State University
  • Zara Cornaby, Beta Tau chapter at Nova Southeastern University

The Educational Foundation awarded six general graduate scholarships as follows:

  • Emilyann Thompson, Phi Tau chapter at Rutgers University-Camden
  • Francesca Fazio, Beta Omega chapter at St. John’s University – Jamaica Campus
  • Justine Rovin, Beta Rho chapter at University Of Illinois At Chicago
  • Kiera Kulaga, Delta Sigma chapter at Rider University
  • Sabrina Alpino, Alpha Upsilon chapter at Johnson & Wales University (Rhode Island)
  • Alexandra Stibler, Beta Xi chapter atThe College of New Jersey

The foundation also awarded the following endowed scholarships:

The Arleen Kruger Honick Scholarship was awarded to Scarlett Maze, an undergraduate member of the Psi chapter at the University of Georgia. 

The Dr. Toby Tamarkin Scholarship was awarded to Jenna Messer, an undergraduate member of the Zeta Beta chapter at Truman State University. 

The Madeleine Claire McNulty Scholarship fund awarded six scholarships this round as follows:

  • Alexandria Cummings, Beta Tau chapter at Nova Southeastern University
  • Samantha Pease, Delta Pi chapter at Pennsylvania State University – University Park
  • Brianna Phillips, Beta Chi chapter at St. Norbert College
  • Brianna Slaven, Beta Theta chapter at Kean University
  • Lindsay Moen, Alpha Tau chapter at Winona State University
  • Jenna Messer, Zeta Beta chapter at Truman State University

Educational Foundation President, Emily Meister, stated, ” The scholarship recipients this year are well deserving and are a diverse representation of our founding values.  Our future is bright because of these outstanding and deserving sisters! With such a huge need reflected in the over 140 applications, we are so pleased to be able to distribute over $117,000 this year to these members who have gone above and beyond in service to DPhiE and their academic pursuits.”

The Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation offers its congratulations to the 2024-25 scholarship recipients on this accomplishment. To learn more about the educational foundation, please visit www.dphie.org/scholarships.

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About Delta Phi Epsilon

Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority is an organization dedicated to creating a global network of future women leaders. DPhiE was founded on March 17, 1917 at New York University Law School as a social organization for women. The mission is to provide a sisterhood experience rich with tradition, innovation and opportunities for growth. Learn more about Delta Phi Epsilon at www.dphie.org.


Educational Foundation of Delta Phi Epsilon Announces New Board Leadership Effective September 1, 2023

Philadelphia, PA, September 1, 2023 – The Educational Foundation is pleased to announce a change in its Board Leadership, effective September 1, 2023, ushering in a new era of innovation and dedication to empowering women in education. The newly installed leadership team consists of Emily Meister, Dawn McNulty, Gina Curtis, and Jessica Andrews.

Emily Meister, a distinguished alumna member of the Alpha Iota Chapter at the University of San Francisco, has assumed the role of President. Emily brings a wealth of experience in leadership and a passion for advancing the Educational Foundation's mission.

Past International President Dawn McNulty, hailing from the Phi Sigma Chapter at Northern Illinois University, has taken on the role of Vice President. Dawn's commitment to education and her dedication to the Delta Phi Epsilon makes her an invaluable addition to the leadership team.

Educational Foundation Past President Gina Curtis, a member of the Epsilon Upsilon Chapter at Cal Poly-Humboldt (Formerly Humboldt State University), has been installed as Treasurer. Gina's financial acumen and commitment to fiscal responsibility will be instrumental in the Foundation's continued growth and success.

Jessica Andrews, from the Psi Chapter at the University of Georgia, continues in the position of Secretary. Jessica's organizational skills and attention to detail plays a vital role in maintaining the Educational Foundation's operations and communications.

Nicole DeFeo, International Executive Director of Delta Phi Epsilon, expressed her enthusiasm for the change in leadership, stating, "The change of leadership breathes new life into the work of the Educational Foundation. I am very much looking forward to working with Emily, Dawn, Gina, and Jessica to create even more opportunities for women to learn leadership and experience academic success."

The Educational Foundation remains committed to its mission of empowering women through education, leadership development, and scholarship opportunities. With this new leadership team in place, the Foundation is poised to make even greater strides in fulfilling its mission.

 

About the Educational Foundation:

The Educational Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and empowering women in education. Through scholarships, leadership development programs, and educational initiatives, the Foundation seeks to create opportunities for women to excel academically and personally


Delta Phi Epsilon Renews Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with International Philosophy Statement

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Delta Phi Epsilon is proud to announce the installation of an international philosophy on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The International Governing Board (IGB) voted and passed this resolution unanimously on May 14, 2023. 

Delta Phi Epsilon (DPhiE) recognizes the need for meaningful action and will maintain a high level of commitment to aligning our words with our actions. Our philosophy is rooted in our beliefs that allow us to work towards dismantling both systems and commonly-held beliefs that are not in alignment with the organization we desire to maintain. 

“Our founders created a sisterhood that valued diversity. Today, we re-affirm that sentiment with our philosophy statement. It is important to recognize that we, the members of today, carry forth the torch of inclusion and uphold the principles of democratic living over 100 years later” says Delta Phi Epsilon International Executive Director Nicole DeFeo. 

We hold seven beliefs that will guide the work we do in this area. These core beliefs include the recognition of the dynamics of power and privilege within the organization, the commitment to investing time, talent and financial resources to uplifting and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion work within DPhiE and in the communities in which we operate, and that everyone should be held accountable for creating and sustaining an environment that is inclusive, equitable, accessible, and representative. We expect each member, collegiate and alumnae alike, to uphold their expectations of membership in a way that fosters inclusion and acceptance for all people. 

To read the full Delta Phi Epsilon International Philosophy on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, click here.

 

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About Delta Phi Epsilon, Inc.
Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority was founded on March 17, 1917 at New York University Law School as a social organization for women. The mission is to provide a sisterhood experience rich with tradition, innovation and opportunities for growth. Learn more about Delta Phi Epsilon at www.dphie.org.


The Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation Awards Annual Scholarships

Philadelphia, PA – The Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation takes great pleasure in announcing the academic year 2023-24 scholarship recipients. These members demonstrated outstanding scholastic achievement, chapter leadership and community service.

The Educational Foundation awarded 21 general undergraduate scholarships as follows:

Alessandra Prezioso, Alpha Eta chapter at Montclair State University
Alyssa Divins, Epsilon Phi chapter at Thomas Jefferson University - East Falls
Ana Luisa Giusti Pedrosa, Alpha chapter at New York University
Ashley Pelletier, Alpha Lambda chapter at York College of Pennsylvania
Elizabeth Owen, Psi chapter at the University of Georgia
Emily Wenke, Beta Omega chapter at St. John's University - Jamaica Campus
Faith Fischer, Alpha Delta chapter at Seton Hall University
Gabrielle Wheeler, Psi chapter at the University of Georgia
Jamie Martin, Psi chapter at the University of Georgia
Kaitlyn Marnien, Alpha Alpha chapter at West Chester University
Katherine Civitano, Beta Omega chapter at St. John's University - Jamaica Campus
Kayla Smakal, Alpha Lambda chapter at York College of Pennsylvania
Lauren Gray, Beta Tau chapter at Nova Southeastern University
Madeleine McCann, Beta Alpha chapter at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Arizona)
Madisen Hicks, Beta Upsilon chapter at Rochester Institute Of Technology
MaryPat MacRae, Zeta Epsilon chapter at Carleton University
Rachel Osband, Phi Lambda chapter at Emory University
Rachel Dionne, Zeta Iota chapter at Northern Arizona State University
Robin Murray, Epsilon Phi chapter at Thomas Jefferson University - East Falls
Sophia Brasley, Phi Psi chapter at Keene State College
Stella Witter, Delta Pi chapter at Pennsylvania State University - University Park

The Educational Foundation awarded 5 general graduate scholarships as follows:

Lindsay Woodard, Alpha chapter at New York University
Jennifer Majchrzak, Alpha Eta chapter at Montclair State University
Aubrianna Gholar, Delta Upsilon chapter at The University of Tampa
Taylor Choi, Epsilon Delta chapter at Binghamton University Of The State University Of New York
Katarina Kobetitsch, Beta Omega chapter at St. John's University - Jamaica Campus

The foundation also awarded the following endowed scholarships:

The Arleen Kruger Honick Scholarship was awarded to Gabrielle Wheeler, an undergraduate member of the Psi chapter at the University of Georgia.

The Dr. Toby Tamarkin Scholarship was awarded to Amelia Medina, an undergraduate member of the Beta Tau chapter at Nova Southeastern University.

The Madeleine Claire McNulty Scholarship fund awarded two scholarships this round as follows: Amelia Medina, an undergraduate member of the Beta Tau chapter at Nova Southeastern University, and Victoria Hennessey, an undergraduate member of the Gamma Upsilon chapter at Campbell University.

The Dream Girl Scholarship was awarded to Gabriela Dean, an undergraduate member of the Alpha Gamma chapter at Florida International University.
Scholarship committee chair, Kristin Morgan, stated, " The caliber and number of applications we received this year made identifying the top candidates challenging. Although the need for financial support is great, the level of chapter, campus and community involvement of our collegians is impressive. The scholarship recipients this year are well deserving and are a diverse representation of our founding values. Our future is bright because of these outstanding and deserving sisters!
The Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation offers its congratulations to the 2023-24 scholarship recipients on this accomplishment. To learn more about the educational foundation, please visit www.dphie.org/scholarships.

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About Delta Phi Epsilon

Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority is an organization dedicated to creating a global network of future women leaders. DPhiE was founded on March 17, 1917 at New York University Law School as a social organization for women. The mission is to provide a sisterhood experience rich with tradition, innovation and opportunities for growth. Learn more about Delta Phi Epsilon at www.dphie.org.


Delta Phi Epsilon Mourns the Loss of Notable Alumnae, Judy Heumann

Philadelphia, PA – It is with heavy hearts that Delta Phi Epsilon mourns the loss of notable alumnae, trailblazer and activist Judith “Judy” Heumann who passed away on the afternoon of March 4, 2023. Judy was known internationally as a pioneer in disability rights and was at the forefront of prominent demonstrations and passing legislation that protected the rights of disabled people. 

Born in 1947 to Ilse and Werner Heumann, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she contracted polio at age two and lost her ability to walk. Her activist career started in the 1970s in New York, where she sued the New York Board of Education for refusing to give her a teaching license, which she later won and became the first teacher in the state to use a wheelchair. 

Within the decade, Judy helped lead a historic non-violent protest in support of the Rehabilitation Act, specifically section 504, which would outlaw disability discrimination for institutions that receive federal funds. Judy, only 29 at the time, organized the occupation of a San Francisco federal building for almost a complete month with support coming from San Francisco’s mayor, George Moscone, and the Black Panther party. This demonstration would lead to Judy testifying in a special congressional hearing which facilitated the later passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Judy served as an official in the Clinton administration and a special advisor to the Obama administration’s State Department. She helped found the Berkley Center for Independent Living, the Independent Living Movement, and the World Institute on Disability; and served on the boards of the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, and many more.

In 1966, prior to her many accomplishments and accolades, Judy was initiated into Delta Phi Epsilon in the Upsilon chapter at Long Island University, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in 1969. Committed to the sisterhood, Judy, just as recently as of July 2022, held a fireside chat for our members at our International Leadership Forum to speak, inspire, and educate our members about disability advocacy and her work. 

While we could go on about her many accomplishments and accolades, Judy to us was a sister, a vital part of the fabric of the modern Delta Phi Epsilon. She constantly reminded us, like our founders, that justice is rooted in equality and that it’s something to be cherished and for which to fight.

“Some people say that what I did changed the world,” Judy wrote, “But really, I simply refused to accept what I was told about who I could be. And I was willing to make a fuss about it.”

 

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About Delta Phi Epsilon, Inc.

Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority was founded on March 17, 1917 at New York University Law School as a social organization for women. The mission is to provide a sisterhood experience rich with tradition, innovation and opportunities for growth. Learn more about Delta Phi Epsilon at www.dphie.org.

 


IGB Blog Series: Carolina Yera

Carolina is a first-generation Cuban-American, born and raised in Miami, FL. She became a member of Delta Phi Epsilon at Florida International University (Alpha Gamma), where she studied Psychology and Education. Upon graduating, she began volunteering for DPhiE and has since served on our National Panhellenic Conference Delegation, Event and Conferences Planning Committee, Ritual Review Committee, Programming Review Committee, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee among several others. In addition to serving her first term on the International Governing Board, she is a proud long-term Chapter Advisory Board member at the University of Miami (Omega Chapter).

Initially, Carolina dreamt of being a Speech Pathologist but realized she had more impact in a classroom than in a therapy session. She began her career in education as an ESE (Exceptional Student Education) Teacher at an early intervention school for children with Autism at NOVA Southeastern University and still remains in contact with the families she has worked with over the years. After stepping out of the classroom, she began consulting with early childhood programs and teachers around the state, as well as in Georgia for the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and The Autism Consortium at NSU. She is now a team lead at the Early Learning Coalition of Miami Dade & Monroe and coordinates assessments and support for high-risk, federally funded programs in South Florida.

Earlier this year, Carolina purchased her first home and is now forever decorating and rearranging furniture. She enjoys the company of her 17-year-old min-pin Rocco, collecting vintage (clothes, décor, books), Marlins baseball, traveling, advocating, rescuing animals, and attending ILF (she hasn’t missed one since she’s been initiated).

Why do you volunteer for Delta Phi Epsilon?

DPhiE has helped me grow as an individual and my sisters have supported me through the good and not-so-good moments in my lifetime. My intention is to ensure that this wonderful, empowering support system is accessible for years to come. Since graduating 17 years ago, the sisters I have met as a volunteer and as an alum continue to fill my cup and show me what it means to be a sister and a DPhiE; they inspire me to continue to give back, and fight for change.

What do you hope to accomplish while serving on the International Governing Board? Or what do you bring to the table? 

I am a very vocal, passionate person, and I hope to acknowledge and provide a platform for all those that do not feel heard. I believe we all have something to learn from each other and no one sister is more important than another.  I have worked in education my entire career, as well as served as an advisor and consultant for over 10 years; I believe my background will help me effectively play “devil’s advocate” in order to ensure best practices are implemented.

Favorite Delta Phi Epsilon memory?

Chapter Thursdays, lining up in scroll order, in our chapter jerseys, and spilling into the room and having the opportunity to catch up with everyone before and after our weekly meeting. Founders Day Camping trips where anything and everything could happen. Never missing a Convention (now known as ILF) and getting to meet and mingle with incredibly like-minded sisters from around the country who are now some of my most treasured friends. 

How has Delta Phi Epsilon impacted your life?

I am a first-generation Cuban- American, this sisterhood has helped me navigate college, careers, relationships, and loss. The support, guidance, and brutal honesty of my sisters have helped me grow, succeed, and heal. This sisterhood has provided me with a family, especially after the loss of mine. I am forever inspired by the strength and empathy of our members.

If you could tell an undergraduate sister one thing, what would it be?

I hope you never lose the excitement of reuniting with sisters or meeting a new sister. I hope you realize that this is something that extends far beyond your family tree/mc and your chapter. I hope you take this privileged opportunity to grow and lift those around you. I hope you get the opportunity to experience the many levels of sisterhood in DPhiE despite any temporary obstacles you may have to learn from. We know you are the future of this organization and we believe in you.

 

 

This blog series is to highlight the members of the International Governing Board who transitioned into their roles at the 2022  International Leadership Forum. The International Governing Board focuses on the overall governance of the sorority and strategic planning for each biennium. These positions are elected every two years.


Delta Phi Epsilon Mourns the Loss of Notable Alumna

Philadelphia, PA – It is with heavy hearts that Delta Phi Epsilon mourns the loss of notable alumna, long-time donor and friend Phyllis Kossof. The Delta chapter alumna passed on November 15, 2022, at the age of 96.

“Phyllis was a dear friend and ardent supporter of Delta Phi Epsilon. Her determination and commitment to our sorority inspired me alongside so many other people, whom she touched with her rare combination of kindness and gumption.” said Nicole L. DeFeo, International Executive Director.

Phyllis, an accomplished professional and staunch philanthropist, is remembered as a true embodiment of Delta Phi Epsilon values. She dedicated her philanthropic and advocacy efforts to the funding and research of cystic fibrosis (CF), inspired by her late daughter Stephanie who was diagnosed in early childhood with the disease. With an incredible sense of love and justice, Phyllis joined together with her husband, Burton, and other CF patient parents to found the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). 

In 1957, Phyllis came to our convention and shared her endeavors during an emotional presentation. As a result, Delta Phi Epsilon designated the CFF our philanthropy. Since that day, sisters from every chapter have supported the CFF mission. Delta Phi Epsilon has donated more than $1 million to research in the pursuit of curing cystic fibrosis and in the bonds of sisterhood.

Her daughter, Stephanie, unfortunately, passed at the age of 19 during her first year at Barnard College. This did not deter Phyllis in her advocacy of the CFF though, she would be quoted in 2014 saying, “After she died, I cut back working in CF for a few years. But then you think, ‘She was my child, and if I cared for her and loved her when she was alive, why would I abandon her in death?’ So I continued on to help others – to help others to validate her life.”

Always looking for ways to leave the world better than she found it, Phyllis founded and established many distinguished programs and lecture series including the ground-breaking Stephanie Lynn Kossoff Cystic Fibrosis Lectureship Columbia Presbyterian; The Burton Kossoff Baruch College Business Lectureship; The Phyllis Kossoff Hunter College/Roosevelt House Lectureship Series; and The Phyllis Kossoff Columbia University Teachers College Lectureship

“The Kossof legacy will live on through every dollar our members raise to move closer to the day when CF stands for Cure Found.” shares DeFeo.

Phyllis is predeceased by her daughter Stephanie and husband Burton. She is survived by her son Mitchell and his wife, Pamela, four grandsons and a great-granddaughter.

Although the world is dimmed without Phyllis’s bright light in it, she leaves an everlasting legacy through her community and those she impacted. She will remain a shining example of advocacy, leadership and love for generations to come through her philanthropic work. 

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About Delta Phi Epsilon, Inc.

Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority was founded on March 17, 1917 at New York University Law School as a social organization for women. The mission is to provide a sisterhood experience rich with tradition, innovation and opportunities for growth. Learn more about Delta Phi Epsilon at www.dphie.org.


Planting to Feed

After graduating from Wesley College in 2016, Jessica Wescott, an alumna from the Beta Nu chapter, found herself looking for ways to provide for herself and others, thus Planting to Feed was born.

“I was broke after college and I needed to supplement my grocery bill so I started to grow food on my own,” said Jessica. “But then I started to think, ‘OK, I can’t be the only person who has a job but can’t afford food.’ So a small group of people from my church and I began growing food for my local community and it took off from there.”

Planting to Feed is a non-profit organization that is on a mission to provide quality food to those who are hungry or may be suffering from homelessness. The organization offers various foods including fruits, vegetables, bread products, proteins, non perishables and more.

The group initially hosted monthly free meals to the public but with COVID-19 restrictions, Jessica and her team were forced to think outside the box to find ways they could continue to help those in need. They decided to do drive-through resource fairs throughout last year offering not only food but narcan education and kits, COVID cleaning kits, mental health support, flu shots, and menstrual cycle supplies as well. In December, Planting to Feed became the first organization to offer a community fridge in the state of Delaware. The community fridge is always stocked and is available to anyone who is in need of food. As of right now there is only one community fridge, as well as two gardens, but Jessica and her team are working hard to have at least two more by mid 2021. 

For Jessica, service became a passion once joining DPhiE. She shared that she learned how to do service in a structured way through her chapter. Jessica also noted her love and appreciation for her DPhiE sisterhood, “I count on my sisterhood, I tap into them whenever I need to, and they do the same. I really feel like we have a strong support system of sisters here in Delaware, I’m really not sure where I would be without my sisters.”
Donations to contribute to Planting to Feed can be made at https://www.plantingtofeed.org/donate. Jessica also encourages those who want to donate their time, talents, and resources to contact her at contact@plantingtofeed.com.


A Different Path to Sisterhood

The alumnae initiate program provides the opportunity for individuals to join Delta Phi Epsilon that did not have the opportunity to join through traditional collegiate recruitment. Alumnae initiates are sisters, friends, mothers and daughters that share the same values and ideals as all DPhiE members. While their path to sisterhood may be different, alumnae initiate members participate in meaningful training and are initiated with all of the same rights and responsibilities as alumnae members. This could not be more true for Mother/Daughter trio Ann, Erica  and Melissa Neuburger who are now all DPhiE sisters thanks to the alumnae initiate program.

Ann was a founding sister of the Epsilon Iota chapter at SUNY Geneseo. Because she joined the Spring semester of her senior year, she missed out on a lot of the traditional chapter experiences such as recruitment, ceremonies and having a little sister. As her daughters, Erica and Melissa, went off to college she watched them grow into Amazing young women. She stated, “They were smart, independent minded and caring. I hoped they would find friends, learn about themselves and expand their interests as well as doing well in their studies.” The sisters were very involved in college – between the two of them participating in clubs, newspaper, radio stations, tv stations, fundraising, work, internships and volunteering. Ann hoped that they would be able to join DPhiE and though they looked into it on campus, it didn’t work out to be in their paths at the time.

While in an alumnae facebook page, Ann learned about the alumnae initiate program. After learning more information on the DPhiE website she was so excited for the possibility of her daughters joining DPhiE! Ann stated, “I was so excited because it was an opportunity for a different path for women to become alumna of DPhiE who had aligning values and characteristics. While this path does not give you the collegiate experience, it gives you the lasting aspects of all the support, connections and opportunities that a national sorority has to offer across the country and internationally. It goes beyond college.”

After writing letters of reference for both of her daughters to participate in the alumnae initiate program, they waited anxiously to hear if they were accepted. After both were accepted, Erica was initiated in June 2018 and Melissa was initiated in October 2019. Ann stated “I could not be more proud to have my daughters accepted into DPhiE and being able to share that experience with them. Now they are my sisters and, in a way, the “little” sisters I never had the chance to have in college.”

Another member that went through the alumnae initiate program was Amber Myer. Never seeing herself as a sorority women in college, she did not think greek life was a good fit for her. After graduating with her masters in College Student Affairs, she began working at the University of Tampa. Around this time, Delta Phi Epsilon rechartered the Delta Upsilon chapter at The University of Tampa. While rechartering many DPhiE sisters and staff were on campus working to recruit new members into the chapter. Amber stated that she “Met the DPhiE staff during their interviews to recolonize at UT and immediately clicked with them. I just felt they were different (in the best way) and an organization I could see myself belonging and contributing to.” 

While her experience has been unique given the global pandemic, she has already started connecting with DPhiE. Joining the Tampa Bay Alumnae Association and participating on the leadership team in the “Good and Welfare” role she had the opportunity to meet more sisters in her area. In her role she has had fun sending out birthday and holiday cards to the Tampa Bay Alumnae Association members and spreading joy from afar. She also connects with the Delta Upsilon chapter as their on campus advisor.

Amber did not know her sponsor, Jennifer Vasquez, prior to joining DPhiE. It was a match made in history – Amber shared that “She was just the best and welcomed me with open arms.” The trainings were held virtually through weekly podcast episodes as well as follow up conversations and virtual activities with her sponsor. Amber and Jennifer continue to connect as they are both on the leadership team for the Tampa Bay Alumnae Association.

For anyone considering joining DPhiE as an alumna, Amber shared that “Joining has been nothing short of a positive experience. For me, it was about opening my heart to a group of women who are eager to know me and support me. I didn’t know how much I longed for those kind of relationships until I discovered DPhiE. As you move forward in life, social circles get smaller and smaller. Joining DPhiE as an alumna is the perfect way to form a new circle and create new and meaningful relationships.”

While their paths to sisterhood may look different, they share the same passion for Delta Phi Epsilon! If you would like to learn more about the alumnae initiate program, please email mcrouse@dphie.org.


DPhiE on the Frontline

Sister Abby Dobrinick (Gamma Alpha, Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville) has spent this year working as a nurse on the frontlines of the pandemic. Prior to COVID -19, Abby would move around to different areas of focus at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. She would find out day by day which area needed her support the most. Since March, Abby has spent the majority of her time working in the COVID unit.

When asked what her high point of the year was, Abby shared “It would be the small moments. The extra Facetimes with my family, the excessive takeout and movie watching with my fiance and the happy you feel when you finally see your family.” As someone that prides herself on being a homebody, she realized even more so the importance of family. Her low point of the year was the unthinkable amount of death. She shared, “It’s the most I’ve ever seen in my entire career. With patients’ families unable to hold their hand or give them one last hug, we are the ones Facetiming those families and hearing their last words. Our hearts are breaking and we are holding back so many tears behind those masks and face shields.”

Abby has relied on her DPhiE sisters as a strong support system this year. She shared, “DPhiE gave me lifelong friends. Many of them are the ones I call and text after a long day.” She also has enjoyed following along with her chapter, Gamma Alpha, this year. Seeing how they adapted and made the best of the situation this year. “I love to see that they are still recruiting, raising money for our philanthropies and loving each other in sisterhood despite the challenges.”

For any sisters considering to go into the healthcare field, Abby encourages you to DO IT! “This job might be stressful, but it is so rewarding! Find your support system, hospital you love and a great team and you won’t regret it. This year has been hard but with the right people by your side, it makes everything ok.”

Abby received the COVID vaccine this week and is feeling well. She urges sisters to trust the hospitals and doctors, “We have to continue to persevere through this together. The vaccine is a turning point but it’s going to take time to get back to normal. It is a light in a very dark world. I encourage everyone to do their research, stay informed, get the vaccine, wear a mask, wash your hands and be kind to one another.” Keep our healthcare workers in your thoughts and do your part! We are so thankful for the work Abby is doing to serve her community.

Abby Dobrinick is an alumna member of the Gamma Alpha chapter at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville. She is currently a nurse working at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.