18 Apr 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.”