In honor of International Badge Day 2021, Alpha Delta Pi wants to celebrate the six sorority and foundation staff members who are members of other National Panhellenic Conference groups. These sisters wear different letters, but share the same love and dedication to Alpha Delta Pi.
Amy Poklinkoski, Alpha Omicron Pi — University of Colorado, Boulder
Being a member of Alpha Omicron Pi and wearing my badge signifies family to me. This organization changed my life many times since that first decision to initiate in 2002! I joined because of a sister who eventually became my Big Sis. Thanks to her I had an amazing home to live in during college, had sisters that showed up whenever they were needed, and got to share an even closer bond with my Mom. My Mom went to a small college in Wisconsin that didn’t have sororities, so when I was a junior in college, I got the privilege of standing by her side as she initiated into AOII! The badge I wear today is the one I pinned on her during initiation which makes it even more special to me when I wear it now!
After college I had no idea what I wanted to do which led to me working five totally random jobs (and I didn’t like any of them), so when I saw AOII international headquarters was hiring I gave it a go. Three months later I moved to Nashville and began working in their properties department. This opportunity developed into many wonderful working friendships leading to my role with one of our vendor partners. It was that step that introduced me to Cassie Sherry, ADPi’s Director of Housing, and here I am working for Alpha Delta Pi as the Housing Coordinator. It may be a different Greek middle letter, but the passion for the organization and for the beautiful facilities they call home is just the same! The NPC connection and bond really feels like we are all sisters, and I feel like I fit right in! My daughter even has an ADPi Alphie stuffy to go with her AOII pandas!
Amy (left) and her mom at initiation.
Liz Danko, Alpha Phi — Beta Omicron, Bowling Green
I was welcomed into Alpha Phi in 2012 and knew right away that it was the place for me – absolutely zero doubts because they accepted me just as I was. What I didn’t know was that these women would completely define my collegiate experience. I was extremely involved on campus and looking back, I don’t think I would have done any of that if it weren’t for Alpha Phi giving me the confidence to try. Most significantly, my junior year I was encouraged by my Big to become a Rho Gamma. I still have the letter of recommendation she wrote for me! Becoming a Rho Gam and serving the Panhellenic community is still one of my favorite memories from college because I gained a new appreciation for just how significant my Alpha Phi friendships were to me. It’s cheesy but coming back to them on bid day was super emotional. I wasn’t finding my home; I was returning to it.
My university has 12 sororities and by my senior year, I was so fortunate to have a friendship in each one of them. My Rho Gam experience and the friendships with these women taught me that although Alpha Phi is the best place for me, there is a home for everyone and that no one sorority loves their sisters more than the next. When I was offered a job with the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation, I could already appreciate the love these women felt for their sisterhood, despite it not being my own. And it didn’t take very long for me to get wrapped up in all of that love! ADPi didn’t care that I wore different letters; in fact, they celebrated them. I was accepted as a Panhellenic sister the same way that Alpha Phi accepted me as one of their own.
I used to think it was just something we said in recruitment, “It’s not four years, it’s for life” but I’ve been proven wrong. Life has gotten busy since graduation, but I still talk to my chapter sisters almost daily, as well as a few Panhellenic friends. I fly back to Ohio from Atlanta once or twice a year for a reunion. I’ve run into chapter sisters I haven’t spoken to in a few years, and it was almost as if no time had passed. It’s really a beautiful thing to share friendships like that. Life goes on, people grow up, get married, and have kids, but even amongst all of these changes, we’re not strangers – we’re still sisters.
Benna Curole, Alpha Sigma Tau — Oglethorpe University
International Badge Day is one of my favorite days of the year because we’re celebrating all organizations and not just our own! It’s nice to have a designated day to show off how proud we are to be sorority and fraternity women. I feel very lucky to work for an organization that uplifts and supports all Greek organizations.
Andrea Kleekamp, Kappa Alpha Theta — Kansas State
As a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, I have found sisterhood is not solely confined to my own letters. As chapter president of the Delta Eta chapter (Kansas State University), I first found Panhellenic community and connection with the 10 other chapter presidents on my campus. We were the only people who knew the unique challenges we were navigating, and it was so comforting to have a group of Panhellenic sisters there for me as I navigated my presidency. That love and appreciation for Panhellenic has persisted through my career. I spent most of my years as a campus-based fraternity/sorority professional advising Panhellenic. Many of the collegians and alumnae I met through this work are still dear friends today. For me, it was never about the letters, rather it was about collaboratively promoting an experience that uplifted and empowered women. Working for an organization that is not my own is about furthering my commitment to the Panhellenic experience and what I believe sorority can be. I have always believed a sorority should be the best place to have conversations around health, safety and wellbeing, and I love promoting that message and work through my job in Alpha Delta Pi each and every day. NPC Badge Day is a day for me to remember the oaths I took as a Theta, and it’s a day to remember my love and appreciation for so many Panhellenic sisters who have had and continue to have a positive influence in my life.
Andrea (left) and the Panhellenic chapter presidents she advised in one of her previous roles at Texas A&M.
Amanda Fishman, Pi Beta Phi – FL Alpha (Stetson University)
When I thought of what college would look like for me, I (and no one else in my life) EVER imagined being involved with a Greek-letter organization. Now, here I am making a career out of being in one!
While it is not my own organization, I’m still at home working here. You see, being involved in a Panhellenic organization comes with a lot of things, but at its core it comes with responsibility to cultivate community and support among women. Because when we do that, we all advance, and we can then do more for others. Yes, there is all the fun and memory making too, but what women don’t (and probably shouldn’t) realize is that sorority is designed to enhance your development throughout college.
So what sorority is giving and asking of you go hand-in-hand, which is why it is almost guaranteed that you will have the chance at an incredible experience. ‘Incredible’ does not always equate to happy and positive; in fact, it is defined as ‘extraordinary’. It is not impossible to find, but where else can you find the chance at extraordinary on a college campus? Anyway, I get to do that work – cultivating extraordinary.
It does not matter what letters I am working for – I am not all convinced our founders demanded that we know their names as well as what they wanted for us. Pi Phi showed me what to look for in valuable relationships, how to trust them even in trying times, and to promote the very best in and in those around me. I use those values and lessons every day in my work. It is a joy to show that to other ADPi’s while also learning from them. This International Badge Day means a little extra this year – I don’t get to wear my badge out and about as we continue to practice safe distance and being as remote as possible. I get to sit with my badge today, to wear it for me. To remind me of all of this and why sorority continues to be as important as ever.
Amanda (left) and a Pi Phi sister.
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