This past June, Sigma Delta Tau announced the Individual National Awards for the 2015-2016 academic year, recognizing 23 individual sisters in nine categories for their outstanding accomplishments. These women are setting the bar for not only their chapters, but sisters nationwide as well! We caught up with seven sisters to find out the story behind the award.
Hall of Fame – Jordan Fink, Gamma Pi-University of Tampa
Recent graduate from the University of Tampa, Jordan Fink, is now starting her journey as a National Leadership Consultant and is excited to stay involved with SDT. Fink’s health and wellness program, “Be The BeSDT You: Empowering Women One Girl at a Time,” included interactive workshops and educational seminars to raise awareness about self esteem and body image issues. Fink notes that the event had a strong impact within her chapter and the Panhellenic community, and can’t wait to see it grow in the future. “This organization has given me every type of opportunity, friendship and support I’ve needed over the last four years,” she said. “So to be recognized by women that I so highly look up to is very rewarding.”
The Hall of Fame Award was given to 12 outstanding seniors this year.
Ruth Metzger Katz Outstanding Junior Award – Kelly McDonald, Delta Alpha-Eastern Michigan University
McDonald states that her favorite moments in SDT have been receiving the Outstanding Junior award, the Big/Little reveal party when she got her two littles, and being elected President of her chapter. “Being president has taught me that it is okay to ask for help,” she said, “If I look back years from now at my time as president and remember one thing, it will be how powerful and important sisterhood is.” Noting that Greek life as a whole is only about 1% of EMU’s student body, McDonald said that being recognized nationally allowed her to look back on the past year with pride.
Outstanding Sophomore Award – Julia Locke, Chi-University of Michigan
Julia, currently the Vice President of External Affairs for the Chi chapter, states that one of her proudest moments in SDT was having the opportunity to meet with the Office of Greek Life, the Dean and the Vice President of the university and express how much SDT means to her and the rest of the Chi chapter. Noting that SDT has made such an impact on her during her college life, Locke states that being awarded Outstanding Sophomore reassures her of her ability to be a leader; something she never pictured herself doing. “Being recognized means a lot to me,” she said. “Our chapter’s advisors and the national team has been extremely supportive of us over the past two years and I am so appreciative of everything they have done.”
Outstanding New Member Award – Jordan Brown, Alpha Iota-Tulane University
Jordan Brown, daughter Leslie Brown, National Council member and past National Vice President, knows that SDT will be a part of her life forever, saying, “SDT is something that will always connect me to my values and some of the best times and people.” As President of her New Member Class, Brown recalls a New Member bonding activity where she was encouraged to share what she hoped to gain from joining SDT, saying that she wanted a strong sisterhood and lifelong friendships. Knowing that she’ll continue to be involved in SDT down the road, Brown said, “I never joined with the pretense that it was just a four-year commitment.”
Regene Freund Cohane Outstanding Chapter President Award – Nicki Gold, Chi, University of Michigan
Nicki Gold states that she’s learned an incredible amount from being chapter president. “I’ve learned how to interact with people, how to manage a group of peers, how to delegate, how to be fair and considerate, and I’ve really learned a lot of leadership skills as a whole from this entire experience,” she says. Noting that her chapter worked really hard lately to get through some tough times, Gold says it’s so special to be recognized on a national level. She says, “It was extremely gratifying to be recognized for all of the hard work that our entire chapter put in this past year.”
Patricia Jackson Linderman Outstanding Chapter Treasurer Award – Madeleine Schwab, Gamma Tau-Columbia
Madeleine Schwab is proud to have held a leadership position every semester of her time in SDT, saying, “Serving as Treasurer, I learned how to build and manage a budge, increase financial accountability, stay organized, navigate difficult situations and collaborate with many different kinds of people,” she said, remarking that serving as Treasurer was one of her favorite college experiences. Schwab enjoyed being involved in every event and activity her chapter took part in, saying that she often communicated with sisters, set up payment plans and managed the chapter’s scholarship fund.
Harriet Burgheim Rodenberg Panhellenic Leadership Award – Samantha Ottinger, Gammu Mu-Northeastern University
Samantha Ottinger recalls many moments that made her proud to be a Sig Delt, including watching her chapter’s newest members eagerly answer questions and participate during an orientation program. “To be completely honest, I haven’t experienced a moment where I wasn’t proud of my chapter. I’ve always worn my letters with love and pride,” she sais. During her time serving on the Panhellenic Council at Northeastern, Ottinger learned invaluable information about being a sister, a leader and a friend. Recalling her surprise when given this award, she said, “I feel deeply appreciative of the women who came before me and proud of the women following me.”
Chickie Loewenstein Outstanding Chapter Advisor Award – Megan Lilly, Gamma Delta-American University
Megan Lilly has advised Gamma Phi-York College of PA, Gamma Chi-SUNY Geneseo, and Gamma Kappa-SUNY Oswego, saying “I worked with these three amazing chapters on a daily basis to help them reach their goals and exceed the standards of chapter achievement.” She notes that the chapters she advises have won numerous pearls, chapter awards and individual awards, and this year at Leadership School she received her Five Year Service Pin. “I think my chapters know this, but advisors are not scary people who are out to get chapters in trouble,” she said. “We truly love SDT too and want to see you and your chapter grow and develop into the best representation of SDT possible.”
By Kelly Potts, Gamma Xi-Montclair State University (2015). Kelly is a volunteer feature and blog writer for Sigma Delta Tau.