NEC Spotlight: Marissa Loterina, National Director of Region 1

Marissa Loterina, Zeta Colony Founder

Marissa Loterina, Zeta Colony Founder

Marissa Loterina began her Gamma Eta experience in Fall of 2009, founding Zeta Colony at the University of Georgia. While pursuing her degree in International Affairs and Sociology with a minor in Spanish, she interned at EMILY’s List and the Office of Presidential Correspondence at the White House, located in Washington, DC. She also studied abroad in Stellenbosch, South Africa, where she taught adults basic computer skills and interacted with children. As a result of this and other past experiences, she became interested in educating individuals in developing countries about their human rights, health, and the skills needed to develop personal goals. Marissa is currently attending the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver where she is pursuing a Master of Arts in International Development.  Her personal interests include music, art, photography, traveling, learning languages, and having fun with her family and friends!


Wow. The White House. Was it everything you expected?
I came in with no expectations. I was just excited to be working at the White House and for those of you who don’t already know, I  LOVE President Obama. I even call him my boyfriend, (yeah, it’s that bad). I find him very attractive and a strong leader for our country. I knew it would be a lot of work and super intense. I worked in the Office of Presidential Correspondence in the Greetings Department. We got wedding invitations, birthday greetings requests, 70th wedding anniversaries, and 101st birthdays! It was amazing! Also, it was great when we got baby announcements and pictures from every day Americans. We would hang them in the office. Of course we received hate mail and had to read some discouraging things about how people were losing their homes or had been without work. I’ll tell you want, it was so much more than I expected. There was loads of work and we always had something to do, but it would be so great when a letter came in for our staff. They would say something like “thank you for honoring our request. My dad or my mom got her birthday card from the President and now has it framed in her living room” Being able to make someone’s day was so fulfilling for us. We actually made a difference in people’s lives and even if it was a birthday card or a signed picture of the President, we knew people would cherish that for the rest of their lives.

What was the best part of your experience in South Africa?
It was just awesome overall. Gosh, everything. I guess the best part of my experience was actually getting to work in the community. We taught adults basic computer skills in a township. They didn’t even know what a mouse was. I also worked and played with the kids, which was the most rewarding. When you study abroad, you usually go do the touristy things. You don’t realize that there are a lot of issues that are happening all around you. There are people still living in shacks. It makes you appreciate everything that you take for granted. It made the experience more real for me. 

Who is your role model?
There’s so many people. My mom is very inspirational. If you ask me where all this passion comes from, it comes from her. She went to college, but had to stop after she became a teenage mom. She made that sacrifice, but I knew that I was very important to her, so I made sure I went to school. I hope I can be half the woman that she is when I am older. Chris Medrano is my other role model. She is my big and she has done a lot for the sisterhood. She’s always been very encouraging and supportive no matter what. There’s a lot that happens in college and you learn a lot about yourself. Both are very amazing women. 

What is the strangest sentence you can say in a foreign language?
There’s a saying in a lot of Hispanic cultures, it’s not the strangest thing, but it’s about a frog’s butt.

It’s a cold, rainy day outside. What kind of music are you listening to?
The Weeknd . He’s really mellow and a little explicit. The music is so mellow that when I listen to it on a rainy day, it makes it happy.

 

What inspired you to found Zeta Colony at UGA?When we joined, we really didn’t know what we were getting into. We were so trusting of Chris and everyone with the process, that we just went with it. We definitely felt the passion that they had. I still remember the day that I first met Chris. At first, I was like: I don’t want to join a sorority. All I’ll do is party and drink. Then I saw Chris with a pamphlet and she kept looking at me. She kept talking to me, as if she really wanted me to join. I had also been approached by an Asian interest sorority. That was how it started, when I went home that night with Chris’s pamphlet. My great aunt is a breast cancer survivor, so it ended up being very personal for me. I am also multiracial and I’ve always felt like I didn’t know which “side” to choose. Choosing a diverse sorority meant that I wouldn’t have to choose a side. I knew it was the right direction to go in. We had a two hour conversation when I called Chris. She wanted to know more about me. That’s when I knew. It has, so far, been the best experience of my life. It has given me so much confidence.

What are you hopes and dreams for Gamma Eta in the future?
I have high expectations for the sisterhood. I dream big, which is always how I’ve been. I hope we can develop as women, as a sisterhood and become more involved. I just really want sisters to feel the passion on the first day they joined and never let that feeling die. I hope to see Gamma Eta go international, that would be so awesome. I love Gamma Eta, and everyone else should too!

Gamma Eta Week 2014: Bleed Purple and Teal

It’s a very little known fact, but Gamma Etas do indeed bleed purple and teal. Gamma Chapter at the University of Arkansas made believers out of naysayers with their week of Gamma Eta celebration, showcasing their passion and dedication to the sisterhood.

Power of Diversity in the University of Arkansas Student Union

Power of Diversity in the University of Arkansas Student Union

Even in comparison to the multiculturalism of the national sisterhood, Gamma Chapter is very diverse, with sisters from Indian, Korean, African American, Vietnamese, Filipino, Caucasian, Hmong, Hispanic, Uzbek and European backgrounds. It’s no surprise that the climax of Gamma Eta Week at the University of Arkansas was an event called “Power of Diversity”.

Power of Diversity celebrated the diversity and unity of Gamma Eta, honoring the sisterhood’s respective pillars. The event was held in the Student Union, consisting of stations that each represented a subset of ethnic backgrounds. At each station, a sister had an activity ready, from henna tattoos to board games that engaged passing students. “It was great getting to see how the campus reacted to us as a sorority,” said Porlai Lor, Public Relations Chair of Gamma Chapter, of her first time hosting Gamma Eta Week. “[Power of Diversity] shows how different Gamma Eta is and how we unite with each other.” 
Quiz Bowl participants during Gamma Eta Week

Participants of the women empowerment quiz bowl

Another one of Gamma Chapter’s successful events, “Women, Feel the Power Through Your Veins”, welcomed members of the Greek community to compete in a quiz bowl on topics of women empowerment. Representatives of Tau Beta Sigma, Phi Iota Alpha and Sigma Iota Alpha attended the event, supporting the ladies.

Great job Gamma Chapter! We are looking forward to your future events!

Follow Gamma Chapter on:
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Twitter

Spotted: Maia Faulk

Maia Faulk, Beta Chapter

Maia Faulk, Beta Chapter

This week’s spotlight is on  Beta Chapter’s sister, Maia Faulk. As a criminal justice/social welfare graduate, this hardworking sunflower was asked a few questions in order for the whole sisterhood to be acquainted with her in a more personal matter.

Q. Why did you choose Gamma Eta Sorority, Inc.?
A. I chose Gamma Eta because I wanted to belong to something bigger than myself. I moved to Jacksonville with no friends and I was very lonely. Gamma eta was the sorority that had values that I was looking for, also gamma eta was a sorority that I knew would accept me for me. I had been looking and researching gamma eta for a long time and finally sent an email to the vp’s email address with a nudge from my boyfriend.

Q. What is your greatest accomplishment?
A. My greatest accomplishment is graduating college with my bachelors’ degree being the first in my family to do so despite growing up without my parents in my life.

Q. If you can pick any superpower what would it be and why?
A. If I had to choose a superpower it would be to be able to be invisible whenever I wanted to be. I think I would choose invisibility because you can find out so many things about people and bout the world. I could also help people without them finding out about it.

I asked this lovely lady what has she been up to since graduation in December 2013 and she said, “I got my first job I am a Family Case Manager with One Hope United a private non profit human service organization that is dedicated to protecting children and strengthening families. I have been enjoying life. I was just accepted into Nova Southeastern University to obtain a masters degree in leadership with a concentration in education.”

It’s absolutely amazing to see and hear about sisters changing the world and their community one step at a time. The spotlight is on you Maia!

Spring Break Survival Guide: The Do’s and Don’t’s

Springbreak2014

Sunshine and sun block are the very few things that college students anticipate the most. After the numerous amounts of tests and the piles of homework, students just want to sit back and enjoy some time off. of course, there’s always a safe way to enjoy the not-long-enough break so here are the do’s and dont’s of spring break.

DO wear sunblock! The worst part about vacationing is having to worry about a painful sunburn. Trying to get a good tan? Olive oil is the solution! It’s great for tanning and very gentle on your skin.

DO the math. Yes, we have all heard that spring break partying is a once in a lifetime thing. But who wants to go back to school broke?

DO plan out the trip! It’s always best to do some research of the vacation spot and figure out expenses in order to split everything evenly with whomever you are travelling with.

DON’T party alone. It’s always best to have a sober friend with you just so the both of you (or the group of you) can get back to your hotel safely.

DON’T lose your wallet! In the midst of everything it is always common to forget about being cautious of your valuables. Always randomly check your pockets to make sure your wallet and phone are with you and ladies, never leave your purse! Remember, wherever you travel, the locals will always be looking for the lonely wallets and purses.

DON’T forget to have fun! Make memories! Spring break comes once a year like Christmas so it’s best to make it memorable. Just remember, you can party hard, but party safe!

R.I.P. The Runway

At Jacksonville University, Gamma Eta’s Delta Chapter held Gamma Eta Week during the last week of February. On Friday, Gamma Eta Sorority, Inc. and the Black Student Union worked together to host a fashion show. Five Gamma Eta’s lovely ladies were models for the show and their opinions of the show and their involvement were all positive.
The show consisted of Tiffany Davis from the Bad Girls Club as their host, as well as a local comedian and local artists. The show was a knockout and according to Vice President of Delta Chapter, Marissa Haslett, the organization and planning of the show was, ” approximately from October to February. I am very pleased with the turnout. All the models did great and I am so so pleased to have 75 VIP seats sold out and 100+ in attendance.”
The outfits that were modeled were entertaining as well as bold and were donated by Greek Divine, Brothers and Sisters Greek Store, and two fashion designers. Carmen Carlisle was responsible for the women’s fashion and Muffin Edwards was responsible for the men’s fashion. There were some models that even showed a variety of culture with their choice of outfits, which made the show all the more entertaining. Some of the models were Greek and it’s always great to see Greek organizations volunteering tedious time to support a cause. Dexter Overall, a brother of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and also an advisor for BSU said, “It is exciting to recognize all of the organizations that came together to make this happen.”
Some may find their involvement as a model an honor, but to some, like Delta Chapter’s sister Janay Clay, it was not only an honor but also a personal breakthrough. When asked about her opinion of the show, she mentioned her self esteem and her involvement at first wasn’t a good idea. Janay was able to gain courage through this show and was excited to have done so well. As a sister, and her grand big, I could not be more proud of her and her accomplishment, her gain of self esteem, and also her help to support a great cause.
The fashion show raised $125 and it was donated to the Children With Autism Charity. The name sure did represent the fashion show because that runway really did R.I.P. It was an amazing third annual fashion show!

Sister of the Month: Aneeka Majid

Even in the midst of studying for the MCAT, Aneeka has taken charge and stepped up as Gamma Chapter’s President. She has taken the initiative to meet with each individual sister to make sure she can cater to everyone’s needs, truly demonstrating the Sisterhood Pillar. Aneeka does a wonderful job at leading her sisters and was deservedly awarded the Sister of the Year Award. Along with her Gamma Eta responsibilities, she holds high positions in other organizations, has been on the Dean’s List since freshman year, and volunteers her time at the animal shelter whenever possible.
Congratulations to Aneeka for being recognized as National Sister of the Month for March 2014! Your sisterhood is grateful for your dedication.

Celebrate Women’s History Month with Gamma Eta!

Women’s History Month starts tomorrow! The theme for this year, per the National Women’s History Project, is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment”. 
For each week of this month, we want you to show us a women who has demonstrated an excellence in Character, Courage, Commitment, and, our personal favorite, Class. Also, tell us how she demonstrates this characteristic and how she has inspired you. Don’t forget to include #WHM and #gammaetasorority so we can find them! Any form of social media is fair game.
Details of each week will be released every Sunday! We look forward to seeing who inspires you to be the person you are today.

Gamma Eta Wants You to #TakeTheLead

Gamma Eta Sorority, Inc. is excited to be a partner for Take the Lead Launch! Watch the livestream on:
Wednesday, February 19th at 8pm EST, 7pm CST, 6pm MST, 5pm PST
The Take The Lead Challenge Launch Event will assist in strengthening your feminist muscle by inspiring women to step into their own power to close the pay and leadership gaps. 
The challenge theme calls women, men, and organizations to action and gives women the tools they need to succeed in work, civic leadership, and personal life. Women earn 77 cents to men’s dollar and make up half the workforce but only 18 percent of top leadership positions. The reasons have been researched ad infinitum. Take The Lead shifts the focus from problems to solutions.
If you live in the Phoenix area, consider attending the event live at Arizona State University. Otherwise, join 1 million expected participants from around the world via the free livestream, which will be hosted the website and dozens of partner websites. 
Sisters and supporters of Gamma Eta: please #TakeTheLead!

Welcome the 2014-2015 National Executive Council!

We start a new year strong with a mix of new and veteran leaders in this year’s National Executive Council! Please welcome:
National President
Angela Spoto
National Vice President
Xong Lor
National Vice President of Finance
Amanda Boak-Riggs
National Vice President of Administration
Christine Woll
National Director of Alumnae​
Nicolle Vasquez
National Director of Communications
Araceli Yanez
National Director of Philanthropy
Marianne Luis
National Director of Risk Management
Cami Castellanos
National Director of Ritual
Leilani Velazquez
We can’t wait to see what these ladies have in store!