Monday, March 23, 2015

Brotherhood Retreat Spring 2015 - Love You Like A Bro

One benefit of becoming a brother of the Alpha Phi chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi is the chance to attend our Brotherhood Retreat. The event, which is held once a semester, gives brothers the opportunity to bond with those they may not be close with, especially those they did not pledge with. However, this semester's retreat also opened the floor up to discussion about the state of our chapter and fostered visionary thinking on how to improve for the future.  Below, Brother Summer Slaughter, PC Spring 2014, reflects on her experience:

This past weekend at Alpha Phi’s Brotherhood Retreat, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had been to other retreats before, but I could tell that this one would be different. This was a group of 30-45 people whom I shared a deep connection with. We’d all gone through the same pledging process and become brothers; now it was time to refortify that connection and get to know each other a little bit better. 

Brotherhood retreat was an experience like no other; we got a chance to rediscover what makes us love this organization so much, while simultaneously thinking of ways to strengthen the brotherhood as a whole. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was when we would all come together and have honest and thoughtful discussions on issues that our chapter has been facing. With our brotherhood having over 140 members, it’s easy for some thoughts and suggestions to get lost, but at brotherhood retreat everyone had a fair chance to voice their opinions. Because of the intimate setting, we were able to come up with tangible and attainable plans of action to remedy those issues, and ultimately make the chapter better. 

Another thing that I enjoyed was when we all had time to write each other “Bro Mail” and explain to different people what we admire/love most about them. Over the course of the weekend, everyone had an envelope with their name on it and if you had something that you wanted to tell that person, you could write them a note and leave it in their “mailbox”. I think that this was a great activity because you never know how much you mean to some people. Being a part of a large organization can make you feel like you have drifted away from some people while growing closer to others. It was great to read how my fellow brothers felt about me, and even greater telling them how special they were to me. Overall, I’d say that this was the most effective Brotherhood Retreat that has been planned since I’ve been in this organization. It emphasized all of the teachings and core values of our organization, and helped us to appreciate each other more. 

Brotherhood. Unity. Integrity. Knowledge. Service.

Monday, February 23, 2015

PBLI Spring 2015- Orlando, Florida

This weekend a group of 32 brothers went to Alpha Kappa Psi's annual Principled Business Leaders Institute in Orlando, Florida. The event was held at the Rosen Centre Hotel.

The Principled Business Leaders Institute is designed to further professional growth for brothers by hosting a variety of activities and speakers to teach important business skills and facilitate discussion of brotherhood best practices.

The event began Friday night with an opening ceremony that featured guest speaker Kostya Kimlat, a keynote speaker on magic and business. Kimlat gave a presentation on "the magic of personalities," which taught us about how to recognize different personality types to best foster collaboration and success in groups.

Brothers then started their interactive Saturday at 8 a.m. with a regional meeting that rallied the spirit of all the chapters in the Southeast region. Throughout the day, we had breakout meetings to discuss the five building blocks to becoming a principled business leader and various educational blocks featuring topics such as choosing the right path, planning your future, and how to stand out.

While the Saturday was a very long day, all brothers were excited to learn so much valuable information that would better their future success within the brotherhood as well as in the future with potential internships and careers.

But that's not it... Four brothers from the Alpha Phi chapter participated in the case competition team and won 3rd place out of 16 participants! We are proud of their great success.

Our brotherhood also won several awards including Chapter of the Year. It's safe to say that our chapter's success comes from the boundless energy and dedication from our brothers. We are so proud to represent AKPsi and can't wait until the AKPsi convention in Norfolk, Virginia this summer!

And, as always, Go Gators! 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pro Trip: Part 2

Wow, it's been two weeks since we left Washington, D.C.! While all of us who went on the trip miss D.C., it's been great to be in the warmer weather. This is part 2 of the pro trip posts so check out the details and pictures below to see what our brothers did on Saturday and Sunday of the trip!

Saturday, Nov.22:

Our brothers broke up into different groups to tour the city. Brothers checked out the White House, the Smithsonian museums, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and so much more! Here's some of the best pictures our brothers took:

After touring the city, we went to dinner with brothers from American University and George Washington at Buca di Beppo. The food was great, but the company was even better!

Sunday, Nov.23:

Our brothers only had a few hours before we had to pack our bags up and head back home, but that didn't stop them from exploring D.C. just a little bit more!

Some brothers went to the Newseum, an interactive museum about the history of gathering news, and some went to have an organic breakfast.

We were definitely sad to leave, but we made such great memories.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Washington, D.C. Professional Trip 2014- Part 1

This past weekend from the Nov. 21-23, a pack of 28 brothers braved the cold, windy streets of Washington, D.C.! The weekend was packed full of company tours, city tourist attractions and interchapter relations.

Friday, Nov. 21 we landed in D.C. around 8:30 a.m. We then scurried to the hotel to freshen ourselves up. We toured NPR at 12 noon and then Deloitte at 3 p.m.

NPR, National Public Radio, gave us a great tour! Our brothers had the opportunities to see the Tiny Desk, hold Emmys, see a real NPR studio and so much more.

Deloitte, one of the top accounting firms in the country, also provides a wide spectrum of financial services. Deloitte consulting gave us an interactive presentation about their consulting services. We listened to a great presentation on the overview of the company and then broke up into smaller groups to network and learn more about the company.

After Deloitte, most brothers headed over to American University to see their local Alpha Kappa Psi chapter's Honor Court. It was great seeing how another university handles their honor court and mingling with all of their brothers.

We had a busy day full of great activities! We would like to give a BIG thank you to brother Sarah Van Valkenburgh for organizing the trip and all the activities we attended on Friday.

Thanks for checking out a little about our pro trip! If you would like to see what the brothers did on Saturday and Sunday check out the blog in the coming days to see part 2!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

10 Minute Mentor

Last week on Thursday, we had our semi-annual 10 Minute Mentor professional workshop!

The event was hosted like a game of musical chairs. Every speaker had 10 minutes to give a brief talk about their professional experiences and then answer questions from our brothers. After the 10 minutes were up, the brothers would switch tables to speak with a new professional.

Brothers listen intently to speaker Trevor Abbott.

Speakers included:

  • Mark Freid, creator of Think Creative Inc.,Orlando, Florida
  • Trevor Abbott, co-founder of SpinChill, Gainesville, Florida
Trevor Abbott and Blair Smith pose for a photo.

  • Brett Lackey, Geographic Information Systems, Gainesville, Florida
Brett Lackey hydrates between groups.

  • Dave Sullivan, Associate Director of Career and Leadership Programs at the University of Florida
Dave Sullivan does his signature move.

  • Keith Herndon, Associate Director for Finance and Administration at the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute
  • Jill Boylston Herndon, an associate professor for the UF College of Medicine

Our VP of Alumni, Jenna Radomsky, put on a fantastic event.

“This semester's event had an incredible turnout,” she said. “Our mentors were able to share their knowledge and experience with about 50 of our brothers and pledges—one of the largest turnouts we have had for this particular event.”

“I couldn't be happier with how successful this event was, and I look forward to seeing what future mentors share with our brotherhood,” Radomsky said.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Weekend of Unity

This weekend was all about unity for the Alpha Phi chapter! Our VP of Brotherhood, Maggie Trychel, organized events at Universal Studio's Halloween Horror Nights on Friday and a brotherhood retreat at Ginnie Springs on Saturday.

A group of about 30 brothers and guests went to HHN.

The night was filled with laughter, screams and a few tears(for the ones who couldn't handle the men with chainsaws.)

While fear is a great way to bond, we like to get to know our brothers in more calm settings as well. Our brotherhood retreat at Ginnie Springs splashed a big wave of unity on our hearts. The retreat had activities where we learned about our brother's different backgrounds,  a game of Red Rover and lots of food.

Amy Walsh, the committee chair for brotherhood retreat, said she was really proud of the retreat because it was the first one she ever planned. She was really excited that event went well with lots of brotherhood participation.

"Everyone seemed to have fun and that's all that matters," she said.

After the bonding activities we all floated down the beautiful springs to end a great day.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer Interns/Study Abroad 2014- Rachel Bowden

Rachel Bowden will be a 3rd year history student as well as the VP of professional development this fall.

From May to July this summer, Rachel was interning in the education department at the Orange County Regional History Center in Downtown Orlando. Currently, Rachel is studying abroad in Cambridge, UK.

At the History Center, Rachel was responsible for the day to day operations of their summer camp administration as well as maintaining financial records for the program. She had the chance to meet many members of the Orange County government and learned how cultural programs fit into the government system. She said it was very interesting to learn all the work that went into making an exhibit which incorporated many departments such as sales, marketing, finance and collections.

Rachel is currently on a 4 week long research-based study abroad program focused on 19th century European history. Rachel spent one week in Paris to kick start her research and is now spending three weeks at St. Edmund’s College in Cambridge to finish her research paper.

She loves being emerged in all of the history around her as well as being able to research the French colonization of Algeria during the 19th century for her paper.

“The best part is that we are able to utilize the world-famous Cambridge University Library as a resource,” she said.

We are so proud that Rachel was able to grow professionally with her internship and study abroad program this summer, and cannot wait to see the great things she does as VP this fall!