Last weekend I attended the Association of Fraternal Leadership Values conference in Indiana as a representative of William Woods Panhellenic Council. I got to go with six other William Woods students (including fellow blogger Alaina Leverenz, check out her page if you haven't!) and the Director of Student Involvement, Lacey Sweeten Randall. We took a bus with schools from the Kansas City area all the way to Indianapolis to learn more about what it means to be a leader in a Greek organization.
I was expecting to meet other Panhellenic presidents, listen to some speakers, and work with people from different fraternities and sororities across the country. What I didn't expect was how much I would learn about what it means to truly live your values as an individual and an organization. (In case you haven't heard the words Panhellenic Council before-- it's a group of women from all the Greek sororities on our campus who work together on projects and events!)
One session I went to was all about purple cows. We were told to think of things that we and our organizations do differently or better than anybody else. I have to admit that it was hard to think of those things at first. The speaker then went on to say that if you're truly sticking to a set of values and you are portraying them to the people around you, then the things that make you unique will be what you value most. When I think about my personal values, the list often gets pretty long, but after this conference I realized that the things I truly value come out in my every day actions. I'm hoping to bring this concept back to our Greek community and the other student organizations at The Woods.
I certainly learned a lot of great things at AFLV, but we also had a fun time too! I've driven through Indiana before but never had the chance to see Indianapolis and our view from the 27th floor of the hotel was beautiful. We could see the capital building and the Colts stadium. Many of the keynote speakers gave us a good laugh and there were plenty of little activities like a cupcake bar and t-shirt auction to keep us busy when we weren't in sessions. One of the coolest events was an affiliation luncheon where we got to sit and eat with all the conference attendees from different schools who are in the same fraternity or sorority as us. I met Alpha Phis from all over who served on their Panhellenic or as officers for their chapter!
I am so grateful that William Woods supports student leaders and helps provide us with opportunities like AFLV!
It has been a very busy start the semester! We're almost two weeks in and it feels like we've been here for a month! I am so glad to be back as a University Ambassador blogger. I took a semester off in the fall because I had a very demanding course load, but this semester I just couldn't stay away (despite taking an overload at 19 credit hours).
Not only do I get to give tours and write about my life here at The Woods with University Ambassadors, I am back in a riding class doing what I enjoy. Over the summer I got into a horse related accident as a veterinary assistant, so unfortunately I had to take last semester off from riding. I did, however, get to take Horse Management Practicum I, fondly referred to as keeper here on campus.
As a keeper, you're responsible for the daily care of a number of horses. Being a keeper 1 with a large crew of other people, I had two mares in the Dressage barn. I was certainly able to get my horse fix even though I wasn't riding! I knew I would learn a lot from the hands on nature of the class, but I wasn't expecting to make such a bond with my horses. I spend time with them every single day making sure they were happy and healthy, including turning them out to run around together. I was glad to get to come back and say hi to them after our long winter break, and I still catch myself trying to head out to the barn to put a blanket on, even though I'm not in charge of that anymore!
Getting back to riding has been an interesting process. I find that my ankle (which was injured) is quite stiff so it is not as easy to move the way I used to. The dressage instructor, Karen Pautz, has been wonderful in helping me figure out what types of exercises I need to do in the saddle and at the gym to get back into riding shape and work with my new limitations. It has been good to get back on the horse!
I hope you're enjoying the first month of the new year!
It has been a crazy few weeks here at The Woods! I cannot believe that finals start tomorrow. I am almost halfway through my time here at William Woods, and it is going by way too fast!
Last week I turned in several semester long papers and projects, and I gave a LEAD presentation on my mentor/mentee project. Everyone is focusing on school work to get all of the assignments turned in and to prepare for final exams.
Last weekend we had Alumni Weekend here at the Woods. A lot of people came back. At Alpha Phi we had so many of our chapter's alumnae return for a weekend of fun! It is always cool to hear about how The Woods has changed over the years, and yet the small friendly atmosphere is something everyone talks about.
In my Practical Equine Anatomy and Conditioning class, we got a fun break! We took a day to go around the barns and paint the anatomical structures of the horse. It was a good time to just take a breather from all the hustle and bustle of the end of the semester.
I am excited to be heading home in one week, but I also will miss all of the friendly faces here at The Woods! I am planning on shadowing veterinarians, and I am very excited to have the opportunity to volunteer at Colorado State University Veterinary School's Equine Orthopaedic Research Center! For vet school you are supposed to get exposure to as many different facets of veterinary medicine as possible before you apply, and since I think I might even want to do veterinary research, I am ecstatic to have this chance! I could not have done it without some resume help from William Woods Career Services or references from the Biology faculty.
This will be my last opportunity to write this semester. I hope you all have a wonderful summer and finish the school year strong!
These last few weeks of the semester are so busy and they are flying by so fast! I can't believe we only have a week and half of classes before finals. It is crunch time for classes and everyone is getting ready to finish up those semester long projects and papers.
Last week I was inducted into the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society. It recognizes students for academic achievement in the biological sciences. We had a great time at the initiation, and I am looking forward to getting involved next fall.
The Equestrian Department has been quite productive in the last week as well. I had several sorority sisters compete at a recognized Hunter Jumper horse show in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They all came back exhausted but happy with their horses' performances and with some great memories with the show team members.
The Equestrian Department also hosted a USEF/USDF recognized Dressage show this past weekend. I volunteered to work in the show office on Sunday afternoon. There were a lot of great riders and horses at the show. I got to see some amazing tests! This is the first recognized Dressage show I've been to and it definitely won't be the last! Watching such athletic horses perform precise movements is really amazing, and seeing it on television just is not the same!
My Mentor-Mentee project is finishing up for the semester. After a bit of trial and error with finding a website host, we successfully created two horse health scenarios. Next week I will be presenting the project in a LEAD presentation with my mentor, Professor Jean Kraus. It has been great fun and I've learned a lot! I will be passing the project on to another student (who happens to be one of my sorority sisters) to build even more scenarios in the upcoming school year. Next year I will be participating in the same type of program as a Cox scholar with Dr. Nicholas Pullen and his mammalian cell culture research. I am really excited for the opportunity!
We have Alumni Weekend at The Woods this weekend. We will get to meet so many previous WWU students. I am really excited to reconnect with people who graduated last spring, and also to meet some of the alumna of our Alpha Phi chapter!