Every chapter knows the secret to success is the strength of sisterhood, our four Core Values and great chapter advisors. These are the women who selflessly dedicate their time, knowing when to step up and offer guidance and when to step back and watch members become strong leaders through own their experiences. In honor of Advisor Appreciation Month, I interviewed the chapter advisors at Epsilon Pi Chapter (George Mason).
What inspired you to become an advisor?
“I love Gamma Phi so much. I really take to heart the for life and not for just four years. The chapter gave me a lot and I just really want to give back.” – Courtney Gonzalez (George Mason), education advisor
“I’m all about giving back to organizations that have given back to me. There are three: Girls on the Run (GOTR), the University of Virginia, and Gamma Phi. It just happens they’re all involved together. I got involved in GOTR through an alumnae chapter who told me about the opening. I like how things are so interconnected in my life.” – Simay Okyay (Virginia), chapter advisor
“My personal mission is advancing women and their confidence as leaders. Going into the workplace, I realized how my Gamma Phi experience shaped that. Opportunity opened up and I was excited for younger and newer sisters to have the same experience I did.” -Danielle Stephens (Virginia), chapter advisor
How can members stay involved after graduation?
“There are a million more ways than you can imagine. You have your typical advisor roles. You can also be a collegiate leadership consultant. You run into sisters 10 years later and connect. Then there’s national consultants who fly all over visiting chapter.” -Danielle Stephens
How do advisors want to see their chapters grow?
“There’s still always room for growth. I don’t compare chapters. Every chapter is different and can only grow to what their school Greek community can allow them to be. It differs on every college campus. For me, I have to remind myself of this. Epsilon Pi is its own entity.” -Simay Okyay
“My holistic goal is acceptance and kindness and positivity. I just want to build strong leaders (for our chapter) and really show every member, even without a position, is still meaningful.” – Courtney Gonzalez
What does Gamma Phi mean to you?
“You join a sorority with the intention of making lifelong friends, but being a Gamma Phi has shown me tolerance and kindness go a long way in making relationships last and having good experiences throughout. I’m forever grateful for the relationships. The epitome of my chapter was the acceptance of diversity in our sisterhood and that has helped shape me into the adult I am today in the workforce. This is being a tolerant, kind and accepting person who has the best interest of others in mind while also keeping myself top priority, being able to support myself and being able to accept help when you need it.” – Simay Okyay
Gamma Phi Beta has dedicated chapter advisors across North America. Here’s what other REAL Leadership Online writers said about their own chapter advisors.
“Our advisors are a great emotional support system for us, which allows us to grow as a chapter. As officers (on our executive board), we cannot grow if we are not growing ourselves and that is the same for all of our sisters. Having advisors present at every chapter meeting is extremely helpful in offering advice or suggestions to the chapter, in addition to kind words and memories that allow for self-reflection with all of our sisters. A good chapter advisor is someone who embodies our four Core Values, and is there to support you, but ultimately help you strive to be the highest type of womanhood, even if that means offering constructive feedback every now and then.” – Danielle Dupuis (Bridgewater State)
“I think the biggest help our chapter advisor gave us was being willing to let us make mistakes. There were a lot of instances when she could have stepped in and worked through problems for us, but instead she helped us grow by listening and giving advice when needed. She was always there to back us up, but made us do hard things to challenge ourselves and develop leadership skills. I think this is one of the most important traits an advisor can have, not to overstep and try and take control. It's so easy to want to step in and clear everything up, but that's not how lessons are learned and leadership developed. Patience is a huge help as well! I know I've texted and called my advisor with a million questions about the same thing, and she was always willing to take the time to answer.” – Emily Mullins (Wichita State)
There is still time to encourage your chapter advisor to #KeepShining this month by clicking here.
By Courtney Boone (George Mason)
Courtney is a junior at George Mason University and a member of the Epsilon Pi chapter. She recently transferred from community college with an associate’s degree in teaching. She is currently studying educational psychology with a dual-minor in criminology and legal studies. One day, she hopes to become either a school psychologist or an attorney. Courtney also works as a staff writer for Her Campus GMU and represents her chapter of Gamma Phi on the Junior Panhellenic council.