Fabulous Phi: Michaela Svaranowic

This week's Fabulous Phi is definitely well deserved. Meet Michaela Svaranowic our Vice President of Chapter Operations. She is one of the hardest working sister anyone has met and exudes love and joy. Michaela first joined Alpha Phi in Fall '14 and has gone above and beyond for our chapter ever since then. Read more about her below and see why she was chosen for this week's Fabulous Phi!

  1. What is your year and major? I'm a sophomore majoring in Finance 😊 
  2. What led you to choose Alpha Phi? As an Army brat I never believed that I could find a "home". However, within Alpha Phi I saw for the first time in my life a place I could call home. I loved the diversity in the chapter, the empowerment of women, and the genuine love that filled the room and today I am honored and blessed to call Alpha Phi my home. 
  3. What are your passions and how did they develop? I have my cosmetology license which I got in high school and I have been doing hair for almost four years now! I also LOVE math! (I have my unit circle hanging on my wall!) I really developed my love for math in high school when I had an opportunity to work at Jefferson Lab, a local National Accelerator Facility for the Department of Energy. I got to work on an engineering project for a safety system upgrade! 

"This is when I got to introduce the program I was in to the secretary of the department of energy"

4. How has Alpha Phi impacted you? Alpha Phi has impacted me by teaching me true selflessness. Being a part of a sorority is not about what you can get from it, but more about what you can give to it. "What is in it for me?" is important but asking, "How can I better my chapter, my sisters, my peers, our philanthropy, my school, the community, and myself" are much more valuable questions.

5. What advice do you have for the incoming Freshman? Always have positive attitude (it will take you very far in life), smile because why not, try new things, and lastly do not let your stubbornness control your life (like mine used to!)

"This is me on the day I got my cosmetology license!"

These are only a couple of amazing things Michaela has achieved and we are incredibly lucky to have her as a part of our Eta Lambda Chapter. Thank you for being such a great role model and we are so excited to see all of your future successes!

*Pic credits to Gabriella Ebeling

Fabulous Phi: Christina Castle

This week's Fabulous Phi is Christina Castle, her admiration for study abroad and hard work ethic is just two qualities that she has brought into our Alpha Phi chapter here at GMU. Christina is a Junior majoring in English with a concentration in writing and rhetoric. Christina joined our Eta Lambda chapter in Fall '14 and since then has been an active sister with volunteering and holding the position of Director of Community Service and bringing back valuable international experience from her study abroad in Ireland. Christina was also chosen  to be one of the three Spring 2016 Collegiate Perspective Bloggers for the Alpha Phi International Blog. Read below one of her pieces on what turning 21 means to her! 

21 Things to Remember as I turn 21

21 years of love, family, friends, adventures and lessons. And, while a new world will be opened to me upon my 21st, the old one will still remain, and because of that, there are some things I have learned which I shall not forget from the 21 years past.

  1. Life is too short to spend time with people who don’t make you happy. Remove them.
  2. It is OK to do things by yourself. It’s a part of growing up, becoming an adult and becoming independent. Enjoy it.
  3. If you want to do something, do it. Do not let anyone keep you from doing what you want to do. If you want it that bad, go for it.
  4. Friendships will develop and decimate. Some may last a lifetime. Appreciate them all. You could not be who you are now without their presence in your life, no matter how short or long.
  5. Families are dysfunctional. They fight one minute and then say they love you the next. It’s OK to lose your mind when thrown into that mix, but, remember that you love them. No one else will ever know you in the way that they do.
  6. The law of attraction is truth and meditation can rescue your mental health. Positive thoughts. Positive vibrations. Positive life.
  7. Call more. Snapchat and text message less. There is something so much more intimate about hearing the voice of another on the other side of that phone.
  8. Stop apologizing. Stop apologizing for what you say, what you do and who you are. Only apologize when you have done wrong.
  9. Keep kicking the soccer ball, throwing the football and shooting hoops with your little brother. He appreciates it more than you know.
  10. Thank mom and dad. For everything. For it all. Just thank them.
  11. Minimalize usage of the word “hate”. If someone is annoying, you do not “hate” them. If they are rude, you do not “hate” them. Even if you dislike them, you do not “hate” them. Hate is a strong word and there are very few people in the world worthy of your hatred. So, stop saying it.
  12. Soccer will always be your first love. It’s OK for people to know that.
  13. Stop talking about other people and don’t sink to the level of others. Take the high road, no matter the difficulty.
  14. There is always going to be something that scares you. Just keep praying and you’ll find the strength to conquer it all.
  15. Non, je ne regrette rien. No, I regret nothing.                                                                         Regret less. Everything you have done and haven’t done has led to this. There is no reason to regret anything that has helped you come to who you are.
  16. Stop wishing these days away. There will be a time when you’ll wish you didn’t.
  17. Be grateful for the luck of your birth in the U.S.A., where opportunities still remain endless.
  18. If money could solve all your problems, then you don’t have very large problems.
  19. If you do not ask, the answer will always be no. (I am aware of this cliché, but it’s necessary)
  20. Keep studying. You’re doing a good job. Keep it up.
  21. You’ve been incredibly blessed to have made it this far. Don’t forget about all those who haven’t, and don’t allow this life of yours to be a waste. Do it for them and if not for them, at least do it for yourself. 
Alpha Phi has given me some of my best friends as well as provided opportunities for personal growth. I have changed so much in so many ways in my college years but Alpha Phi as been one of the things that has remained constant in my life and for that I will always be grateful.

This is a link to her blog to read more of her pieces of writing! 


AΦ & ΔΧ Take on Relay for Life

Relay For Life is a fun-filled, overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money to help the American Cancer Society save lives, help those who have been touched by cancer, and empower individuals to fight back against the disease. During the event, teams of people gather and take turns walking or running laps. This year we paired up with the lovely men of Delta Chi to join the movement and celebrate the cause.  The gentlemen of Delta Chi and our amazing sisters joined together for a fun filled and meaningful day. Check out below to see how much fun we had together! We are so grateful to Delta Chi for joining us for such an important cause. 

Patrick Nieves- President of Delta Chi

Participating in Relay for life for was important to not only me but my entire chapter as well. Our national philanthropy is the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research so we wanted to participate in this event to show our support to all of those battling cancer and all of those searching for the cure. Seeing the entire George Mason community come together as a whole sacrificing their time, money, and energy to benefit such a great cause was truly astounding. It was an honor to be a part of this event and I am proud to say that the team of Delta Chi and Alpha Phi was able to contribute to the more than 20,000 dollars raised at Relay for life this past Saturday.

Nick Gorry- Social Chair of Delta Chi

I chose Relay for Life because it is an event where survivors and supporters alike join together in the fight against cancer. My favorite part of Relay for Life was supporting the survivors as they walked the opening lap. Something as simple as clapping and cheering brought joy to the faces of the survivors and I think that is what this event is all about.

Caitlyn Aird- Social Chair of Alpha Phi

I loved seeing all my sisters together celebrating the lives of survivors and fighters of an awful disease. It’s so nice to know that I have a supporting community within our sisterhood and meeting up with delta chi and meeting their amazing brothers was icing on the cake.

For those who have lost their battle with cancer, for those who have won, and for those currently fighting, we support you.

Spring Breakers

This past week our sisters spent their spring breaks all over the world! Some sisters spent the week paired up with other Greeks for service, others traveled abroad and explored different countries and others spent the week relaxing and having some well deserved rest with other sisters! We are happy to have all of our sisters back sunkissed, rejuvenated and ready to finish up the semester!

Susie Andrejcak, Kayla Hanigan, Olivia Bartley- Raleigh, North Carolina

We spent the week with other members of the Greek community from Mason learning about the different aspects of Habitat for Humanity and their specific goal for the Wake County. It was an incredible experience that helped create bonds with other fraternity and sorority members and be more aware of the social issues involved.

Tatiana Peralta- Barcelona, Spain

I was here for 10 days and got to explore almost the whole city and learn about Gaudi who built a lot of the city! Super fun!

Tina Carmona- Miami Beach, Florida

Me and a bunch of our sisters went to Miami for spring break where we could finally relax after our hard work. It was an amazing week with my beautiful best friends who I’m lucky to call my sisters.

Gabriella Ebeling- Copenhagen, Denmark

I really enjoyed the more relaxed culture Denmark has. I also enjoyed the different architecture in comparison to America’s and the history behind many of the buildings.

Rachel Bennett & Hailey Stephens- West Virginia

We went hiking and camping in West Virginia! We hiked about 30 miles within the 4 days we were there and found this amazing outlook to watch the sunset!

Julia Keehn, Kerstin Abolnik & Deanna Mastronardi- Cancun, Mexico

We were on the strip of cancun for about a week, it was honestly the most memorable and amazing vacation I have had yet. Not only were we able to enjoy the beautiful beach with other sisters from other states, but we also went on a Mayan adventure that included zip lining through the jungle and ended our trip in the ruins of Tulum. Hands down the best time with the best sisters.

Every experience in college is extremely valuable,we are so happy to have our sisters back and hear about the knowledge they gained and the experiences they had this past week! 


Sisterhood Mixer with Chi Omega

This Wednesday, February 24th, the sisters of Chi Omega and Alpha Phi came together for a sisterhood retreat and used their time together to reflect and appreciate one another.  

Eta Lambda's Erin Mitchell's  boyfriend Bailey Fiedorowicz is currently deployed with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which consists of three navy ships called the USS Boxer, the USS New Orleans, and the USS Harper's Ferry.  They will be traveling all around the Western Pacific and Middle East completing different missions until the end of September! The lovely sisters of Chi Omega helped the sisters of Alpha Phi write beautiful thank-you notes to Bailey and his fellow brave Marines on the USS Harper's Ferry. We couldn't be more appreciative of all the love the sisters of the Chi Kappa chapter displayed and we look forward to supporting them in their Wish Week! Thank you to everyone came out! Check out the pictures from the amazing event below!

"My boyfriend is in the Marine Corps and just deployed about 2 1/2 weeks ago with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. They'll be gone until September, and I know they are all going to be getting very lonely between now and then. I know anybody on the ship would appreciate anything that could brighten their day which is why these letters are going to be so great for them! It's a very emotional time for them so by sending these letters we will be showing them that people back in the states are super grateful for what they are doing and hopefully it will help motivate them to be the best they can be! My boyfriend is on the USS Harper's Ferry so the letters we're sending are going to go to the Marines and Sailors on that ship! I'm so proud to be part of such an amazing organization and Panhellenic community that is willing to let me send these letters to my boyfriend so that he can give them out on ship. The fact that Alpha Phi and Chi Omega worked together to make this happen just shows how great GMU Greek Life is."

-Erin Mitchell, Sister of Alpha Phi

The mixer was really fun! It was so nice meeting sisters in Aphi that I’ve never met before. We all had a great time making cards and taking pictures and getting to know each other Everyone I met was so nice and it was by far the best sorority mixer I’ve ever been to! I’m looking forward to mixing with you guys again very soon! ❤
— Marina Manojlović- sister of Chi Omega

Homecoming ΠΚΑΦ 2016

This year Alpha Phi paired up with Pi Kappa Alpha to make an all-star team for Homecoming. The week was filled with can drives, competitive basketball games, and a killer lip sync battle. The ladies of Alpha Phi enjoyed spending the week to getting to know the brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha and the values they exemplified. The gentlemen of Pi Kappa Alpha is an organization comprised of scholars, leaders, and athletes. Read below to see what was their favorite part of Homecoming! 

Joseph Piccolo- President of Pi Kappa Alpha

My favorite part about Homecoming was meeting more sisters of Alpha Phi. It was a great chance for both organizations to get closer.

Christina Orlando- President of Alpha Phi

I have some really good friends in Pike so I was really excited when we ended up pairing with them for homecoming! My sisters had a blast too which makes me happy!

Gillia Baattai- Internal Vice President of Pi Kappa Alpha

I loved hanging out with the Alpha Phi sisters and getting to know the new members. We look forward to starting a new tradition!

Arlene Flannery: Vice President of Risk

“I was so excited when I found out we were mixing with PIKE for homecoming. They are a great group of guys and this was the perfect opportunity for our sisters to get to know them better!”

Fabulous Phi: Christina Orlando

This week's Fabulous Phi Friday is no other than our wonderful President Christina Orlando! Christina "Tina" joined Alpha Phi in Fall 2013 and since then has made incredible contributions to our chapter as a whole. Whether you know her from class, community service, or from her multiple involvements on campus one thing is for sure: she brighten's up anyone's day. Christina is kind, approachable, loving, funny, charismatic, beautiful and has an amazing skill of making people know their worth. Read below to get to know her better!

1. Where are you from? Sterling, VA!

2. What is the most gratifying part of being Alpha Phi's President?  My term has only been a couple months so far, but I love that people come to me for advice and can trust me with their concerns. 

3. One thing you would ask a fairy godmother for?  Unlimited travel expenses! I would love to road trip across the country and visit other places all over the world with my friends. 

4. How has Alpha Phi impacted your college experience? Alpha phi has made me a more well-rounded person and has given me some of my favorite memories. I've also met my best friends EVER and future bridesmaids! 

5. What is something people would be surprised to know about you? This is SUPER random, but I hate mustard. Not sure if that's surprising, but that's all I've got :-) 

6. If your life were turned into a movie which actress would play you and why? Selena Gomez or Jlo (I love both of them)

7. What's your favorite quote? I love quotes and have so many favorites, but my favorite right now is: "Everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end."

8. What is the best advice you have ever received?   To live life to the fullest and always say yes to adventures.

9. Who is your celebrity crush and what would be your ideal date? Channing Tatum 100%!!! He is so beautiful. My ideal date would be to go skydiving, then go lay out on a boat, then eat dinner at an all you can eat buffet. 

10. What has been the most challenging part of college so far? The most challenging part of college has been finding balance. Whether that's balancing my grades, friends, or just time in general. I always want to do everything, and sometimes I need to remind myself it's ok to just relax! 

Welcome Spring '16 New Members!

As we digress further into the semester and our motivation starts to decrease, we do have exciting news to cheer us up! This past week we welcomed four amazing young women into our Eta Lambda Chapter! These four unique, caring and outgoing women will no doubt be an incredible addition to our chapter and we can't wait to see everything they bring on! Read below to get to know these wonderful girls and why they are our women crush Wednesday's of this week!

Rachel Benett- Freshman

1.     Where are you from? Orlando, FL

2.     What is your major? Pre-nursing

3.     What influenced your decision to join Alpha Phi? A lot of my friends joined in the fall, and they explained how amazing it was so I wanted to join to get the experience!

4.     What is your favorite place in the world? Anywhere that has a beach! (OBX/Costa Rica)

5.     What goals do you wish to accomplish in your college career? Get accepted in the nursing program so that I can learn to become a pediatric cardiologist!

6.     Who is your role model and why? My mother because she's a strong woman and has taught me how to stick through difficult times.

7.     Who is your ultimate celebrity crush? And what would your ideal date be? Ryan Gosling. Ideal date would be staying in and watching Netflix for hours and eating 😎

8.     What is your favorite quote? "Girls tear each other down, but women build each other up"

Katie Rose- Freshman

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1.     Where are you from? West Virginia

2.     What is your major? Government/ Iternational politics

3.     What influenced your decision to join Alpha Phi? Alpha Phi was extremely welcoming so I was instantly drawn.

4.     What is your favorite place in the world? The Greenbrier resort

5.     What goals do you wish to accomplish in your college career? To work for the state department

6.     Who is your ultimate celebrity crush? Ben Higgins 

7.     What is your favorite quote? "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country"

Shatha Salameh- Freshman

1.     Where are you from? I'm Jordanian- Palestinian but I was born in Fairfax and grew up around here.

2.     What is your major? Biology major 

3.     What influenced your decision to join Alpha Phi? The girls I met in Alpha Phi were so supportive of each other and it made me want to be a part of something that genuine.

4.     What is your favorite place in the world? Any beach :)

5.     What goals do you wish to accomplish in your college career? I hope to leave George Mason confident and prepared to do whatever is coming next.

6.     Who is your role model and why? My mom, she's my best friend and the person who pushes me to be my best.

7.      Who is your ultimate celebrity crush? Leonardo Dicaprio at an Oscar after party (after he wins lol)

8.     What is your favorite quote? "You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude."

Taylor Whittington-Freshman

1.     Where are you from? Maryland

2.     What is your major? Criminology  

3.     What influenced your decision to join Alpha Phi? I knew that I wanted to join some part of greek life but once I started meeting some girls from Alpha Phi I knew that it was going to be a perfect match for me because everyone that I met was so genuine and just made me feel like I already belong.

4.     What is your favorite place in the world? I’ve never made it too far outside of the DMV but my favorite place so far has been Surf City, NC. I love the beach and don’t even get me started on all the hot marines down there!!

5.     What goals do you wish to accomplish in your college career? I’m hoping to get a really good internship my junior/senior year so I can make some really good connections in order to have a better chance of getting a good job when I graduate.

6.     Who is your role model and why? My role model is definitely my older sister. I’ve always looked up to her and she’s been through so many struggles in her life and I hope I can be as strong as her. She also helps a lot with taking care of my grandmother and doesn’t get appreciated enough for doing so. So I hope I can be as good of a person as she is one day.

7.      Who is your ultimate celebrity crush? Ben Higgins from the Bachelor!! (not really a "celeb" but stilllll..) Our ideal date would be a romantic dinner with a private concert from Christina Aguilera.

8.     What is your favorite quote? “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”

Picture credits to: Gabriella Ebeling

Fabulous Phi: Jennifer Daniel

This week's Fabulous Phi is our very own Vice President of membership recruitment Jennifer Daniel. Jen Dan has been an active member of Eta Lambda since she joined her freshman year in 2013. Read below to get to know her a little better and why she is so deserving for this week's Fabulous Phi!

1. What is your major?

My major is Communications: Public Relations. I'm not a math or science chick at all but I love interacting with people and my strong suits are reading and writing so it just made sense. I think it would be so cool to work as a public relations specialist for a large hospital.

2. What's your favorite thing about Alpha Phi?

The support system. Last year was a crazy year for me and it is absolutely incredible to have so many women who genuinely care about your well being and want to be there for you through the good and the bad.

3. What actress would play you if your life was turned into a movie?

Kristen wiig

4. Favorite Alpha Phi Event/Experience and why?

Bid day is honestly the most rewarding and fun day! It's great to see all of our new members and everyone so excited about Alpha Phi!

5. Life Motto?

"Take criticism in stride, it means people expect things from you"

6. Why did you join Alpha Phi?

I knew I wanted to be Alpha Phi from the get go: the Aphis that I met were all so naturally cool and fun so it was an easy decision for me. And the Philanthropy was just an added bonus!

7. Best College Advice you can give?

Get involved. It is so cliche but college goes by soooo fast and you only have 4 years! Take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself and never say no to a random adventure because those will be the nights that you'll never regret.

I love Jen Dan because she is a hoot! She always knows how to make everyone laugh! I’m so lucky to have her as a Big!
— Kunnica Kou- Jen's Little

Sisters Abroad

Alpha Phi is an organization filled with women who are rooted in kindness, love and respect for one another. A vital part of the college experience is learning about different perspectives and cultures and having your own beliefs challenged. Eta Lambda consists of exceptional women whom exemplify the meaning of service and leadership not only locally but internationally. Read below about a few of our sister's experiences while their study abroad this past winter

Kristen Dalton: London

“In London I had the opportunity to learn Public Relations from a global perspective. I sat down with industry professionals and learned about international campaigns that appealed to diverse target markets. Along with the opportunity to network with industry professionals and further my public relations knowledge, I had the opportunity to explore a city full of rich history and friendly locals.
— Kristen Dalton- Junior

Arlene Flannery- Belize

This winter from January 4th through the 17th I studied Environmental sustainability and conservation in Belize. I had internet access twice, no contact in the form of text messages or phone calls, and no access to social media. This experience was unforgettable and I would’ve never had the courage to apply for a study abroad program without the inspiration and support from my amazing sisters. With love from Belize!
— Arlene Flannery-Sophomore

So the next time you're thinking about studying abroad feel free to contact us and we can give you more information! At the end of it, study abroad in your college career would not mean giving up sisterhood for a given time, but rather enhancing your sisterhood with the unique experiences you've brought back to share.