Amongst the chaos of school, jobs, and sorority life, the Epsilon Omicron chapter of Delta Zeta at Western Illinois University has, once again, came out victorious and made 2018 one to remember. During the spring semester, every sorority and fraternity on campus was invited to the FSL Awards to recognize chapters that have excelled in all academic, membership, and presidential areas throughout the year. In the midst of all the awards that were being given out, one of the most prestigious awards was the President's Award; this award was given to the sorority and fraternity that exemplified not only improvement, but involvement, achievement, and unity. To obtain this award, a binder containing supporting documents for different criteria needed to be created and submitted to a panel of judges - the sorority and fraternity with the highest amount of points, wins! Easy? Sort of. Long 3 A.M. nights spent with your big that involved searching, cutting, pasting, and organizing in that order? Absolutely! But, those grueling nights and the hard-work and dedication from the women of the Epsilon Omicron chapter were all worth it in the end. On April 18th, the Epsilon Omicron chapter was granted numerous awards: Gold Standard Award, Outstanding Chapter Standards and Membership Accountability, Outstanding Chapter Membership Development, Outstanding Chapter Scholarship, a sister, Jordan Lloyd was awarded Sorority Member of the Year, and of course, President's Award for the 2018 Outstanding Panhellenic Council Chapter of the Year. Along with being an exceptional chapter, a sister, Arianna Nutile was given Outstanding Executive Board Member for being an incredible president, and the William E. Brattain Award; the most esteemed leadership award given to a graduating senior that has grown academically and achieved so much throughout their four years of college. Additionally, our lovely chapter director, Ashley Katz was awarded Advisor of the Year for all the countless hours of commitment she gives to our chapter on a daily basis. Without the constant support, devotion, and sisterhood that flows throughout our chapter, none of this would have been achievable. 2018 was definitely our year, and we can't wait to make 2019 ours once again!
Epsilon Omicron, Western Illinois University
About Epsilon Omicron Chapter
Epsilon Omicron was founded on September 16, 1956 at Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL. We've been around 63 years and going strong!
Our chapter is a part of Delta Zeta Region 16. We currently have a total of 47 members in our chapter and our average GPA is 3.24! For the academic year Fall 2016 through Spring 2017 our chapter has donated 339 service hours and $1000.00!
Alumnae of the Epsilon Omicron Chapter from Western Illinois University held their biennial reunion on Saturday, June 10, 2017 in Waterman, Illinois.
The afternoon was spent catching up, comparing pictures of grandkids, looking over Delta Zeta memorabilia, and singing and remembering Delta Zeta songs. Time was also spent with each sister talking about the paths her life took after WIU and graduation.
Shared stories included talk of husbands, children and grandchildren, careers and retirements, and travels near and far. There was laughter, joy, some tears and a lot of love that surrounded sisters reunited again from years gone by. It was a memorable afternoon that really exemplified “Delta Zeta Now and Always!"
Hayley Salata, a member of the Epsilon Omicron Chapter at Western Illinois University, is the president of the executive board for the Dance Marathon for the Children's Miracle Network.
For the 2017 marathon, Hayley and her team set a goal to raise at least $100,000. Last year, only $70,000 was raised, but Hayley wanted to set the bar high this year. She explained to the members of the Epsilon Omicron Chapter that $50,000 is enough to help only one child. Hayley wanted to raise enough money to help two children.
Over the year, she worked hard to try to raise enough money; she was even willing to wear a banana suit for the rest of her college career if she could raise $1,000 in one day.
"All of Hayley's hard work and dedication paid off," said Rachel Ramirez, Treasurer of the Epsilon Omicron Chapter, "because on April 1, 2017, when the cards were flipped over to show the audience, we found out that we raised $123,200. Not only did Dance Marathon reach our goal, but we surpassed it by $23,200. Without Hayley's positive attitude and passion to help others, WIU wouldn't have been able to accomplish this goal."
In addition to being president of Dance Marathon, Hayley has held multiple positions within the Epsilon Omicron Chapter and was awarded Sister of the Year.She contributed to starting a student organization, Love Your Melon, that is a part of campuses nationwide, on Western Illinois University. The mission of the organization is improving the lives of children battling cancer. It began with the idea of putting a hat on every child battling cancer in America. After achieving the original goal of giving 45,000 hats -- one for every child battling cancer in America -- Love Your Melon set a new goal of giving $1 million to pediatric cancer research and providing immediate support to children and their families. To date, nearly $2.8 million has been raised.
"Hayley is truly an amazing example of everything that Delta Zeta stands for," said Ashley Katz, College Chapter Director for Epsilon Omicron. She was also our Academics Chairman and, with her leadership, raised our cumulative GPA and ranking on campus tremendously."
Rachel, second from left, with the Epsilon Omicron Chapter Executive Board, at Western Illinois University.
Rachel Ramirez, Treasurer of the Epsilon Omicron Chapter at Western Illinois University, is making her mark -- as a student, a professional and a woman.
She is founder of the organization, Women in Business, at Western Illinois University. A marketing major and Honors College student, she felt a need for women students to have a support group in college while they prepared for a career after graduation.
Through founding Women in Business and the work Rachel does to empower women, she believes in the strength of women. "Sometimes," she said, "women may not realize their full potential because there is no one recognizing the good that they do and the potential that they have. It is important to empower women with knowledge, encouragement and support to break through the glass ceiling that holds many of us from achieving our full potential."
And who inspires and supports Rachel? "My mother recognizes my potential and always provides encouragement to keep me going at my lowest moments. She is my inspiration and a great motivator. She has been a great example to me and I shall strive to make her proud," Rachel concludes.
Rachel is incredibly busy with her college career. In addition to her other responsibilities, she is a member of the business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi. But she appreciates every moment of her college experience.
Delta Zeta has greatly influenced her goals for college and beyond.
"As a member of Delta Zeta," Rachel said, "I have learned to define my goals through emphasizing the mission of Delta Zeta. I feel personally blessed and supported through the network of support and encouragement I have received from my sisters. It seems that we have a connection that we are all in tune to one another’s needs. I know that support is always available, but it seems that I never have to ask for it. It is always present. My goal in life is to do the greatest good for the greatest number. I believe it can be accomplished through philanthropic efforts with the support of my sisters. Together, we lift each other to their greatest potential."
And Rachel says there is one particular moment in her Delta Zeta experience that made a difference in her life.
"The biggest turning point for me was participating with Delta Zeta in Dance Marathon. During this event, we helped raise over $10,000 for The Children's Miracle Network. One of my sisters shared her personal story and how The Children's Miracle Network helped her. It wasn't easy for her to tell her own story, but knowing that we were there for her, gave her the strength to express her thoughts and feelings.
"In that moment, I realized that these women would be supportive of me with any personal problems that I may endure. When I looked around at the number of women supporting one another, I knew that I would never be alone again. It is a nice feeling knowing that all of the women of Delta Zeta would be supportive of me, and of course I would be supportive of them at any time."
After graduation, Rachel will continue to help women fulfill their potential. "My plans after graduation as an alumna are to maintain a network of support for my chapter and Delta Zeta as a whole," she said. "I believe that if women continue to achieve and to provide support to our members, we can establish a unity throughout our careers that will provide opportunity to women of Delta Zeta. Professionally, I plan to gain work experience before going back to school to receive my Ph.D. I aspire to become a professor of marketing."
There is no doubt that with Rachel's drive, enthusiasm and passion to help others, she will fulfill her aspirations and help others to fulfill theirs as well.
Vanessa Redpath, a member of the Epsilon Omicron Chapter, received Western Illinois University's top student leadership award, the William E. Brattain Award, at the Office of Student Activities (OSA) leadership award ceremony. The award recognizes an outstanding student who has shown excellence in academic growth and achievement and has shown outstanding contributions to the WIU campus and Macomb community through leadership and participation in various activities and or organizations.
Vanessa said that her involvement in Greek Life had been a key factor in receiving the award. “Delta Zeta was the stepping stone for that got me involved in many other clubs and organizations which led to this award. Delta Zeta has changed my life. I became a second delegate for Panhellenic Council, served my chaper at Philanthropy Chairman,and later was elected Panhellenic Council President. With her encouragement and faith in my leadership abilities from my Delta Zeta sisters, I applied for the position. This was the first time that I really saw how much my sisters believed in me. They gave me more confidence and encouragement than I had ever had before.
"I have also served my chapter as President and served the university as Vice President of Internal Affairs for Dance Marathon. I held these leadership positions because of the experiences I gained through Delta Zeta and the encouragement and support system my sister offered."
INDIANAPOLIS, IN. – Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity has hired Michele N. Peterson as its Director of Chapter Services. She is a graduate of Western Illinois University where she joined Delta Zeta Sorority (Epsilon Omicron Chapter) and subsequently earned an M.A. in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. As Director of Chapter Services, Michele will manage the fraternity’s educational leadership consultants, chapter services, expansion, risk management and educational programs. She brings significant experience in working with fraternity chapters, volunteers, and programs through her previous roles on college campuses overseeing fraternity/sorority communities. Michele will begin working full-time for the fraternity in Indianapolis beginning on January 4, 2016. She is relocating from Gainesville, Florida where she has been serving as the Assistant Director of Student Success, Dean of Students Office at the University of Florida.
Executive Director Andy Huston shared, “I’m delighted to welcome Michele to the Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity staff. She has a great passion for fraternity life and the impact that is made through membership. We will benefit greatly from the knowledge and perspective she brings from her previous roles in higher education. Her combination of enthusiasm, dedication and experience will help advance the wide array of services and programs provided to our members as Sigma Alpha Mu grows.”
Michele previously worked in Greek Life at Winthrop University, Western Carolina University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she has worked with more than 40 chapters. In these roles, she has developed and led programming related to mentoring, risk management, leadership development, bystander intervention and sexual assault awareness. Michele has taught courses on campus for First Year students. She has also supported successful fraternity recruitment and expansion efforts on campus.
She has been an active member of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors and is a graduate of the Interfraternity Institute. Her previous work has been recognized with two Presidential Citations for Service to the Winthrop University and Western Carolina University’s Student Affairs New Employee Award 2009-2010. She also holds memberships in Blue Key National Honor Society, Mortar Board Honor Society, Rho Lambda National Sorority Leadership Recognition Society, Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honorary Society and Order of Omega Greek Honorary Society.
Peterson shared, “I am honored to join the staff of Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity and eager to work with an exceptional group of volunteers and staff as we continue to advance the mission and goals of the fraternity. I am very passionate about the fraternal movement and the positive impact it has on our members. I look forward to building strong relationships with chapter leaders, fraternity staff and volunteers, as well as university administrators.”
Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity was founded in 1909 at the College of the City of New York. Sigma Alpha Mu's Mission is to foster the development of collegiate men and our alumni by instilling strong fraternal values, offering social and service opportunities, encouraging academic excellence and teaching leadership skills. We will continue to attract members of all beliefs who appreciate our great heritage as a fraternity of Jewish men. Sigma Alpha Mu currently has 53 chapters and colonies and more than 56,000 living alumni.
Photo courtesy of the University of Florida Dean of Students Office website.