Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Taken from Charlotte Smarty Pants from Boris Bunich: Charlotte, NC
The 5th Annual Hope Floats Duck Race to support KinderMourn will take place Sunday, April 19, 2009. This organization offer grieving parents and grieving children a wide collection of educational materials, support groups, advice, councelors and ideas for healthy grieving. This "race" is held at the National Whitewater Center in Charlotte and participants witness thousands of rubber ducks floating down the channel to the finish line! To adopt a duck, click here... and make sure you register under Charlotte Smarty Pants/Jen Bunich Team. Cost: individual duck ($5), Quack Pack (6 ducks for $25) or Flock of Ducks (12 ducks for $50).

Monday, March 30, 2009

"Out of Service" Project

In observation of Earth Day on April 22, 2009, let’s all get green! Collect all old, unused cell phones, chargers, laptops & ipods from chapter members.

Ship to:AOII Int'l HQ
Attn: Courtney Dillard
5390 Virginia Way
Brentwood, TN 37027

Packages must be received by May 1, 2009 to qualify for awards. The top alumnae and collegiate chapter will be recognized at AOII Convention.

***You may bring your phones in April and we can send them together!***

Friday, March 27, 2009

BOOK CLUB: Tuesdays With Morrie

Maybe it was a grandparent, teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger?

Mitch had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final "class": lessons how to live.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

SISTER PROFILE: Beth Metzger Conrad

We are pleased to introduce Beth as our Sister of the Week. Beth has maintained her committment to AOII ... she is one of the few sisters who has remiained consistently active through the years - - yes, she's been in it for the 'long haul'! She is currently involved in the Harrisburg Alumnae Chapter and previously served as Tau Lambda Chapter Adviser. She is always willing to help out to improve the sorority and her efforts are much appreciated. Let's get to know her a little better...


Please share a little about yourself (hometown, career, family, etc.)? I’m from Lancaster, PA and now home is Hampden Township near Harrisburg. I’ve worked in Human Resources for the past 91/2 years in an HR office and am now taking a slight curve by working for one of our program areas, the Bureau of Disability Determination (we authorize Social Security payments for disabled people) of the PA Department of Labor and Industry. I’m doing hiring and labor relations in addition to budget and purchasing work. I married Troy Conrad, a Sig Tau from Ship and we have 2 wonderful kids – Evan will be 7 in May and is in 1st grade and Megan who turned 4 in November. Evan plays soccer and does everything Star Wars related. Megan likes to dance and sing and talk on her “cell phone”.

What is your favorite AOII memory? The memory that stands out is a post-initiation sisterhood party at “72”. Boys came later, but what stands out is the togetherness of our group of sisters at that point on that night, especially during the song "The Promise".

What is your most meaningful AOII moment? Participating in Initiation from the Adviser side and being able to see the excitement in our new members’ eyes – it reminded me of the excitement I had during that ceremony.

What do you remember most about your SHIP days? Lots of fun times at both 53 College Park and at the house. You never knew who was walking in the door and what might happen next!

What funny story can you share with us? There are so many funny stories that it's hard to choose! Going to the TKE house after they had won Greek Week, getting a beer and turning around to see my normally reserved big brother, Steve, stripping with a full beer on his head! The look on his face when he saw me watching made it even funnier! On the girl front, one night we were hanging out at the appartment in College Park. I don't remember what started it, but Joanne laughed so hard that she tipped the recliner back and was laying on her back, still on the recliner!

What is your most proud accomplishment since college? The fact that I have 2 well-adjusted, happy kids and haven't lost myself in the process. My career has been important, but nothing comes before Evan and Megan and their well-being and I am so proud of the little personalities they have become and can't wait to see who they evolve into in the future.

What advice can you give our graduating sisters? Enjoy every minute of college, but realize there is more out there and the fun times will continue well after college. Sometimes when you add kids to the mix, it may seem like the fun is over, but if you have the right group of friends and add some creativity it all comes together!

Friday, March 20, 2009

RITA'S FREE Italian Ice!

HAPPY SPRING! Mark the First Day of Spring with FREE Italian Ice! For the past 16 years, Rita's has been giving away a free, regular size Italian Ice to each and every guest to mark the first day of spring! This is a sweet date for Italian Ice lovers, as each year, hundreds of thousands of our guests visit Rita's in search of the first taste of spring. A Philadelphia-born springtime tradition, the 17th annual Rita's giveaway will be held on Friday, March 20, 2009 from noon to 10 p.m. at participating Rita's locations.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

SISTER PROFILE: Lisa Sourbeer Bower

Happy Thursday! We are pleased to introduce Lisa as our SISTER OF THE WEEK. Lisa was involved in a recent episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition!!! She had volunteered to help create window treatments and pillows for a family in need - and got an experience to remember. Check out the recent article in SHIP Magazineand let's hear more about Lisa:


Please share a little about yourself (hometown, career, family, etc.)? I’m originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I met my husband, Doug Bower (’92) after school. That in itself is a coincidence, we never met at Ship even though AOII had an exchange with his fraternity and pre-partied in his apartment. After Doug and I married, we moved to Ellicott City, MD and we’ve been here since 2000. We have 2 daughters, Madison who is 7 and Ella who is 5. Madi is shy and sweet (like Doug) and Ella is a little ball of fire (like Mommy). They are the center of our world. We have so much fun together as a family.

Family Tree - founding sister: Geri Adams... big sister: Kim Duld & grand big: Jill Parris

What is your favorite AOII memory? There are several, but most take place at the old house in Apartment G….we had a lot of fun there! I loved helping make the float for the homecoming parade too.

What is your most meaningful AOII moment? Definitely the initiation ceremony. It was a such a moving experience.

What do you remember most about your SHIP days? I had a lot of fun, partied too much and should have studied harder. My partner in crime, Winni and I got into a lot of trouble together, but boy did we have a blast.

What funny story can you share with us? Hmmm, there are TONS of funny, but REALLY embarrassing stories, not so sure I really want to share them publicly.

Four years ago you started your own company, Madella's Interior Decorating... HOW did you begin? I literally fell into this business. I started my career in sales and moved into executive recruiting. I’d always wanted to own a business, but couldn’t figure out WHAT business. One night, 2 of my very close friends were over for dinner and they convinced me that I had the talent to start an interior decorating business. It took a lot of persuasion, but I finally decided to give it a try. I created a website with some of my work, advertised in Superpages and started getting phone calls. That was about 6 years ago. I officially started Madella’s in 2005, since then I have attended Maryland Institute College of Art for Interior Design, and I am very involved in the Window Coverings Association of America. Although I still do space planning, furniture selection and color consultations, my specialty is window treatments. I love fabrics! Every time a new box of fabrics arrives, I can’t wait to rip open the box and pour through all the new selections.

What is your most proud accomplishment since college? My family. No question about it, I am most proud of my family. Doug and I are celebrating our 11 year wedding anniversary this year. He is a wonderful husband and father. He is my very best friend, we have so much fun together and the girls complete us.

What advice can you give our graduating sisters? Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, take risks in your life, and follow your heart. Don’t be too proud to reach out to others for help. Whatever you do in life, there are so many that came before you and made mistakes. If you take the time to learn from those people, you will avoid many future headaches.

Other comments: You didn’t ask me if I have any regrets. I’d like to say I do have regrets, moments I wish I could do over. I guess we all do, but when I was a senior, I just wanted to graduate and get on with my life. I committed to taking a little sister and I know I let her down. Boy, I wish I could have that as a do over. I didn’t pledge until I was a Junior and wish I wouldn’t have waited that long. Mostly, I wish I wouldn’t have been so self absorbed. I really acted like a jerk and when I look back today, I’m embarrassed about it. Those days were so precious, they go by so quickly, and you never get them back again.

Thanks, Lisa!
Click here to visit her website: Madella's Decor or read up on her blog: Madellas Blog... "A Little Background" post is a must-read!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wearing of the GREEN

Enjoy this wonderful holiday (my personal favorite!!):
St. Patrick's Day is here, you see.
We'll pick some shamrocks, one, two, three.
We'll count the leaves and look them over,
And maybe find a four-leafed clover.
I'll sew green buttons on my vest,
Green for St. Patrick is the best.
I'll wear a green hat, very high,
And dance a jig--at least I'll try!

Click here for your Leprechaun Coloring Page

4 cups flour (unsifted)
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup seedless raisins
1 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter

Mix flour, soda, sugar and salt in large mixing bowl. Stir in raisins. Make a well in the mixture and pour in buttermilk. Stir until well blended. Knead dough 8 to 10 times on floured wax paper. Roll dough into a ball.

Use 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter to grease cookie sheet. Place dough ball on cookie sheet and pat into thick circle. Use floured knife to make an X on top of loaf (keeps loaf from cracking). Spread remaining butter on tops and sides of bread.

Bake loaf in preheated 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes. Check periodically to see if top of loaf is golden brown. Serve with butter and green mint jelly!... and of course, a Guinness!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

3.14 - HAPPY Pi DAY!

Today, March 14th, is Pi DAY... so called because the digits in the date correspond with the first three digits of Pi (3.14).
An added bonus -- Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879.
And that's "One to Grow on"!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009


In only six months, I will be walking my second Breast Cancer 3-Day to benefit Susan G. Komen for a Cure and National Philanthropic Trust. I will be walking 20 miles a day (total of 60 miles), camping out at night and sharing good times with some of my girlfriends along the way. It seems as though most people these days have a connection to breast cancer. I know it has hit me close twice so the journey to find a cure is a mission on mine! -Nikole

Dear Family and Friends,
My first experience walking the 2008 Atlanta 3Day was AMAZING! I told myself that if I survived the first year, I would continue to walk the 60 miles each year until I cannot walk anymore. Though at the time, the humongous blisters on my heals made me want to scream and wonder what I was doing, the sea of pink shirts and people cheering us on made me forget what my feet felt like. To think….I was worried about blisters on my feet when many of the women I was walking with had been or were currently going through chemotherapy. This comparison definitely puts the pain in a new perspective for sure!!

Again this year, I will be honoring my mother (Mirinda), a 10 year breast cancer survivor and remembering my childhood friend, Stephanie Franchak, who lost her battle to a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. If you have the name of a breast cancer survivor or someone that may have lost their battle that you would like to honor, please let me know….I’d love to add their name to those that I walk for this year.

With the help of many of you, I was able to raise approximately $3,200 last year. The minimum amount that I have to raise $2,300, but why settle for the minimum—right? I am setting my personal goal as $3,500.

This year I am the captain of SAVING THE GIRLS (“girls” = boobs of course!) and am joined by several of my fellow teachers at Jones MS. Our school principal commended us on our walk and showed us such great support that little by little we are filling the halls of our school with pink and a new awareness of breast cancer!!

Click here to visit The Atlanta 3-Day or Saving the Girls.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

SISTER PROFILE: Kim Manning Ursetta

As we count down to our 2nd Annual Alumnae Weekend, we will feature different sisters to give us the opportunity to get to know them a little better before we see them again or before we meet them for the first time. Please continue to check back for our SISTER OF THE WEEK.


Now, this one doesn't need much of an introduction. I mean, I think EVERYONE knows her! :) Although she resides in Colorado (she lives farther away than most of us!), she makes it a point to "stop by" and visit whenever she's within 300 miles of Ship!!! She not only knows many alums, she has a good relationship with the current sisters. She has been a support system by offering encouragement and guidance to them as they have been faced with some challenges to get the sorority 'back on track'. She has remained true to AOII and is as involved as ever - Kim currently serves as one of the Alumnae Advisers to Tau Lambda.
Let's find out more about her...

Please share a little about yourself: I'm from Slippery Rock, and moved to Denver after graduation in 1994 where I was hired to teach in the Denver Public Schools as an elementary bilingual teacher. I've been with the district for 15 years, and am in my fourth year as president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association. I'm involved in a lot of different committees with the National Education Association affiliate in Colorado and at the national level. I am divorced, and am raising four kids. My two "legacies" are Angelina (13) and Nicolina (almost 10), as well as my twins Albert and Vincent who will be 7 in April.
What is your favorite AOII memory? Big/Little Night... both as a Little and as a Big.
What is your most meaningful AOII moment? Initiation, and getting my lavalier from my Big, KEP.
What do you remember most about your SHIP days? There are so many great memories. The thing I remember most is just being together at... the house, fraternity parties, the CUB, Pi dinner, greek week, Sunday roommate dinners, living on ramen noodles and mac n cheese (without milk-just Blue Bonnet butter); just bonding! Last but not least, being at the TKE and Sig Tau houses and with my football players. (Remember I was a student athletic trainer)
What funny story can you share with us? Key words- "you can share..." My last year, all of us from Apt. G tried to complete our "25 Things To Do Before We Graduate" list. We did lots of things including swimming in the Old Main fountain, collecting "party favors", getting our pictures taken at all the hot spots in town, bars, pizza places, Amish, the Treat, fraternity houses, etc. Linda Weakland won the bay window contest.
What is your most proud accomplishment since college? Besides my kids, I am proud of my union work. It's a team effort, but we have had a great impact on the district's 76,000 students and 4500 teachers.
What advice can you give our graduating sisters? As I have moved through my career here, it amazes me how many things I have learned from AOII. Teamwork (sisterhood), parliamentary procedure (chapter meetings), goal setting (strategic planning), time management (balancing classes with AOII), recruitment/ marketing strategies (rush), choosing/ hiring your friends/colleagues/employees (membership selection), networking (other sororities/fraternities), sales (rush and competing to be "the best" sorority) and public relations (the "face" of AOII) to name a few. Use these skills to help you be successful in your own career. Most importantly, remember that your sisters are always there for you- even after 20 years. Once an AOII, always an AOII.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Keeping up with the "25" things craze, we thought it would be fun to share 25 things about AOII, Tau Lambda and SHIP...

1. AOII founders were in Columbia University's Class of 1898.
2. Alpha Omicron Pi has one jewel, the ruby.
3. There were 36 sisters in Tau Lambda's first class.
4. TO DRAGMA, the Greek, is translated as "the sheaf". The name was selected because it is a reminder of the common interest which unties AOIIs, it is a record of accomplishment, or harvest, and it descirbes the purpose of the publication by uniting the members thru communication.
5. The first AOII Alumnae Chapter was chartered in New York, NY in 1904.
6. The Nineteenth Century French rose, General Jacqueminot, a deep red rose, is the flower of Alpha Omicron Pi.
7. McCune Hall is now known as the "Scholars Hall", focusing on students with academic and intellectual interests. The hall enforces 24 hour quiet hours and students must have a minimum 2.75 GPA or have scored 1050 or higher on their SATs.
8. AOII was founded January 2, 1987 although Founders' Day is celebrated December 8th - which was Stella's birthday.
9. When referring to AOII, spell it out as Alpha Omicron Pi or use the shorthand with two uppercase "I"s... do not mix the two by AOPi.
10. Terri Levenduski's vision made Tau Lambda possible!
11. The fraternity color is Cardinal, the color of the heart symbolizing love.
12. Shippensburg University was founded in 1871 as the Cumberland Valley State Normal School.
13. An AOII adviser should be spelled using an "e" and not "o" as in advisor.
14. Michele Little served as first Tau Lambda president 1984-January 1985.
15. The current President of Tau Lambda is Heather Stump.
16. The CUB on campus has been renamed "Ceddia Union Building".
17. "Alumnae" is the female plural while "alumna" is the female singular. "Alumni" is the male plural and "alumnus" is the male singular. Always use the female style for AOII.
18. In Fall 1984, Tau Lambda had 20 pledges.
19. There is a Starbucks INSIDE Ezra Lehman Memorial Library!
20. Mowry Hall (and ALL other dorms on campus) is now co-ed.
21. The Presidents of the AOII Philadelphia Alumnae Amy Hoffstetter Toth AND Harrisburg Alumnae Danette Gabner Swartley Chapters are BOTH Tau Lambda sisters!
22. International AOII President Ginger Banks initiated Tau Lambda.
23. Past Shippensburg University President, Anthony F.Ceddia, Ph.D. is currently a Trustee at Mount Airy Casino and Resort in the Poconos.
24. "Our Pride Is Showing" was the theme for Tau Lambda's first Homecoming in 1984.
25. Tau Lambda was colonized December 3, 1983 and chartered September 15, 1984; This year we will celebrate Tau Lambda's 25th Anniversary!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Name the AOII Nail Polish Contest

Name the AOII Nail Polish Contest AOII and Be! Products have partnered to create two nail polish collections exclusively for AOII. The best part is our members get to name the colors! Cute and clever is the name of the game. Submit your best AOII-inspired polish name to aoiionline@alphaomicronpi.org *Winning submissions will receive one AOII signature collection FREE! All entries must be received by Wednesday, April 15, 2009. Products will be available for purchase at the 2009 AOII Convention in Tampa and through the AOII Emporium.
Nail Lacquers & 2Be! Strengtheners “For Women on Top of Their Game!”® www.BeProducts.com

Monday, March 2, 2009

READ ACROSS AMERICA - Happy Birthday, Dr.!

"You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child."
What better way to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday than reading? Random House and the National Education Association (NEA) urge you to participate in the eleventh annual Read Across America and is calling for every child to be reading in the company of a caring adult. Started on March 2, 1997, NEA's Read Across America Focuses the country's attention on how important it is to motivate children to read in addition to helping them master basic skills.
To read more, visit: Seussville
The more that you read,
The more things you will know.
The more you learn,
The more places you'll go!

-From Dr. Seuss - I Can Read With My Eyes Shut

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Green Expectation: March

Adopt A Highway: Work together to clean up your neighborhood and rid it of trash and litter... Visit Adopt A Highway to find out how you can get involved... get your church, school, neighbors and family involved in the program. Anyone having flashbacks "volunteering" at Ship???!!