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From SLU to the Peace Corps: Three Sisters and Where They’re Headed

by Maeghan Connor

When I joined KDS, I was overwhelmed with the fact that I had just become part of an amazing group of people that I would have the rest of my time at St. Lawrence to get to know. As a sophomore, I could not even begin to picture what I would be pursing post-graduation— it seemed lightyears away, and for the time being I focused on my life at SLU and getting to know the people I was surrounded by every day. I soon found that every member of KDS was unique, and everyone in my class held different interests. However, it was obvious that everyone was also passionate and driven in everything they were involved in on campus, and now post-graduation that is still the case. Our 19 seniors from the class of 2018 are all pursing various jobs in cities scattered across the county. Plans range from pursuing higher education to hitting the ground running in the financial industry. Coming into senior year, I was excited to find out what everyone would be pursing after SLU. One thing I did not predict was that three of us, including me, would be heading into the Peace Corps.

Katie O’Connell will be heading to Senegal to work as an Environment and Agriculture Change Agent. She will be learning environmentally-friendly and sustainable agricultural practices that aim to produce healthy and economically advantageous crops. She will then teach these practices to local communities to help transition the area away from mono-cropping, which is a result of the countries colonialist history. Katie is very excited to be living and working in West Africa, an area of the country she has never been before. Although she is anxious about having to miss out on things happening at home, such as KDS’s 50th birthday, she knows that her family will be there when she gets back.

 

Rachel Snitzer will be working in Botswana in HIV/AIDS capacity building as a Life Skills Educator. She will be placed in a school where she will plan and implement programs aimed at teaching kids about sexual health and empowerment.  Rachel is extremely exciting to be traveling and living in a place she has never been before where she has the opportunity to learn and embrace the culture and the people. She knows this will be one of the greatest challenges and adventures she has ever had.

I will be heading to the Philippines to work as a Coastal Resource Management Outreach Facilitator. I will be placed in a government municipality, which can oversee 10-50 different communities. I will not know exactly what I will be working on until I arrive in country, but I know that the projects I am assigned will be related to five areas: increasing environmental awareness through environmental education, conducting resource assessments of marine ecosystems, establishing protected marine areas, policy work for protected areas, and strengthening community-based organizations. As a double major in Conservation Biology and Global Studies, this position is my dream-job and I am still in shock that I am able to pursue something that I am passionate about. Although nervous, I am beyond excited to learn about a part of the world that is vastly different than what I am used to.

When I met Katie and Rachel as a sophomore, I could not have predicted that we would all be beginning our post-grad life in countries thousands of miles away from St. Lawrence. Although our reasons for joining vary, we all share an underlying passion for doing what we believe is right and meaningful. I am so lucky to have met these two women and cannot wait to hear about their adventures during their service in the Peace Corps!

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The Kitchen Table Time Warp

By Ellie Stief

Apparently, hours have passed. Suddenly, you realize you’re still at the kitchen table in what you wore to class. You’ve eaten lunch, and if we’re being honest, dinner is already out and you’re planning on indulging. You’ve talked about everything from the test you took and weren’t prepared for, the choreographed dance to ‘The Sweet Escape’ By Gwen Stefani from 5th grade that you still can do, and how you cried in career services the other day. People have come and gone, but you’re still at the table. You’ve been absorbed into the kitchen table time warp.

I wasn’t quite sure what to write about at first for this blog post. It just so happens that I spent most of my time deciding while sitting at our table. I wanted to write about something that felt unique, yet relatable; something about KDS that brought me joy, which others could read and say, “yes Ellie, thank you for shedding light on this, I too feel a personal connection to the KDS kitchen table”. Personally, I am a frequent flyer of the table. Easily the best part of my day is spent sitting there during the lunch time hours. Sitting with Bill, our chef, at the table as he finishes putting out lunch, waiting for the waves of sisters and house boys coming to eat, is part of how I start my days. After moving into the house this semester, I found my class schedule allowed for a few hours in the middle of the day to finish, (or start), work for my second class, have lunch, and most importantly, catch up with everyone at the kitchen table. I cannot tell you where those hours disappear to each morning, and where the hours go when I come home from class and sit down again, and where the hours of sitting late-night at the table with a pan of nachos go. But what I do know, is that never regret a minute that goes by. Anyone who has ever settled in at the kitchen table of 53 Park can understand the blissful time warp.

With something as tangible as a table and 20 + chairs, it is imperative to look beyond that, and recognize the opportunity we have to sit with one another, share meals, moments, and create memories during the short few years we are here together. No matter how fleeting or enduring the memory, any experience we’ve had sitting at this table has left an everlasting impression on our character and our hearts. It is in this time warp that we find ourselves happily letting our thoughts be consumed, and problems fade. Maybe it is just a table, but I believe we at Kappa Delta Sigma have made it much more than that.

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Alumni Weekend Recap

by Kristen Phillips

Each semester, KDS hosts an alumnae weekend in which any and all KDS alumnae are welcomed back to 53 Park Street for a weekend full of fun, laughter, and as expected; friendship. Many special moments are shared during KDS’ alumnae weekends, and this past one was no different – our Spring 2018 Alumnae Weekend was held beginning on April 13th, 2018, and was chock-full of fun; here’s a brief overview!

On Friday, KDS kicked off the weekend and welcomed approximately 14 alumnae, who arrived perfectly in time to hang out with the current sisters after the annual faculty reception ended. After chilling in the living room, doing classic KDS things (i.e., sitting on the large bean bag watching “The Office,” drinking ice water from wine glasses, sharing our favorite stories with each other), it was time for bed to prepare for the busy day we had ahead in the morning.

Saturday was the first of two alumnae brunches, where tired, hungry alumnae and current sisters dug into an array of yummy breakfast foods while sitting around the kitchen tables reminiscing and sharing memories. Shortly after, it was time for our 5K and BBQ event to begin! Whether the sisters and alumnae were participating in the 5k or not, everyone had a blast cheering on the runners and stuffing their faces with burgers and hot dogs catered by the local “Little Italy.” Alumnae were able to meet and form relationships with the newest fall 2017 pledge class, and throughout the day, bonds were formed and smiles were shared.

The alumnae were lucky enough to be able to come to the KDS formal held at the Tick Tock which really let them relive their favorite past time – and last but not least, late night around the kitchen table eating nachos with extra cheese, surrounded by ATO brothers, alumni and friends. Before departing on Sunday, sisters current and past shared a casual brunch and slowly headed home – but not without leaving an impact behind. It was an eye-opening experience for many of the current sisters to see just how powerful and truthful the phrase “in love and friendship” KDS values, and it was a weekend in which all sisters realized what KDS means after graduating.

All in all, it was a weekend and a half, to say the least; friendships were formed and rekindled, stories were shared, and 53 Park Street felt like a home away from home, holding a special place in the hearts of many. It is this aspect of KDS that makes friendships life long and our home on 53 Park Street continuously welcoming.

Alumnae weekend, although annual, has many moments that make the haul up to Upstate New York worth it, and here are some of responses from recent alumnae who made the trip up this past month to celebrate with us!

“Since graduating from St. Lawrence I have continually felt supported by the KDS alumnae network. Whether it’s a prospective job opportunity, general life advice, a celebration or a difficult time I have found that my sisters from all class years have been by my side. Getting to come together, be back on campus and see how KDS has grown is amazing and we are always so thankful to be so welcomed back home.” – Liz Miller ‘17

“I think the first year after graduation you especially still feel a strong connection to campus and the people here, so being able to come back and make more memories together as alumnae with the next generation is really cool.” – Julie Rogers ‘17

“KDS is such a special place in the way that you not only become a leader and more prepared for everything from internships to interviews, but also brings you closer to so many people you wouldn’t have met otherwise

Since graduating, I have met so many KDS ladies in Boston, and it always feels like I have been friends with them my entire life.” -Audrey Milazzo ’17

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Farewell, Seniors

As the end of the semester draws nearer and spring weather is finally upon us, 53 Park St. is filled with a mix of excitement and sadness. Excitement for finals to soon be over, new jobs and internships to start, and summer nights that feel endless. Yet as all those things draw nearer, so does the farewell of our beloved seniors, and for that we are not prepared. We are not prepared to not see their smiling faces everywhere on campus, and not prepared to say goodbye to our mentors, our partners in crime, our best friends, our sisters.

Here is a look into the awesome things our seniors will be doing post-graduation.

Claire Gardner is continuing her education toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Salem State University. Meg Musser is on her way to the University of Delaware to pursue a Masters of Science in the Plant and Soil Science, as well as to work as a Research Assistant for the Plant and Soil Science team there. Hunter Hitchman is sticking around with us, as she will be attending graduate school here at St. Lawrence in the counseling program.

Julia Ristine has taken an internship with Aspen Peak Magazine and will be moving to either Utah or Idaho.

Maia Furnari is spending her summer at home in Vermont helping her sister move and nannying for her nephew, and then she will be moving to Boston in late summer.

Sydney Henegan is soon to be a research assistant in the Pediatric Department at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

We have several women heading to work in the financial industry. Maddie St. Pierre is moving to Buffalo, where she accepted a position at M&T Bank’s Headquarters in their Management Development Program, with a focus on Branch Management. After acquiring a position from an internship last summer, Jenny Scudder is moving to San Jose after graduation to work for eBay. Libby Roberts is off to work as a Financial Institute Specialist at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in New York City. Maddie Rice is very excited to move to NYC as well and start a position with S&P Global Market Intelligence in their Associate Development Program in July. She will even be living with two KDS alumnae: Sarah Evarts and Julie Rogers!

Finally, we have three women heading to the Peace Corps. Very soon, Catie O’Connell will be in Senegal working as an environment and forestry change agent teaching sustainable practices to local communities, Rachel Snitzer will be in Botswana as an HIV/AIDS capacity builder and life skills educator, and Maeghan Connor will be in the Philippines as a coastal resource management volunteer. Go change the world ladies!

Here are some things that our seniors will miss about KDS, and some advice they wish to leave behind.

“At KDS I will miss meal time, where everyone is in the dining room catching up and talking about their day. It was always a great study break, and gave me a chance to talk to sisters that I didn’t get to see on a regular basis.” -Sydney Henegan

“I’m going to miss seeing my best friends every day and leaving KDS which has become home for me.” -Lauren Soule

“I will miss being surrounded by so many amazing people, who never cease to impress me. I am grateful to have been able to live with such a supportive group of people and to have made long-lasting friendships that I can carry on into my life after college.” -Libby Roberts

“Practice self-care. Practice not just when it gets to the point of necessity, practice it always. You are important and a priority, and you owe it to yourself.” -Shannon Casey

“Take advantage of every opportunity on campus. Branch out and do things that make you uncomfortable and meet new people that you might not know! I tried to do this over the past 2 years and I wish I had done it from the start of my SLU career.” -Paige Gannon

“Never take the small things too seriously because in a year from now they won’t matter or be worth stressing over!” -Maddie Rice

“Have fun. Whether it’s going out, going for a sunrise hike in the morning, skiing for a weekend, have fun while you’re here! Do what makes you happy!” -Anna Cummings-Krueger

“Wherever life takes me, I know I’ll always miss and cherish the small moments shared with sisters who are so special. I’ll miss walking into the house and being greeted by so many smiling and supportive faces, hanging out and talking about life in each other’s rooms for hours, Dunkin’ runs, and drives looking for cows to see. I always have sisters to support and share encouraging words me along the way and that is something I will forever be thankful for.” -Emily Parent

Congratulations on everything you have accomplished ladies! Each of you has shown us what it means to be fun, intelligent, graceful, compassionate, and selfless individuals – essentially, you have taught us what it means to be Kappa Delta Sigma. I know you must all move on and share with the entire world the same love you have shown to St. Lawrence. I can’t help but be a little selfish though and wish we could keep you here with us longer. You are all exceedingly strong, intensely passionate, and irrevocably loved women who will be missed dearly. Have faith in who you are, because we all believe in you and wish you nothing but endless happiness. So go forth excitedly and guiltlessly into the world, but know you will always have a home here with us.

In love and friendship,

Jordan Flanagan

 

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KDS Hosts Annual 5K & BBQ

Despite forecasts of heavy rain and hail storms, dozens of students and community members crowded at 53 Park Street to get ready for Kappa Delta Sigma’s 2nd Annual 5K and BBQ event. The event was held to benefit the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer, and included carnival games, a raffle, and a performance by the Singing Saints.

Katie Miller ’19 is one of the co-philanthropy chairs of KDS and helped organized the event. “Even though we had a smaller turn out than expected, I’d say the event was a success,” said Katie.  “My family members have been impacted and some have even died from cancer,” continued Katie, “so it’s great to see so much support come from the community.” Alex Godfrey ‘19, Vice President of KDS, also agreed with Katie. “It was really nice to see members of the SLU student body, community and other Greek organizations there to support us.”

Toward the end of the race, the light rain turned into hail. “I tried to let the weather not discourage me, but it definitely was challenging at times,” said student Paige Gannon ‘18. “But I knew I was running for a good cause, and had my sisters by my side, running along side me and cheering me on.”  Other participants also found the weather to be encouraging. “Although the weather was cold and rainy, I believe it was the opposite of discouraging, in that the hail really motivated me to get to the finish line,” said Alex.

The weather required all hands on deck. Unfortunately, the carnival games had to be cancelled, and the Singing Saints concert was moved indoors. “I was worried that with the weather, we’d have to cancel the event,” said Katie. “Thankfully, we have a really great group of girls that was able to pull it off.”

Overall, the event raised $752. $100 of the proceeds will be allocated to the Luke Harvey ’18 Memorial Travel Grant established by the Geology Department.  “I want to say thank you to everyone that came out,” said Paige. “We raised a substantial amount of money, and we look forward to hosting it again next year.”

by Emily Osiecki