Finally Thetas: Dana Benton ’16 and Erin Jenson ’17

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Love at First Kite, Bid Day Fall 2013

Before attending the recruitment meetings for Alpha Beta, I had heard great things on campus about the goals of the chapter and the high standards it holds for women.  The meetings were delightfully welcoming while informatively emphasizing the goals of the organization, which are academics, character, and community work. I felt excited to pledge because the speakers gave such a warm vibe of sisterhood. The poise, class, and confidence of the executives overwhelmingly impressed me and, as a young woman new to college life, I feel that these ambitious women are fantastic role models.

         Our journey began with two memorable recruitment events. At Sisterhood and S’mores, the ladies were warm, welcoming, and encouraged us to tell them about ourselves. The second was more formal and gave us a chance to meet all the sisters. The upcoming Saturday was bid day! We accepted our bids in a small, cozy room and spent some time happily conversing with some familiar faces. We were finally new members.

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Big/Little Reveal!

         For the next few weeks, we attended New Member meetings every Sunday night with Julia Nee, where she taught us the values of the fraternity, its history, and the true meaning of sisterhood. Julia’s poise, fashion sense, and soothing nature are the images coming to mind for us. New membership is a time of humility and a time to reflect on the privilege of sisterhood. Along with all the seriousness though, the sisters held events all of “Inspiration Week” before Initiation to help bring us closer together. We became closer to our sisters through bonding activities like Faith, Hope, Love night and our Big/Little Reveals where we popped balloons to reveal the names of our bigs. Then, our bigs gave us adorable, cozy Theta blankets! There were some activities that we couldn’t partake in until we would become members. This added a little bit of excitement and a little bit of nerves. What were the secrets? What didn’t we know? What are they keeping from us?

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Initiation Fall 2013

On November 1st, all new members met at Bond Hall and ceremoniously relinquished their pins, one by one, to Ashley Gochoco, our CEO. This was the first step to becoming an official member. We took an oath to the fraternity and pledged our loyalty. We all were excited for the much-anticipated Initiation ceremony the next day. We were told nothing except that this event would be one of the most memorable events in our lives and we can attest that it certainly was special. A very intimate atmosphere made us feel so close to our sisters who guided us through each step carefully. As we stepped out of Bond Hall, we embraced our new, official Theta badges with care, respect, and honor. We were finally Thetas and we couldn’t be happier with our new family!

 

TLAM,

 

Dana Benton & Erin Jenson

 

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Alumnae Spotlight: Dina Zingaro ’13

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Dina Zingaro ’13

Dina Zingaro ’13 Current Job: News Associate at CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley in NYC

After graduation, like many Swatties, I plunged into a free trial of Netflix and decompressed from all the emotions of senior year and graduation. Soon though, I started reaching out to and met up with alumni I had worked with in the past – Cynthia Leive ’88 at Glamour, Martha Spanninger ’76 at the NPR affiliate Latino USA. I was so thankful to sit down with these women who had been in my shoes years ago and to listen to their advice on how to reorganize my resume, but even more, on how to navitage the limbo Swatties find themselves in after graduation. With the support and honesty they offered, both Cindi and Marty would have made great Thetas. During July, I started interning at an interreligious journalism organization in NYC, Odyssey Networks – Marty actually suggested the organization. Since I was a Religion and English Lit double major and had worked in journalism since high school, Odyssey served as a fitting transition after Swat. Even though Odyssey could not hire me full-time because of budget cuts, my boss connected me with dozens of journalists in the field that helped me expand my network. Staying active with work that interests you – even if the position is unpaid, and saying “yes” to meeting with anyone and everyone are two of the most valuable things I learned post-Swat.

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For a few weeks this summer, I had the opportunity to travel with a fellow Theta sister – Ms. Amanda Brown and another Swat friend. We lived as tourists (which isn’t always easy…so many foot blisters!) traveling and soaking up the sights and sounds of other countries. After sufficient carbo-loading in Europe, I returned to the US and picked up on the job search I had left behind.

At the end of September, I was hired as a News Associate at CBS News in NYC, for which I will spend 4-5 months at a time at different broadcasts such as CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes and Face the Nation. Right now, in the Research Department of the Evening News with Scott Pelley, I conduct research and background interviews, along with fact-checking the accuracy of the daily broadcast. This week is my fourth week and it’s been a rush; there are so many moving parts to the product that airs at 6:30 pm each night and to contribute even the small piece that I do is a thrill.