Academy for Chapter Advisors pen and notebook
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The following post was written by guest blogger Katie Hardaway, Gamma Alpha–University of Georgia.

I am often asked why I serve as a Chapter Advisor. Those who have never had the opportunity to serve in a role like this often perceive it as a lot of time and a whole lot of work. I always struggle to convey that I get just as much out of this opportunity as I put into it.

The women I work with are remarkable and it is a privilege to be a part of their college and sorority experience. I give back to Alpha Gamma Delta because the experience I had in college molded me into the woman and leader I am today—and my advisors played a significant role in that. It speaks to the character of Alpha Gam that our organization not only invests in our collegiate leaders—but our alumnae leaders as well.

Two weeks ago, Alpha Gam Chapter Advisors gathered in Indianapolis for a weekend of learning, leadership development and fellowship at the Academy for Chapter Advisors. The weekend began Friday afternoon with greetings from International Headquarters staff and introductions from members of International Council. Dr. Corey Seemiller spoke about Gen Z and the positive characteristics they can bring to our chapters. Her enthusiasm entranced me, and I can’t wait to see how Gen Z shapes Alpha Gamma Delta as they are relationship-driven individuals who care deeply about the impact they make on the organizations they give their time to.

Jessica Gendron Williams kicked off Saturday morning by speaking on Social Excellence in Advising. She made so many great points that I deeply related to in my role as Chapter Advisor, but it boiled down to one thing: Your ability to lead is defined by your ability to connect.

In other words, relationships, relationships, relationships!

Relationships with your fellow advisors, campus professionals, Alpha Gamma Delta staff and volunteers and, of course, relationships with collegiate members lead to a better experience and more success. This is a point I have found to be so true in my position. When you take the time to build meaningful relationships, you are not only more successful in your role, but you get so much more out of the experience on a personal level.

Alpha Gamma Delta chapters have participated in Dyad surveys for the past two years, and it was great to hear from Dr. Gentry McCreary on the ideology behind the results and how they can spark meaningful change in our chapters. It was interesting to see the of practices from high-scoring chapters compared to lower-scoring chapters and learn where our efforts should be focused in order to drive the organization forward.

Mental Health is a growing concern across the nation—especially on college campuses, so we closed the weekend with Dr. Daryl Cioffi and her presentation, “Uncovering Gen Z Wellness on Campus.” Afterward, I felt more confident in my ability to be a resource for our women and handle the difficult situations they encounter.

Another benefit to gathering together is being able to connect and build relationships with other advisors. Since my first Academy for Chapter Advisors, I have found these relationships to be invaluable. Having found a resource in woman who walk in my same shoes is a tremendous asset— and I’ve made dear friends throughout the process.

Academy for Chapter Advisors was filled with great information, meaningful connections and lots of laughs. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of it and look forward to the next one!

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