16th National Council

Congratulations the members of the 16th National Council that will serve the National Sorority until July 2019.

National President: Mary McWilliams, Ohio State, Beta Chapter

Vice President of Standards: Becky Caldwell, Arkansas, Kappa Chapter

Vice President of Communications: Stacey Horvitz, Pittsburgh, Zeta Chapter

Vice President of Finance: Christine MacLaren, Toledo, Delta Chapter

Vice President of Collegiate Affairs: Cara Redding, Connecticut, Theta Chapter

Vice President of Alumnae Affairs: Mona Kim, UC San Diego, Chi Chapter

Vice President of Expansion: Haley MacPhee, Connecticut, Theta Chapter

Vice President of Programming: Kathleen Vijaywergiya, Ohio State, Beta Chapter

Vice President of Membership: Nichole Aquino, Connecticut, Theta Chapter

Active Advisor: Bailey Choma, Youngstown, Alpha Alpha Chapter

National Council Advisor: TBD


Phi Rhos Abroad

In Zurich

How did all of these Phi Rhos meet up in Zurich?

Rachel Unger, Arkansas Kappa Chapter Active 
I'm part of the Phi Rhos Abroad Facebook group, as I'm currently doing an internship at the German Cancer Research Center. I was on a lab retreat this past week at the Lake of Constance, so I was thinking about visiting Zurich since it was only 1.5 hours away. Emily posted in the Facebook group to see if anyone had weekend plans, and I told her I was thinking about going to Zurich. Soon, Rachel Freeman offered to host us at her apartment! Along the way Kristin and Robin joined in!
I really love that no matter where you go, you always feel connected through Phi Rho. Using this Facebook group I had a fun weekend in Zurich, and got advice about Heidelberg (the city I'm currently living in) through a fellow Phi Rho who used to live here. I love how I can go anywhere in the world, and always have sisters I can hang out with and get advice from. 

Emily Moll,  Michigan Eta Chapter Active 
It was so great to be able to spend a weekend with sisters of mine from all over the country! When I went to conference last year, my favorite pet was making new friends with people I had this strong, common connection with. It was so great to continue that in Germany. I loved spending a weekend with ladies that felt like family instantly-- the sisterhood really is forever! 
We connected through the Phi Rhos Abroad Facebook group and then spent the weekend in Zürich at one sister's apartment. We explored the city, watched some opera, drank some wine, and ate a lot of chocolate! 

Join Phi Rhos Abroad on Facebook at


Chapter Updates

Rutgers, Xi Chapter

The chapter earned 92% on this year’s Annual Report and will be recognized as a Four Star Chapter. In addition, the chapter earned four Programming Achievement Awards in the areas of Sisterhood Development, Chapter Management, Leadership Development and Membership Recruitment. 


Arizona State - Alpha Lambda Chapter

Our status in the Greek Community and Fulton School of Engineering remains outstanding. Our chapter was recently recognized by Fulton at the Student Organization Awards Recognition (SOAR) and we were given the Outstanding Fulton Student Organization for Recruitment and Retention Award.


Kentucky - Epsilon Chapter

This semester, the ladies of the Epsilon chapter loved participating in various Greek events around campus! We played in a dodgeball tournament and attended a fashion show, but the favorite event was an all-you-can-eat Mac and Cheese. We’re also proud to say that that we won Kappa Bowl, a bubble soccer tournament put on by Kappa Alpha Order and Kappa Kappa Gamma!

This semester was our first time hosting our spring philanthropy, Cupcake Wars! This was a bake- off to see who could make the best tasting and looking cupcakes with a cash prize donated to the winner’s philanthropy.

Thanks to Spring Philanthropy Chair Ali Bertelsman’s planning we were able to raise more than $600 for the American Cancer Society. Everyone had a great time participating at the event, and we can’t wait to see how Cupcake Wars will grow next year!


Cincinnati - Alpha Beta Chapter

We had the second highest chapter GPA of the entire Greek community! In the fall our chapter GPA was 3.291 and this past semester we raised it to 3.480 with 90 members! Congratulations and keep up the incredible work!!

Ashley Mattson and Amy Ostrem started a Convention Scholarship Fund last summer and they are very excited that Amy Sears, the VP of Finance, is implementing it for Convention this year. Each sister pays $5 per semester to this fund. At the end of the spring, the chapter takes applications for the partial scholarship to attend Convention. Any sister can apply for the scholarship, but they encourage younger members to apply so that they can gain the leadership experience and make connections while at Convention.  This year, there are seven scholarship available.


Howard - Phi Chapter

The Howard University Phi Chapter was initiated on Feb 18, 2007 and this year we celebrated our Chapter's 10 year anniversary!! We had over 30 actives, alumnnae, and new initiates gather together at Howard University to celebrate 10 years of sisterhood and accomplishments! The weekend included a meet and greet happy hour, panel discussion, community service, and group dinner. Pursuant with our theme “Hidden Figures”, we were joined by a local Hidden Figure, the Executive Director of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel at NASA, Ms. Carol J. Hamilton.  She, in addition to some amazing alumnae, shared invaluable knowledge during our panel discussion reminding all the women in the room, and beyond, that we are all Forces to be Reckoned with. Multiple awards were given out to actives and alumnae honoring their dedication to the chapter and displays of true sisterhood.  This was an amazing weekend full of love, encouragement, and inspiration.  As the Alumnae Chair I am so proud of this chapter and how far we have come knowing that this is only just the beginning!! 


Case Western - Omicron Chapter

The Omicron Chapter was awarded Honor in all four pillars (leadership, citizenship, ritual and scholarship) of the Pytte Cup.  It takes a whole chapter to do Pytte Cup well and we're very proud of our sisters who showed off the best things we do in each pillar!


Arizona - Alpha Kappa Chapter

Check out their recruitment video here -


Purdue - Alpha Chapter

About Grand Prix
Grand Prix, often referred to as the “Greatest Spectacle in College Racing”, is an annual go-kart race held at Purdue University each year. The race was started in 1958 as a way for engineering students to exercise their skills.  Since then, the race has grown to include a variety of clubs across campus including residence hall clubs, Greek organizations, and student led activity groups.  Qualifications are held a week before the main event, in which the fastest 27 karts advance to the main race. On Grand Prix day sprint races are completed to fill the remaining 6 spots in the race. A total of 33 karts complete 160 laps, or 50 miles, around the Purdue Grand Prix Track.  

About Phi Rho Racing
Phi Rho Racing is formed from Phi Sigma Rho, Purdue's engineering sorority.  We pride ourselves on being the only sorority on campus with a Grand Prix cart, as well as one of the few purely female run teams. The team allows its members to obtain hands-on automotive experience so they may apply their engineering skills and talents through various team rolls: Crew Chief, Finance Chief, Driver, Pit Crew, and Data Acquisition team.  

Phi Rho Racing obtains the funds necessary to maintain a go kart through generous donations from our sponsors.  As a thank you to our sponsors, we offer the opportunity to be featured on the team shirt, go kart, and a banner hung at the race.  


Arizona State University - Alpha Lambda Chapter

We're proud to recognize the Alpha Lambda chapter at Arizona State University for their recent philanthropic efforts.

The Phi Rho sisters at ASU held a Mr. Engineering Pageant on March 17th. All proceeds from the event were donated to the Girl Scouts of America. Several sisters donated their time and energy to make the event a great success. At the end of the night, Matt Schneider was crowned Mr. Engineering 2017.

To learn more about the event, please read this article by Marci Bandala that appeared on ASU's student-run news organization, The State Press.


Phi Rho Sister Organizes Local March for Science

Photo credit: Andrea Johnson, The Arkansas Traveler

On Saturday April 22, communities worldwide participated in the March for Science. According to the organization’s webpage, the goal was to “unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.” Over 500 cities held local marches, including one in Northwest Arkansas that came to fruition as a result of the efforts of a Phi Sigma Rho sister.

One night in early February, University of Arkansas sophomore Brayley Gattis was talking with her lab partner, Zachary Renfro, about the upcoming March for Science. Over the course of their conversation, she decided there should be a local one, believing Northwest Arkansas to a supportive and progressive community that would benefit from such a march.

Motivated by their talk, Brayley and Zachary up a Facebook event and invited their friends. The word quickly spread and soon, they had more than 500 people who had committed to attending.

Photo credit: Andrea Johnson. To see more photos of the event, visit the event gallery on The Arkansas Traveler website.

Planning such a large-scale and public event is no easy task. In order to march, the duo had to obtain both a university and a city permit. Brayley noted that “obtaining the university permit required a lot of back and forth, rejection, rewriting, and emails,” but that after a month’s effort, they finally received the permit.

In addition to logistical planning, Brayley and Zachary also developed a program that included guest speakers in order to “bring in a couple of different perspectives from the community.” The group of speakers included engineers, scientists, political figures, and university members.

She noted the goal of the event was to “get a great group of people to come out and show their love for science.” By most any measure, the event was a great success, even with what Brayley described as less-than-ideal weather. More than 600 people participated in the event, so much so that they overfilled the campus’ largest auditorium.

“We received almost nothing but positive feedback, which was absolutely amazing and heart-warming,” Brayley said.

Her favorite moment of the event came when she was able to introduce one of the guest speakers, the chancellor of the university, Dr. Joseph Steinmetz, who in turn thanked Brayley and Zachary for their efforts in putting the March together. It was, as Brayley noted, “an incredible moment.”

Given the success of the event, Brayley hopes there can be another march next year. For all she accomplished, her work may not be done.

Brayley Gattis, born and raised in Fort Smith, Arkansas, is a sophomore at the University of Arkansas and a sister of the Kappa Phi Sigma Rho chapter. Gattis is majoring in Chemistry and French and will be graduating in May 2019.


Abby’s “Best things to do in St Louis” list

Planning your travels to Saint Louis for this year's Convention? One of our founders and Saint Louis native, Abby, has you covered! She has given us an exclusive list of what to do, what to see, and, most importantly, what to eat while you're in the Gateway to the West.

Italian food of any kind!
Pappy’s Smokehouse - St Louis Ribs
Dewey’s Pizza
Ted Drews Frozen Custard
St Louis local specialties are Gooey Butter Cake and Toasted Ravioli
Fitz’s Root Beer float


Best Tour combo:
Riverboat cruise + Arch to the Top - be sure to watch Monument to a Dream movie under the arch


Fun Things happening:
Wednesday night - Music Festival at the Missouri Botanic Garden - 7:30p - free
Thursday night - 21 and over only - Blues cruise Riverboat cruise 8-11p - $22
Any night - Muny Opera outdoor musical - All Shook Up - Elvis meets Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night - 7:30pm free if you wait from 4pm for the free seats, but tickets start at ~$25 and up


Places to Explore:
Zoo - free admission - great zoo
City Museum - totally fun for all ages - an active space to explore
Budweiser Tour - free
Blueberry Hill bar on Delmar Loop - check out the stuff and pictures on the walls during the day
Grant’s Farm - free - take a tram tour through a wildlife area, and see the stables and animal shows, then visit the home of the baby Clydesdales across the street


Tour possibilities:
Discover St Louis - does custom tours $150/3 hours with own transportation
Fun Trolley Tours - 90 min tours - $22pp - but may do custom tours too


Half-day trip:
Meramec Caverns - 1 hour drive west ~$16pp
Cahokia Mounds Historic sight - huge prehistoric native civilization - 30 min  - free


Full-day trip:
Canoe float trip on the Meramec River
Elephant Rocks (1.5 hr) and Johnson’s Shut Ins (0.5 hr more) for cool natural water/rock scramble fun


Also cool and unique to St Louis if you are interested in the subjects:
Museum of Transportation
Missouri Botanical Garden - will have a glass exhibit going as well as the usual Climatron geodesic dome and other great garden features
Daniel Boone home
Ulysses Grant National Historic Site - more interesting than it sounds
Old Cathedral/New Cathedral
Old Courthouse
Blues Museum
St Louis Art Museum - free!
Soulard Farmer’s Market - operating continuously since 1779
World Chess Hall of Fame
Fitz’s root beer is a St Louis classic.  You can tour the bottling facility and try the food and sodas at the restaurant.