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.



Monday, March 6, 2017

"Wear Your Letters on Your Heart"

Fellowship, leadership and a lifelong commitment to community service are the daily themes in the lives of sorority women —from our college members to alumnae.  On Monday, March 6, these women — who number in the millions — will celebrate International Badge Day during National Women’s History Month. On that day, all of us will honor our separate and distinct Greek-letter affiliations by wearing our badges or letters.  It’s a day set aside to acknowledge successful women around the globe, whether they are U.S. senators or university freshmen working for humanitarian aid in far-away continents.

Post a photo of yourself wearing your badge, include your sorority stories, and tag #iwearabadge and @phisigmarho_natl or @phisigmarhonatl.

Wear your badge on Monday.



Expansion Updates

University at Buffalo Colony

Check out this great article here about the colony and their advisor, Dr. Sabrina Casucci, Purdue - Alpha Chapter.


Old Dominion University Colony

Welcome to the newest Colony of Phi Sigma Rho at Old Dominion University in Fairfax, VA.  The candidates were inducted on October 1, 2017.

University of Wyoming Colony

On Saturday, October 21, Phi Sigma Rho welcomed the newest candidates to the new colony at the University of Wyoming.  Thank you to the Alpha Mu Chapter at CU Boulder for being the colony's mentor chapter.


UC Santa Barbara Installation and Initiation

The membership of Phi Sigma Rho approved the Alpha Xi Chapter of Phi Sigma Rho at UC Santa Barbara via email votes.  The chapter was installed and initiated on Saturday, October 14, 2017. 


University at Buffalo

Welcome to the Colony at the University at Buffalo.  Thank you to the Colony Educators - Renee (Millard) Lueke (PIttsburgh - Zeta) and Sabrina Casucci (Purdue-Alpha) for guiding the colony.  


Omega Chapter

The Omega chapter at Virginia Commonwealth was reinstalled on February 4.  Thank you to the Howard-Phi Chapter for being their mentor chapter and attending the Installation and Initiation.  A huge shout-out to Laura Anderson (Michigan State-Alpha Delta) and Missy Mercurio (UC San Diego-Chi) for supporting the colony as their Colony Educators!  Check out this great article about Phi Sigma Rho’s return to the VCU campus.


Alpha Nu Chapter

The Alpha Nu chapter at Boise State was also installed on February 4, 2017 as the thirty-seventh chapter of Phi Sigma Rho National Sorority!  Thank you to Selena Moore (Purdue-Alpha) for being the Colony Educator!  A huge thank you to Mary Beth White (Oregon State-Sigma) and the actives and alumnae of the Oregon State - Sigma Chapter for their constant support and encouragement of the Colony.



Phi Sigma Rho Returns to VCU

Press Release published by Virginia Commonwealth University on February 13:


Richmond, VA (February 13, 2017) - A chapter of Phi Sigma Rho, a sorority for women in engineering, was reinstalled at Virginia Commonwealth University this month.

Chapter President Caitlyn Elder said, “When I found Phi Rho at VCU, I knew it was something special, especially for a woman just starting engineering school.”

The chapter had originally been established at the school in 2011, Elder said, but later went inactive. In 2014, two students restarted the group by forming VCU Colony of Phi Sigma Rho with 11 members. By adding new classes each year, the group completed the steps for reinstallation. “With 26 candidates on February 4, 2017, the Omega chapter of Phi Sigma Rho on the VCU campus was reinstalled and all the active members were initiated,” she said.

“It was a year of hard work, but I wouldn't have wanted to complete this journey with anyone other than my sisters.”

Phi Sigma Rho, which focuses on personal integrity, academic excellence and friendship, was founded in 1984 by two students at Purdue University who were unable to participate in traditional sorority rushes because of the demands of their engineering program.

Lorraine M. Parker, Ph.D., director of diversity and student programs at the VCU School of Engineering, said, “A large part of retaining students is providing them with a community to which they feel they belong. Phi Sigma Rho does an excellent job of doing this for women in engineering.”