Full name (First name “sorority nickname” Last name): Xuan “Zest” Pham

Chapter, class and number: Loyola University in Chicago, Charter Class “Faithful Five” #06

Current occupation and location: Graduate student, pursuing [a] Masters in Medical Science at Mississippi College [located in] Clinton, MS; looking to get into dental school after.

What did you study at your alma mater and how has life been outside of college?

[I received] a BS in Molecular Genetics at Loyola University (LUC). Life after my undergraduate experience at LUC has been very sporadic, many ups and downs in both personal and career aspects of my life, but they serve more or less as constant, humbling reminders to myself to appreciate what I have, the hard lessons in life I’ve had to endure and not give up on the things and people that I hold very near and dear to my heart.

Has there been any exciting news in your life?

I guess I’m just excited to have started my graduate program! I’m doing well and the program is challenging (my nerdy brain); although I do have to say, I’m not pulling as many over-nighters as much I did when I was in undergraduate. I guess that’s a plus in terms of study habits improving, right?!

Do you still keep in touch with sister(s) even after college is done?

Yes I do! [However], I’m a busy bee with graduate school. I always do try to say hello to some of my sisters and ask how they’re doing with things in their life. I’m so far away from them, so it’s just harder to keep in touch. I strive to try to make it annual thing where I come back and spend time with my old/new girls at chapter. I love meeting the old/new girls and seeing how everyone is doing.

How do you feel the Sisterhood has benefited you in life so far?

I think ‘our sisterhood’ has helped me realize and appreciate my time while I was active. Whether it had something to do with teamwork, respect or discipline, these were constant themes I’ve noticed that seem to replay [themselves] in terms of my transition towards ‘post-life after undergraduate,’ so to speak.  Sometimes you may not see them at first, but they’re there through and through. As you progress throughout life, you slowly come to appreciate the values and virtues our sorority upholds.

What is your favorite memory with Delta Phi Lambda?

I don’t think I have just ‘one favorite memory’ with the sorority. I think reflecting back, I’d like to think my favorite memories are all the times, both good and bad, that I’ve been through with my line sisters. Sometimes, when I reflect, I have to chuckle because it’s kind of funny, [thinking on] some of the silly things we did back then. Not every line is going to be perfect. Not every chapter is picture-perfect as well. But the [train of] thought is to be able get pass one’s indifference and moves towards ‘improvement and/or some level of forgiveness,’ because at the end of the day, if you care for each other, as though you were ‘real sisters,’ if you can put the pride aside and act on true sincerity, I assure you things will turn out for the best!

Closing statement/sisterly advice to pass on your wisdom to future generations:

To my young ladies starting out with the sorority: your time with the sorority as a sister really goes as far as you’re willing to take it. Don’t let small misfits deter you from enjoying your time in the sorority. Be open to forgiving and reminding yourself that we’re all a part of a dynamic sorority where we’re all different. Hiccups are bound to happen, but remain open that you want to work something out and I assure you, things will pan out eventually! Meet as MANY sisters as you can from different chapters, as some of them JUST may be that someone you find yourself leaning on when you need their love and support later in life.
Finally, I’d like to close with a note on appreciation. I think we’ve experienced at some point when someone expressed appreciation towards us. It makes the effort that we’ve put into something so much more worthwhile. With that being said, I’d like to remind some of us to take the time out to express appreciation to sisters, near or far, and just thank them for whatever they’ve done. Just the small thank you, just makes everything much more worthwhile and gives us the drive and passion to continue to want to contribute to our sorority so we can grow together. Of course, that means I have to say thank you to all sisters that volunteer their time overseeing the sorority. Without them, our sorority would have not grown as much in the last 10 years! So a special thank you to all you lovely ladies! Especially [to] “ The Jade Times” staff, I actually enjoy and always look forward to reading our newsletters! Thank you to Ms. Kristine Kippie “Sumitra” Aguilan for even thinking of me for this issue’s Alumnae Highlights.