By Kristine “Aster” Medina, Assistant Editor

Convention weekend gives undergraduate and alumnae sisters the opportunity to get up close and personal with candidates for the national board of directors (BOD). Sisters will be able to ask further questions following the candidates’ speeches Saturday morning.

The candidates this year are Wilma Miranda for national president, Jaleesa Reed for vice president collegiate, Tracy Wang for vice president of records and Christ-Anh Nguyen for vice president of records. The outgoing board members are President May Advincula, Vice President Collegiate Elizabeth Thai and Vice President of Records Christine Ho.

“Our sorority is rapidly growing at 17 chapters,” the national elections committee said in an email. “Therefore, we want to give sisters as many opportunities as possible to familiarize themselves with candidates before casting votes.”

The committee also hosted a Meet the BOD Candidates Q&A via conference call on July 14, where candidates answered various questions from sisters who participated. The call was led by the committee chairwoman, Pamela Pedersen from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

“We highly encourage sisters to take advantage of the meet and greet event at Convention,” the committee said. “We also encourage sisters to look at the 2015 BOD Candidate Announcement that was sent out by us previously. Several detailed questions and answers are listed in the packet.”

The Board of Directors Meet and Greet will be held 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Courtyard Charlotte University Research Park in Charlotte, NC. Below are questions The Jade Times asked each candidate about their personalities and visions for the sorority.


Wilma

Wilma Miranda

How would your chapter (or line sisters) describe you in three words, and why?

private, humbled, detailed (from my line sister, Kady)

generous, perceptive, creative (from my line sister, Chaileen)

I assume my line sisters described me with these words because I’m very giving with my time to those I care about, and don’t typically ask for anything in return. Also, I’ve always been into art and various creative outlets (I’m a professional web designer), so being detailed and perceptive go hand in hand.

What is your most memorable Greek life experience?

I have many memorable moments in my Greek life experience that I would love to share, but I will highlight my crossing. I remember the feeling of accomplishment and relief knowing that our goals had finally been achieved after 3 years of hard work and dedication as an interest group.

What defines a dedicated female leader?

There are many things that can define a dedicated female leader, but I truly believe our virtues are a strong foundation for what makes a dedicated female leader.

Who inspires you as a dedicated female leader (does not have to be a sister)? Why?

Two women within our sorority that have inspired me for several years are Hannah Seoh and Maria Jaochico. I’ve known these women since I crossed in Spring 2005, and I’ve had the honor of working with them in and outside of National Board. With their extensive knowledge and experience, personally, professionally and fraternally, I’m proud to have them as my mentors.

What motivated you to run for national president?

I’ve been on National Board since 2007, primarily serving as the Web Director and briefly as Vice President of Records from 2010-2012. Having seen our sisterhood grow throughout the years with the various leaderships, I’ve gained knowledge and experience to understand how to improve our operations and expand on our successes. I usually like to be in support positions, but I’ve learned to step up from behind the scenes and be more vocal about positive changes that I know would greatly impact our evolution with each passing year.

Where do you see the sorority in 5 years if elected into the position?

I’d like to see our sorority still setting the standards that we’ve set for ourselves as well as pushing far beyond them. I see our chapters thriving in membership, academics and programming through an improved Chapter Excellence Program, and expansion to at least another five universities (hopefully toward the West).

What is your lifelong goal or dream?

As RuPaul said, “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” I apply this quote to all aspects of my life and not just people. My lifelong goal is to continually improve myself (personally and professionally) and ensure my overall happiness in all my endeavors.

What type of food describes your life currently?

The first food that comes to mind is Japanese curry. I love cooking in general and especially love Japanese food. At first glance and without knowing how to make it from scratch, Japanese curry seems to be a simple dish. When I finally tried my hand at cooking it, I realized there were many steps and it was more involved than I had imagined. So my life is similar in that it may look simple and almost routine from an outside perspective, but it really consists of many things working behind the scenes.

If you were interviewing someone for this position, what would you ask?

Why do you want to be national president, and what improvements do you wish to make to take our sisterhood to the next level?


Jaleesa Reed

Jaleesa Reed

How would your chapter describe you in three words, and why?

I actually asked the current President of my chapter, and she said “inspiring, determined, and creative.” Inspiring because I said something recently that resonated with her and creative because I’m into fashion and design.

What is your most memorable Greek life experience?

There are so many! Lately, I’ve been thinking about how important my Big has been to me and all the things that I’ve done with the sorority. At my first Convention in Orlando, I remember walking out of General Assembly and telling her that I wanted to be President of our chapter. Fast forward a couple of years and that actually came true! But she was like great, do it! She’s always been supportive of whatever I’ve chosen to do, and she was the first sister that told me “I’ve received so many things from the sorority, why wouldn’t I give back to it?” And I’m still here, giving back.

What defines a dedicated female leader?

I think that a dedicated female leader is someone who is passionate about making things better for others, whether it be in her personal relationships, with her family, her community, or her chapter. In general, I think that’s something that unites sisters everywhere. We have this idea that a dedicated female leader can only be someone who does work for the sorority. That’s not necessarily true because every sister doesn’t do work that only pertains to the sorority and those that do may not do that work to the same degree, but that doesn’t make them less of a dedicated female leader.

Who inspires you as a dedicated female leader (does not have to be a sister)? Why?

I would say that my mom inspires me because she lives in her own unique way and I think that’s admirable. To me, she’s fearless and I know that fear can be crippling so I strive to be a little bit more like her every day and try not to let fear control my life.

What motivated you to run for your VP Collegiate?

It just seemed like the most logical next step after being director of new member services for two years. A couple of sisters suggested it to me, and I thought, why not?

Where do you see the sorority in 5 years if elected into the position?

I’m looking for efficiency and unity. I’m hoping that we will be more efficient in how we communicate information both ways from the national level to chapters and from chapters to national. I’m also hoping to see more unity between chapters, especially within regions, so that they can really work together to create a local network of support.

How would you describe your sense of style, and how does it tailor to your personality?

My sense of style is pretty casual and classic. I’m actually a big fan of business casual, when its done right. I’m really into lines, silhouettes, and the structure of a garment. I’d rather purchase quality pieces or take my time to find something that I really want. I guess my personality is straight to the point. I’m patient when it comes to finding the right outfit and also dealing with problems and people.

What is your lifelong goal or dream?

My lifelong dream is to not corner myself with too many goals and to live life according to my own ever-changing definitions.

If you were interviewing someone for this position, what would you ask?

I would ask: What do they think about the current state of our chapters? Where do they think we need the most work, and realistically, what do they think they can accomplish in this position in the next two years?


Christanh

Christ-Anh Nguyen

How would your chapter describe you in three words, and why?

reliable, passionate, caring PER Quynh Ho

Passionate – You have always had passion for the sorority. Always strive to do better things and give back to our sorority & our chapter. Many sisters tend to stray away from being actively involved with our sorority as they become alums due to busy life post-graduation. But you manage to stay involved as much as possible – being on NB as well as our chapter advisor.

Influential – You’re strong about leaving positive impacts on our sisters. You were always honest with them, whether in giving them advices or pushing them to be a better dedicated female leader. You definitely lead by examples.

Reliable – You provide a very useful resource that our sisters turn to whenever they run into a problem or have a question. The chapter presidents who have worked closely with you during your term as chapter advisor know that they can always count on you for the right guidance in leading the chapter.

What is your most memorable Greek life experience?

My most memorable experience is when my line decided we were going to drive to Atlanta and Washington D.C.. Eleven girls in a 16 passenger van. That’s pure entertainment right there.

What defines a dedicated female leader?

What defines a dedicated female leader? Some may say someone that leads and is strong, outgoing, etc., but I can’t really define it because why set boundaries when I can go beyond it? We have endless characteristics. Why should we limit ourselves?

Who inspires you as a dedicated female leader (does not have to be a sister)? Why?

Not to sound cliche but my mom is my inspiration. She’s always giving more than what she has, and she’s always encouraging. To give something when you have nothing says a lot to me.

What motivated you to run for VP of Records?

I want to make small changes for the bigger picture. We have all this history, but is it being utilized to our full potential? How do we know if there is progress? If there’s record of it everywhere, who has the latest version? How can we better measure our success and keep record of it?

Where do you see the sorority in 5 years if elected into the position?

I hope to see the sorority grow and more collaborative efforts between chapters.

What is your spirit animal, and why?

Otters because they have good taste in food, and they tend to sleep in rafts when they link up together.

What is your lifelong goal or dream?

To have a nonprofit that target at risk teen population.

If you were interviewing someone for this position, what would you ask?

How would you improve the current process and procedures regarding this position (for example, the chapter excellence program)?


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Tracy Wang

How would your chapter (or line sisters) describe you in three words, and why?

Direct, amiable and cheerful

What is your most memorable Greek life experience?

My first AFLV experience was the most memorable. It was a semester after i crossed and my first time meeting so many sisters from the Midwest and down South together and also meeting other Greek orgs. A lot of the sisters i met back then are good friends with me now, and we still keep in touch. I guess that was the first time I felt a strong sisterhood experience.

What defines a dedicated female leader?

A dedicated female leader is someone who stands up for what she believes in and acts as a role model for other females in academics and in professions. She is able to offer guidance to future sisters when needed and willing to aim for her goal no matter what life throws at her.

Who inspires you as a dedicated female leader (does not have to be a sister)? Why?

I would say my mom ’cause my mom has been working all her life, and she doesn’t have all the opportunities I have had. So I want to fulfill both my goals and hers of becoming whoever we want to be. And show her that women don’t necessarily have to be just housewives and stay-at-home moms and be inferior to men. We can be independent, strong and smart women, too.

What motivated you to run for national president?

Hmm… to be honest, I never thought that I would part of BOD or even headquarter staff. I do enjoy our sisterhood, and I really want to be part of something big. And I really do believe in our mission/vision statements and virtues. After working under the current vice president of records, I really enjoy working on the national level, and I believe I have the potential to do something great for the sorority. Vice president of records is all about organizing our archives, which was something I really did enjoy doing when I was the archives manager. So I wanted to run for a bigger position, and since vice president of records was available, I decided to run for that.

Where do you see the sorority in 5 years if elected into the position?

Within the next five to ten years, I would love to see more chapters expand to the east coast and the missing gaps between the Midwest, Northeast and the down south chapters. I hope to see a strong positive presence and impact on existing chapters’ campuses and communities. I definitely want to see more chapters’ interactions and more focus on sisterhood bonding. Hopefully with more chapters in the future, there will be more support for chapters’ events and collaboration with other APIA organizations to create more Greek unity.

What is your lifelong goal or dream?

Well, at the moment, I don’t really know yet. I can easily adapt to anything, so I believe when the time comes that I will know what I really want to do for the rest of my life. At the moment, I am still trying to figure it out. But I am glad I have a stable job and am learning all I can from it. I just started two weeks ago. Eventually, it will lead to where I want to go.

If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?

Being able to read minds because everyone has different life experiences, so the way they think would definitely be different, too. I want to understand how each person thinks, so I can learn how to establish a better connection with them.

If you were interviewing someone for this position, what would you ask?

What are some improvements you would like to see for the upcoming term for this position?


Stay up to date with convention weekend and current updates on the candidates via The Jade Times at www.instagram.com/thejadetimes.

 


Featured Image: Aldan Jones

Article images: Special to The Jade Times