By Alberta “Harlequin” Chu, Acting Editor-in-chief

Valerie “Chairality” Li’s motto, as the midwest governor of Delta Phi Lambda, is “sisterhood first.” Li believes the strong bond between sisters is the most powerful drive that will push the growing organization toward a brighter future.

Li joined the sorority in the fall of 2011 at Purdue University. A native of Urumqi, China, Li sought to meet friends that shared her cultural background and commitment toward empowerment and leadership, and she found them within the sisterhood of Delta Phi Lambda.

“I was clueless of who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life,” Li said. “Purdue University gave me a great education and taught me how to become a professional, but Delta Phi Lambda taught me about close friendships, work-life balance, and the meaning of staying true to yourself and believing in your own potential.”

Li’s leadership skills shined when she served as chapter president as an undergraduate. During her tenure, Li and her sisters successfully petitioned for their chapter’s active status, hosted the midwest formal for the first time at Purdue University, and sustained the highest grade point average among all sororities in the university.

“Sisters who worked with me on the team back then are still very close to me today, and I have no doubt these bonds will last for a lifetime,” Li said, as she reflected upon their endless, caffeine-filled committee meetings.

During the 2015 national convention, Christ-Anh “C-Reyus” Nguyen, former midwest governor, encouraged Li to apply for the midwest governor position. Li did and was appointed to the position in the fall of 2015. Since then, she has dedicated herself to providing midwest chapters with resources they need to help them achieve their goals.

Li seeks to encourage chapters in the midwest to interact with each other more in order to foster a stronger bond. She plans on accomplishing this goal through hosting regional retreats.

“It is important that chapters come together to bond at regional retreats,” Li said. “We can hold panel discussions, where I can assist each chapter based on their different needs, but it is just as important that sisters get to spend time playing sports and eating out with other sisters in the midwest.”

She remains in contact with the midwest governor of Lambda Phi Epsilon and is contemplating the possibility of collaborating with them for a retreat this year. Li said she believes that it is equally important to learn from others as it is from ourselves.

Gwen “Staccatö” McMillion, Li’s big sister and a past Purdue alumni advisor, is not surprised of Li’s aspirations as midwest governor after having seen her achievements as an undergraduate.

“Valerie has always been a very hard working person,” McMillion said. “Not only is she dedicated and passionate, but she is very friendly and is always willing to listen to others’ concerns. I think that is what makes her a good leader.”

Li acknowledges that managing her positions is not always easy, especially while juggling a demanding job and applying to graduate school. She works as a carrier operations specialist at Nolan Transportation Group, a logistics company. She helps freight brokers manage shipments to maximize profit and minimize risks, works with carriers to negotiate rates for different shipments, tracks truck drivers and assisting them when problems occur and identifies inefficiencies at the workplace to implement changes accordingly.

Nevertheless, Li enjoys the challenge and believes that by working together with sisters, our growing sorority will be able to overcome obstacles and achieve our goals.

“It is easy to get distracted by programing, budgeting for fundraisers,or delegating or being delegated to meetings,” Li said about sorority business. “But if sisters can always refer back to why they joined the sorority in the first place, if they can be reminded of the purposes of why our sorority exists, everything will start to make sense.”

Featured Image: Valerie Li