By May “Mosaic” Advincula, Editor-in-chief
The “Who’s Who in NB” feature is a chance for The Jade Times readership to get to know the ladies currently serving on our National Board (NB). We begin this series with Hannah “Mocha” Seoh, a University of Cincinnati alumna who currently serves as NB president.
Hannah’s responsibilities include presiding over all NB meetings and serving as a liaison between external organizations such as the Association of Fraternity and Sorority Advisors (AFA), National APIA Panhellenic Association (NAPA) and other campus-based professionals. Outside of her national board duties, Hannah also serves as secretary for NAPA and currently works with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
In this Q&A, Hannah shares her inspirations, challenges and other insights that she has learned throughout her sorority career.
What inspired you to be involved with National Board?
“I crossed the summer before I started my senior year of college so after graduation I knew that I still wanted to be involved. I also moved away from my home chapter so getting involved on a national level was a natural progression for me.”
What has helped prepare you to handle the responsibilities of your position?
“I attribute much of my success as President to networking and attending professional development conferences, studying student development theories and researching different board models. By attending such conferences as the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values and AFA, I’ve been able to make contacts with many professionals in the field of fraternity and sorority life (FSL) – these are men and women who have made their careers in the FSL world and have a wealth of knowledge to share. I cherish not only the educational sessions at these conferences, but also the more relaxed moments where I can sit down to a nice meal and pick the brains of the experts.”
What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your position?
“Any time I see a sister who is successful in her life and attributes part of that to Delta Phi Lambda, I feel thankful. I believe that Delta Phi Lambda has the potential to help young women find their voice, explore their identity and become great leaders in their communities. If the sorority is able to help even just one woman better herself and her future, then that is reward enough for me.”
What do you find to be most challenging aspect of your position?
“The most challenging aspect of my position would have to be that there is always more to learn. As a more experienced National President once told me, “If you want to play with the big dogs, you gotta act like a big dog. And you’re definitely with the big dogs now.” Even with my years of service on National Board, I have only just begun to scratch the surface of what it takes to run a legitimate national fraternal organization. As our organization is an incorporated entity, I’ve learned a lot about how to run our ‘business.’ I will forever be learning and hope to always be able to contribute my knowledge to improve our sorority.”
Who/what is your inspiration?
“The sorority played such a crucial part in the development of who I am today that it will forever be ingrained in me and a part of who I am. Thus, being someone who is never satisfied with status quo, never happy with mediocrity, I continue to push the envelope and push myself to push the sorority to be better. On those difficult days, I remember those same experts that I’ve met at conferences who continue to stay involved well into their 50’s and 60’s. Great grandparents who no matter how busy they are or what curveballs life throws at them, still manage to give back time and/or money until the day they die. My service is miniscule compared to these extraordinary men and women. I also look to our mission and preamble because I truly believe in what we are trying to achieve. Recently I made a trip to Angel Island and reflected on how far Asian-Americans have advanced in this country. They paved the way so I can enjoy the benefits I do today, but there is still much work to be done. So I keep working hard to honor those before me and make a better experience for those who are here now and those to come in the future.”
What do you hope to accomplish in your term?
“I hope to work on a sorority strategic plan to ensure longevity and sustainability for our organization. This plan would include an analysis of our strengths and weaknesses as well as identifying potential areas of growth. I hope to continue to promote our organization and keep good relationships with our campus advisors. I will work closely with the other Board members to serve the sorority in the best manner that I can.”
What advice would you give sisters who aspire to be a part of NB one day?
“I would encourage all sisters who wish to stay involved to contact NB and volunteer their services. Our Board strongly believes in playing to individual strengths and passions so if there’s an area of interest you have, we can definitely put you to work. Being a part of a committee is a good way to be introduced to the role and responsibility of NB and becomes a good stepping stone for a position on the Board.”