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Sorority and Fraternity Life – Family Influence

Ryan Lovell, Senior Director of Parent and Family Relations and Sorority and Fraternity Life
The Ohio State University

I once had a friend, who is a police officer, joke that I must have made someone mad to have the responsibility of working with both parents and Greeks at Ohio State.  Though I had never really given that much thought, from an outside perspective, I can respect that opinion.  As we all know, many of our colleagues on campus have a skeptical view of family involvement in higher education.  When you couple that with the perception about sorority and fraternity communities and the reality of the major risk management issues these organizations have faced, I can understand the sentiment.  As you can guess from my story, I have the relatively unique position of working with both parent and family engagement and our sorority and fraternity community at Ohio State.  Though many family relations offices are in Student Affairs, I have not met many professionals who also direct…
Recent posts
Kelly Radi, professional speaker and award-winning author of Our to Sea: A Parent's Survival Guide to the Freshman Voyage

Hello parent and family program professionals!

It’s that time of year…when parents are trying to navigate the mixed emotions that come along with launching their college students. Here’s a poem from AHEPPP Associate Member Kelly Radi that describes one mom’s approach to move-in day. She has generously offered to allow AHEPPP members to share it with your parents and families free of charge, as long as you cite Kelly Radi as the source, mention Out to Sea: A Parent’s Survival Guide to the Freshman Voyage, show the cover of the book, and list (or link to) her website.

‘Twas the Night Before Move-In Day

’Twas the night before Move-In Day and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring, not even my spouse.

The totes were lined up by the back door with care,
in hopes that somehow they’d fit next to the spare.

The children were nestled all snug i…

Where Are They Now? AHEPPP Award Winner Spotlight

Lynanne Yndestad, Awards Co-Chair, AHEPPP 2019 Conference Planning Team
Director of New Student & Family Programs, Virginia Commonwealth University

So what is the impact of winning a national AHEPPP award? Your 2019 Awards Co-Chairs had a chance to check in with Haydee Reyes, winner of the 2016 Outstanding Undergraduate/Graduate Student award. Haydee won this award while an undergraduate at Fort Hayes State University and is now a graduate student at the University of Central Missouri. Check out what she had to say about how this award impacted her, what she is doing these days, and advice she has for parent and family programming professionals.    

How has winning this award affected your path in AHEPPP or higher ed in general?
This was the first award I ever received from a professional organization, and I think it served as validation for all the hard work I put into working with family programming, especially those families of historically underrepresented students. It also provid…

The Power Behind Regional Conference Development

Jess Tallant, Parent and Family Program Coordinator in New Student Programs & Family Outreach
Oregon State University

The Parent & Family Programs Western Regional Conference (PFPWRC) took place on March 21-22 at Oregon State University, where professionals from a range of institutional backgrounds and functional areas came together to discuss and gather knowledge on strategies for engaging and working with students’ parents and family members. The Western Region largely (literally) makes up 12 states including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and British Columbia. Historically the conference has taken place at a California institution, but this year I had the fantastic opportunity to host in Oregon.

My involvement with the Western Regional group began when I started my role as Parent & Family Program Coordinator at Oregon State and became of member AHEPPP, Family Engagement in Higher Education Associatio…

Book Review: "They're Ready. Are You? A Parent's Guide to Surviving the College Transition" by Liz Yokubison

Hanan Gahi, Graduate Assistant Parent & Family Programs
Rochester Institute of Technology

As a graduate student in Higher Education and a parent of three middle/high school students, Hanan offers her professional and personal view of this book. 

This book is written by Liz Yokubison who works as a marketing professional. The idea of writing this book came from her experience with her twins moving from high school to college. Liz started the book with what happens during senior year. Supporting your child while choosing a college is important. Parents don’t have to force their child’s college choice; however, they can guide their child in choosing which college to apply to based on the desired college experience.

I liked the idea of creating space at home for your teenager that Liz mentioned. While moving from childhood to adulthood, people go through a lot of changes—not just physically but also emotionally. Creating space for your teenager will help them explore themselves and ana…

Shine your Light!

Shari Glaser, Former Director of Family Engagement
Western Michigan University

I started the Office of Parent and Family Programs at Western Michigan University in 2006 and built it from the ground up. Prior to 2006, we had a dues-based Parents Association that had about 400 members. The current database of family members connected to the department is over 17,000 and it is now known as the Office of Family Engagement. I was a one-person office up until this past year when I was given a graduate assistant who works 20 hours per week. I am sharing this insight with you from the perspective of “lessons learned” in the hope that you can find a nugget of advice from my experience.

I worked tirelessly (as we all do) to build my program. As practitioners, we have two main avenues of reaching families and building lasting relationships – speaking to large groups (orientation, recruiting events, scholarship competitions, etc.) and working with individual families and students to address and re…

My First Year...

Britney Waller, Family Engagement Graduate Assistant
Western Michigan University

In August of 2018, I moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan from North Carolina to pursue my Master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership. As a recent graduate and convenient store cashier, I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I was excited to take on the challenge. I was lucky enough to not only have the opportunity to be in graduate school, but also to have a job that would give me experience and help me pay for school…but could I actually do the work?

I was not completely sure I was capable of completing the work that would be required of me in class, and I was unsure about my level of professionalism in regard to my graduate assistantship. I had plenty of practice working peer-to-peer with students during my undergraduate career but working with parents and families at the bright age of 23 was something that I did not believe I was prepared for. I felt they would notice that I …