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Guest Blogger: Can I get a degree in extracurriculars?


From my position as the president and CEO of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, I’m often asked by members of the media or university administrators to highlight some examples of success in today’s fraternity/sorority experience.  One of the first examples I use is often the members of Gamma Sigma Alpha across the country.  These men and women are outstanding examples of the academic success earned by so many students today.  Their success is through hard work, dedication to the learning community and the prioritization of academics in their daily schedule.  As a Gamma Sigma Alpha Board member, I’m proud of our member’s achievements and hold these men and women up as role models for others.

 These students are evidence that you can achieve excellence in the classroom and be a member of the fraternity/sorority community.  They exemplify the value of academic achievement and integrity that must be part of the complete fraternity/sorority experience.  All members of the fraternal community should embrace the concept of learning for personal growth and commit to excellence in the classroom. 

Too often, it is easy for our outstanding leaders to major in “activities” and place a lesser emphasis on the academic side of their collegiate experience. A true leader finds the balance.   

So, if you are a student struggling with academic focus, ask yourself some hard questions:  Are the people you hang around with encouraging you to go to class, meet with your faculty, go the academic success center and study?  If not, maybe you and your friends need to make some changes to your routine in order to create new habits and seek academic success.

Academic success must be learned and it’s easiest to do it at the beginning of the academic experience.  It can and should be learned and practiced.   Our newest members of the fraternity and sorority community can look to the outstanding members of Gamma Sigma Alpha for motivation and know how.   Do you want to know how to do well in college? It’s easy. Follow the example of those that have already proven their success. Look to your Gamma Sigma Alpha scholars.

Peter Smithhisler, President & CEO

 North-American Interfraternity Conference

Posted: January 25th, 2011 in GSA News | 1 Comment »

Scholarship Spotlight: Ashley Sanford

Ashley Sanford_Headshot

Ashley Sanford is one of six graduate student scholarship recipients awarded by Gamma Sigma Alpha for the 2011-2012 academic year. Sanford graduated with her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She enjoyed her undergraduate time at APSU so much, she has continued there for graduate school. She is currently in her second semester in the Master’s in Corporate Communications program. Sanford is a proud member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority and upholds the fraternal principles in her own life: service, scholarship and sisterhood.

Sanford has been an integral part of many service projects during her time at school. Most notably, she has worked with the Ronald McDonald House, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Goodwill Industries and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. She also spent significant time volunteering as a note taker for the Office of Disability Services at APSU.

Throughout her undergraduate years, she joined many organizations, held numerous leadership positions and was recognized with a laundry list of honors, however her scholarly focus never waivered. Sanford continually made the Deans List and her academic achievements made her an excellent candidate for Gamma Sigma Alpha. Sanford said, “Gamma Sigma Alpha has allowed me to stand with a select few qualified initiates and exemplify the highest ideals of academic excellence in the Greek community. These experiences have made my four years as an undergraduate an experience of a lifetime.”

We wish Ashley continued success in academics and in all future endeavors. Congratulations again!