Our President, Shelby Serad, is from Crestwood, Kentucky and majoring in American Studies with a double minor in Cyber Criminology and Criminal Justice.
What is the most important thing you've learned from being in DZ?
"I have learned a lot of things from being in Delta Zeta. The most important thing is always be there for your sisters. College is amazing. It is the best four years of your life but It can get hard. Sometimes a bad test score or getting homesick can bring you down but I know my sisters will be there for me to cheer me up. They help me study to do better on my next test or have a movie night at the house to make me feel at home. When you walk into Delta Zeta to eat dinner or just hangout, someone will say “hi” and ask how you are doing. My sisters care about me, they love me, and they would bend over backward for me. My sisters are there to celebrate the good things in life but they are there to cry and watch a Nicholas Sparks movie if I need it. Knowing I have 350 girls there for me is incredible."
What are your biggest goals as President?
"I am focusing on bringing back some old traditions that DZ had back in the day. They sound like a blast and a wonderful opportunity to create more memories. I am looking forward to working with our sisterhood chair and VP of Programings to plan some awesome sisterhood events in the fall that the entire chapter can do together. My last goal, is to put the voice back in the chapter. I was elected president by this chapter and it’s my goal to help make this chapter what the members what it to be."
What motivates you to be a leader?
"I am movivated by my sisters. We all joined Delta Zeta to meet our bridesmaids and make memories we will cherish for a lifetime. I want to make these four years the best four years for my sisters. They deserve all the fun sisterhood events, movie nights, and surprises a girl could have. These four years go by fast, so I want to make every member have the best experience of her life. I am motived by change. This chapter is incredible and the love I have for Delta Zeta can’t be put into words, but we can always make changes. Changes to better the sisterhood and experience for our members are vital for moving forward."
Who inspires you?
"My parents inspire me. My mom is a hard working women, who does a lot of volunteer work in our community. She raised me to always but others first before yourself. She is an amazing women, who always leaves any room she walks into a little brighter then when she walked in it. I have yet to meet someone who she hasn’t made smile and I don’t think I ever will.
My dad is a natural leader. His work ethic and determination is inspiring. When he sets goals, he will do whatever is necessary to meet them. Whether he is commanding a team overseas in Afghanistan or working with his team in his civilian job he is a successful leader. I grew up with him telling me how important It was to be a team player. He taught me that your teammates are the ones that are going to help you make memories, be successful, and have your back rain or shine.
Treating my sisters with respect and putting their wishes and needs first is a priority. I always try to make them smile in any way possible.
To have an executive board, filled with 10 amazing women, who have my back is a blessing. We are a team. We work as a team and always support each other.
If I can be half the person my parents are, I will be honored."
What is your personal legacy that you want to leave behind in DZ?
"I want my sisters and future Delta Zeta’s to leave this chapter better then they found It. If everyone of my sisters can make a small change, this sorority is unstoppable. I want people to remember me for the hard work I’ve put into making everyone’s dreams for this chapter come true. I want people to remember me by someone who made them feel special and important. While a chapter this big, It is important to make sure that everyone gets the sisterly love they deserve. I hope when I leave here, I have given back to Delta Zeta because this sorority has done so much for me."
“Once you choose hope anything is possible.”
These are the words I feel summarize what I learned this past summer during my internship.
I decided I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field after my experiences interning at the Mayo Clinic in high school. I am passionate about making a difference in the world and helping those who are sick or in suffering. When I tell people that I have an interest in the field of oncology, specifically in pediatrics I am instantly hit with confusion, and questions along the lines of “ Why would you ever want to do something so sad?”
For me the answer is simple. While I know it is hard for many people to comprehend, often times you can find great hope when put against insurmountable odds. Cancer is a disease that devastates not only ones body, but it affects every single aspect of your life. Last year I was on the executive board for the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, a foundation that funds cutting-edge cancer research and aims to provide support to families struggling with their child’s diagnosis. The children and families I met in my year as a board member opened my eyes to how we often take life for granted and their positivity and hope inspired me to want to continue to help people in their situation.
This year I was blessed enough to be selected as a clinical research intern at the Mayo Clinic in my hometown of Jacksonville, FL. This was a very competitive internship, only about 50 applicants from across the nation were selected and I felt so honored to have been given this incredible opportunity.
The Mayo School of Health Sciences created the curriculum for this program which includes mentorship from a physician that you are paired with as well as completing a research project for said doctor and presenting it to a group of medical professionals, peers, and health education specialists at the end of the program.
At the beginning of the program I expressed an interest in learning more about the field of oncology and discovered I would be paired with a doctor in the Jacoby Breast Center. The doctor I was paired with, along with the other women working in the clinic were some of the most inspirational, strong, and positive women I had ever met. I am so blessed to have had them as role models and I cannot even express how grateful I am for their guidance and willingness to teach me.
I learned SO MUCH every day at work that it felt like I was going to need more space in my brain to absorb the scientific information that was being presented every day. I got to shadow examinations, pathology analyses, and I worked diligently on a research project pertaining to risk factors for breast cancer. I was fascinated with what I was learning, however, I also felt as if I learned a lot about myself through this whole experience and why I am so drawn to this career path.
Yes there are days when I want to give up. There are days when the tiniest thing that goes wrong can make it seem like your world is falling apart. College classes can feel impossible and as someone who has a knack for stretching themself a little too thin I am not going to act like I haven’t contemplated completely giving up a time or two.
If I choose to continue down this career path I will experience things that are incredibly sad, but I love the patients and the families I have met so far, they are some of the sweetest and most appreciative people I have ever interacted with. For all of the pain and fear that these patients face If I can be part of the reason that their day brightens up then everything is worth it.
When I think of the beautiful, strong, and courageous women I met during my time at Mayo and how they were filled with so much hope and light at a time of such great devastation and suffering I am reminded that when you choose hope anything is possible. I learned that when you choose to persevere and appreciate every day for what it is you cannot be defeated. Life is worth fighting for and it is important to live every moment like it is your last.
I have learned about love, and sacrifice. I watched each day as women would put on a smile or crack a joke in an appointment because even though they were dying on the inside they couldn’t bear to think that anyone else should suffer because of their situation. Women are truly the strongest creatures on earth and I am encouraged to empower my sisters in Delta Zeta to be the best that they can be because they are all so beautiful on the inside and have so much to offer the world.
-Alex Sample PC '16
A picture of me with the doctor I was paired with getting taught how to examine for suspicious lumps or enlarged lymph nodes
The Mayo Clinic I worked with in Jacksonville, FL
Official blog of the Alpha Gamma Chapter of Delta Zeta at the University of Alabama.