Alpha Omicron Pi Nonprofit Organization
Fraternity U.S. POSTAGE
International Headquarters Bolingbrook, IL
5390 Virginia Way Permit No. 374
Brentwood, Tennessee 37027
CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED
THE PURSUIT: AN AOII’S QUEST FOR
THE LEADER OF AL-QAEDA IN IRAQ p.20
of Alpha Omicron PiDragma To
For Life | Summer 2016 Vol. 80 No. 3
SPECIAL TWO-SIDED ISSUE
Joelle McWilliams, Kappa Tau,
embraces International President
Gayle Fitzpatrick, Alpha Rho, as
she receives her Rose Award at
Leadership Institute 2016.
2| Summer 2016
10 16 contents
4 Viewpoint 17 Life Loyal On the Cover:
6 From the Archives 20 The Pursuit: An AOII’s Quest Nada Bakos, Alpha Phi
8 AOII Emporium For The Leader Of al-Qaeda (Montana State U) former
10 Volunteering for AOII In Iraq CIA Chief Targeting
12 AOII Foundation Feature 24 SwatchPop! Officer. Photo supplied by
14 Alumnae Chapter Directory 26 Living & Learning Abroad Bakos.
16 AOII Night Out 28 Meet the 2016-2017 ELCs
32 Things We Love
For Life | 3
About Alpha Omicron Pi: ViewPoint
Alpha Omicron Pi was founded at Barnard College in Happy Summer! Our theme at Leadership
New York City, January 2, 1897, by Jessie Wallace Hughan, Institute this year was “Be The Story.”
Helen St. Clair Mullan, Stella George Stern Perry &
Elizabeth Heywood Wyman. This theme created a special weekend of
The Object of the Fraternity: learning, sharing, sisterhood and many
The object of the Fraternity shall be to encourage a spirit opportunities for all of the attendees to tell
of Fraternity and love among its members; to stand at their AOII story. No matter where you are
all times for character, dignity, scholarship, and college in your AOII journey, you have your own
loyalty; to strive for and support the best interest of the meaningful stories to tell. From your first
colleges and universities in which chapters are installed, connection to AOII at a recruitment event,
and in no way to disregard, injure, or sacrifice those your first time experiencing our beloved
interests for the sake of prestige or advancement of the Ritual at your initiation, being a leader in your
Fraternity or any of its chapters. collegiate chapter, your involvement as an
Mission Statement: alumnae belonging to an alumnae chapter,
Women Enriched Through Lifelong Friendship. serving as an advisor to a collegiate chapter or serving the Fraternity at the
Culture Principles: Network or International level, all of these experiences contribute to your
A look at “how” we do things: Accountability & AOII story. These are the stories that have significance in your life.
Ownership, Collaboration, Engagement, Innovation,
Open & Honest Communication As Oprah Winfrey said, “With every experience, you alone are painting your
How to Join Life Loyal AOII: own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice.” Whether you are an
Visit the AOII website (alphaomicronpi.org), or contact AOII collegiate or alumnae member, be proud to share your AOII story and
[email protected]. the impact of what being an AOII has on your life.
How to Join an AOII Alumnae Chapter:
Visit the AOII website for contact information on an Another AOII story that continues to be written is one of service to the
alumnae chapter near you. National Panhellenic Conference. In the fall of 2017, Carole Jurenko Jones
will assume the Chairmanship of the Conference. As we have shared,
International President this milestone opportunity for the Fraternity only rolls around every 52
Gayle Fitzpatrick, Alpha Rho (Oregon State U) years. To commemorate this special time of AOII leading the National
Panhellenic Conference, the AOII Executive Board in partnership with the
Executive Director Rituals, Tradition and Jewerly Committee, are excited to share that we have
Troylyn LeForge, Beta Phi (Indiana U) commissioned our first ever commemorative badge honoring Carole’s 2017-
Alpha Omicron Pi is a member of the National 2019 Chairmanship. The commemorative badge will feature emeralds in the
Panhellenic Conference and the Fraternity ‘O’ and the corners of the ‘II” to represent the signature green of the National
Communications Association. Panhellenic Conference. All other aspects of our badge will remain the
same. This will be an opportunity for us to highlight our story around our
4| Summer 2016 love for service and community as we share with others our AOII story and
our role within the National Panhellenic Conference. For more information
on the commemorative badge, please see page 5 for all of the details.
Leadership Institute was also an opportunity to celebrate the many great
successes of our collegiate and alumnae chapters this past year. It is inspiring
to see all of the impressive achievements by our chapters!
With the start of recruitment season, what better time is there for our
AOII stories to be told and shared with potential new members? Your
enthusiasm and excitement to share your best AOII experience is one of
the best assets you have as a collegian to make a connection and build
relationships with potential new members. Embrace this opportunity to
share your amazing stories!
I look forward to hearing from our collegians and alumnae as you share the
stories that you will write and experience in the coming year.
Gayle Fitzpatrick, Alpha Rho (Oregon State U)
AOII International President
Commemorative AOII Badge PIP Carole Jones, Alpha
Delta (U of Alabama) was
In October 2017, Alpha Omicron Pi Past International President presented with the first
Carole Jurenko Jones, Alpha Delta (U of Alabama) will begin a
two-year term as Chairman of the National Panhellenic Conference. ever commemorative
Alpha Omicron Pi’s Executive Board and the Rituals, Traditions, badge at Leadership
and Jewelry Committee are excited to announce a limited edition
commemorative AOII badge to recognize this milestone which only Institute 2016.
occurs once every 52 years. Carole was presented the first badge
at Leadership Institute 2016. She alone may wear it until they are
released for sale.
The badge will be available in sterling silver or 10K yellow or white
gold and will feature emeralds in the “O” and in the corners of the
“II” to recognize the National Panhellenic Conference’s signature
green color. Considered a secondary badge, it will be available for
purchase by initiated members of AOII who are in good standing.
Ordering will be handled through Herff Jones beginning early 2017
until the close of the October 2019 annual meeting of the National
Panhellenic Conference. Specific dates and pricing will be shared as
they become available.
AOP CIRCLES OF SISTERHOOD F.
Lux Jeweled Bangle available in black, silver (not shown), gold or rose gold-plated with or without
NEW! laser engraved Greek letters. small*: 2 3/16” W (approximate 6.5” circumference)
medium: 2 3/8” W (approximate 7” circumference)
A. Yellow-finish Lux Jeweled Bangle,
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E. Triple Bangle Bracelet, #TBANGLE...$36
F. Jeweled Blush Watch, #SUMMERTIM...$50
FromTheArchives 32 years in the making
by Kelly Davis, Summer Archives Intern and
Haley Cahill, Assistant Director of
The summer of 1985
took sisters of AOII to
Washington, D.C. for the
The excerpt at right was
printed in the 1985 winter
edition of To Dragma.
The article captures the
beautiful scenery of the
city and includes must-
see attractions, including
the Lincoln Memorial
and and Washington
Monument, while also
building anticipation for
the opportunity to gather
with hundreds of AOII
sisters for the extravagant,
biennial celebration. Though
Washington, D.C. has
changed tremendously in the
last 32 years, excitement for
AOII Convention has remained
Join us in D.C. again next
summer for Convention.
6| Summer 2016
1985 Convention attendees.
Past International President Edith Huntington Anderson, Beta Phi (Indiana
University) eloquently discussed the common sentiment felt by any AOII in
attendance of a Convention. Her thoughts were printed on the back of the
opening banquet program for the 1985 Convention:
“Each AOII should feel that Convention is hers- that its success depends on her
attitudes and responses, and that each is here not merely as a guest, but as an
integral and necessary part of the whole organization. Each AOII should feel that
Convention is hers-not just for a week, but for the rest of her life. May we take
away to our chapters and for ourselves always the love, ideals and friendships of
a happy week of inspiration together.”
After 32 years, the sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi will return to Washington,
D.C. for the 2017 Convention, June 28 through July 1.
This biennial celebration is full of education, networking opportunities
and camaraderie among women from all around the United States and
Canada. With entertaining skits by the Past International Presidents and
elaborate awards presentations, engaging workshops and thought-
provoking seminars, it is sure to be a magnificent event.
1985 Convention program.
For Life | 7
As tens of thousands of sisters can attest to, AOII is not just four years, it is for life. Your AOII
experience does not have to end after you put on that cap and gown. In fact, the AOII alumnae
experience can be just as rewarding as the collegiate experience. Whether you graduated college
3 months ago or 30 years ago, there are countless ways to stay connected to AOII. One of the
most valuable and rewarding opportunities to dive back into AOII is to volunteer at the local or
international level. Check out all these great volunteer options!
ALUMNAE ADVISORY COMMITTEES
If you live near a collegiate chapter, consider becoming an adviser. Each
collegiate chapter is supported by an Alumnae Advisory Committee
(AAC), comprised of alumnae who advise and collaborate with collegiate
chapter officers. These alumnae fill some of the most crucial AOII volunteer
positions available. Budget savvy alumnae might look to serve as Financial
Advisers; those with a passion for recruitment are needed as Recruitment Advisers;
and members who understand the pros and cons of social media use might serve
as Communications Advisers. Other needs could include Chapter Advisers, Risk
Management Advisers, Panhellenic Advisers, New Member Advisers and many more.
OFFICERS & CHAIRMEN
Alumnae Chapter involvement as officers and committee chairmen is another great
way to stay connected to AOII, while boosting your resume with great volunteer service
experiences. These roles, like those in an AAC, open the door to meeting AOIIs from chapters
across the US and Canada while building a strong alumnae sisterhood in your area. Short on
time? Many of these roles have a minimal time commitment, so they are great opportunities for
busy alumnae looking to get involved.
HOW TO APPLY FOR
A LOCAL POSITION
For more information on available local collegiate and alumnae positions, go to AOII’s Fulfilling
the Promise website at edu.alphaomicronpi.org. Once you have created an account or logged in,
click ‘All Contacts’ at the bottom of the left-hand column, then select the chapter you are interested
in serving. For collegiate AAC positions, contact the Network Specialist – Leadership or Chapter Adviser.
For alumnae chapters, the Chapter President is the first point of contact.
10| Summer 2016
For AOIIs who are seeking more involvement, there are many volunteer opportunities available at the international
level. Members who love recruitment and travel may be a good fit as Recruitment Ambassadors or Network Specialists -
Recruitment. Members who love chapter operational efficiencies make ideal Network Specialists - Leadership. There are roles
for financially-minded members, public relations experts, alumnae chapter specialists and many others. Specific details of each
are outlined on the AOII website/About/Opportunities/Volunteer Position descriptions. See application on AOII’s website for
HOW TO APPLY FOR AN INTERNATIONAL POSITION
The first step is to complete a Volunteer Application Form located on the AOII website under ‘About/Opportunities.’
Applicants may rank the volunteer positions in order of preference for serving. Once submitted, a volunteer from the Human
Resources Committee will be in contact to discuss available opportunities that match skills and interests. Potential Fraternity
volunteer positions are listed below.
NETWORK DIRECTORS & NETWORK SPECIALISTS
There is one Network Director per Network, and these roles are typically filled by veteran volunteers who have previously
served as a Network Specialist or another comparable position. Working closely with staff and the Specialist in their Networks,
NDs also serve as part of the Fraternity Management Committee.
There are five Network Specialist areas, including: NS-Alumnae, NS-Development, NS-Finance, NS-Leadership and NS-
Recruitment. These roles work under the guidance of a Network Director with assigned chapters within a network to support
the specific area of expertise.
COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN AND MEMBERS & SPECIAL APPOINTMENTS
AOII currently operates with several committees that hold specific responsibilities. These Committees include
Constitution Interpretation & Revision Committee (CIRC), the Education Committee (EC), the Human Resources
Committee (HRC), the Public Relations Committee, and the Rituals, National Panhellenic Conference
Committee (NPC), Rituals, Traditions & Jewelry Committee (RT&J), and the Nominating Trustees (NT).
Several positions are filled by special appointments by the AOII Executive Board. These roles
include the AOII Historian, International Parliamentarian and the National Panhellenic
AOII BOARD POSITIONS
The members of the AOII Executive Board and AOII Foundation Board are elected
by AOII Council at Convention. The nominating process and qualifications to
serve are detailed on the AOII website. The process is currently in progress
for board elections in June 2017. The AOII Properties Board is appointed
by the Executive Board. Members serve two-year terms beginning
on July 1. For more information and a board application, contact
the HRC at [email protected].
& TRAINING AMBASSADORS
Recruitment Ambassadors are volunteers who travel to collegiate
chapters to assist with recruitment. Training Ambassadors travel to
AACs to train and assist with efficient operations. To apply to become a
Recruitment Ambassador or Training Ambassador, or for more information,
contact Lindsay Stoltz at [email protected]..
Turn the page for AOII FOUNDATION OPPORTUNITIES. For Life | 11
FoundationFocus Giving Time, Talents and Treasures
by Haley Cahill, Assistant Director of Communications/Editor
Kate Chapman, Kate Chapman, Xi Omicron (U of Arkansas) will tell you two of her
Xi Omicron (U of Arkansas)
favorite things are AOII and the University of Arkansas. Upon completing
her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Arkansas,
she moved to Florida, where she accepted a position as Assistant Director
of New Student Orientation at the University of North Florida.
Being an alumna member of AOII and hundreds of miles away from her
alma mater in an unfamiliar city, she yearned for opportunities to stay
connected to her two passions, while also meeting new people.
“I knew AOII was for a lifetime and I knew if there were any way for me to
find people and get out there, it would be through AOII,” Chapman said.
She joined the AAC for the Gamma Omicron Chapter at the University
of Florida and met with other alumnae for dinner every month. While
she enjoyed working with the collegiate chapter and meeting other AOII
sisters, Chapman did not feel like she was giving back to AOII like she had
Having worked as a student caller for the University of Arkansas
Foundation, Chapman had the love and knowledge necessary for
Foundation work and was interested in similar opportunities within AOII.
An advertisement for the newly created Young Alumnae Council through
the AOII Foundation, caught Chapman’s eye and she quickly applied for
the opportunity. Chapman was one of 10 alumnae selected to serve on
While on the YAC, Chapman worked to create programs which would
inspire young alumnae to become involved in the AOII Foundation. After
two years on the YAC, Chapman wanted to spend more time visiting AOII
women and speak more directly about the work of the AOII Foundation,
so she became a Foundation Ambassador.
“I was really excited about the opportunity to go out and speak to others
about the AOII Foundation and teach them what it has to offer and how
wonderful it is, not only for collegians, but for alumnae as well,” Chapman
If you would like to become a Foundation Ambassador, we
are looking for representation in the following states and/or areas:
12| Summer 2016 Alabama Illinois Kentucky Texas
Georgia Indiana Louisiana Washington
Chapman has several memorable experiences as a Foundation As an AOII Foundation
Ambassador, but perhaps the most vivid memory was a time she traveled Ambassador, you are the
to a chapter to discuss the Ruby Fund. voice of the Foundation in
your local community. Your
“I started to explain how the Ruby Fund could help if something like a role is to inform collegiate
hurricane came through and left a sister in dire need. A woman in the and alumnae members
back row started to tear up, but quickly brushed it off,” Chapman said. about the importance of the
“After the presentation was over she came over to me and told me how a Foundation and its programs
very close family friend, who was almost like a mother to her, lost almost which Secure the Future of our
everything in a hurricane years earlier—and was only able to get back on Fraternity through leadership
her feet after help from the Ruby Fund. She said when she learned that as development, scholarships
a girl, she made the decision from then forward that she was going to be and philanthropic endeavors.
a sister of Alpha Omicron Pi.”
While Chapman has connected with so many of the sisters she has met
while traveling, she said she still faces the challenge of changing the
mindset of many women who want to give a financial contribution, but
are unsure of what their donation would benefit.
Chapman said one of the most important parts of being a Foundation
Ambassador is showing sisters how financial contributions affect both a
collegiate and alumnae member’s experience in AOII. It is vital that each
potential donor knows how worthwhile their donation is, and how many
options there are for giving.
While financial contributions are a great way to support the AOII
Foundation, young alumnae can also serve the Foundation as a volunteer
after graduating, like Chapman. As a monthly donor and Ambassador,
Chapman has gone above and beyond to give back with her time, talents
Foundation Ambassadors attend AOII State Days or Province Days, Founders’ Days, Alumnae Chapter Meetings, Col-
legiate Chapter Meetings, anniversaries and other events as requested to make a Foundation presentation. Ambassadors
serve a two-year term and are asked to travel to chapter meetings and events in their local areas.
For more information about becoming a Foundation For Life | 13
Ambassador or volunteering for the AOII Foundation, send an email to
Alumnae Chapter Directory
Alabama Connecticut Indiana
Birmingham Alumnae Central Connecticut Alumnae Bloomington Alumnae
Greater Gadsden Alumnae Indianapolis Alumnae
Huntsville Alumnae Delaware Evansville Tri-State Alumnae
Mobile Alumnae Muncie Alumnae
Montgomery Alumnae Delaware Alumnae Terre Haute Alumnae
Fort Lauderdale Alumnae Bowling Green Alumnae
Alaska Alumnae Greater Lee County Alumnae Central Kentucky Bluegrass Alumnae
Greater Miami Alumnae Kentuckiana Alumnae
Arizona Greater Pensacola Alumnae Kentucky Lakes Alumnae
Greater Pinellas Alumnae Lexington Alumnae
Phoenix Alumnae Orlando Area Alumnae Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati
Tucson Alumnae Palm Beach County Alumnae Area Alumnae
Sarasota Area Alumnae
Arkansas Tampa Bay Alumnae Louisiana
Little Rock Area Alumnae Acadiana Alumnae
Georgia Baton Rouge Alumnae
California Central Louisiana Alumnae
Athens Alumnae Hammond Area Alumnae
East Bay Alumnae Atlanta Alumnae Monroe Alumnae
Greater Los Angeles Alumnae Middle Georgia Alumnae New Orleans Area Alumnae
Greater Sacramento Valley Alumnae Northwest Georgia Alumnae Shreveport-Bossier City Alumnae
Inland Empire Alumnae Savannah Alumnae
Long Beach/South Bay Alumnae Maine
North Bay Alumnae Iowa
Northern Central Valley Alumnae Greater Portland Alumnae
Northern Orange County Alumnae Central Iowa Alumnae
Palo Alto Alumnae Maryland
Santa Barbara County Alumnae Idaho
San Diego Alumnae Baltimore Alumnae
San Fernando Valley Alumnae Pocatello Alumnae Suburban Maryland Alumnae
San Francisco Alumnae
San Gabriel Valley Alumnae Illinois Massachusetts
San Jose Alumnae
San Mateo Alumnae Bloomington-Normal Alumnae Boston Alumnae
Southern Orange County Alumnae Champaign-Urbana Alumnae
Ventura County Alumnae Chicago City Alumnae Michigan
Chicago North Shore Alumnae
Colorado Chicago NW Suburban Alumnae Ann Arbor Alumnae
Chicago South Suburban Alumnae Dearborn Alumnae
Denver Alumnae Chicago West Suburban Alumnae Detroit North Suburban Alumnae
Rocky Mountain Alumnae DeKalb-Kane Alumnae Grand Rapids Alumnae
Lake County of Illinois Alumnae Kalamazoo Area Alumnae
Macomb County Alumnae
Minnesota North Carolina Tennessee
Minneapolis/St. Paul Alumnae Charlotte Alumnae Chattanooga Alumnae
Greater Greenville Alumnae Knoxville Alumnae
Mississippi North Carolina Foothills Alumnae Memphis Alumnae
Port City Alumnae Nashville Area Alumnae
Greater Jackson Alumnae Piedmont of North Carolina Alumnae
Mississippi Gulf Coast Alumnae Triangle Alumnae Texas
Missouri Austin Alumnae
Ohio Dallas Alumnae
Greater Kansas City Alumnae El Paso Alumnae
Mid-Missouri Alumnae Cincinnati Alumnae Houston Alumnae
St. Louis Alumnae Cleveland Area Alumnae North Texas Alumnae
Cleveland West Alumnae San Antonio Alumnae
Montana Columbus Alumnae
Dayton Alumnae Utah
Bozeman Alumnae Mahoning Valley Alumnae
Toldeo Area Alumnae Salt Lake City Alumnae
Lincoln Alumnae Oklahoma City/Metro Area Alumnae Northern Virginia Alumnae
Omaha Alumnae Tulsa Alumnae Richmond Area Alumnae
Virginia Tidewater Alumnae
Nevada Oregon Williamsburg Alumnae
Las Vegas Alumnae Portland Alumnae Washington
Pennsylvania Palouse Area Alumnae
New Hampshire Seattle Alumnae
Bucks County Alumnae
New Hampshire Alumnae Greater Erie Alumnae Wisconsin
Greater Harrisburg Alumnae
New Jersey Lehigh Valley Alumnae Green Bay-Fox Cities Alumnae
Philadelphia Alumnae Madison Area Alumnae
Central New Jersey Alumnae Pittsburgh Alumnae Milwaukee Alumnae
Jersey Shore Alumnae State College Alumnae
London Area Alumnae Alberta
Montreal Alumnae Rhode Island
Northern NJ Alumnae Calgary Alumnae
Rhode Island Alumnae
New Mexico British Columbia
Central New Mexico Alumnae Vancouver Alumnae
Aiken, South Carolina Alumnae
New York Charleston Alumnae Ontario
Upstate South Carolina Alumnae
Buffalo Alumnae Ottawa Alumnae
Long Island Alumnae Toronto Alumnae
New York Capital Region Alumnae
New York City Area Alumnae
NY/NJ Metro Alumnae
To connect with an alumnae chapter in your area, please contact For Life | 15
Ally Howard, Assistant Director of Alumnae Engagement.
[email protected] or (615) 370-0920
October 26, 2016
Join us for AOII Night Out!
We are so excited for our next AOII Night Out, Wednesday, October 26, 2016! It has been so much fun,
watching sisters all over the United States and Canada celebrating friendship and AOII sisterhood! We
encourage all of our alumnae and collegiate sisters to plan anything from grabbing a cup of coffee, en-
joying happy hour together, watching a movie, having a play date with your kids, or even catching up
over the phone! After your wonderful time with sisters, connect with your sisters everywhere by posting
your AOII Night Out photos or updates on social media using the hashtag #AOIINightOut! We hope you
will take time on October 26th to enjoy another fabulous AOII Night Out!
16| Summer 2016
With grateful appreciation, Alpha Omicron Pi recognizes the following
members who joined Life Loyal between March 15, 2016 and July 20, 2016.
Alpha Gamma Delta Theta Lambda Tau Sigma Beta
Briony Furness Paige Soto Cheryl Bourg Kristan Carney
Audra Rabroker Kelsie Welch
Epsilon Alpha Nu Beta Sigma Chi
Ali Greenberg Mary Kate Berger Caitlin Gilman
Beta Gamma Steffanie Hettinger Victoria Gilder
Sarah Rosenbaum Rachel Nester
Bansari Patel Stephanie Draughon Sigma Gamma
Epsilon Chi Janie Robertson
Beta Phi Nu Lambda
Blair Ginnever Nena Jovonovich Sigma Omicron
Epsilon Gamma Nu Omicron Autumn Mears
Chi Epsilon Hope Williams Mary Hancock Sigma Theta
Allison Loechtenfeldt Brittney Liesmann
Rachel Monnin Epsilon Omega Omega
Chi Psi Whitney Meghan Brown Abigail Bachman
Nicole Pulse Gamma Alpha Phi Beta
Delta Delta Tina Byer Kimberly Keeney
Jennifer Byrd Phi Gamma
Mary Gamble Gamma Omicron
Hollie Schwanebeck Upsilon
Evan Brooke Hill Laura Capista
Delta Epsilon Miko Guzzardo
Kappa Chi Phi Upsilon
Sadie Fudge Mary Cartwright Upsilon Beta
Delta Nu Kappa Omicron Brandi Gabbard
Lindsey Forbes Kathryn White Pi Theta Xi
Jordan Haygood Aimee Barreto Ashley Marullo
Delta Pi Brianna Ginnever Xi Omicron
Jordan Seaman Rachel Deems
Lambda Beta Rilye Dillard
Delta Tau Laura Boyer
Tiffany Monroy Zeta Pi
Olivia de la Paz Lambda Sigma
To join, visit LifeLoyal.org For Life | 17
Recently graduated and Continuing Education Site
looking for your first job?
Seeking a career change
in another city?
Hiring at your company?
Check out the AOII Career Center,
where you can search for internships
and jobs around the world, or post a
job opening at your own company.
Bonus! The AOII Career Center has resources for continuing
professional education for alumnae at a 10% discount, thanks
to a partnernship with FinLogic and Lorman Education.
18| Summer 2016 Start searching today! www.alphaomicronpi.org/career-center
In this issue, you read about a member’s journey to become a
competitive bodybuilder, an alumna’s unique interior design website,
another member’s life in Korea, and an AOII who is a former CIA
We believe all of our members have incredible stories. Share
yours or another sister’s story with us by emailing
For Life | 19
How Nada Bakos, Alpha Phi (Montana State U) climbed the
CIA ladder to become the Chief Targeting Officer responsible
for tracking one of the world’s most wanted terrorists.
by Haley Cahill, Assistant Director of Communications/Editor
Montana native Nada Bakos studied economics from 1987-1991 at Montana
State University, where she was initiated into the Alpha Phi Chapter of
AOII. She transferred to the University of Utah to complete her degree. Upon
graduating, Bakos used her background in economics for employment in a
variety of industries, including manufacturing and mining.
In 1999, a position with the Central Intelligence Agency caught Bakos’ eye
in The Economist newspaper. Intrigued by the opportunity, she applied for
the position online and was surprised to get a phone call shortly thereafter.
Having the skillset and work experience that matched the qualifications,
Bakos was offered the job and joined the CIA in 2000.
20| Summer 2016
NADA BAKOS, ALPHA PHI
(MONTANA STATE U)
Bakos initially worked in an so she made a career move to Bakos became the Chief
organization management work in the Counterterrorism Targeting Officer who led the
position, charged with Center of the CIA. team responsible for tracking
allocating resources for the CIA. one of the most wanted
She then worked as a traditional Her initial job with the terrorists at that time, Abu
analyst, where she examined Counterterrorism Center was Musab al-Zarqawi.
the movement of money for to examine what role Iraq had
illicit goods and services, such with the 9/11 attacks and al- Zarqawi, a native of Jordan,
as human trafficking. Qaeda. Shortly before the U.S. was the leader of the militant
invaded Iraq in 2003, Bakos was Jihadist group, Jama’at al-
One year after joining the CIA, sent to Baghdad to work at the Wawhid wal-Jihad, which
the United States fell victim to U.S. base, which opened her primarily targeted Shiite
terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda on eyes to the reality of the war. Muslims.
September 11, 2001. Bakos was
at the CIA when she heard the “I was naïve,” Bakos said. “If you Zarqawi was responsible for
news of this attack. have never been in a war zone, orchestrating multiple suicide
you have absolutely no idea bombings, kidnappings, public
“Like everybody in the nation, what to expect. Your reference beheadings and torture of
we were watching this horrific is tv or movies, and that is not countless government officials,
thing play out on the tv and remotely close. It is awful—it religious figures, native civilians
you are feeling helpless, really is awful.” and even tourists.
wondering what is next,” she
recalled. From the base, Bakos said she His extremist tactics caught
heard constant gunfire and Osama bin Laden’s attention.
After the 9/11 attacks, Bakos could see individuals launching In 2004, Zarqawi joined forces
found herself questioning what explosives in their direction, but with bin Laden and his group
she could do to contribute to she remained focused on her took on a new identity: al-
the fight against the terrorism, mission. Qaeda in Iraq, which later
ForLife | 21
became known as the Islamic As explored in the continued to plot attacks
State of Iraq, or ISIS. HBO documentary, against our country, and our
“Manhunt: The friends and allies,” the President
Her thoughts constantly Search for Bin said. “The death of bin Laden
revolved around Zarqawi’s Laden,” the marks the most significant
whereabouts and plans, information they achievement to date in our
and she did not anticipate obtained was nation’s effort to defeat al-
the toll that it took on her critical, as they Qaeda.”
psychological well-being, as she learned this courier
was eventually diagnosed with was bin Laden’s Bakos also recognized the
post-traumatic stress disorder. only means for symbolism of his death, noting
communicating to that it could help provide
“I was not prepared for how the outside world. closure to families who lost
this would affect me—this They began to loved ones in the 9/11 attacks
entire job,” Bakos said. “In gather intelligence or in combat in Afghanistan.
my experience in Iraq and about the courier
in dealing with terrorism in and track his With the deaths of Zarqawi and
general, you are just continually movements. The bin Laden, Bakos closed the
bombarded with bad news and documentary goes chapter of her life as a CIA Chief
the ugly side of humanity.” on to reveal that Targeting Officer, but used that
trackers discovered knowledge and experience in
After years of tracking Zarqawi the courier was her next endeavors.
Bakos decided to leave the CIA living at a large
after years of tracking Zarqawi; compound in Pakistan. With “I’m looking at next steps, but I
however, the information her all eyes on the compound, still have one foot in the foreign
team had gathered played the decade-long hunt for the policy world and national
a monumental role in the terrorist leader neared an security and that is still of great
ongoing search for bin Laden. end when they discovered interest to me,” Bakos said. “I
that same compound was think I’ll never leave that.”
During his leadership, Zarqawi also where bin Laden was
had been brutally killing hiding.
Muslims, with which bin Laden
did not agree. He sent Zarqawi With that discovery, the mission
orders to stop, but Zarqawi to enter the compound to
ignored him. In an effort to capture or kill bin Laden was
regain control, bin Laden sent designed. On April 29, 2011,
one of his most trusted aides President Obama gave the
to Iraq. Zarqawi was killed in a order to raid the compound.
U.S. airstrike in 2006, and the Then, on May 1, President
aide sent to Iraq was captured Obama addressed the nation
and supplied the team with with the announcement that
additional intelligence and a bin Laden had been killed,
new man to begin tracking: thanking the “extraordinary
Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. In a courage and capability” of
ground-breaking discovery, the team who carried out the
they learned Abu Ahmed al- mission and the “tireless and
Kuwaiti was a pseudonynm heroic work” of the counter-
for Ibrahim Saeed Ahmed, terrorism department.
the personal courier of
Osama bin Laden. “For over two decades, bin
Laden has been al-Qaeda’s
leader and symbol and has
In addition to playing a “One of my biggest challenges “I was an introvert, and [AOII]
prominent role in “Manhunt: was probably convincing really did help me with that
The Search for Bin Laden,” myself that I was capable of the interpersonal communication,”
she has appeared on several job. Sitting there, comparing Bakos said. “When you are in a
news programs on CNN, myself to people who had ivy large group and standing up to
NBC and FOX, among others. league educations who had people to speak, it was hugely
She continues to work with been groomed and grown up helpful for me, and there were
many corporate executives thinking they were going to long lasting friendships that I
and government officials in do this type of government made out of that house.”
technology Learning to
affairs and “The Targeter: My Life in the CIA, create such
enjoys doing On the Hunt for the Godfather of meaningful,
Most recently, ISIS” is scheduled to be released connections
writing a February 2017, but is available as a collegiate
book about for pre-order now on Amazon. woman
her life in the CIA and her continued
determination to climb the CIA
ladder in pursuit of her passion into her
for intelligence operations.
Rising to the top of an agency
such as the CIA is no easy quest, service, whereas I was not one life as well, noting the need
especially as a woman. of those people,” Bakos said. for camaraderie and support
“I came there because I was among her co-workers during
interested in the work, and in high-stress times as a targeting
some ways maybe that is why I officer. Those relationships also
was so successful in portions of became lifelong friendships, as
it—I didn’t overthink it. I think she continued to keep in touch
that speaks to how women with many colleagues after
tend to not have the same level leaving the CIA.
of confidence as Her ability to communicate
men—they second effectively and develop
guess themselves. relationships with those around
‘How could I be in her, coupled with her devotion
charge?’ Whereas a to excel were just a few of
guy would say, ‘Of her qualities which played a
course, I’ll take that significant role in her success.
job.’” Bakos also said it was important
Bakos said being that she never second-guessed
a woman in the herself and hopes other women
CIA required a never undermine their abilities
great deal of or goals either.
confidence, as well “Don’t even give it a second
as communication thought: Always, always, always
to excel, and pursue and apply for things you
added that her are interested in,” Bakos said.
membership in “And you’ll find out down the
AOII helped her road if it works out.”
All photos supplied by Bakos.
ForLife | 23
Simple. Quick. Custom. Affordable.
And in your inbox within three business days. These are just a
few words that SwatchPop! Co-founder Jessica Bailey McRae,
Lambda Sigma (U of Georgia) uses to describe her innovative
interior design website which launched in 2014. Popping practical,
professional design solutions right to your inbox, this AOII alumna is not
just revamping homes, she is overhauling the entire interior design industry.
by Haley Cahill, Assistant Director of Communications/Editor
Q: How does SwatchPop! work?
A: First, you will create what we call a design profile. It is an interactive survey that asks about your style, lifestyle,
budget, where you typically shop, and if you have pets or kids. Then we will show you a series of looks that you will
rank and provide comments like: “I love the color scheme, but I hate that coffee table.” That gives our designers a
comprehensive feel for you, your family, your style and your life situation.
Once you have completed the design profile, you will start a project. Everything we do is on a room-by-room basis.
So you could choose the living room, and you will be presented with an à la carte menu of design dilemmas, or
where you need help, such as rugs, window treatments, wall décor or furniture selection. You choose as many or as
few elements as you want so you can customize your own project. Then you will provide some details about your
home, what look you are going for, or what you would like to avoid. Then you will upload photos of your space and
tell us your budget.
In three business days, your designer will send you a SwatchPop! solution. The comprehensive overview of your
design will show you how all the objects work together. Your designer will show you why she chose those pieces
and give detailed instructions for implementing it. If she suggests you buy an abstract piece of art for over your sofa,
she will explain how to hang it five to eight inches over the sofa, so you can easily take the advice and implement it
yourself. There is also a shopping list where you click the products she recommends and it will take you straight to
the online retailer.
SwatchPop! is very specific to the client’s style and budget; unlike Pinterest, where people get all these ideas, but do
not know where to buy those things or the products might not be in their budget.
Q: How did you think of this concept?
A: An AOII friend of mine was the inspiration, and she is an interior designer. I enjoy decorating my home, but I
am not a professional. I did not always have the time or money to go back and forth with a professional, pay her
thousands of dollars, or I just did not want her to make over my entire room. I just needed a little help here and there.
One night I was looking at a coffee table I just bought, wondering how to accessorize it. I took photos on my iPhone
and texted them to Shay. She quickly sent me back what I needed to do, and I thought, “Everybody needs a Shay.”
So it inspired me to create an online forum where anybody anywhere could connect with a professional to seek
advice for something as small as styling a coffee table.
24| Summer 2016
Q: How many designers do you have on staff?
A: We have roughly 20 designers. At this point, we have just females. We have not had to actively recruit designers
yet. All of them come to us through word of mouth or our Facebook ad, but we would definitely love to see some
more diversity and bring in some men. Each designer gets to set their own time requirements. It is sort of like an
Uber model, where they can choose to take on one to two projects a week, or they can choose to take on one to two
projects a day.
Q: Do you have a particular target audience?
A: Definitely females between the ages of 28 and 50, but it is interesting that we have had some men trickle through
as well and say they need help decorating a bachelor pad. I think we will experiment there and create some ads that
are geared more towards men.
Q: What sites do the designers select products from?
A: They are able to select products from any online shop. They may select pillows from an Etsy shop, or some of the
products might be from bigger stores like Wayfair or Pottery Barn. Sometimes you will even see a designer who lives
in California who knows a really cool boutique in her area who also sells online and she might source those products
for a client who lives in Tennessee. You are really getting unique and hand-picked products for you.
Q: It sounds like starting and running your own company is a ton of hard work, but a lot of fun
too! What is the most rewarding aspect for you?
A: We are solving a problem for people, people are loving the
service and we are doing something creative every day. We
are making it really simple and easy for anybody to seek
professional design advice, which was once an out-of-
reach luxury for a lot of people.
Use the code AOPi at
checkout on the site now
through November 30 for
10% off your first project!
Jessica Bailey McRae graduated from the University of Georgia in 2004
with a degree in public relations. She worked in pharmaceutical sales and
healthcare marketing before launching the SwatchPop! site in 2014 with
business partner Kristen Yonson.
Headquartered in Atlanta, SwatchPop! employs staff members at its
central office, as well as designers who work remotely across the
United States. For more information and employment opportunities,
Living & Learning Abroad
by Ali Kresslein,
Assistant Director of Collegiate Experience
South Korea’s desire to expand its number of English speaking citizens has provided
numerous job opportunities for foreigners. The Korean Ministry of Government
Administration and Home Affairs boasts that nearly 1.8 million foreigners are living and
working in South Korea--a large number of whom are English teachers. Most private
and public Korean schools simply require English teachers to hold a four-year degree,
be a native English speaker and complete a Teaching English as a Foreign Language
(TEFL) course. This criteria opens the door for college graduates interested in living and
Like many young alumnae, Marcella Martinez, Upsilon Lambda (U of Texas at San Antonio) felt her first
job out of college was not completely fulfilling. Marcella was thrilled to work in the business industry,
but her mind often wandered back to her college capstone course where she first learned about
teaching English abroad. After a year and a half at her job in Texas, Marcella decided to take a leap of faith
and move to Cheongju, South Korea, after she was offered a position to teach English at a private school.
During a typical day, Martinez begins teaching her first class, kindergarten,
at 10 a.m. After a morning full of English songs and games, Martinez
teaches elementary and middle school classes until 8 p.m.
Martinez’s school provides curriculum and textbooks to
26| Summer 2016
help plan lessons for such alumna members find English teaching jobs. Through
Facebook and friends, she was able to connect seven
a broad range of ages, alumna members in Korea--coming from six different
AOII chapters, 7,000 miles from home.
however Martinez’s main
“AOII’s support system is unreal,” Martinez said. “During
goal of teaching is to have my time in the chapter, I always would tell PNMs that
no matter where I lived in the world a sister was always
her students become near. It provided me with supportive, nonjudgmental
sisters that I would have never met if I stayed home.”
Dubbed “AOII Weekend,” Marcella united all seven
Martinez at the Chengdu speaking English. She alumnae members in South Korea’s capital city, Seoul,
Research Base of Giant Panda always tries to incorporate for two days of sisterhood and bonding.
unusual English words to
Breeding in China. “I don’t know how to explain it, or how everyone felt
help expand her students’ that weekend,” Martinez said. “It was like we were a
long lost family.”
vocabularies and teaches them slang phrases. Between
Although their AOII weekend only lasted two days,
classes, Martinez studies Korean and tries to practice each sister found the bonds that they had been
looking for since moving to South Korea.
the language with her co-workers.
Not only does Martinez help connect AOII sisters in
“I think that [speaking the language with Koreans] is Korea, she is also very involved in the San Antonio
the most surprising part of my experience,” Martinez Alumnae Chapter. She currently serves as the MIF
said. “Learning the language has truly made Korea chairman and helps whenever possible with other
home for me.” alumnae chapter efforts. She is looking forward to
reuniting with her San Antonio sisters when she
Although she thoroughly researched life in Korea, returns to the United States in September.
Marcella turned for guidance to the online network
of AOII globetrotters on Facebook before she moved. Martinez often credits AOII for helping her succeed
A simple post seeking information about living in in teaching English abroad by giving her leadership
Korea helped Marcella get in touch with Beta Gamma opportunities in college. If anyone is interested in
alumna (Michigan State U), Jenna Malcom. Malcom doing something similar, her advice is to just jump.
provided first hand advice from experiences teaching
English abroad and put Martinez’s anxieties at ease. “I was terrified coming to Korea,” Martinez said. “Just
They stayed in touch via texting and social media as close your eyes, jump and think about it later.”
Martinez prepared to move across the globe and start
her new life.
Martinez thrived in Cheongju and it was not long
before the school where she taught was in need
of more English teachers. Once again, she turned
to Facebook to recruit AOII sisters in becoming her
coworkers. Her network of AOII sisters in Korea and
Japan quickly grew, as she was able to help three
The giving tree is AOII, and it’s going to evolve
throughout the years. The second I became active
in the chapter, I always had alumnae support. When
I graduated, I became one of them. Now that I am
here, those same people that reached out to me ask
when I am coming back. I didn’t realize how much
of a constant it would be, and since it is so much of
a constant, my needs are filled in the ways that they
need to be filled.
- Marcella Martinez
AOII weekend in Seoul.
Meet our Educational
Tau (U of Minnesota) Q: What is one item you cannot
Major: Communications travel without?
Hometown: Apple Valley, MN
A: ENO Hammock so I can relax and enjoy
Q: How would you describe yourself the view anywhere I go!
in three words?
Q: What is your most played song
A: Outgoing, passionate, adventurous. right now?
A: Jamie XX – Loud Places
Nu Beta (U of Mississippi) Q: If you could only shop at one store for the
Major: Public Policy Leadership rest of your life, what store would that be?
Hometown: Chatham, IL
A: Harrods. They have amazing food, fashion
Q: If you could have one super power and entertainment.
what would it be and why?
Q: What is one item you cannot travel without?
A: Flying. I think it would be incredible to A: I always travel with a granola bar so I won’t
have a bird’s eye view.
28| Summer 2016
Epsilon Omega (Eastern Kentucky U) Q: What is one item you cannot travel without?
Major: Business Management A: Makeup wipes! The best part of the day is
Hometown: Union, KY
taking my makeup off!
Q: How would you describe yourself in Q: What is your most played song right now?
three words? A: Anything Chris Stapleton, but “Traveler”
A: Driven, passionate and loving. applies to my life!
Sigma Delta (Huntingdon College) Q: If you could have one super power what
Major: Communication Studies would it be and why?
Hometown: Sylacauga, AL
A: To read people’s minds so I can understand
Q: How would you describe yourself in people better.
Q: What is your most played song right now?
A: Compassionate, loving, joyful. A: Bury Me In Dixie by Riley Green
Upsilon (U of Washington) Q: How would you describe yourself in
Major: Psychology three words?
Hometown: Seattle, WA
A: Honest, empathetic and grounded.
Q: If you could have one super power what Q: If you won the lottery, how would you
would it be and why? spend the money?
A: Ability to time travel so that I could go back in A: Buy a beach house in Hawaii and help my
time to experience different eras and spend time parents retire and move there. Then I would
with important people from my past. travel to all 7 continents and visit the Seven
Wonders of the World.
Kappa Kappa (Ball State U) Q: Why did you apply to be an ELC?
Major: Public Relations A: Between an AOII Foundation scholarship,
Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN
and eternal support system and sense of
Q: How would you describe yourself in self, AOII has given me more opportunities
three words? than I could have ever imagined. The ELC
program gives me the chance to give back
A: Free spirited, passionate and uplifting. to the Fraternity that has molded me into
the best version of myself. I hope to
Q: If you won the lottery, how would you influence women who, like myself, have
spend the money? something to give and a light to shine on others.
A: Take my family on a trip around the world to see For Life | 29
everywhere they have wanted to see. Buy a cat
sanctuary. Buy Jimmy Johns and become CEO.
Donate to Riley Hospital for Children.
Kappa Kappa, (Ball State U) Q: How would you describe yourself in
Major: Journalism and Telecommunications three words?
Hometown: Newburgh, IN
A: Driven, positive and energetic.
Q: If you won the lottery, how would you spend Q: What always brings a smile to your face?
the money? A: I love watching someone learn something
A: I would donate half to a dolphin rehabilitation new. It is one of the most rewarding things to
center, give one fourth to my family and then help someone understand something they
backpack around Europe with the rest. did not know and see their confidence
Chi Phi (U of South Carolina Aiken) Jenni Law
Major: Communications Q: What is one item you cannot travel without?
Hometown: North Augusta, SC A: My camera, I love to capture all of the memories
Q: If money and career were no object, where in Q: Why did you apply to be an ELC?
the world would you choose to live? A: An ELC visited my junior year while I was
A: I would live in Italy because I love pasta and experiencing a slump as CP and she inspired me
the architecture, but it is very central and I could and reinvigorated my passions for AOII and I
explore all of Europe. want to be that person for struggling members.
Sigma Alpha (West Virginia U) Ali McLaughlin
Major: Public Relations Q: What is one item you cannot travel without?
Hometown: Isle of Palms, SC A: A good book because you never know where
you’ll be or how long you’ll be there.
Q: How would you describe yourself in Q: What always brings a smile to your face?
three words? A: Kindness.
A: Impassioned, curious, versatile.
Tau (U of Minnesota) Q: What is one item you cannot travel without?
Major: Journalism, Mass Communication A: A chunky sweater or sweatshirt – it doubles as
Hometown: Maple Grove, MN
Q: If you could have one super power what would Q: What is your most played song right now?
it be and why? A: Another Day in Paradise by Quinn XCII
A: Teleportation so that I could visit my family and
friends now that we’re all spread out. Not having
to worry about being late would also be nice.
30| Summer 2016
Rho Beta (Samford U) Q: Why did you apply to be an ELC?
Major: Exercise Science and Psychology A: AOII has opened up so many doors for me and
Hometown: South Riding, VA
I hope to initiate a spark in collegiate members
Q: What is one item you cannot travel without? that opens up doors for personal and
A: A good book to read because I love reading professional growth. I want collegiate members
to have the same life changing experience that
whenever I get the chance! I had!
Q: What is your most played song right now?
A: Any Carrie Underwood song!
Delta Pi (U of Central Missouri) Jordan Seaman
Major: Marketing Q: What always brings a smile to your face?
Hometown: St. Louis, MO A: Giving someone a gift that you know they
Q: Why did you apply to be an ELC? Q: How would you describe yourself in
A: I love encouraging others, so having the three words?
opportunity to help sisters and chapters across A: Driven, loyal and supportive.
the country while traveling is the best job I can
ask for. I also love helping sisters be the best
they can be, so I knew I would love this job.
Tau Gamma (Eastern Washington U) Q: If you could have one super power what would
Major: Psychology and Criminal Justice it be and why?
Hometown: Federal Way, WA
A: Read minds. People always edit what they said
Q: How would you describe yourself in so I’d like to know people’s authentic thoughts.
Q: What is your most played song right now?
A: Passionate, encouraging and optimistic. A: Send My Love - Adele
Alpha Pi (Florida State U) Q: What is one item you cannot travel without?
Major: International Affairs & Women’s Studies A: Diet Coke! It keeps me sane.
Hometown: Callahan, Fl
Q: What always brings a smile to your face?
Q: How would you describe yourself in A: Walt Disney World! I’m a total Disney nerd!
A: Sarcastic, nerdy and sassy.
For Life | 31
Keep your papers cute and organized with these
fun, metallic gold paperclips. Available in heart,
arrow and bow tie shapes, we love their extra
touch of pizzazz on our assignments. Find these
and more on Etsy.
May Design Books
Swap your simple spiral notebook with a fun
custom May Designs notebook. They have tons
of cute designs for the cover and inside pages to
choose from, and you can add your monogram.
The design possibilites are endless. Plus, they
make great gifts, so be sure to order a few for your
friends too. Find them on maydesigns.com.
Pineapple Printed Accessories
Like everyone else, we are in love with all things
pineapple right now. This adorable pineapple-
printed mousepad is a perfect pop of color at your
fingertips. Find it at the Laa76 shop on Etsy.
Busy days at work or in class require proper fuel!
We love the snack subscription box from graze.
com, which sends customers eight snacks in a
box in the mail each month. All the snacks are
free of GMOs, artificial flavors and colors, trans fat
and high fructose corn syrup. With more than
100 delicious snack varieties, such as whole grain
banana caramel dippers and spicy thai sriracha
crunch mix, there are plenty of tasty options to
choose from. Visit graze.com to learn more.
Portable Phone Charger
Gone are the days of searching for power outlets
at Starbucks so you can recharge your phone
battery. We love keeping portable smartphone
chargers in our purses or backpacks for those
times you need to recharge on the go. You can
find this cute BAN.DO charger at Nordstrom.