Meet Jessica Oswald, the 2017-2018 DXN National Vice President of Financial Affairs
Jessica became a sister of Delta Xi Nu while completing her undergraduate degree at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. While her chapter sisters know her well, we decided to ask her some questions to really dig into her motivations and love of Delta Xi Nu.
With all of the possible sororities to join, why did you choose DXN?
I never wanted to join a sorority- now look at me! I always avoided Greek Life and maintained that it was not necessary for me. I was involved in other organizations and had tons of things to do, but when I saw the sisters of Delta Xi Nu Multicultural Sorority Inc. at the Elite Epsilon Chapter, I knew I had stumbled upon something much bigger than myself. I met and worked with a sister, Stephanie "Icing" Campos, who truly is a DXN woman. She never mentioned her sorority, but she gave me a feeling of comfort and confidence. It was a feeling that made me want to join. These women shared a dedication to each other, dedication to their motto, dedication to the growth and expansion of the mission, and it wasn't a dedication that I could ignore. I simply had to be a part of their movement.
Do you feel that becoming a sister has changed you? Why/Why Not?
Absolutely, and then not at all. I think becoming a sister brought out the best in me. I had to become what the vision for a DXN woman was. It wasn't something I was fighting, I did want to become that person, but it wasn't easy. I think there is something about being tied to other women with a focus on supporting them that makes you a better person. I have always been driven, I have always been independent, I have always been an advocate, but never within a community of like-minded people. A sisterhood, a true sisterhood, will test you and push yo to be your best self. I have been changed by other women, simply because they showed me a different way to think or be. I'm still changing when I meet new or different sisters who inspire me. I love being challenged and forced to question the way I have done things.
Why did you volunteer to become a NEB member? Why did you choose your position?
Because I'm stupid... Just kidding! I felt it was a waste for me not to do something more for the sisterhood. I have some skills that this sisterhood could benefit from- I wanted to share them. I'm also in this position as Finance because I know people are hesitant to serve in this capacity, but we need it so much to keep the sisterhood alive. I just want the best for Delta Xi nu Multicultural Sorority Inc., so here I am - round two.
As an active sister, what was your fondest memory?
I have so many...When my littles finally became sisters, when I was a pledge mom with Ingrid Bolanos, when my line babies became sisters, when I put on my first program with Ashley Baker, when I wore my letters for the first time, when we had six active members and we made it work and bonded more than we ever had, when I realized my Big was Krystal Davalos, sister Saturdays, fighting through the low points of the chapter issues, the successes of my sisters... When I can see other DXN women being successful I feel successful, and I remember those moments.
What impact do you feel you had as an active and what impact do you want to have while being on NEB?
I think you will have to ask the active girls now at my chapter about my impact. If it truly was an impact, it should have lasted. I just know that I was, am, and will always be determined to better this sisterhood. I hope to be remembered as someone who keeps sisterhood in mind, while knowing that we have to be business focused. I hope I am remembered for being fair and thinking about how to keep a just system in place. I hope I am remembered as someone who changed the way things were done for the better.
Do you think that being a DXN sister has enabled you to succeed professionally? Why/Why not?
Being a sister has certainly made me more mindful of the opinions and feelings of others. Unfortunately, these are hard lessons, but once learned they can help shape you into a more professional person. When challenged in the workplace, I access the skills learned from sisters better than me at facilitating those conversations. I think it's about acknowledging weakness and thinking about how to better yourself. In that way DXN has had a huge impact on my life in general.
As an Alumna, how do you strive to uphold DXN and our values beyond NEB?
After graduating I had a hard time letting go of the chapter. It was hard for me to see the success of our ELITE sisterhood in the hands of others. However, I had to realize that, if I trained those I brought into the sisterhood well, they would carry on with the work we had set before them. Alumnae members were the most important thing to me as an active member. I just wanted to make them proud. Now I realize the most important thing for me to do, it be there when needed, offer advice when asked, and support the endeavors of the chapter. Being a teacher, I have to be multilaterally minded, sensitive to the backgrounds of my students, and open to new ideas. I am also pursuing my Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Communication and Public Administration. Sisterhood, Culture, and Education are the foundation of DXN, and I try and utilize them as pillars of support for my personal life as well.
Outside of being active in NEB and having a careers what are three of your favorite things to do?
Since I go to school while teaching, my time is limited and usually used to focus on my educational goals. However, I spend time, when I have it, seeing sisters, working out, playing with my dog Hallie, reading, and loving my wonderful girlfriend Kiana.
Who is/are your role model(s) and why?
This is hard for me to answer, since I feel impacted by so many individuals in my life. I would have to say I have come to respect and admire my current Professor Dr. Roy as she supports and challenges me academically, forcing me to be a better scholar. I have a mentor Jennifer Simmons, who is a wonderful problem solver and solution minded. I absolutely love and look up to Stephanie Campos who is one of the best humans alive. She impacts everyone she meets, and I try to be a sister who values others like she does. Alondra Garza, my line baby, is someone I admire who has never let up on her goals and is continuously focused on her future, which she wants to use to better the lives of others. She is the epitome of selfless. Ashley Baker, my line sister and creative creature, who refuses to accept the status quo. No matter what she does, she does it with a passion that others envy. She may not know this, but the impact she has made is felt. Finally, I would say my girlfriend's younger cousin Courtney. She is an old soul who has come through adversity to be a strong young woman today. She exudes #blackgirlmagic and is changing the way people see young black women.
Name something that DXN helped you to improve upon.
Being willing to accept the differences in opinions is the number one thing. There is not way to work in, and for, an organization without being honest and open while being receptive. I have learned that that my way is not always the only way (which was my way of thinking before). I have become more willing to listen rather than speak, more accepting, and more aware of myself and others.