Delta Xi Nu NEB Spotlight - Natalie Smith
By Justina Logozzo on 04-02-2017
Meet Natalie Smith, the 2017-2018 DXN National Co-Director of Membership
Natalie became a sister of Delta Xi Nu in the Spring of 2009 while completing her undergraduate degree at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. 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'm a big believer in gut feelings, and in trusting your intuition. I still remember receiving an email about joining Delta Xi Nu and the feelings I had learning about the sorority in an informational session. I immediately connected to the mission, vision and values of this organization. I was looking for a place that felt like a home away from home. A place that would give me the support that I needed in college and that would also offer opportunities for me to grow throughout my college experience. I found all of that within Delta Xi Nu. The sisters were warm and welcoming. They had a deep passion for their sorority, beyond the normal facts and figures that you can learn about on their website. They were passionate about the sorority -- about the work that we do across the nation, about the education we bring to our local communities around diversity/multiculturalism and around our philanthropies, about the ways they give back to our communities through time, talent and treasure, and above all else, they were passionate about the meaningful sisterhood that was the backbone of this organization.
Why did you volunteer to become a NEB member? Why did you choose your position?
When I was a collegiate member of DXN, the sorority was a huge part of my everyday life. I was always studying with sisters, attending meetings/events, working on sorority projects or spending time with my sisters. After graduation, it felt like a big piece was missing. I still wanted to contribute to my sorority in a meaningful way and had a passion for connecting with my sisters. I first started as an Alumna Advisor for my collegiate chapter. While this was an incredibly rewarding experience and I thoroughly enjoyed keeping up with the great work of my local chapter, I was intrigued by the opportunity to work with chapters and sisters across the nation. During my first term on NEB, I was the VP of Collegiate Affairs. I chose that position because I wanted to be able to interact with collegiate sisters on a regular basis. I wanted to be able to learn about how their chapters were managed, the different between chapters, successes and challenges that each chapter had, etc. In my current term on NEB, I am the Co-Director of Membership. I chose this position because it still allowed be to interact regularly with collegiate members, but in a more focused way. I was a Membership Educator for a good portion of my collegiate years, and loved nothing more than recruiting and crossing amazing women into our sorority. The opportunity to assist with this on a national level seemed like a perfect fit!
As an active sister, what was your fondest memory?
It's hard to look back on my collegiate years and choose just one memory. As cliche as it sounds, it was honestly 4 years of amazing and special memories. One day that stands out, however, was at my senior celebration before graduation. In my home chapter, we host an event each semester for graduating seniors. We all have dinner and present the seniors with notes from each sister, a senior paddle, a stoll, and other gifts. I remember reading the notes that my sisters had written me before graduation, and having this overwhelming feeling of love and appreciation for my time in the sorority and for each one of my sisters. All of these memories of the past four years started running through my head, and I was so grateful that my collegiate experience had been so enriched by DXN and by my sisters. I still have my box of notes from my sisters and will read them from time to time. It is a great reminder of the special and lifelong bonds that you form in Delta Xi Nu.
Do you think that being a DXN sister has enabled you to succeed professionally? Why/Why not?
100% yes! As a sister of Delta Xi Nu, I had opportunities to connect to my university in ways that wouldn't have been possible (or as easy) as a typical student. I was able to connect to university leadership, committees, and training opportunities that helped open my eyes to the world of higher education. I developed a deep admiration for my alma mater and an appreciation for all of the services and resources that are available to students. These connections and this passion ultimately lead to my work as a student, which developed into my current role as a professional at the university. Many of the tools that I developed while in the sorority (leadership, dedication to service, organization/time management, philanthropic culture, pride/passion for your organization, etc.) are still important to the work that I do today, and helped me to be stronger in my professional work.
As an Alumna, how do you strive to uphold DXN and our values beyond NEB?
The values of this sorority are what made me want to join this sorority in the first place. Knowing how special those values and our mission are, I try to always act in a way that positively represents our sorority. One of the first things that you learn as a member of fraternity/sorority life, is that "you are always wearing your letters." This means that regardless of whether or not you are physically wearing items that designate you as a member of your organization, you are always a reflection of your sorority/fraternity. I've always taken that responsibility seriously, throughout college and in my years as an alumna. This includes simple things such as maintaining a professional and respectful social media presence, always lending an ear to a sister in need, and doing what I can to dispel negative opinions of sorority life. Once you become an Alumna of DXN, your work isn't over. It's still up to you to help guide our younger members and to show them that this is a lifelong commitment. We all have to play a part in ensuring that Delta Xi Nu has a strong foundation that will allow us to continue to grow and expand into the future.