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Chi Omega Class of 2018 - a look back over the past four years

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Chi Omega Class of 2018 - a look back over the past four years

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Four years ago, they opened an envelope on Bid Day to find "Chi Omega" written on a piece of paper. They ran home to 804 Iowa Avenue to celebrate joining a group of women who would quickly become family. Here is a look back at some of the highlights and accomplishments over the past four years.

2014-2015 Freshman Year

In their first year as Chi Omegas, they were Homecoming Champions, Intramural Champions, held the highest new member class GPA, contributed to the highest overall chapter GPA, Dean's Circle Award, raised over $38,000 for Dance Marathon, won the Chapter of Excellence Award, and won Chapter of Year! They received their Big Sisters, were initiated and made official, and formed even closer friendships at various Sisterhood and Philanthropy events. 

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2015-2016 Sophomore Year

Sophomore year they became even closer after moving into the Chi Omega house together. This year was also their first time on the other side of recruitment, and they were excited to have Little Sisters. After Bid Day they went on to win Iowa Shout and 2nd Place Overall during Homecoming Week, received 1st place in Greek Week Follies and 3rd place overall,, overall Intramural Champions, won the Chapter of Excellence Award, raised over $10,000 for Make-A-Wish, and once again held the highest chapter GPA.

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2016-2017 Junior Year

Junior year they passed the halfway point of their time as active members of Chi Omega. The tradition of excellence continued as they created their first online recruitment hype video, were Iowa Shout Champions and 2nd place overall in Homecoming Week, Greek Week & Follies Champions, the Top Fundraising Chapter for Dance Marathon 23, once again held the highest chapter GPA, were named Chapter of Excellence, and recruited another amazing group of women into Chi Omega. They also held numerous leadership positions in Chi Omega, and organizations across campus. 

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 Katherine Mendieta Photography

They also cheered on two of their Sisters as they gave Commencement Speeches at Graduation! Kayln Hugdahl and Kimberly Chexnayder.

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Read about the future plans and favorite memories of Some of our Seniors Below!

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

MADI SMITH

Degree / Future Plans: graduating in December with a Nursing degree

I owe a lot of my successes to Chi Omega. To begin, Chi O introduced me to the most incredible women that I now call my best friends. Chi O encouraged me as I began my journey through nursing school and it shaped me into the leader that I am today because of the opportunities I had while serving on our executive board. Chi O cheered me on as I ran marathons, studied for countless exams and celebrated with me on every single birthday. Chi omega  has repeatedly pushed me to be a better friend, daughter, student, leader and women and I couldn't be more thankful. I will never forgot the memories I had as an active member and especially the 2 years I lived in 804 Iowa Ave! I miss it already. Xo

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

PAIGE SHOCKEY

Degree: Marketing Management, Certificate: International Business

Future Plans: I will begin my training as a District Manager for ALDI in the Chicago suburbs.

Favorite Chi O memory was the night before initiation freshman year. Our pledge class all came over to Kenzie and I's dorm room and we hung out, ordered food, and watched movies. We were so excited to officially be Sisters the next day!

kayln hugdahl

Degree: Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology and Spanish Minor

Post grad plans: Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Iowa

Fave memory: My entire senior year! Bid day, Nashville, spring break, formal, just hanging out and playing games. There is nothing better than seizing every moment with friends before we go our separate ways. I owe a huge thank you to Chi Omega for introducing me to the best people I know.

 Katherine Mendieta Photography
 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Alex Griffin

Degree: Journalism Mass Communication & Business

Future Plans: Traveling this summer, then working for Insight Global as an account manager

When it comes to my favorite memories with my time in Chi Omega, it is almost impossible to choose one specific time.  It's the moments that we have had where we are all in sweats cuddling and dying laughing about nonsense together, or all of us jamming to 80's music in the bathroom while curling our hair, or the infamous amount of McDonalds runs we would all take packed into one person's car.  The simplest of times with each other, where we are close and laughing, are the memories I will cherish the most.  I have made friendships I could only dream of, and as much as it kills us all to be separating physically, we all know we all will always have each other in our hears and memories.

Caroline Rossberger

Degree: Marketing

Future Plans: Traveling this summer to Brazil and looking for a job! Chi O has given more than I ever could have asked for. I have met my best friends, role models and future bridesmaids. Some of my favorite college memories are with my Chi O's driving to Coralville Lake with the music up and the windows down! These past four years have been the absolute best and I have my Chi O's to thank for them.

 Katherine Mendieta Photography
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Kimberly Chexnayder 

Degree: Journalism & Mass Communication

Future Plans: Junior Rotational Executive- The National Football League 

Favorite Memories of Chi O: Meeting my best friends and soulmates through Chi Omega. Women in this house have changed me for the better. I know that without them my college experience would’ve never happened as magically as it  did. 

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Ashley Mazzocchi

Degree: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Minor: Spanish

Future plans: Graduating in December with my BSN and then will plan to work here at UIHC before moving back to Chicago! My career goals is to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner specializing in Oncology. 

Chi Omega has been the reason my college career has been so great. Because of Chi O I’ve been lucky enough to be blessed with my forever friends. These incredible, passionate, caring women have been by my side through the many ups and downs of my college career. They’ve been with me to support me through my hardships and help celebrate my achievements. I am so lucky to know these women will be by my side throughout the rest of my life. Chi Omega has also given me the courage to travel abroad for a summer, to apply to the nursing program, and endless opportunities to make a difference both on and off campus. I have Chi O to thank for my passion for Dance Marathon which has shaped my career path into becoming Pediatric Nurse Practitioner specializing in Oncology. Without Chi O, I wouldn’t have nearly as an amazing college experience. I will also cherish the trips and memories we have taken. From Nashville to Cabo to all the memories in Iowa City! Thanks for the absolute best four years, but thankfully Chi Omega is for lifetime.

 Katherine Mendieta Photography
 Katherine Mendieta Photography

JENSEN BISHOP

Degree / Future plans: Graduating in December with my BSN and plan to go into OB/maternity nursing. 

My college experience would not have been the same without Chi O. We’ve been through everything together. The ups, the downs, and everything in between. I will never forget all of the late nights living together, sharing bunk beds, running around Iowa City, and all of the road trips we have taken. Chi Omega is not just four years, it truly lasts a lifetime. 

ELIZABETH SHAW

Degree: Sport and Recreation Management with an emphasis in business studies, certificates in leadership studies and interscholastic athletic/activities administration

Future Plans: I will be attending the University of Iowa College of Law to pursue my Juris Doctor degree

Favorite memory from Chi O: is honestly meeting everyone from all of the different pledge classes and helping people navigate college! Sal Lee and Lucy Korsakov (graduated last year) really helped mentor me the past few years when it came to law school applications and I would have never met them if it wasn't for Chi O! I also loved being the Golf Classic Director this past year because it made me feel like I was truly giving back to Make-A-Wish and it was fantastic seeing everyone have fun out on the golf course.

 Katherine Mendieta Photography
 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Hayley Wilson

Degree: BA in Health Studies and minor in Business Administration, graduating in December 

Future Plans: Attend Des Moines University to receive my Masters in Health Administration & hopefully manage a pediatric specialty clinic in the future! 

Favorite Chi O Memory: IMPOSSIBLE to pick a favorite buttt my favorite memories always include snacks from Casey’s, and the chapter room full of girls “trying” to study but instead sharing stories and laughing about anything and everything.

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

CORTLYN KASIK

Degree: bachelor in science in human physiology (pre-dent)

Future Plans: Going to dental school next year at Iowa!

Favorite Chi Omega Memory: Every part of senior year. It was the best year of my life because I had my best friends at my side! We really came together and finished college with a bang. We lived by the Tom Petty quote and cherished every second!

 Katherine Mendieta Photography Katherine Mendieta Photography
 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Lindsey Hiepler

Degree: Finance

Future Plans: working in Bloomington, MN as associate finance manager at Aramark

Favorite Chi Omega Memory: how do i pick?!?! Probably our road trip and adventure in Nashville this past fall.. We were only there for 48 hours but man we had so many good times on Broadway and on the long car rides.

RILEY COYLE

Chi O helped remind me constantly to push myself. I was constantly reminded of our values through the actions of the people around me. I’m thankful chi o was able to shape me the last four years. 

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Megan Frischmeyer

Degree: Environmental Bioscience and Public Health

Future Plans: Traveling!

Choosing Chi Omega 4 years ago turned out to be the BEST decision I made in college. I came to Iowa without a clue as to what I wanted to do here or who I wanted to be when I left but everything fell into place the minute I stepped inside. Each year brought new memories from dining together in Burge, having sleepovers every night in the house, or taking countless road trips and vacations with the women who know me best. I can't thank this amazing chapter for giving me the life I've always dreamed of and friends who support each other every step of the way. XOXO

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Lindsay Randklev

Degree: BBA in Entrepreneurial Management, certificate in International Business, minor in Spanish

Future Plans: District Manager with Aldi in Chicago suburbs

Favorite Chi Omega Memory: The late nights in the house, full of pokey stix and endless shenanigans.

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

KELSEY WROBLE

Degree: Therapeutic Recreation with a certificate in Disability Studies 

Future Plans: attend graduate school for Special Education. 

My favorite memory from Chi Omega:  our Sophomore year sleepover on the porch.

Alexandria Seavey

Degree: English and Communication

Future Plans: I will be working for a company called All Community Events as an Event Manager for races from 5ks to Marathons.

I love Chi Omega because four years ago it brought me my best friends. These women will be my bridesmaids, my 4am call when life gets to be too much, my home team. I would not be the woman I am today without them.

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Maddie Lorentzen

Degree: Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology with honors and distinction 

Future plans: I will be headed to Rhode Island to work at the Rhode Island Free Clinic as a patient and volunteer coordinator for one year! After that I hope to attend medical school. 

I kind of think of Chi Omega as the best “cheat sheet” to college. Before getting halfway through freshman year I already had an amazing group of friends, help in my classes, a gorgeous house to live in. It’s the end of my senior year and as I snuggle on the couch with my best friends and sisters I realize I have a world of appreciation for the sisterhood that provided me with this impeccable “cheat sheet”. College would not have been nearly as great without it. 

Michelle Kannenberg

Degree: Marketing, a minor in Italian, and a certificate in international business

Future Plans: I have two full time offers, one in Chicago doing advertising and marketing consulting  and the other in Cedar Rapids doing digital marketing. I plan on choosing on of the 2 by graduation, spend a month at home, and then move/prepare for my full time career!

Favorite Chi Omega memory: Getting Katherine Crosby as my little. One of the reasons I joined Greek life was to have a little because I never got the privilege of having younger sibilants. She is one of my very best friends and I couldn’t be more blessed to have her and the rest of our Chi Omega family in my life. I know she will be a forever friend and I can’t thank Chi Omega enough for that.

Rosemary Adams

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Degree: Journalism and Mass Communication

Future plans: I will be working at Weber Shandwick in downtown Chicago doing Consumer Public Relations

Chi Omega shaped me into a more driven and strong young woman and showed me how to advocate for myself in order to accomplish my goals. It has given me friends for a lifetime and memories that I’ll cherish forever.

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

Seniors, we love you and are forever grateful for the lasting impression you have made on our chapter. We are so proud of you and can't wait to see you change the world. 

 Katherine Mendieta Photography

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Iowa Homecoming 2017

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Iowa Homecoming 2017

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This year's Homecoming was an absolute blast! Chi Omega was paired with the fraternities of Zeta Beta Tau and Lambda Chi Alpha and participated in activities like Can-Struction, bags tournaments, Ruckus at the Rec, and of course, Iowa SHOUT. We placed 2nd overall and we could not be more proud! Read all about our events below! 

Can-Struction was a mad dash to build the best design with canned goods that would be donated at the end of the day. Chi Omega decided to build the children's hospital to honor the kiddos on the 11th floor and to represent the newest Iowa football tradition: The Wave. 

We also had a blast at Ruckus at the Rec! We participated in Tug of War, obstacle courses, and dodgeball. Those who did not play cheered in the stands and caused a ruckus for their sisters. Ruckus at the Rec is always a fun way to bring out our competitive side and cheer each other on.

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Our Campus Activities Director, Katie Cabel, played an enormous role in Homecoming Week. She spent countless hours preparing the dances for SHOUT, and making sure the week was a blast for everyone. We are so proud of her dedication and love for this chapter. 

Homecoming Week 2017 was one to remember. I was so proud to see our pairing come together and give it their all at various events. I especially had a blast working with our team for Iowa Shout, and I was absolutely thrilled when we won! It was a great time for me to get close to our new members and share with them how this aspect of Chi Omega holds a special place in my heart! I can’t believe my time as Campus Activities Director is already up, but I look forward to seeing someone else take over and hopefully give their heart and soul to the position because I loved every minute!
— Katie Cabel
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Iowa SHOUT is always the highlight of the week (besides the football game, of course)! Each chapter gets a chance to show off with a girls dance, boys dance, and a partner dance. This year, Chi Omega took FIRST PLACE in SHOUT and had a blast doing it!

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The dancers worked their butts off for weeks leading up to the performance to make it past try-outs and be able to take the main stage in the IMU! They put in many hours of work each week and the payoff was outstanding!

All of the rehearsals and the performance allowed us to bond even more with our pairing-making new friendships all week long!

Iowa Shout Photos by JoePhoto

Iowa Shout Photos by JoePhoto

Besides Chi Omega having  blast during Homecoming week, our Sister Kimmi Chexnayder won Homecoming Queen this year! We could not be more proud of her and everything she has accomplished! HUGE congrats to Kimmi! 

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As with everyone home game, we also enjoyed seeing our Sisters who perform on the field and pump up the crowd! Kylene Spanbauer is Iowa's Golden Girl, Sydney Albertson and Kayla Drow are on the Iowa Dance Team, and Maria Werner Anderson is a member of the Hawkeye Marching Band!

photo by  Connor Barber

photo by Connor Barber

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We finished off the week in a very special way this year. Two of our inspiring alumnae, Brooke Mickelson and Meighan Phillips, took the new first quarter 'WAVE' to the children's hospital a step further. Both Brooke and Meighan have a personal connection to the hospital, as they have experienced firsthand having a child treated at the Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital. So they created a shirt to fundraise for the kiddos in the UISFCH. This shirt raised over $100,000 for the Stead Family Children's Hospital in the first 48 hours it was on sale! You can order your WAVE shirt by clicking here ---> The Iowa Wave Shirt

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CHI OMEGA KARLY DANKERT STARTS 'HAWKEYE SPARKLES' SPIRIT SQUAD FOR STUDENTS WITH AND WITHOUT DISABILITES

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CHI OMEGA KARLY DANKERT STARTS 'HAWKEYE SPARKLES' SPIRIT SQUAD FOR STUDENTS WITH AND WITHOUT DISABILITES

Hawkeye Sparkle Spirit Squad founder Karly Dankert

Hawkeye Sparkle Spirit Squad founder Karly Dankert

Hi! I'm Karly, and I want to tell you about the Sparkle Effect, a student lead program that empowers junior high, high school, and college students across the country to include all students, with and without disabilities, in cheerleading and dance programs. I was a part of a Sparkle Effect dance team while in high school and completely fell in love with everything the program had to offer. Not only did I get to be involved in an organization that focused on a sport that I loved; however, I also got to share my passion for the sport with a group of girls that, without the Sparkle Effect, probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do so.

Hawkeye Sparkles Spirit Squad members perform at Greek Follies. Photo by Melissa Quaiyoom

Hawkeye Sparkles Spirit Squad members perform at Greek Follies. Photo by Melissa Quaiyoom

I was actively involved in dance all growing up and when I got to college I knew that I wanted to continue dancing, but I wasn’t quite sure how. During my junior year, the Sparkle Effect was continuing to expand and teams began to develop at Universities throughout the country. This was when I figured out how I was meant to continue my passion for dance and make an impact on campus. I then met with two friends from my high school, Allie Pastrnak (Chi Omega) and Lauren Delzell (Delta Gamma). They were as determined as I was to bring the Sparkle Effect to Iowa and it all went uphill from there. The University of Iowa Hawkeye Sparkles became the fourth college team to be apart of the Sparkle Effect.

The Hawkeye Sparkles is a student organization on campus that functions as an all inclusive spirit squad that cheers on the Hawkeyes in a fun and innovative way. Practices are held once a week and include stretching, learning cheers and jumps, going across the floor, and working on routines for performances. This semester we had performances at Dance Marathon, an Iowa Women’s basketball game, the NCAA gymnastics meet, and Follies for Greek Week.

To this day, I am still in awe at how quickly this organization has grown on campus. It is such a rewarding feeling to see the girls who were so hesitant and reserved at our first practice go up on stage and dance their heart out without fear holding them back. The bonds that our team members have formed throughout the semester are so inspiring and the personal growth of both the students with and without disabilities is admirable. Throughout my involvement, The Sparkle Effect has made such a tremendous impact on my life and I cannot wait to see how it continues to change those at the University of Iowa’s campus.

Karly Dankert 

Chi Omega Reid Lefler with the Hawkeye Sparkles. Photo by Melissa Quaiyoom 

Chi Omega Reid Lefler with the Hawkeye Sparkles. Photo by Melissa Quaiyoom 

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