Butterflies in Detroit: My First National Convention!


Butterflies in Detroit; My First National Convention! – E. Murphy

Xi Xi Chapter before the 2012 Butterfly Banquet

Theta Nu Xi’s 2012 National Convention was held in Detroit, MI at The Henry Hotel and many Xi Xi Chapter members (pictured left) attended. On an annual basis, women from all over the country come together to participate in professional workshops, attend to national business and strengthen our sisterly bond.

I was fortunate this year to attend as a new member. I could not wait to share my new energy and excitement for Theta Nu Xi with other chapters. Not only did I get to experience all the hard work that goes into Theta Nu Xi, but I also had the opportunity to meet and bond with members from all over, many of whom I would never get the chance to meet otherwise.

National President Cianti Stewart-Reid, Soror Erin Murphy, and Past National President Jerri Kallam at the GAP Lavender Luncheon

The best moment for me was when I got to meet and talk with our National President, Cianti Stewart-Reid. I was able to learn about what Theta Nu Xi means to her, the business side of our sisterhood, and what has kept her so passionate about Theta Nu Xi since she crossed in 1999. Not only did I grow in my knowledge and understanding of the sisterhood I have just joined, but I also grew in my love and appreciation for my fellow butterflies. I cannot wait for Convention 2013!

The following are comments from other members of the Xi Xi Chapter who attended events at National Convention 2012:


Miriam Musco: My favorite part of convention was when we all held hands and sang “For All My Life” during the banquet, because it really drives home that even though we’re all unique individuals from diverse backgrounds, we all share the common experience of being a sister and knowing this song by heart and taking meaning from it.


Dara Monasch: As a Founder of the Alpha Theta Chapter, I crossed into Theta Nu Xi in Spring 2009, just in time for our 2009 convention in Philadelphia.  In 2009, I had what I would like to refer to (lovingly) as “neo fever” – everything was AMAZING because there were SISTERS!!! That convention was amazing simply because it was my first.

New Orleans (National Convention 2011) was great, and I served as a delegate for my newly founded Chapter, Xi Xi. It was my first time really trying to understand the business aspects of our Convention, and I will admit that I was intimidated.

This year in Detroit, I again found myself as Chapter Delegate for Xi Xi, along with my Chapter Sister, Rosie.  She and I worked long hours coordinating with each other and liaising with our Chapter to ensure that we were ready and prepared with questions and opinions for the legislation sessions last weekend.  When we entered the Delegates’ room, I felt that same nervousness I had before.

Well, our National President, Cianti, began the session, and I believe the first comment of the day was made by Amanda Tomchak, our most recent past-president, and a delegate for the Xi Eta Chapter this year. Listening to her speak and share the opinions of herself and her Chapter Sisters in order to better the policies that our Sorority was crafting that night inspired me.

Throughout the rest of our legislative sessions, I made sure to ask questions, make points, confer with my co-delegate and Chapter Sisters at the Convention, and in the end I am so glad I did. Of my three Conventions, I feel like I enjoyed this one the most because I was able to fulfill my duty to the Sorority, bond with my Chapter Sisters, and learn so much about both myself and our Sisterhood as a whole.

Rosalie Aponte: This year’s national convention allowed me to reconnect with sisters nation-wide. Each sharing their ideas and experiences was great to hear. Attending convention always give me a sense of encouragement and an extra boost of energy that I hope to bring to the chapter.


Jennis Watson: Convention 2012 was one of the best Theta Nu Xi conventions I’ve attended. I was so impressed by the positive attitudes, work mentality, and professional attire of all the attendees. It was wonderful to look back in review of the major accomplishments we’ve made in the past year and to hear from the National Executive Board about plans for the future.

Soror Wendy Hartmann, presents Soror Jennis Watson with The Corinne A. Ahrens Award for Distinguished Service

As an exiting board member, myself, this convention was a bittersweet ending to a great term. On one hand, it’s a little sad to be leaving the National Board. These are some amazing women and we’ve grown very close over the past year.

On the other hand, I have never felt as uplifted and connected to Theta Nu Xi as when I was presented with the Corinne A. Ahrens Award for Distinguished Service. This award was truly my dream and I’m incredibly appreciative of the honor.

There are so many sorors giving of their heart, time, and finances who will undoubtedly be recipients of this award in the coming years. I look forward to working with these and all my sorors toward another outstanding 15 years!


Wendy Hartmann: After attending convention twice as an undergraduate, and now as a GAP sister, I knew my role would change, but I didn’t know how or how much. In the past I was absorbing as much as possible. I absolutely picked the brains of anyone I could find.

I was also BUSY. I was in legislation or training the whole time. This year, I felt less pressure, and I was really able to enjoy the workshops and the company of my sisters. It was more about sharing than it was about taking.

Convention as a GAP sister is a whole new perspective, and I was able to see Theta Nu Xi in a refreshed way. It’s time to give back some of the love and support that was given to me, maybe even by serving on the National Board. And for anyone who isn’t sure: GAP is where it’s at, so come home to GAP!


All in all The Xi Xi Chapter as a whole had an amazing experience at National Convention 2012. Our Chapter is lucky to have sisters who range from 8+ years in Theta Nu Xi to just months as a sister. This range allows for many perspectives to come together, and it was evident at this year’s convention that becoming a sister of Theta Nu Xi was the best decision of my life.

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