Tuesday, July 15, 2014

UNO Sorority Chapter Sees National Spotlight as UNO Student Wins Top Award

Maggie RousselMaggie Roussell

A University of New Orleans sorority chapter saw the spotlight last week as one of its members, to her surprise, received one of the national organization's top honors.

"I saw it on the program but never in a million years did I imagine that the winner would be me because (competition is among) all the Delta Zeta chapters in the U.S. and we have chapters in Canada," said Maggie Roussell, an active member of the University's Theta Kappa chapter of Delta Zeta sorority. "It's a lot of girls."

Maggie Roussell, a spring 2014 graduate and incoming graduate student at UNO, won the Grace Mason Lundy Award, the highest collegiate recognition awarded by Delta Zeta sorority. Roussell is one of eight national winners of the award, which is given annually by the National Council of Delta Zeta to outstanding senior collegiate members. The award is given in honor of Grace Mason Lundy, past national president of the sorority. The women selected are leaders in campus and sorority activities, have served their chapters with loyalty and devotion, and contributed to their chapters' advancement. Grace Mason Lundy Award recipients are also chosen because of the potential they hold for active alumnae involvement.

"This is beyond fantastic for Maggie and a great spotlight opportunity for UNO, especially as Delta Zeta is a huge organization," said LeeAnne Sipe, assistant director of student involvement and leadership at UNO. "I couldn't be more proud of her!"

Roussell received the honor this past weekend at the sorority's biannual national convention, held in Tucson. At the convention's leadership luncheon, national organizers announced the Delta Zeta Woman of the Year, then announced Roussell and several others as recipients of the sorority's Lundy Award, Roussell said.

"Eight women won the award this year. They announced six of them and said 'We have two here today,'" said Roussell, who said she had no idea that she would be a recipient. "The last name that they announced was mine. It was so exciting. I screamed. My friends screamed. The (chapter) president screamed ... It was just really exciting because we've been working really hard to be a sorority that wins national awards."

Roussell graduated in May from UNO with a double major in English and history and this fall will enter the university's graduate program in English. Roussell, who graduated from Chalmette High School and is a native of St. Bernard Parish, is an active member of the Student Activities Council,

Delta Zeta sorority has been an active sorority on the UNO campus for more than 50 years, Roussell said. The current leadership believes that Roussell is the first chapter member to win the sorority's Grace Mason Lundy Award, which brought her an engraved medallion.

The chapter's executive board nominated her for the award in January, citing her leadership on campus and through Delta Zeta, her personal commitment and service to the UNO community. In the application, sorority sisters highlighted Roussell's contributions to the UNO community.

Roussell has served as a member of the Student Activities Council executive board for the last two year and spent a year serving as a senator on the UNO Student Government. During her first two years at UNO, Roussell worked with the University's Pan Hellenic Council, helping to plan all Pan-Hellenic recruitment.

Roussell has also served as her sorority chapter's president, vice president of new member education, historian and ritual chair.

Typically, she would have become an "alumna" of the sorority upon graduation, said Roussell. However, because she is entering graduate school at UNO in the fall, she opted to continue her status as an active member to help the chapter with by sharing her expertise in recruitment.

This summer, she hosts a workshop every two weeks that involves the entire chapter. She is coordinating recruitment efforts, which involve a sorority presence at all New Student Orientation sessions. Roussell is also working in the Student Activities Council office, as part of a graduate assistantship that begins this fall, and works part-time as a waitress as she prepares for graduate school.


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