On Friday, April 6, the members of the Gamma Phi Omega (GPhiO) sorority went to their national conference at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. Colleen McMahon, the current president of GPhiO, won the Academic Swan Award due to her dedication towards her education, GPA, and mentorship. Unsurprisingly, McMahon has been awarded the Golden Swan Award three semesters in a row within the University of Illinois Springfield chapter due to her 4.0 GPA.
The UIS GPhiO’s commitment to the sorority’s four goals, academic excellence, community service, cultural awareness, and sisterhood, stood out among the nation, earning them the Chapter of the Year Award.
The Chapter of the Year Award is the highest award achievable at the national conference. This is the third year that the UIS GPhiOs have attended the conference but the last with the remaining founding members. Crystal Terrazas, one such member, is a senior in the Legal Studies and Political Science major, with a minor in Spanish.
Terrazas wants to see the chapter continue the reputation she and the fellow founding members have left. She plans on relocating to further her education , but still wants to support her UIS chapter because of the lifelong sisterhood.
Connie Sifuentes, a junior majoring in Psychology with a double minor in Theater and Women and Gender Studies, also attended the conference. She hopes that the awards will help shed light on the sorority and their goals on the UIS campus. She feels passionately about promoting diversity and female empowerment through GPhiO. Sifuentes said that the legacy left behind is “a blessing in disguise. It’s bittersweet to have [the remaining founders] leave… We have to fill those shoes in order for us to continue to grow and continue to strive on this campus.” Though the chapter has already won Chapter of the Year, they are still hosting and assisting with events on campus. One such event is the Latinx Graduation Celebration. Many of the senior GPhiO’s will be participating in this event on May 4, at 4:00 PM at the Brookens Auditorium.