Award Winner Highlight: Rachel Pienta
Name: Rachel Pienta
Chapter: Beta Psi Chapter at the University of Florida
Awards Received: Individual Alumnae Panhellenic Award
"The contributions I have been able to make to my community would not have been possible without the foundation of leadership I received and commitment to service I developed during my undergraduate experience as a Phi Sigma Sigma sister."
What did it mean to receive this award?
I received this award after ten active years in Alumnae Panhellenic and after having served as Vice President of Alumnae Panhellenic of Tallahassee.
How Phi Sigma Sigma has impacted you?
I joined Phi Sigma Sigma during my second year at the University of Florida. I had decided to wait to pledge a sorority after attending the information session before rush and realizing that I would only have one chance to experience college life as a non-Greek student. That year turned out to be pivotal as I had the opportunity to learn about the Greek system from the outside and to make a decision about where I wanted to make the commitment to Greek life.
Phi Sigma Sigma was my one and only choice of sorority. I was a resident assistant and the traditional rush experience was not an option for me due to my work obligations. I asked about the snap bid process months before the 1991 rush season. I was able to join the fall 1991 new member class on bid day and thus began my Greek life experience.
My experience of Greek life has always been creative and organic. Phi Sigma Sigma afforded me the opportunity to shape a unique Greek experience that has shaped how I have approached life over the last three decades.
The Phi Sigma Sigma experience provided me with opportunities that would give me the organizing skills to become a leader – first on campus in student government and then later, as an adult, in civic life and in the Florida Democratic Party as a county leader and member of the state executive committee.
In February 2011, I was recognized as “Panhellenic Woman of the Year” by the Alumnae Panhellenic of Tallahassee followed by recognition in March of that same year by the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper as one of “25 Women to Know in 2011” in the Big Bend community of Florida. Since that time, I have also completed Leadership Tallahassee, been recognized as a Leadership Pacesetter at Leadership Tallahassee Distinguished Leadership Awards, recognized as a Golden ACE by Tallahassee Young Professionals for "authentic community engagement", recognized by Tallahassee Woman Magazine with a Ruby Award for contributions to the community, and served as President of the Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce.
The contributions I have been able to make to my community would not have been possible without the foundation of leadership I received and commitment to service I developed during my undergraduate experience as a Phi Sigma Sigma sister.
How has receipt of a Phi Sigma Sigma award impacted your continued volunteerism/leadership within the Fraternity?
I continue to look for ways to serve. It is a dream to one day have a collegiate chapter close enough for me to serve as an advisor.
Do you know of a sister who is deserving of Phi Sigma Sigma's recognition? Nominate her for an award today! Phi Sigma Sigma's annual awards program recognizes individuals and chapters who most embody the virtues of Phi Sigma Sigma and continue to "Aim High" throughout their collegiate and alumnae experiences.