Phi Sigma Rho raises blood cancer awareness

By Swapna Vettiyil

Phi Sigma Rho was nationally founded in 1984 by two students studying engineering at Purdue University.

The founders had hoped to join a sorority on campus, but due to the strenuous workload associated with being an engineer, they decided against it.

Instead, they founded a sorority for “women in technical studies whose major restricted the amount of time they had available, but who were in search of sisterhood and support,” according to Cal Poly Pomona Phi Sigma Rho’s website.

Members of the CPP chapter founded in February 2011 believe in having high standards of personal integrity, respect and character.

They also focus on achieving lifelong bonds of sisterhood and academic and professional excellence all while balancing social activities.

According to the website, members include “sisters from almost every engineering major including mechanical, industrial, civil, chemical, electrical, computer and aerospace.”

The sorority also has majors including chemistry, math, physics and biochemistry.

Sisters are active within the sorority and participate in and hold leadership positions within other clubs and sports organizations.

Philanthropy and Fundraising Director Kelci Ellis-Alvarez said her role is to organize and fundraise money for the chapter.

“Our national philanthropy is the leukemia and lymphoma society, and on Nov. 4 our chapter is participating in the Light the Night event to raise money to find cures for various blood cancers,” Ellis-Alvarez said.

In addition to participating in philanthropy work, Ellis-Alvarez has gained a sense of helping the greater good by joining Phi Sigma Rho.

She also gained a network of STEM sisters.

These women help with engineering classes and provide professional advice and potential internship opportunities.

These are women who have one another’s backs.

Phi Sigma Rho Public Relations Chair Jess Mora is excited for the Light the Night Walk. Last year, they marked an all time high in donations.

This fall, the chapter has been focusing on philanthropy and recruitment to attract more potential members.

Phi Sigma Rho currently has 16 active initiated members but just finished recruitment.

“Candidates that are given bids are still going through the candidacy process, but hopefully all six (new members) will be initiated by the beginning of winter quarter,” Mora said.

The engineering sorority also has many successful alumni who are great connections for the active sisters.

Alumnae Nicole Guerena-Pantaleo works as a civil engineer for Tetra Tech, which is an engineering consulting firm, according to Phi Sigma Rho’s website.

They also have alumnae Noel Le who graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 2017.

She now works as a civil engineer associate at Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Amber Hoffman who also graduated in 2017 is now a traffic engineer with Kinley Horn and Associates in Texas.

“Phi Sigma Rho helped me prepare for my first internship interview,” Hoffman wrote on the chapter’s website.

Guerena-Pantaleo, Le and Hoffman are just three of the many alumni who have graduated and succeeded after joining Phi Sigma Rho.

Phi Sigma Rho at CPP truly exemplifies their national motto of “together we build the future.”

Phi Sigma Rho exemplifies their national motto of "together we build the future"

Courtesy of Phi Sigma Rho

Phi Sigma Rho exemplifies their national motto of “together we build the future”

Phi Sigma Rho was nationally founded in 1984 by two engineering students at the Purdue University

Courtesy of Phi Sigma Rho

Phi Sigma Rho was nationally founded in 1984 by two engineering students at the Purdue University

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