Sigma Delta Tau in the Spotlight: Cassidy DeStefano

1. Name: Cassidy DeStefano

2. Year in School: Sophomore

3. Major: Marketing with a double minor in Journalism and Spanish

4. Hometown: Middletown, New Jersey

5. When did you join Sigma Delta Tau? Spring 2016

6. Why did you join Sigma Delta Tau? Have you held any positions? I joined Sigma Delta Tau on a whim last spring when I didn't know much about the chapter, its members, or the Greek community as a whole. My impression of sororities back then was that they were mainly social outlets with a few community service initiatives built in to boost the overall image. However, since joining, I've realized that I'm among the ranks of a group of driven, career-focused, put-together women who care not only about advancing individually, but as a collective group. After being initiated, I became increasingly hooked on the chapter and knew I had to give back. Last December, I ran for and was appointed Vice President of Scholarship, an executive board position. In this role, I hope to enforce academic excellence as our chapter's backbone and help every girl reach her full potential.

7. What else are you involved in on campus? Along with my involvement in my sorority, I am also a Resident Assistant in Kennedy Hall, a freshman residence hall on Hemenway Street. I oversee 32 residents, enforce school policies to keep our building safe, and plan goal-focused programs to foster community. These two commitments take up the bulk of my time, but in the past I was involved in other campus organizations, holding an editorship on The Huntington News and serving as an active member of Circle K, Northeastern's largest community service group. I also go to church every week and am affiliated with the Catholic Center in that way.

8. Have you been on any co-ops? If so, where? I am currently two months into my first co-op in the marketing department of the Boston Globe and I am absolutely loving it. I work at the intersection of many departments - advertising, creative services, and events to name a few - so my job is always surprising me. My daily tasks include ordering print ads for the paper and collaborating with editorial to send out ads in our subscriber newsletters. However, my co-op also takes me all over the city, from company events like The Boston Globe Travel Show to citywide celebrations like the Pinnacle Awards, an annual luncheon that honors working female professionals. My co-op embodies my two interests, marketing and journalism, and could not be a more perfect fit for me!

9. What's your favorite class you've taken at Northeastern? My favorite class, and undoubtedly the most challenging one that I've ever taken at Northeastern, was Journalism 2 with Carlene Hempel. It's known among journalism majors as a rite of passage, the most difficult class in the curriculum but the one that will teach you the most. For the first time in six years of studying journalism, I learned new things about the industry and wrote different kinds of stories. These included a trend story based on a court case that I had to pick out myself, as well as an enterprise story about a broad topic, which I chose to write about religious culture on college campuses. Hempel is one of the best professors I've ever had because she recognized our potential and therefore would not let us cut corners, settling for nothing less than our personal best. I exited each class feeling stressed, but overwhelmingly motivated to reach her standards and exceed my own. Looking back, I have a strong portfolio of articles from that class and have learned lessons that I'll carry with me through my career.

10. What advice would you give to younger girls who are considering coming to Northeastern and joining Greek life? The fact of the matter is, not a lot of people come to Northeastern actively seeking out Greek life. I know I didn't. Still, looking back, joining my chapter was one of the best decisions I've made since coming to college. Northeastern has a cutthroat culture and a lot of the time it can seem like everyone is on their own path. But Sigma Delta Tau has provided me with a personal and professional support network that has become a cornerstone in my college experience. For younger girls just entering college, keep an open mind and let yourself fall into the groups that interest you, whether that be within Greek life or otherwise. It's important to find your smaller home on our large, urban campus.