This week’s campus profile is Sasha Kochinski, the President of Sigma Alpha, an agricultural professional sorority here on campus. Read on to learn more about the organization and Sasha’s involvement here on campus.
Name: Sasha Kochinski
Hometown: Tomah, Wisconsin
Major/Minor: Animal Science, Option Animal Production, Minor: Rangeland Ecology and Management
Year: Senior, 4th Year
HC at Oregon State: What organizations are you a part of here on campus? Do you have any leadership roles?
Sasha: As an active member and President of Sigma Alpha, I have the honor and privilege of leading and guiding an exceptional group of professional women in Agriculture. I also participate actively in LSAMP, Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, which is an organization dedicated to helping underrepresented students in the Pacific Northwest. In my spare time I participate as a club member in Steer A Year and Bird Nerds.
HC at Oregon State: What first drew you to become involved with Sigma Alpha? What sets your sorority apart from other organizations here on campus?
Sasha: Coming from out of state and not living in dorms it is always hard warming up and trying to make friends on campus. During an Agriculture Welcome Social I walked up to the Sigma Alpha Booth and started talking to the current members at the time. I instantly fell in love with the atmosphere, people, and all that they do for the community and agriculture. I felt completely welcomed and joined them for their Informational Meeting, where i found that many of the people were in the same classes with me, had similar interests, and wanted friends for life like me.
Sigma Alpha works to promote women in agriculture or professionalism. We are unhoused which gives a different option to women who want those close friendships without having a house. Even though we don’t have a house we still do everything housed sororities do. One huge difference is our philanthropy Agriculture in the classroom. We help elementary school students learn where their food comes from and how agriculture affects their life.
HC at Oregon State: What has it been like for Sigma Alpha joining the Panhellenic Council here at Oregon State as an associate member? How has it helped your organization grow? How does it affect your recruitment process?
Sasha: When we were offered to become an associate member of the Panhellenic Council at Oregon State last year we were very indifferent at first. We had no idea what PHC was about or what we would be. Leslie Schacht Drey, the director for Center of Fraternity and Sorority Life came and talked to our chapter last year. They welcomed us with open arms and made the process very easy. As a chapter we all agreed that this would be an amazing journey that will help us get closer to the Greek community and our campus. We have already made an impact especially as a small chapter of 37 current members. It has given us many opportunities for community service and outreach here on campus and within the community. We have made great bonds with other houses as well. We recently went through the Panhellenic Recruitment Process and it has greatly helped our organization grow. This helped us get our name out there and let new members know who we are. Even if someone did not join our chapter it still gave us the chance to get our name out there and for people to know who we are and what we do. Along with Panhellenic we have our own informal recruitment process. We asked girls if any of them had heard about us from the Panhellenic recruitment process. There was a few girls that did come from the process and said that they loved how we presented ourselves and what we do. We have enjoyed every moment and can’t wait for more memories to come.
HC at Oregon State: How has being involved with Sigma Alpha helped you in your professional and educational career here at Oregon State?
Sasha: Sigma Alpha’s mission is to cultivate professional women in agriculture. I have seen this in my many years in Sigma Alpha. Every term Sigma Alpha puts on at least 3 meetings geared towards professional development. Some examples of events we have are: What to wear/not to wear to an interview, a cover letter workshop, applying to veterinary school, mock interviews, balancing and saving money, and one that helps our seniors with what to do after graduation. Along with our workshops, Sigma Alpha collaborates with the College of Agriculture to put on a Symposium of a Panel of Professional Agriculture Women and they discuss how Sigma Alpha and Oregon State has helped them in their professionalism and careers. We put on this panel every winter and will be doing it again in March.
HC at Oregon State: Do you have a big or little in your sorority? What has that mentoring relationship meant to you?
Sasha: Sigma Alpha’s most exciting time is the big and little reveal every Fall and Spring. All membership candidates, or new members, receive a big when they are activated into the sorority. This experience is amazing and makes a huge difference to every girl. I received a big my first year of joining and was welcomed into the family immediately. My big, Casey Jackson, has impacted my life greatly. Along with being my best friend, she mentors me on every thing within the sorority and outside of it. She is always there for me and knows how to pick me up when I need it. I currently have a huge family that consists of many generations and can be dated back to the chartered members that started Sigma Alpha at Oregon State. The following year I made the best decision and decided to recieve a little, Stephanie Cantrall. We both knew that we were a great match together and makes every moment worth memories. I am currently a GBig (Grand Big) and will be becoming a GGBig (Great Grand Big) this coming December. The big little process helps every member and creates life long friendships and memories.
HC at Oregon State: What made you choose your major here at Oregon State?
Sasha: I have always known that I’ve wanted to have a career with animals. To help animals has always made me feel that I would make a difference and impact within my career. Animals and agriculture are the backbone to every way of life from the food you eat to the houses you live in. I also have a huge interest in Agriculture Education where I love teaching people and children where their food comes from and what agriculture is about.
HC at Oregon State: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Sasha: In 10 years I can see myself in a career that I love and enjoy going to work. I can also see this career with animals or agriculture. I would love to stay in the beautiful Pacific Northwest but wherever my career takes me I would like to enjoy and pursue it. I also see myself with many dogs and a couple of animals.
HC at Oregon State: What’s your favorite store to shop at here in Corvallis?
Sasha: To be completely honest, I do most of my shopping at the Beaver Store, TJ Maxx, or Pet Smart. I have a beautiful 2 year old Border Collie who I love to spoil with gifts and toys. TJMaxx always has great deals and have everything from professional clothes to dresses. The Beaver Store always has beaver gear that I love and want!
HC at Oregon State: Are you a coffee or tea drinker?
Sasha: On days that I am need of an extra energy boost to start my mornings I turn to a Medium Hot Chai Tea Latte, which gives me the best of both worlds of tea and coffee.
HC at Oregon State: Does Sigma Alpha have any upcoming recruitment events during Fall or Winter Term that those interested can attend?
Sasha: Our recruitment process is over for Fall Term, but we will be having a Spring recruitment that will begining at the start of Spring Term.
If you are a woman here on campus interested in joining Sigma Alpha: shoot them a message on Facebook, visit them on Instagram, check out their Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life profile here, or check out their website.