In January of 1978, five women at The Ohio State University founded an organization that would one day change the lives of thousands of women in the agriculture industry. These women wanted an alternative to the traditional social Greek system, so Sigma Alpha, the professional sorority for women pursuing careers in agriculture, was born.  Since 1978, Sigma Alpha has grown into a national organization with more than 80 chapters and more than 11,000 members initiated to date.sigma-alpha-crest

Built around the pillars of scholarship, leadership, fellowship, and service, Sigma Alpha has provided numerous opportunities for growth in its members.  When I joined Sigma Alpha in 2015, I had no idea how large of an impact this organization would have on my life.  Not only have I been able to meet lifelong friends in my own chapter, but I have also been able to meet sisters from all over the country.

Along with meeting new people around every corner, I have had the opportunity to lead and to become more confident in myself. Currently, I am serving as the 1st Vice President of the Beta Xi chapter at Illinois State University. This position allows me to use my interest in communications by taking care of any public relations needs that our chapter may have. I have been in this position for just over a month now and have already been able to create multiple graphics for our social media accounts.

12115623_1018507408195350_2379498410110607665_nWhile all of my experiences with Sigma Alpha have been amazing, the one that I hold closest to my heart is our partnership with Ag in the Classroom (AITC). AITC is an organization that works to promote agricultural literacy in the K-12 school system. For myself, AITC is the organization that helped me realize that I wanted to major in Agriculture Communications. I truly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn about agriculture and this organization makes sure that teachers have the resources and materials to make this possible. The Beta Xi chapter hosts a basket auction each year to raise money for Illinois Ag in the Classroom. Last year, we raised a record $4,400 to donate to the organization.
12063532_939779466068145_7224088700977134592_n-2Another unique opportunity that I have had as a member of Sigma Alpha was being able to plan our chapter’s rush last fall. We were able to plan four rush events and conduct interviews for potential new members. It was a huge undertaking but it was so rewarding in the end. We were able to activate 16 new members in November and our chapter continues to grow!

Sigma Alpha is different than any other organization that I have ever been a part of. The craziest thing is that if you would have asked me three years ago if I had an interest in joining the Greek System, I probably would have given you a flat-out “no”.  I always tell people that Sigma Alpha isn’t just a “normal sorority” and they never believe it. But what I mean when I say that is that it isn’t a normal sorority, it is so much more than that. Sigma Alpha is… Sisterhood. Growth. Opportunity. Professionalism. Love. Agriculture. Leadership. Family. Sigma Alpha is home.


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Amanda Diesburg
Illinois State University

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