Name: Kelsey E. Ingram
Chapter: Gamma Omega, Denison
Full-time Occupation: Editor
Volunteer Position: Academic Excellence adviser at Upsilon Chapter, Northwestern; Membership Chairman for Chicago Loop Group Alumnae Association, and Contributing Editor, The Key.
How many total years have you volunteered with Kappa? Three years.
In what other places or ways do you give your time and talents? Too many! I volunteer at the Evanston Animal Shelter working with the dogs. It is the highlight of my week because of the dogs – and the people – I work with. All shelter dogs just want to be loved and cuddled, so please adopt if you’re looking into getting a dog.
I also volunteer for my alma mater, Denison University. I’m the class of 2013 captain and I do work for the annual fund, admissions office, and basically anything I can get my hands on. It’s really rewarding to give back financially and with my time. I get to stay on top of what my school is up to, and I get to connect with classmates and alumni of all ages!
I have also done some editing for Harvard Business School. Working with Harvard is special to me because my grandfather went to Harvard University. Generations of my family went there, like my great-grandfather who was the editor of the student newspaper, “The Harvard Crimson,” in 1913. I love to connect with my history.
If I have any spare time, I do some freelance editing or I dog sit.
What talents made you a great match for this role? I think my top talent that made me a great match is my passion. I’m the kind of person that won’t get anything done unless I personally care about what I’m working on. Kappa provided great support and a great outlet for me as an undergrad, so I’m really attached to this organization that has provided so many wonderful experiences.
I am a huge stickler for grammar and spelling, which I think has been my other key talent in my roles. There are rules for grammar and spelling and I love following those rules. I’m really passionate about our women receiving – and perhaps more importantly, using – a top-notch education. I’ll push to make sure every woman is doing that.
Lastly, I’m not afraid to speak my mind. I think it’s important to voice an opinion and to stick true to the guidelines we have in place, even if it makes for an uncomfortable situation. When it comes to delivering bad news or asking why in an awkward situation, I’m willing to stick my neck out there in order to get the job done. While sometimes this means I come off as rather harsh, I also try to remain approachable. I think that’s also where I’ve found success. No one wants to do work for someone they can’t have a fun conversation with.
What makes your volunteer experience rewarding? My volunteering is rewarding because I see the transition these women are making. It’s really nice to see that growth and know that I was a part of it. It’s personally rewarding because I get the chance to meet so many new women, hear the fun traditions of different chapters, and make unique Kappa memories that are separate from my collegiate years. I love having a continuation, and an addition, to my Kappa support system that I found at Denison.
What or Who is your most impactful Kappa memory or mentor? I know this is completely vague, but my most impactful memory is any time my pledge class was together. Whether it was during Recruitment, skit, Anchor Splash or our final run-through of our ritual, it was special to do whatever we were doing together.
What is the most important talent or trait to have to be a successful volunteer? The two I think are important are linked and very similar: passion and interest. If someone is just volunteering for brownie points or to have something look good on a résumé, it’s going to show. Volunteers need to be able focus on the job as if it’s their only one, but also have an interest in what’s going on. And that’s where I’ve seen the most success.
What do you feel is your greatest achievement as a Kappa volunteer? I think the greatest achievement I’ve had is getting active women to start considering being involved with Kappa post-graduation. I don’t think it really hits home that this is a lifelong commitment until alumnae get in front of actives. I’m talking alumnae closer to the ages of these active women, as they are more relatable. Seeing how active women learn to interact with Kappas of all ages and gain an understanding of the responsibility of wearing our letters 24/7 for the rest of their lives is really meaningful for me.