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Critical Conversations Story

Pi Beta Phi Unveils New Risk Prevention Education Programming

Published On: 2015-07-15

For information please contact:
Eily Cummings
Pi Beta Phi Fraternity
Director of Marketing and Communications
(636) 256–0680, Extension 735

Pi Beta Phi Unveils New Risk Prevention Education Programming  

ST. LOUIS – Wednesday, July 15, 2015 – Pi Beta Phi’s member development program, Leading with Values®, is growing with the addition of the groundbreaking prevention education curriculum, Critical Conversations®.

Members at Pi Beta Phi’s 70th Biennial Convention were the first to see Critical Conversations in action. The expanded programming offers a wide variety of tools and resources to address the unique needs of our members and those supporting them. Critical Conversations presents a comprehensive approach addressing topics such as alcohol and other substances, mental health, sexual assault, bullying, personal safety and other prevention education topics while integrating Pi Phi values.

“Critical Conversations is the one thing that has been missing from Leading with Values,” said Pi Beta Phi Director Risk Management Amy Dreller. “This new programming will help our members understand what to do and who to go to in difficult situations.”

The Critical Conversations Speaker Series will bring trained facilitators to Pi Phi chapters, where they will lead conversations on important information collegiate members need to make big decisions. Programs include the Alcohol Skills Training Program; Discovering Sincere Friendship and Sisterhood; and Safety and Sexual Assault. Each chapter will receive one Speaker Series program per academic year. Pi Beta Phi partnered with leading industry experts Dr. Jason Kilmer, Dr. Mari Ann Callais and Aaron Boe on each of these programs to ensure each experience will leave a lasting impact.

“The Alcohol Skills Training Program educated our women on healthy and safe practices, to help ensure our safety not only for the duration of our collegiate experience, but for life," said Brenna McGill, Pi Beta Phi Chapter President from the University of Arizona. "The facilitators created a relatable and engaging environment allowing the women in our chapter to have open and honest conversations.”

Webisodes, interactive videos available on Pi Beta Phi’s public Critical Conversation’s Vimeo channel, enable chapters to engage members in conversations at chapter meetings and are accompanied by discussion guides to aid chapter facilitators. The goal of these webisodes is to enable peer leaders to introduce difficult conversations in a meaningful and more comfortable way.

Advisor Topic Briefs, which are centered on areas of concern, have been developed for Alumnae Advisory Committee members and others advising collegiate chapters. These briefs provide additional ways for advisors to support chapter members. Valuable resources from Pi Phi partners, including MJ Insurance Sorority Division, EverFi’s GreekLifeEdu® and RESPONSE ABILITY, enhance Critical Conversations.

Congratulations to the following men and women who were selected as Critical Conversations Speakers Series facilitators for the 2015–2016 academic year.

Donald Abels, Sigma Pi
Fraternity and Sorority Life, Coordinator, Middle Tennessee State University 
Carly Giesbrecht, Pi Beta Phi
Pi Beta Phi International Officer 
Betsy Adams, Alpha Chi Omega
Program Coordinator, Sorority & Fraternity Affairs, University of Florida
Morgan Greco, Pi Beta Phi
Past Pi Beta Phi Leadership Development Consultant
Brittany Barnes, Chi Omega
Assistant Director of Fraternity, Sorority and Cooperative Life, Purdue University 
Annie Herold
Complex Director, Emory University 
Jennifer Black, Theta Alpha
Coordinator, Division of Continuing Education, University of Central Florida 
Samantha Keltner, Gamma Phi Beta
Chapter Services Manager, Gamma Phi Beta 
Claudia Braman, Pi Beta Phi
Pi Beta Phi Alumna
Melissa Kish, Pi Beta Phi
Associate Director, Student Life and Learning, Indiana University 
Dennis Campbell, Sigma Nu
Coordinator for Fraternity and Sorority Life, University of Nevada, Reno 
Julie Larsen, Pi Beta Phi
Pi Beta Phi Alumna 
Chantel Carlson, Pi Beta Phi
Past Pi Beta Phi Leadership Development Consultant 
Jacquelyn Ledford, Pi Beta Phi
Pi Beta Phi Alumna 
Sarah Cohen, Delta Zeta
Senior Assistant Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life, Indiana University 
Hilary Lindauer, Pi Beta Phi
Past Pi Beta Phi Leadership Development Consultant 
James Crawford, Delta Chi
Coordinator of Greek Life, Vanderbilt University 
Jenny Mason, Pi Beta Phi
Past Pi Beta Phi Leadership Development Consultant 
Allie Crouse, Delta Gamma
Director of Member Services, Delta Gamma 
Wes McCormack, Phi Kappa Chi
Campus Consultant, OrgSync and Past Pi Beta Phi Headquarters Staff Member 
Schabahn Day, Pi Beta Phi
Past Pi Beta Phi International Officer 
Jamie McMillen, Phi Mu
Coordinator for Greek Councils, Case Western Reserve University 
Nick Estrada, Phi Kappa Psi
Coordinator of Leadership and Training, Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity 
Carli Mercer, Alpha Delta Pi
Fraternity & Sorority Life Coordinator, Arizona State University 
Sarah Fuller, Pi Beta Phi
College Activities & Greek Life Program Assistant, Linfield College 
Erika Michalski, Pi Beta Phi
Director, Continuing Professional Development, St. Louis College of Pharmacy and Past Pi Beta Phi Headquarters Staff Member 
Gianna Salamido, Pi Beta Phi
Past Pi Beta Phi Leadership Development Consultant
Gretchen Stahl Foran, Pi Beta Phi
Director of Membership Growth, Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority
Tabatha Sarco, Alpha Delta Pi
Director of Educational Programs and Special Events, Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity
Jacob Tidwell, Beta Theta Pi
Assistant Director of Student Engagement, University of Central Oklahoma
Haley Seeley, Sigma Kappa
Program Coordinator for Fraternity & Sorority Life, University of Cincinnati
Allen White, Iota Phi Theta
Associate Director of Campus Centers for Fraternity & Sorority Life, New Jersey Institute of Technology and National Director of Undergraduate Affairs
Meagan Smejdir, Alpha Omicron Pi
Program Coordinator for Campus Activities, Pittsburg State University

For more information, visit www.pibetaphi.org/criticalconversations.

About Leading with Values: Pi Beta Phi’s member development program, Leading with Values, is an award-winning program based on the six core values of Pi Beta Phi. By offering intentional and purposeful programming, Leading with Values sets the stage for understanding and living the values of the Fraternity, fulfilling leadership potential, serving others, achieving academic excellence, demonstrating care for one’s self and others and extending the Pi Phi experience beyond college. Learn more at: www.pibetaphi.org/leadingwithvalues. Leading with Values is made possible in part through financial support from Pi Beta Phi Foundation.

About Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women: Founded in 1867 at Monmouth College in Illinois,
Pi Beta Phi has installed 202 collegiate chapters and nearly 300 alumnae organizations worldwide. Pi Beta Phi promotes friendship, develops women of intellect and integrity, cultivates leadership potential and enriches the lives of members and their communities. The Fraternity believes in the power of reading and through its philanthropy, Read > Lead > Achieve®, promotes a lifelong love of reading that can unlock true potential. For more information, visit www.pibetaphi.org or follow Pi Phi on Twitter and Facebook.