Few speakers bring more heart to their fraternity and sorority keynotes than Mindy Sopher. Her experience and wisdom will challenge your student leaders to rise to their personal potential, and that of their distinguished organizations.
Mindy speaks on a limited basis, specializing in smaller fraternity/sorority communities with more limited budgets. She prices herself at a level that fits those campuses. Mindy is a facilitator for CAMPUSPEAK, certified to do a wide variety of workshops on topics ranging from social justice, to community building to recruitment. She is a great resource for small to medium sized fraternity/sorority communities needing an affordable outside perspective and a first-class workshop or retreat presenter. Mindy is able to do workshops or keynotes on many of the key issues facing these communities, including: alumni relations, officer transition, team building, values-based leadership, service programs, public relations, and campus collaboration. For this reason, she is frequently invited to leadership trainings and retreats. She also has professional experience working with student athletes, and she can speak to the needs of this student community, as well.
“Hazing is obviously a big issue, not only on our campus but on all campuses. I thought this was an interactive way to bring the issues of hazing to light. I think my favorite part was when Mindy shared her personal experiences with us because she has had so much experience with Greek Life. I believe the presentation will at least hold people more accountable because whether they liked what they heard or not, they still heard it and they can’t forget it now.”
– Student, Wittenberg University
Why Fraternities and Sororities Still Matter
In her keynote, “Why Fraternities and Sororities Still Matter,” Mindy addresses the topic of fraternal relevance head-on. She will help your students understand how the history of their organizations provides an enduring example for today’s members; and will also help them understand their role in making their chapters relevant for future students. By telling their stories, actively defining their positive experiences and remembering to live their rituals every day, students will be empowered to work hard to ensure the continued success of their organization’s values. Mindy can adapt the program for all-male or all-female audiences as needed. Anyone who has met Mindy knows that she is a passionate advocate for the potential of Fraternity and Sorority Life, and she will inspire your students to make the most of the leadership potential their organizations offer. Her messages about the importance of Fraternity and Sorority Life are perfect for Greek Week events, new member convocations, pre-recruitment keynotes, year-end events and more.
Getting to the Heart of Hazing
Smaller fraternity and sorority communities struggling with hazing or other harmful traditions need a speaker who can begin the conversation in a constructive place. Mindy Sopher approaches the topic from what she calls “The 3 H’s”—heart, harm and help. It’s important to talk about the heart when talking about hazing, because fraternity and sorority members are caring people, as indicated by their commitment to philanthropic efforts. Mindy understands that hazing sometimes comes from a desire to develop members with a strong sense of commitment to their organizations. She makes the connection with students so they understand how hazing destroys a person’s emotional connection to the values of the organization and makes them less committed to organizational ideals. She talks about the results of hazing, the hidden harm it sometimes inflicts on individuals with personal issues and the residual issues hazing can create in some organizations. Finally, she talks about “help”—eliminating bystander behavior that tolerates and empowers hazing. She helps students understand that new non-hazing traditions can replace the harmful ones if extraordinary student leaders step up and take responsibility for changing their organizational culture. Unlike other hazing programs that might focus on scare tactics, stories of death and legal liability, or regulations, Mindy’s program takes a more emotional approach. She asks each student to look into his or her heart and find a more worthy approach to new member education and inclusion. She speaks from a nurturing place, helping students understand how preventing hazing speaks to their personal values and ethics.
Alumni Relations: Reconnecting Brothers and Sisters
The bonds we build with our fraternity and sorority alumni can yield countless benefits. Building and enhancing strong foundational alumni relations takes some work and a long-range vision, and it’s completely worth the effort. Helping reconnecting alumni for the right reasons can strengthen your chapter and Greek community foundations, and it can provide invaluable advising, professional contacts, and yes, funds for special projects. In this keynote or workshop, Mindy teaches undergraduates the key elements of a strong alumni relations strategy – from publications to events and fundraising. Mindy understands that there are a variety of situations, including:
- a complete absence of alumni involvement
- nightmare alumni who cause problems
- overly involved alumni who control chapters
- too few alumni carrying the entire advising burden
- alumni who show up for one event a year, but are otherwise disconnected
Regardless of your particular situation and goals, Mindy can guide you toward improvement and greater benefits for all involved. She will spend time with you prior to her visit discussing your alumni relations realities, and then she will prepare a session that addresses your specific needs.
Early in her career, Mindy Sopher was a full-time fraternity/sorority advisor at The University of Memphis, Old Dominion University, and most recently at North Carolina State University. She has won numerous awards for her contributions to Greek Life, including a Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Fraternity and Sorority Advisors. She has been honored with top awards from Delta Upsilon and Sigma Nu national fraternities for her service to those organizations. The N.C. State Panhellenic Association’s top award is called “The Sopher Cup,” a testament to the extraordinary respect the students feel toward her contributions to their community. Mindy’s friends joke that the only thing that hasn’t been named after Mindy is an elementary school—but we’re pretty sure that’s coming. Today, Mindy is a Communications faculty member at N.C. State, where she serves as an academic advisor and teaches a course in organizational leadership and change. She also serves as an adjunct faculty at nearby Peace College. As a four-time cancer survivor, Mindy is also deeply involved with her local Susan B. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure. Mindy and her faithful bulldog, Queen Victoria, live in Raleigh, North Carolina. When she’s not traveling for CAMPUSPEAK, she enjoys teaching non-profit development and participating various Student Life activities on behalf of her beloved Wolfpack.