Dr. Mari Ann Callais Photo


Dr. Mari Ann Callais is more than a Speaker! She offers an array of unique programs for Fraternity and Sorority Life and for the college experience.

Mari Ann is also an educator, facilitator and entertainer.

Because Mari Ann "did her homework" on our organization AND attended our awards dinner the evening before her keynote, she truly understood who we are. She started out with some songs which got the audience on their feet like I have never seen with this group. Both collegians and volunteers (from age 22-75) were dancing, singing, and just raving about her keynote.

Liz Watson, Sigma Delta Tau

Mari Ann certainly paved the way for change on our campus! As much as I have talked to the students about values congruence it is so much nicer for the students to hear this from someone else!

Kari Murphy, University of Missouri-Kansas City

I'm the one that's always worrying about what others think, which I know will only hold me back. Mari Ann's presentation inspired me to step up and aim higher. I decided to get bold and ask one of the members of the golf club I work at to pass my resume onto the recruiter at the hospital he is the CFO at, and it paid off – I was contacted and offered a summer internship!

Tori Zachman, Robert Morris University

Mari Ann could not have been more on target with what our sororities and fraternities needed. I think she had a relaxed and fun tone, but because of her ability to connect with the students, she could be honest and real with them. That was amazing.

Ginger Taylor, Texas Lutheran University

I recommend Mari Ann Callais for any type of keynote regarding greek life. Mari Ann brings an energy unmatched by any speaker we have hosted on our campus, and we would love to have her speak again to a larger audience. Mari Ann embodies the importance of being part of a community and understanding how to give back.

Maura Natale, Univeristy of Pittsburgh

Stepping Up and Leaning In: A Woman’s Guide to Living and Leading the College Experience


The possibilities are endless. As many educational opportunities exist for women, as for men. Women can enter into any field. Women work alongside men every day, sharing responsibilities in the workplace, home, and athletic fields. So why are women paid less, promoted less often, and oftentimes slighted when great accomplishments are made?

The women’s community on any campus is sizeable, often outweighing the men. Are the women standing up to their male co-leaders when an idea goes against the women’s values or policies? Are women still participating in degrading activities in order to be viewed as fun or attractive? Do women find themselves feeling unheard in different areas of student government or academic departments?  It’s time to lean in!

Perhaps it’s time for women to “lean in”, taking an active role in their careers, relationships, and neighborhoods. And the best place to do that can be within the campus community.

Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” explores why women have a tendency to sit back passively when given the opportunity to step into leadership roles.  Oftentimes, women don’t feel they deserve to be respected, or to hold a high-ranking position.  Women are invited to the table, but in order to gain respect and achieve their goals, they must know how to come to the table effectively, with intention, confidence, and poise. 

Dr. Mari Ann Callais has worked with women in various communities for over 25 years. In this dynamic keynote, Mari Ann will challenge women to stand up and be more respected by men, campus administrators, professors, their roommates, their friends, and themselves. By leaning in, women can take hold of their experiences and make a difference in the lives around them.

Customizable for new students or sorority audiences!

From Ritual to Reality

Using music and storytelling, Mari Ann offers a truly unique keynote about values, ritual and the responsibilities of being a lifetime fraternity or sorority member. For nearly a decade, she has built a legion of admirers with her fun, upbeat keynotes on fraternity and sorority values.

Fraternity and sorority communities have asked her to campus to discuss the importance of community service and ritual with new members. She is among the most popular retreat facilitators in the country. As the past national president for Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity, Mari Ann offers a unique blend of local and national perspective on sorority issues and has helped numerous Panhellenics deal with the issue of sorority hazing.

When you bring Mari Ann to campus, you bring a speaker who approaches fraternity education in a completely unique way. She brings her guitar and uses music to create a relaxing environment. Students rate her keynotes highly because she talks with students, not to students. She can lead them in goal-setting one minute, then lead them in a sing-along of Jimmy Buffet songs the next. By sharing her experiences and observations, Mari Ann helps fraternity and sorority members explore their values and their reasons for being part of a fraternity or sorority.

Making the Most of Your College Experience

This keynote is great for new student orientation, parent programs and first year experiences programs. Using tips from her chapter “Making the Most of Your College Experience” in the book Roadmaps to Success in College, Mari Ann shares her experiences from both a professional and personal perspective.

This keynote is upbeat, entertaining, motivational and educational.

Hazing: How Does It Happen in My Chapter?

This keynote takes the focus not from a hazing perspective of what not to do, but from the perspective of why are chapters still participating in activities and behavior that contradicts our values as people and as organizations. This keynote is interactive and incorporates concepts of behaviors and values congruence within our chapters.

Recruitment Counselors: Keys to a Successful Recruitment

This keynote can be a workshop or part of a retreat for recruitment counselors. Mari Ann has worked with recruitment counselors since 1991 at various different levels. She approaches Recruitment Counselor education from the perspective that they are a key component to trust within the Panhellenic Community as well as helping the potential new members make the right decision for themselves.

Student Affairs Workshops and Retreat Facilitation

Mari Ann can also work with professionals in student affairs departments. She can develop a one or two day workshop or retreat to assist with team development, understanding today’s students and other developmental aspects of working with students. Having served in various student affairs departments as well as teaching in a student affairs graduate program, Mari Ann has a wide range of experience working with professionals as well as students.

Other Services Provided by Mari Ann

As a result of her experience as a former fraternity/sorority advisor, faculty member and volunteer for her sorority as well as others, Mari Ann can assist with other aspects of campus life:

  • Helping to build conscience and developing ideas to assisting Greek Councils with how to work together as a community
  • Assisting chapters with evaluation of their current chapter health and how to develop a plan to be successful
  • Assisting chapters on how to educate and how to teach ritual and the application of our values
  • Leadership retreat facilitation

Mari Ann's Bio

Dr. Mari Ann Callais has worked in higher education for 16 years, and most recently served as an Assistant Professor at Mississippi State University. Currently, she serves as the Director of Development for The Center for Living, Learning, and Leading for Delta Delta Delta. She has also held the position of NPC Delegate and National President for her sorority, Theta Phi Alpha. She has presented more than 600 workshops on fraternity and sorority values, student leadership and team building.

Mari Ann holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Loyola University, New Orleans, and a Masters of Education and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Research from Louisiana State University. She has been presented several awards through the years, including the Fraternity Communications Association’s 2013 Varner Award, the Sigma Sigma Sigma “Greek Advisor of the Year,” Theta Chi “Outstanding Greek Affairs Professional Award” and has received the Southeastern Interfraternity Conference “Advisor of the Year Award” twice. She was also awarded the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors “Distinguished Service Award,” the highest award Theta Phi Alpha bestows on a member, the “Guard of Honor,” and bestowed the National Council on Diversity’s “2011 Most Powerful and Influential Women of Louisiana Award,” presented to individual women who have been nominated for their leadership, community, ethics and excellence.


Get More!

Our speakers provide value items to our customers every time they book a program at full price. These can be used as giveaways to students who attend the program, or as gifts to your hardworking student leaders.

With Dr. Mari Ann Callais choose from one of the following:

Restrictions apply for additional programming and speaker value items. Please call CAMPUSPEAK for more information.