Phi Mu volunteers play key roles in many aspects of the Fraternity, but this one #vibrantvolunteer in particular shines when it comes to the extension process. Whitney Rice Durham, ΚΛ, currently lives in Jackson, Tennessee. She spends a good bit of her time traveling on the Fraternity’s behalf as National Director of Extension to assist the Extension Department in opening new Phi Mu chapters across the country. When she isn’t traveling for Phi Mu, you can find Whitney teaching dance classes in her studio, 1852 Dance, with her sister, studio co-owner, and Phi Mu sister, Heidi Rice Reed, KΛ.
Name: Whitney Rice Durham
Chapter of Initiation: Kappa Lambda, University of Memphis
Current Location: Jackson, TN
As an extension expert, Whitney has quite the impressive resume. She has served as Colony Membership Director, Colony Director and Colony Operations Coordinator. Whitney couldn’t get enough of collegians, as she once held the position of National Provisional Member Chair and Area Operations Director.
Whitney shares, “I am passionate about helping young people succeed and I know that Phi Mu played a significant role in who I am today as a business owner, leader, wife, mom, and volunteer. It is a responsibility to make sure that Phi Mu continues to evolve and thrive for many more generations of young women. It is my responsibility and honor to give back to our outstanding organization.”
Director of Extension April Roberts, ΓΚ, shows her gratitude: “Whitney has been a crucial part of the Extension Department since becoming the National Director of Extension in 2014. She has been a strong partner as we have worked to redevelop our presentation and extension marketing materials. Whitney provides a vast amount of support that has helped expand the extension department. I am fortunate to work with her as we grow Phi Mu Fraternity on campuses around the country!”
Formerly known by many as a 2012-2013 Chapter Consultant, this volunteer continues her love for student affairs as Georgia Southern University’s Coordinator of Student Activities.
We’re happy to introduce you to Kristen VanNoord, PH!
Name: Kristen VanNoord
Chapter of Initiation: Rho Eta, Grand Valley State University
Current Location: Statesboro, GA
After her time spent traveling from one collegiate chapter to the next, Kristen went on to become a graduate student at the University of Mississippi where she held the position of graduate counselor, assisting the Alpha Delta Chapter in daily operations.
Kristen served as a member of the National Sisterhood Development Committee and currently volunteers as the Gamma Area Discipline Coordinator.
“I love volunteering for Phi Mu because I love giving back to the organization that has provided me with unwavering friendships, a greater sense of self-identity, a home away from home and a cause to believe in. I learn so much from the collegians and volunteers that I work with every day, which continues to motivate and encourage me. My life is best with Phi Mu in it. It is truly a blessing to be able to serve Phi Mu and its members in this capacity,” says Kristen.
Rho Beta Chapter Adviser Danielle Philips, PH, says, “Kristen serves as the Discipline Coordinator for the Gamma Area, leading with true grace and poise in what is probably the least appreciated position. She continuously holds sisters accountable to ensure the welfare of the Fraternity. She helps chapters make tough choices regarding women, yet always has a positive outlook. Her continued dedication to Phi Mu is unparalleled, and although she never expects to be thanked, she truly deserves the recognition.”
Last but not least, we introduce Cynthia Rae Bland, ΓΔ, a Research Statistician at RTI International, a research institute dedicated to improving the human condition by turning knowledge into practice. Cynthia designs and implements sampling, weighting, and analysis plans for surveys on topics ranging from health care to transportation. In her work she clearly explains complex statistical concepts to clients, vendors, and lay audiences.
Name: Cynthia Rae Bland
Chapter of Initiation: Gamma Delta, American University
Current Location: Durham, NC
For Phi Mu, Cynthia shared her talent for understanding policies and procedures as a Chapter Finance Adviser and Chapter Sisterhood Adviser. If that’s not enough, she took on volunteering her time as the Vice President of Membership for the Tri Phi Mu Alumnae Chapter in North Carolina.
As of now, we thank Cynthia for giving back as an Area Operations and Finance Director for the Gamma Lambda Chapter at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the Delta Eta Chapter at Georgetown College; the Delta Theta Chapter at Transylvania University; the Lambda Epsilon Chapter at Christopher Newport University; the Lambda Gamma Chapter at Virginia Commonwealth University; and the Gamma Nu Chapter at Elon University. She also has been The Aglaia Reporter for the Gamma Delta Chapter Association since 2013.
Cynthia shares, “Volunteering for Phi Mu is an important part of my identity as an alumna. I pledged my service to Phi Mu for a lifetime and I’m reaping the benefits. I enjoy working with collegians and helping them improve their personal skills to the benefit of their chapters. I value the training I’ve received and the many friendships I’ve made through the great network of volunteers.”
“I met Cynthia when I joined the Tri Phi Mu alumnae chapter shortly after moving to Raleigh. Since I have known her, she has always been involved in Phi Mu in a multitude of ways — alumnae chapter executive committees, chapter advisory councils, area officer roles, and more. Cynthia is always willing to take on Phi Mu tasks that aren’t glamorous and that truly makes her a Phi Mu star,” said National Discipline Chairman Jessica Oswald, ΓM.
A big Phi Mu “Thank YOU” to Whitney, Kristen and Cynthia for giving so much of their time to Phi Mu!