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2020 Fraternity and Sorority Life Award Winners

New Member of the Year: Brenna McNeil

Brenna is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi and was recently elected into the chapter’s new officer position of Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  In this role, she has begun planning activities, workshops, and events to create a culture of equity in the chapter.  Brenna is also very service-oriented, offering significant volunteer time with the Boise Rescue Mission and serving  as a translator for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.  

Excellence in Service: Brenna McNeil

Brenna is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi and has made an impact on those in Boise experiencing homelessness.  Just weeks after being initiated, Brenna organized the creation of more than 100 holiday care packages for the Boise Rescue Mission that included donated food and hygiene items for those in need.  A peer said of her, “Brenna is extremely service-driven and is always looking for opportunities to give back to her community.”

Advisor of the Year: Dr. Jaclyn Kettler

Dr. Jacklyn Kettler

Dr. Kettler is the chapter advisor for Zeta Tau Alpha and has helped change the chapter’s attitude toward academics while also building a more supportive sisterhood.  She continually provides academic resources to the chapter officers and members and leads academic programming for the chapter.  Dr. Kettler also takes time out of her schedule to meet with officers each week, providing space to share concerns and to simply catch up.  Her nominator says, “She has given me the tools to be a successful and efficient leader.”

Advisor of the Year: Julia Gorman

Julia is the chapter advisor for Alpha Omicron Pi and has been integral in helping the chapter navigate this past year. Julia was the inspiration for the chapter’s development of their “Weekly Wednesday Affirmation” program, sending positive messages to members via text and on Instagram. Her nominator notes that Julia is unconditionally supportive, yet challenges the officers and members, holding them accountable for the decisions they make.

Community Service Excellence: Alpha Omicron Pi

Alpha Omicron Pi Boise State

Alpha Omicron Pi serves the community through many local organizations including the Boise Rescue Mission, Idaho Food Bank, and the Women’s and Children’s Alliance.  Chapter members completed an average of 15 service hours over the past year and encourage their members to reflect on their experience and make meaning of their impact.  One individual sister led efforts for a food drive with the Boise Rescue Mission which resulted in gathering over $400 of food.

Philanthropy Excellence: Zeta Tau Alpha

 Zeta Tau Alpha raised $10,400 for breast cancer education and awareness this year, more than any year prior. They also hosted the first ever Mr. Think Pink competition where 11 men fundraised and completed tasks to improve education for their philanthropy. This chapter is highly involved with Boise State’s Relay for Life student organization. A member of this chapter was also Relay for Life’s highest individual fundraiser.

Leadership Development Excellence: Alpha Tau Omega

Alpha Tau Omega showcases their emphasis on leadership development with internal programming and with chapter leadership beyond the fraternity.  Executive board meetings are open to all members, allowing general members to hold a more active role in their organization.  Additionally, more than half the chapter members are involved in organizations or activities outside of the fraternity, some holding officer roles.

Sorority President of the Year: Madi Brown

Madi Brown Boise State

Madi is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi and has provided leadership that her nominator described as ethical and responsible.  In a time and environment where it may take a different kind of effort and mindset to forge sisterhood connections, Madi demonstrated what was possible by putting together creative and safe events.  Madi has brought “light, hope, and most importantly sisterhood to the women who looked to her for guidance and support.”

Brotherhood/Sisterhood Excellence: Alpha Omicron Pi

Alpha Omicron Pi

Alpha Omicron Pi has made it a priority to keep their sisterhood strong through safe and creative retreats and sisterhood events.  Their chapter builds a sense of belonging through their “Panda Pals” program, which pairs up new members with someone new each week.  Another chapter favorite is their “Panda Bandit” program where sisters submit an anonymous affirmation about another member, which is then passed onto them as a reminder that a sister cares about them.

Intellectual Development Excellence: Alpha Omicron Pi

Alpha Omicron Pi

Alpha Omicron Pi supports academic success for their members through a series of mentorship programs.  Upper division members lead discussions with new members of the same major during new member education meetings.  The Vice President for Academic Development meets one on one with sisters needing additional academic support.  They use this time to set goals and create an organized system to help them manage their academics.

Sorority Woman of the Year: Olga Cotter

Olga Cotter

Olga is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi and has held multiple officer roles within her chapter.  Further, she is involved in other Boise State organizations including Dance Marathon and Relay for Life.  Olga’s nominator described her as positive and always having a smile on her face.  She creates events and retreats that make members of her chapter feel like they belong and are appreciated. 


Fraternity Man of the Year: Ryland Dawson

Ryland is a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He served as the Vice President of the InterFraternity Council this past year and currently serves as President of the Council.  Ryland rose to the many challenges of this past year, including modifying the IFC recruitment plan to a fully virtual format and working with chapters to create buy-in.  Due to his work, hundreds of men found community and belonging as part of a fraternity at Boise State.

Sorority Chapter of the Year: Alpha Omicron Pi

Boise State Alpha Omicron Pi

Alpha Omicron Pi excels in sisterhood, intellectual development, and community service.  This chapter creates virtual and safe in-person programs to create an atmosphere of belonging.  They have put an emphasis on positivity given the challenges from the past year.  Individual members also serve as leaders and volunteers outside of the sorority.

Congrats to all of our award winners!