I’m Marinda (Johnson) Ochs, a 2009 Kansas State University graduate in agricultural education. After teaching high school for a year, I returned to Manhattan to work in development for a nonprofit organization. Being in Manhattan as a young professional has many advantages, but for me one of the biggest advantages is the opportunity to serve in the role as advisor for the ladies of Sigma Alpha.
A Delta class member myself, I became an active sister in 2005. I was hesitant at first to join a sorority. I grew up with 4 biological sisters – that was close enough to sorority living for this girl. However, after encouragement from my sister’s roommate, Sarah Farlee, and the reassurance the Sigma Alpha didn’t have a house, I went through recruitment week and quickly discovered that I wanted to be a part of this incredible group of young women. Sarah, by the way, was a charter member, so she obviously knew what she was talking about!
The four pillars of Sigma Alpha – scholarship, leadership, service, and fellowship – can be used to describe my experience as an active sister. The professional aspect balanced with the social aspect – that a group of girls that have a deep love for agriculture could grow together as young professionals, all while forming lifelong bonds – is what I feel was the most significant to me. I remember getting etiquette help, being on the committee for the first Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign at K-State, attending conferences, interacting with other professional women in agriculture, and serving as the chapter’s president, as well as the numerous social activities where we formed memories that will last a lifetime.
I value my experience as an active Sigma Alpha sister. I look back fondly at those times and know that those experiences shaped the person I am today. I look forward to what Sigma Alpha holds for me in the future both as an alumni sister and advisor.
By Marinda (Johnson) Ochs