Delta Xi Phi's Blog
Reintroducing... Alumni Spotlights.
Featuring Cyndi "COLIBRI" from Beta Chapter! Winter 2020/21
Written by Hannah Mathieu, Director of Alum Affairs
Cyndi “Colibri” Ting’s name and picture were up for consideration when the dictionary was trying to find examples to include under the word, “dedicated”. She juggles her professional and personal life with the skill only an experienced person would demonstrate; all while upholding Delta Xi Phi’s pillars and ideals. She also finds time to connect with sisters from around the world, whether that be through Facebook posts or scheduling meetups with the local sisters. When I first virtually was introduced to Cyndi, it was through her Facebook postings in our Delta Xi Phi group. She was a DXP icon in my eyes, so Aliah Taylor (Director of Public Relations) and I were incredibly excited to be able to sit down and have a conversation with her for this article.
Cyndi, lovingly referred to as an “Old Head” (a self-identified term that describes sisters who have been in DXP for a very long time), has been a part of the sisterhood for 22 years. She joined the Beta chapter at California State University, Chico, and was sister #3. Incidentally, she almost didn’t join DXP. When she first came to college, she was encouraged to join a Filipina sorority since she was a Filipina herself, but ultimately didn’t see it as a sustainable organization. Thankfully, DXP drew her in, especially her DXP mother, Chela-Rene Spaargaren, with whom she still has a very close bond.
Her involvement with DXP didn’t just stop at joining the sisterhood. Cyndi has served as a Tribunal for the National Board because she found purpose in preventing hazing and upholding the laws and legacies of the sorority. Through that position, she was able to attend conferences and travel; which enabled her to be able to meet sisters all over the country. Over the years she’s loved watching the sorority evolve. She’s fascinated by the idea that some of the younger sisters are the age of her children. Cyndi’s been able to learn a lot from the younger generations, and in turn, she hopes that she provides inspiration for them. She wants to be able to give them strength by demonstrating that she’s gone through some tough times but that they too can prevail because all of the sorority is supporting them even if it’s from afar.
Human and social connection is actually Cyndi’s passion and specialization. She’s currently in her second year earning a Masters of Science in Special Education. Her thesis title? Sum of All Things: Effects of Mindfulness on Math Anxiety and Performance in Students with Disabilities. During the interview with Cyndi, her care and attention toward human interaction effortlessly bled into every topic we covered, and I left the conversation feeling infinitely wiser in social interaction. She explained that the deeper we look into our brains for individual characteristics, the more we realize our brains are actually wired to connect with each other through non-verbal communication. That’s why we suffer from Zoom fatigue so much; our brains aren’t able to connect the same way through a video camera.
Speaking of Zoom, I’m sure that’s an application most of us are ready to retire and delete from our computers and phones. The pandemic has hit everybody, albeit differently. Cyndi explained now that she works from home, there’s no separation between a work-life and personal life now that both are held in the same place. Through the camera, I could see she created a little computer nook in the room, with a sheet or cloth separating the desk and computer area from the rest of the room. Even with that separation, her young kids didn’t miss the chance to pop in here and there to say hi to Aliah and I. Cyndi handled those interactions with the grace of a patient parent and went on to give advice to all of us struggling. She emphasized the importance of self-care because if you can’t self regulate yourself, you won’t be able to co-regulate others. It’s the common airplane oxygen analogy; make sure to take care of yourself before helping others. When she isn’t feeling well, she’s very open and transparent with her children about it and makes sure to communicate what she needs from them so she can help them understand. One of Aliah and I’s favorite piece of advice Cyndi gave during this topic was, “[Say to yourself] I am enough, and the fact that I’m sticking through this and doing things outside of what I do makes us pretty badass”.
Her self-care philosophy also unlocked a myriad of great pieces of advice that could only be found through extensive self-discovery. Cyndi draws energy and strength from other people. She’s learned, “I am perfect in my imperfection”. In the past when she’s felt lost she’d ask herself: “Are the things I’m doing serving my purpose?” Cyndi found her purpose in serving families and children; she enjoys helping everyone but is particularly passionate about helping her Filipino community. Her authenticity to herself has come from connecting to her past and has helped her move forward, and through it all, her family has been her rock.
Cyndi’s conversation is one that will echo in my head for quite some time. Her wisdom, her strength, her advice, and her experience are topics that I will try to draw upon as I continue to grow. Cyndi left the conversation with a couple more pieces of wisdom: trust the process, everything in our life happens for a reason, whether it was for our own experience or to support other people through their process, and also, we continue to survive and thrive. DXP’s pillars and commitment to servant leadership is one that is easily demonstrated by Cyndi’s work and how she navigates through life. If any of you have the opportunity to have a conversation with Cyndi firstly, consider yourself lucky as she’s incredibly busy, and second, be sure to walk into the conversation as a sponge, ready to soak in the wealth of all her knowledge.
Read the Winter 2020/21 Alum Newsletter here
See the Instagram post
Know an alum doing amazing things in their personal life, community, work, for DXP, or anything else? We'd love to highlight them! Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis. Share with us on GreekTrack forms.
We are happy to announce our new apparel shop with Blue Dolphin!
Since NLC 2020 was virtual this year, we adjusted the conference's t-shirt. "Built to Bloom" tees are available for the rest of 2020.
Check out the shop and all current apparel options here: https://yourprintedtees.com/Delta_Xi_Phi/shop/home
Delta Xi Phi Multicultural Sorority, Inc. presents the 3rd Annual National Leadership Conference, a celebration of our 26th Anniversary, to be held from Friday, July 24 until Saturday, July 25th, 2020 via virtual web conference platforms as a result of the current national pandemic.
Day 1 Recap
During Workshop Bloc I, members had six wonderful speakers to select from:
(i) “Planning your Finances from Foundations to Freedom” with Adam Tolliver (He/Him/His). Adam is a Financial Advisor and Partner with Artisan Financial Strategies. Adam prioritizes transparent, clear communication to build enduring and meaningful relationships with clients;
(ii) “Navigating Biases as a Female Professional” with Sheffie Robinson (She/Her). Sheffie is a serial entrepreneur and a software engineer with a speciality in open source products like WordPress and Drupal. She is currently the CEO of Touco Direct and produces software products like WPClover and Klimact to automate processes for her clients;
(iii) “The Business of You: A Tactical Process for Owning your Career Journey” with Monica “Aydan” Longoria (She/Her), Founding Sister of the Omega Associate Chapter. Monica has spent her career supporting sales account executives with data, best practices, and training. As a Career Coach, she teachers others how to use those same sales tactics to further their own careers;
(iv) “Women and Finance: Beyond the Budget” with Azure Keyatta Celestine (She/Her). Azure started in the industry as a financial advisor and expanded. She worked with a number of organizations before opening up her own full-service agency which offers personal and commercial insurance policies as well as final expense, health, life, property, auto, flood, investments and retirement. Azure is also a member of Zeta Phi Beta sorority;
(v) “Accountability Starts with me” with Ambrosia Daphne “Viscida” Solis (She/Her/Hers). Ambrosia is currently a middle school math and science teacher, communications director, and Vice President of the National Multicultural Greek Council; and,
(vi) “Woman Centered Self-Care” with Nicosia J. Davis LMSW, CCTP, MS (She/Her). Nicosia’s career took her from the school system to the correctional environment. She has participated as a research assistant on the University of Virginia Neuropsychological study on the effectiveness on the MACE in combat and has participated in the development of the Father Daughter dance held annually at the Richmond City Jail. She manages the Homicide Survivors Program and sat on the North Alabama Taskforce for Human Trafficking and the Blue Light Campaign. Nicosia recently relocated and started on launching her nonprofit to address mental health in rural Eastern North Carolina.
For Workshop Block II, attendees had two engaging sessions to attend:
(i) “Microagressions: Recognize, Respond, and Create a Welcoming Sisterhood” with Ellen Semran (They/Their/Them) and Xiomara Albán DeLobato (She/Her). Ellen has been an educator activist supporting students for over 15 years. Ellen served as a Chapter Advisor for Rho Chapter at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) for 8 years from their founding. Ellen also served as the Associate Director of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and LGBTQA+ Initiatives at UNH. Ellen is currently an Academic Advisor for students within the online Global Campus of Southern New Hampshire University. Xiomara is a founding sister of the Rho Chapter and continues to work towards academic equity, equality, and accessibility for underrepresented and historically marginalized populations. Currently, Xiomara serves as the Associate Director of Diversity Recruitment and Enrollment with the Office of Admissions at UMass Amherst and an executive board member for the Springfield Public Forum, Vertias Prep Charter School, and Girl's Inc. of the Valley; and,
(ii) “Pro-Social Behaviors are Contagious: Creating Brave Spaces for Bystander Intervention of Bullying and Harassment” with Dr. Moses Milazzo (He, Him, His). Moses studies remote sensing science, instrument calibration, and planetary volcanology with participation in nearly a dozen of NASA's spacecraft missions to the Solar System. While continuing his scientific endeavours, he also now develops pro-social programs, including: anti-harassment (Bystander Intervention), Brave Spaces, Inclusive Mentoring, and other workshops and programs aimed at having conversations with the privileged about privilege and how to use it for the improvement of our communities.
Thank you to our phenomenal speakers. We appreciate your time, passion, and expertise at this year's National Leadership Conference, "Built to Bloom."
We are seeking to expand our "Connections" 2020 issue with your submissions!
Our "Connections" magazine highlights the amazing accomplishments of sisters and chapters over the past year. As chapter achievements are automatically included as part of the general body report, we aim to grow our sister recognition.
So! Over the last year, did you partake in an internship or practicum? Start and/or complete a research study? Graduate? Did you relocate? Career transition or promotion? Celebrate an engagement or wedding? Welcome a baby? Travel (*prior to COVID) with a throw what you know or representing with DXP merch? We'd love to include your milestone(s) and celebrate you!
Submissions for the "Connections" 2020 issue are DUE BY Friday, August 14th, 11:59pm CT
While, "Connections," is published once a year (typically by mid-September), we also intend to revitalize our blog to post thoughtful submissions from sisters, pillar-related posts, National Board Spotlight articles, and regional features. We continue to welcome submissions and collaborations of both written and media works on commemorative observances, holidays, celebrations, and events via e-mail. Please contact us to review the parameters of your intended topic.
Reach us at: email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers! Aliah, Director of Public Relations
Hi! This is Aliah, your Director of Public Relations. Happy Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month!
In celebrating this month dedicated to the experiences and achievements of AAPIs (and every day year-round), I’m sharing some of my favorites books, podcasts, and organizations! Much of what is listed does center on aspects of Filipino identity and Philippine history and culture because I'm Filipinx American. It’s lovely to convey what is dear to one’s sense of self; I find this helps cultivate an increased sense of community and nurture reciprocal learning. This was one of the reasons I joined Delta Xi Phi Multicultural Sorority, Inc. To share of myself and learn of my peers. I hope you’ll consider checking out these written works and their authors, episodic works, and groups.
Have AAPI favorites of your own to share? Written works, shows, memories, etc.? I’d love to hear from you and learn about them in the comments across our platforms.
Cheers! Aliah, Director of PR
We continue to welcome submissions and collaborations of both written and media works on commemorative observances, holidays, celebrations, and events via e-mail.
*“Leaving Deep Water: The Lives of Asian American Women at the Crossroads of Two Cultures,” by Claire S. Chow
On the List:
“Waves of Knowing: A Seascape Epistemology,” by Karin Amimoto Ingersoll
“Hawai’i’s Story by Hawai’i’s Queen,” by Lili’uokalani
Podcasts (All on Spotify)
“Interview: Food is a Universal Language” from Savor
APAICS @/apaics_org | APAICS is a national organization dedicated to promoting AAPI participation/representation at all levels of the political process.
AAPI Women Lead @/aapiwomenlead | Nonprofit Organization. Asian American + Pacific Islander Women Lead.
18 Million Rising @/18millionrising | Activating Asian America
South Asians for Black Lives @/southasians4blacklives | Educating South Asians (SA) on dismantling anti-Blackness and exploring SA identity.
Queer Asian Social Club @/queerasiansocialclub | A collective empowering community through Queer APIMED (Asian/Pacific Islander/Middle Eastern/Desi) visibility.
Asian American Girl Club @/asianamericangirlclub | Created by us. Made for all.
Young Asian Professionals of Milwaukee @yappiemke | Young Asian professionals who are interested in connecting the Asian Pacific American (APA) community and promoting social and cultural events in the Milwaukee area. (I serve as a co-event coordinator and event historian. Well, before “safer at home” orders were implemented in March.)