Alpha Kappa Psi Hires New Area III Resource Coordinator

NOBLESVILLE (August 22, 2022) – Alpha Kappa Psi recently hired Mikeiveka “Mickey” Sanon, Miami ’20, who joins the Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Staff as a chapter educational resource coordinator.

Mickey comes to the Professional Staff as a 2022 graduate of the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Business Administration in business technology and marketing with minors in business law and dance. She will serve as the Area III resource coordinator.

This role includes supporting the collegiate chapters and chapter volunteers in the Atlantic Metro, Central Atlantic, Eastern Great Lakes, Northern Atlantic Regions. Mickey will work closely with Brianna Hellman, Tennessee Tech ’18-Life, Je’nai Lee, North Carolina-Greenboro ’19, and Ciera Fernandez, Lipscomb ’19, who currently serve as the resource coordinators for Areas I, II, and IV, respectively.

Melinda Rosenthall, Director of Student Services, said, “It was exciting – Mickey’s start date was right around Convention and she came and worked onsite for a few days in Miami. I am positive Mickey will be a great asset to the Area III students and volunteers!”

Get to know a little more about Mickey with this short Q & A.

What are you most looking forward to in your role as the Area III chapter educational resource coordinator?
I’m not only looking forward to working with our collegiate chapters but also our volunteers! Getting to work hand-in-hand with our volunteers to help our students learn, grow and build a greater AKPsi community on their campus.

What’s your favorite AKPsi memory?
My favorite memory would have to be attending my chapter’s Fall ’21 formal! It was our first big event fully in person and it was great to hang out with brothers who we may not have seen during the semester because of virtual learning.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to dance and do anything creative and crafty! I’m always looking for a new project or idea to spark.

Welcome to the Professional Staff, Mickey!

Headquartered in Noblesville, IN, Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity was founded in 1904 on the principles of educating its members and the public to appreciate and demand higher ideals in business. With more than 240,000 members worldwide, Alpha Kappa Psi currently has more than 200 campus-based chapters and metropolitan-based alumni chapters across four countries. Learn more about the oldest and largest gender-inclusive professional business fraternity.

Alpha Kappa Psi is recognized as the premier developer of principled business leaders.

Paying it Forward with Janine Branch

Janine Branch loves to give back to those around her, and she strives to be a good example because in her words, “you never know who’s looking up at you or looking down at you.” In this episode of Business Edge, listen to her speak to the challenges and misconceptions that come along with mentorship, the importance of cross-cultural engagement, and how she has been able to help steer the organizations she has been a part of to success. Plus, listen to her discuss the journey of her and her husband’s pin business!

Janine Branch is a servant leader on a mission to foster purposeful global engagement by uplifting and nurturing civic-minded leaders to persevere and be resilient. Currently, Janine is a Program Officer implementing the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program at FHI360, a nonprofit human development organization, and is the Onboarding Champion for the Global Connections department.

Janine spent more than a decade developing professional exchange programs at the World Trade Center Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. She uses her unique combination of over 13 years of international exchange program management and talent management experience to engage across cultures and create shared understanding through meaningful person-to-person interactions. In addition to the U.S. Department of State, Janine has worked with a variety of clients, including the Open World Leadership Center, U.S. Agency for International Development, Korea International Trade Association, the Embassy of the United States to the United Kingdom, and the University of Jos in Nigeria.

Janine is passionate about using professional development as a driving force to promote mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations around the world. Janine is dedicated to building practical training programs to provide young leaders with opportunities to explore the international exchange industry and apply their academic knowledge to the “real world.” In doing so, Janine hopes to increase the network of citizen diplomats who have the individual willingness to build relationships to help sustain a secure, economically sound, and socially interconnected world.

Janine is a master’s degree candidate at the University of Baltimore focusing on Global Affairs and Human Security and plans to graduate in the Fall of 2021. During her studies, she developed a study abroad course on the “Sustainability of Voluntourism in Haiti,” which cumulated with an experiential trip to the Dominican Republic and Haiti. She holds a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business from Towson University. She volunteers as a career mentor at Towson University. Janine has been married for eight years to her college sweetheart, Taurean and a dedicated mother to their 5-year-old son, Matthew and 7-year-old Maltipoo, Obie. She enjoys long-distance road running competitions, gardening, and visiting as many gluten-free restaurants as she possibly can!

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Finding Your Home with Cheryl Dunson

In a time of rising interest rates and anxiety, how can young people today sort through all the noise to find their first home? In this episode of Business Edge, co-hosts Chrissy and Nicole ask featured guest Cheryl Dunson about what young professionals need to know about the process of home ownership. Listen to her speak about how you can know when you’re financially ready to buy a home, how to find a realtor who’s a good fit for you, and how you can go about finding your true priorities when it comes to a home.

Cheryl likes to work, and she likes to be interested in what she does and make a positive difference for her clients. Regardless of the type of work someone does, once the client/customer/parishioner/patient/reader is an annoyance, it’s time to do something else.

As a marketing major, she began her career in data center operations. A fraternity brother told her about cattle call interviews being held by a large corporation and she was there. Wandering away from the marketing section, she struck up a conversation with a gentleman and discussed the automated inventory conversion that was taking place where her dad worked, and next thing she knew, she was taking math tests and wound up working in data operations. There was no IT major at the time.

Fourteen years later, she took a three-year sabbatical and never returned. She was a single mom and started buying rental properties and helping friends look at dated homes to determine how to make them work for their families. Eventually, she became licensed and with a few detours has spent the rest of her career in real estate.

Ten years ago she needed a change and was hired by a developer for a traditional neighborhood development, a tnd. It was just the change she needed. She had always enjoyed introducing friends to friends and helping people become part of the community where she lived, but in a tnd, while the homes are beautiful, it’s all about community.

While real estate was not what she expected to do for the majority of her career, it has the flexibility of time, income, and versions that has worked through the various stages of her life. She has had the opportunity to work in a few tnds and is currently in a Best in American Living award winning community that looks like a movie set. She says that real estate can be stressful, but it can also be rewarding, and that she has the opportunity to help make people’s dreams a reality.

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A woman hiking with her dog while on vacation

The Case for Vacation and How to (Really) Unplug from Work

While taking time off throughout the year is important, the warm summer months provide a great excuse to unplug. And summer vacations aren’t just for fun in the sun — science says they’re good for your career too. 

Taking time off from work gives your body and mind time to rest and rejuvenate. Unfortunately, Americans are taking less vacation time than at any point in the last four decades, and more than half (52%) leave at least some vacation time unused.

Let’s take a look at what research tells us about taking those hard-earned vacation days, unplugging from work (truly), and normalizing rest as part of a healthy career.

People who take vacations get promoted more often

While “hustle” culture has made it trendy for business influencers to brag about growing a business on three hours of sleep a night, that behavior is neither healthy nor sustainable. 

Running on too little sleep isn’t going to get you ahead in your career — it can even have the opposite effect. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, taking a vacation can actually increase the likelihood of getting a raise or a promotion. People who take all their vacation time have a 6.5% higher chance of getting a promotion or raise than people who leave 11 or more days of paid time off on the table. 

Another thing to consider is the value of your unused vacation days. If you’re a salaried employee and don’t take all your paid vacation time, you’re essentially accepting a pay cut. That vacation time is part of your compensation package, so if you don’t use it and your company doesn’t offer some kind of buy-back option, it’s like handing your money back to the company.

When you recharge, you’re more engaged & productive

In his book, The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor shares research showing that when the brain can think positively, productivity improves by 31%, sales increase by 37%, and creativity and revenues can triple. His findings suggest that a positive and engaged brain is the most significant competitive advantage in the modern economy. But to be truly positive and engaged at work, our brains need breaks and time to rest. If we’re constantly “on” and responding to stimuli, we don’t give our minds a chance to get our thoughts and ideas in order.  

According to the National Science Foundation, our brains are still very busy even when we’re at rest. Marcus Raichle, a professor of radiology, neurology, neurobiology, and biomedical engineering at Washington University, has studied this phenomenon for many years. 

“A great deal of meaningful activity is occurring in the brain when a person is sitting back and doing nothing at all,” says Raichle. “It turns out that when your mind is at rest, dispersed brain areas are chattering away to one another.”

Taking mental breaks throughout the day using methods like meditation and mindfulness can be really beneficial. But it’s vital to take extended periods of rest too, where you can fully unplug from work and technology for days or weeks at a time.

Leave things in a good place when you head out

Some people avoid taking time off because they’re too worried about returning to a mountain of work. They may have been burned before and returned from vacation feeling more stressed and overwhelmed. This can be avoided by getting all your ducks in a row before you leave for vacation — and getting a few other ducks to help take care of things while you’re out.

When you have a vacation coming up, focus on prioritization. Make a list of the tasks that must be accomplished before you go, and coordinate with your manager on those priorities to ensure you’re both on the same page. 

Once you have your must-do list, tackle those things and try not to add anything new to your plate. If people try to send more work your way, politely say something like, “I’m currently focused on getting some essential projects buttoned up before heading out for vacation, but I’d be happy to chat with you about this when I return.”

As your time off approaches, discuss any outstanding items or things that need to happen while you’re out with a trusted colleague and ask if they could cover for you. (If there are several things, asking more than one teammate for help may make sense.) Just be sure to provide them with any critical information they may need while you’re out when you establish the handoff. Nothing can take your mind away from vacation more than a call from a frantic coworker. 

Get more tips from the Business Edge Podcast 

Hear from Raquel Tamez, Chief Inclusion and Engagement Officer for Charles River Associates, as she discusses the importance of rest and sleep for better productivity and a thriving career.

Listen to the episode > 

two business women meeting talking about how to improve manager relationship

How to Improve Your Relationship with Your Manager

The relationship a person has with their manager or supervisor significantly influences how satisfied and engaged they are at work. Not getting along with your boss or feeling unsupported by them can be a considerable obstacle to your career growth and even harmful to your mental health.

The American Psychological Association found that 75% of Americans say their boss is “the most stressful part of their workday.” Another Gallup study found that one in two employees have left a job “to get away from their manager” at some point in their career.

You can’t fix a truly bad boss (nor should you have to). Fortunately, in most cases, managers just need a little guidance from you on how you prefer to work and be treated. So before throwing in the towel and leaving your team or company altogether, see if it’s possible to change the dynamics of your relationship for the better.

Read on for some constructive ways to handle different personalities, set boundaries, and help your boss understand what you need from them to thrive.