WSU student wins top award at leadership conference


FAIRBORN — Keri Friend, a Wright State University English major and president of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority, received the Change Maker Award for undergraduate students during the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values (AFLV) conference in Indianapolis.

“It was surreal,” said Friend. “When they said my name, I was in shock.”

The award recognizes an undergraduate fraternity or sorority chapter or council leader who has accelerated progress in the fraternity and sorority experience on their campus. Recipients must demonstrate abilities to discover solutions to critical problems, develop individuals in their organizations, and effect change and sustainable progress in undergraduate fraternal experience.

“I always do my best to change the world and atmosphere around me to make it the best it can be,” said Friend.

Friend fit the criteria for the award perfectly, said Gina Keucher, program director for Student Activities at Wright State. Not only does she work hard as president of her Alpha Xi Delta sorority, but Friend also supports and tries to help every Greek organization at Wright State.

“Keri is one of the most positive students in our fraternity/sorority community,” Keucher said. “It was the sweetest thing to see her face when they called her name because she had no idea.”

The AFLV conference was attended by 3,500 participants, including dozen Wright State students, from more than 150 campuses. The conference featured programming for all levels of the fraternity and sorority experience, including workshops about campus safety, creating a positive atmosphere, setting goals and time management.

“We all learned a bunch of new skills and ideas that we can bring back to campus,” said Friend.

Keucher said Friend’s award shows that even though Wright State has a small Greek community, the values that the university’s fraternities and sororities strive for can compete with any chapter in the country.

“We don’t have houses, but we are committed to all of the things that’s great about fraternity and sorority,” said Keucher.

Friend was nominated by Kaci Lovejoy, a junior organizational leadership major who is president of the Wright State College Panhellenic Council.

“I look up to Kaci a lot,” said Friend. “She’s been such an influential person in my life, and I strive for the passion she has.”

Friend plans to take the skills and values she learned at AFLV and apply them to the entire Greek community at Wright State.

“If things are not the way they should be, we need to call things out and continue to evolve,” she said.

Friend said enrolling at Wright State and joining Alpha Xi Delta is one of the best decisions she has ever made.

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