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  • Writer's pictureSigma Lambda Beta

Alumni News - Vol. 2, Issue 5

Stepping into the "New Normal"

by Xavier Romano, Executive Director

Moments ago the Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced that "masks are no longer mandated for those who are fully vaccinated."I immediately thought this important announcement may signify confidence that the "new normal" that we have all been awaiting may be soon upon us. For us in the Executive Office this is consistent with what we have been hearing from University leadership that this fall would be back on campus. There could be no better news for us in the EO as we have learned along with our collegiate membership that the Fraternity is not particularly well designed nor adapted to a "virtual" Zoom-ish experience. While we work to produce a strong Virtual Leadership Institute 2021 (VLI'21) it is not lost on any of us that we would much rather be welcoming our men to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. In the end we recognized that VLI'21 could exist but would exist with even more focus, intensity and intentionality. One reflective of what has been this "COVID19-era" this past year. Virtual Betacon '20 and now VLI'21. I too am hopeful that this will be our last "virtual national event”.

As we return to campuses this fall, we do so knowing that this Brotherhood is unmatched. One of my observations this past year have been the conversations with both collegiate members and Alumni of how challenging this "virtual era" has been for the Fraternity in regard to the collegiate chapter experience. Rather, our men were acknowledging the challenge of maintaining relationships virtually with Brothers. We are at our core a remarkably "human" Fraternity which is borne of "human-connectivity." Those relationships that are face-to-face, in person and in real-time." Virtual" relationships can work for a period of time, but they lack the interconnectedness of the human experience. The "bonds" that define the Sigma Lambda Beta Brotherhood are readily noticeable to those who know where to look.

As Alumni you know that this is a time of significant evolution for the Fraternity. The inception of the Alumni Caucus and a number of new initiatives afoot will intentionally turn to you. You will find that this will be true for Betacon '22 as we will be traveling to an incredibly special location that will appeal to our collegiate membership and Alumni...and yet, even your families. In other words, a Betacon for all! As to will know soon and if anything, I believe that you will be very pleasantly surprised and pleased.

What I know to be true in the "new normal" is the need for ongoing communication with the various constituencies that comprise Sigma Lambda Beta. Like any family dynamic we are fascinating, complex, intense, occasionally snarky and at times surprisingly reflective of the nine regional areas we serve. In a word, "complicated”. However, that too is what makes us so distinctive and so incredibly diverse.

As I have heard far too many of our collegiate membership say, "We got this." I believe we do.




Virtual Leadership Institute 2021

We are only weeks away from Virtual Leadership Institute 2021 (VLI’21) and want to make you all have the chance to RSVP to our opening Keynote address given by Dr. Samuel Betances. Dr. Betances, or “Dr. B” to his students, is a legend in higher education, and is well known for his thoughtful and dynamic presentations. He will be addressing the Nation and will be holding a Q&A session.

The Executive Office (EO) and the Executive Board of Directors (EBOD) promises that we have never had a speaker of this caliber at an LI. Our goal is to make sure that even though we are virtual, we will not stop short of providing you with an experience that is unique, engaging, and most of all, FUN!

"Dr. B" will be addressing the Nation on Friday, June 11th at 1:15 PM (CST). We will be providing a link via email.

Please note the link will be specific to this presentation, and once over, attendees of VLI'21 will log back into the meeting to begin their workshops. To RSVP and be sent the link, click HERE.


SLFEB Kicks-off 20th Anniversary with Founder's Month Challenge

The Sigma Lambda Beta Education Foundation (SLBEF) is celebrating 20 years of existence! To recognize the anniversary the SLBEF designed a challenge coin. The first chance to get the coin was through the annual Founder’s Month Challenge. The event was extended to mid-May as a decision was made to try to fully sponsor our undergraduate brother’s attendance to this year’s virtual Leadership Institute, and as of the writing of this article is still underway. There may be opportunities to get a coin after the challenge is over, but supplies are limited. You can email with your interest.

The celebration will continue with other events and announcements through the remainder of the year – so be on the lookout! Make sure to bookmark and/or follow us in the following ways:

Facebook: @SLBFoundation

Twitter: @SLBFoundation

Instagram: @SLBEF

LinkedIn: Sigma Lambda Beta Education Foundation


Successes and a New Survey

Sigma Lambda Beta would like to welcome the newest members of the 86 Club! We recently ran a campaign for the month of March, and for every new member signed up, we entered them into a drawing. SOMOS, Inc., co-owned by Brother Arthur Garcia (Iota, 2001), is a highly specialized DNA kit for Latinos and their families. Brother Garcia donated one full DNA test kit, and a Javier Gonzalez original design T-shirt! The winner was Angel Avalos (Beta, 1995)! Congratulations Angel and welcome all of the new members to the 86 Club! You may have seen an email regarding the recently launched, SLBIF Alumni Survey 2.0. Once again, we are calling on Alumni to help us in our quest to make your experience more engaging. This survey will take less than 10 minutes to fill out, and we genuinely appreciate your honest and thoughtful answers. As we look to the future, it is imperative to us that Alumni continue to have a voice within the organization and provide direct input on programming and events you would like to see. Now that we can slowly start to think about more in-person events, we can begin to develop your suggestions and ideas. Click the graphic to access the survey and thank you so much for your continued support!


Introducing our NEW Partners

Sigma Lambda Beta is proud to announce a new Preferred Partner in Principal Financial Group®. As a Preferred Partner, they are at the ready to provide financial wellness and career opportunities to ALL of our members. Principal Financial Group® helps people and companies around the world build, protect and advance their financial well-being through retirement, insurance and asset management solutions that fit their lives. They are passionate about helping clients of all income and portfolio sizes achieve their goals – offering innovative ideas, investment expertise and real-life solutions to make financial progress possible.

Principal is dedicated to guiding our collegiate graduates into the world armed with the financial know how to avoid making costly mistakes. They will provide education regarding planning, and how to manage finances after college and taking control of student loans. In addition, Principal has thousands of job opportunities for all levels and disciplines, including PAID internships. Their career opportunities are open to ALL of our members.

If you are ready to begin planning for retirement, start a college fund, have questions about estate planning, or are looking to make a change regarding your investments, Principal is poised to help. Through their initiative, “Hola Futuro”, spearheaded by their Hispanic Employee Resource Group, Principal Financial Group is striving to be THE trusted resource for the Latino/a/x community. They have unique services designed by Latinx employees that recognize the differences in the American experience and how to appropriately plan for the future.

Find a Principal Financial Professional or see their career opportunities by visiting HERE. Look for them as a sponsor for Virtual Leadership Institute 2021 and Betacon 2022. Principal will also be holding virtual events for our members, so please watch for those announcements!

White Picket Realty

Sigma Lambda Beta is excited to announce a new Event Partner in White Picket Realty! Brothers Alan (Rho Beta, 2003) and Gibran Hernandez (Theta Gamma, 2006) want to educate you about your new future as a real estate agent. They are always at the ready to answer questions about life after graduation, and when is the right time to buy a house. Look for their logos as a sponsor for Virtual Leadership Institute 2021 and Betacon 2022! Find them at, on Facebook @whitepicketrealty, and Twitter @whitepicketreal



Turtleback Case

Sigma Lambda Beta is pleased to announce a new Feature Partner in Turtleback Case! Their VP of Operations and Marketing, Brother Kenneth Eremita (Psi Alpha, 2007) wants to outfit our first responder Brothers with the highest quality cases for their cell phones, 2-way radios and MORE! They are highly respected in their field. You can find them at and on all social media @turtlebackcase


Alumni Updates

Austin Rodill (Omicron Alpha, 2013) is running for Congress on a platform to address poverty and economic inequality, expand healthcare options, advocate for improving our education system, and criminal justice reform. He is a lifelong fighter for what is right. He will strive to listen to all voices in the community and work towards bringing all of our communities together. Find Austin on social media @austinrodillforcongress.

Austin grew up in Cathedral City, CA with a father who worked in law enforcement after serving in the Marines, and a mother who worked as a hostess, but his family history began in Philadelphia. He currently resides in Philadelphia, PA and has been living there since graduating from Penn State University.

He knew from an early age that he wanted to attend Penn State University and graduated with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Criminal Justice. He was initiated into the Omicron Alpha Chapter of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc. in the Fall of 2013, and is currently the ARD of Pennsylvania. While attending Penn State, he was the President of the Omicron Alpha Chapter, and soon became the Chairman of the Pennsylvania Alumni Network. Austin continues to give back to the fraternity by being a member of the 86 Club.

I’m Up to Something, a new book by Brother Bartholomew Perez (Kappa Gamma, 2010)

* Summary courtesy of Brother Perez and

I’m Up to Something is a memoir about a first-generation Latino and defining success. Being born to immigrant parents and low socio-economic status meant overcoming adversity and the imposter syndrome after pursuing engineering as an undergraduate, which then allowed the leveraging of interpersonal and technical skills for real estate, investing and writing. In this book, you'll encounter multifaceted dimensions of overcoming the imposter syndrome as a first-generation Latino and the power of education, self-discipline and community.

For the full story or to preorder your copy visit: Brother Perez is donating proceeds back to many meaningful organizations, including Sigma Lambda Beta!


Sept. A. News (1)
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