In honor of our seven founders, we get to know one Alpha Chi Omega through seven questions.
Carla Sutton Pittman (Omega, Washington State University)
Carla Sutton Pittman values the everlasting connections she gained from Alpha Chi Omega, including one in particular: her friendship with her little sister, Jennifer Fox Yovin. They’ve journeyed through life’s biggest moments together – marriage, kids, careers – and look forward to years of friendship to come.
Q: Why did you choose Alpha Chi Omega?
A: Reflecting on my collegiate years, I think Alpha Chi Omega chose me. I felt a sense of common purpose and belonging. I was a classical musician, and the lyre as a symbol spoke to me. I quickly found my people that have given me lifelong friendships I deeply value.
Q: How has Alpha Chi Omega had an impact in your life?
A: Alpha Chi Omega taught me the value of giving back to the larger community and causes. As a collegian, your world starts to expand as you are exposed to different experiences and concepts. I have brought this value to my adult life and career. One example is joining professional organizations and volunteering my time and talent to these groups. I have been a member of the Charter Property Casualty Underwriter Group for 20 years and held various leadership positions, and I continue to serve this community of insurance professionals as the lead for the Spring Seminar. Additionally, I serve on the Carson College of Business at Washington State University Advisory Board for Risk Management and Insurance. In my personal life, my husband and I served as co-chairs for the high school band auction, raising funds for music in our schools.
Q: Who is a sister that has played an important role in your life?
A: My little sister, Jennifer (Fox) Yovin, is a supportive and loyal friend. We were roommates early on, sharing celebrations like Easter and Mom’s Weekend at the rodeo. Once we graduated, we were around to support each other. We found our husbands and got married. Our children are stair-stepped in age, and through the ups and downs of raising children, we have been there for each other. We developed different career paths, and we have learned to support each other regardless of what is going on.
Q: How have you both maintained the bonds of sisterhood over the years?
A: Jennifer and I are blessed to have common interests and personalities. There have been so many adventures over the years. Life is full of adventures, some more fun than others. It is the support during the good and challenging times. We have connected through family, golf and our larger community of Alpha Chi Omega sisters.
Q: What does sisterhood mean to you?
Sisterhood is a built-in support group. Sisters teach you, raise you up and humble you all at the same time. I think of my Alpha Chi sisters as my peer network, and I observe how diverse this group is. In the broadest of terms, we learn to adapt to diverse personalities and perspectives. It’s these skills in adaptability and emotional intelligence that have helped me in my career and family pursuits.
Q: What does being a real, strong woman mean to you?
A: Being a real, strong woman means to me that you are your authentic self, and you demonstrate resilience and adaptability. Regardless of career or personal life choices, you find the joy in life, even when there is a challenge. The sisterhood of Alpha Chi Omega is your community of support, and all real, strong women need a support network.
Q: After your decades of sisterhood, what advice would you give to our newest Alpha Chi Omega members in college?
A: My advice to our newest Alpha Chi Omega members is to be sure to maintain your connections. Your sisters will be by your side. Life is a journey; relationships help you maintain a balanced approach in your personal and your professional life.
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