Having graduated and currently working a full-time job out in the “real” world, one thing I’d like to say to ASK is thank you.
Thank you for giving me a family. Littles that I can spill my guts to and that honestly help me get through my life (sometimes they act more like a big to me than I do to them)... A Big that has the purest heart I have ever seen. Grand Littles that are finding their way through college and experiencing the difficulties but the laughs that come with it. And even the sweetest Great Grand Little (wow that makes me feel old). Sisters that I stayed up late working on stat projects with (you know who you are haha). Sisters that put in hard work but also know how to have a good time. :)
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be our first philanthropy chair. From getting our shoes (or flip flops...) covered in mud planting trees to walking along the beach picking up trash, I watched as we woke up early morning on the weekend – which is extremely difficult to do as a college student – and came together to give back to our community. I am so proud and excited to see the new ways you find to give back.
Thank you for giving me experiences I will never forget. There are so many, but it’s the little things that stick out in my head. I will never forget sitting in the car on our way to retreat, trying so hard to not spoil the surprise when my soon to be G Little was trying to guess who her Big is as she was driving me. I will never forget picking up a stick with my Little at a barbecue and pretending the ENTIRE TIME that they were wands. I will never forget the moment the Alpha Class looked at each other at retreat and just bonded realizing that we have been together from the beginning.
Thank you for giving me a home. I look forward to supporting my sisters as they transition out of college following their own paths. I can say without a doubt that the sisters in ASK will do great things; they have a resilience about them that I cannot explain.
Lastly, I am thankful that even though we came from different backgrounds and are headed down different paths, our paths crossed. Some of us may end up working in research, while others are coding for a big tech company. At the end of the day, one thing that we all have in common is that we are women in STEM, and nothing can stop us, especially since we have each other.
Written by Ananya Haravu
Ananya recently graduated from UCSB last Spring with a B.S. in Financial Mathematics and Statistics, and she is a member of the Alpha Class.
Looking back at the years I’ve been at UCSB, the memories I’ve made with my friends in ASK— from our family reveals and first retreat in LA to home-cooked meals, late night karaoke on the beach, and Zoom calls— are some of the most cherished ones that I hold dear to my heart.
Like many of our sisters in ASK, I never imagined that I would be in a sorority—let alone rush for one. I remember during the spring quarter of my sophomore year, I had poked my head into a bustling room of girls during speed dating and felt frantic butterflies in my stomach because of how nervous I was. As soon as I sat down, the girls in ASK made me feel welcome and before long, I quickly saw how kind and encouraging the members were, realized that I truly could see myself as a part of this org, and continued to go to the events.
Safe to say, almost a year later, I would not have done anything different.
ASK has continued to play a very large part of my life at UCSB and has given so much to me; I’ve gotten more confident and I’m much more driven because of how much my sisters inspire me – whether it was many of the older ASK members who I was in awe of when I first joined or many of the newer members who continue to do amazing things!
But more importantly, it taught me how to better prioritize the things most important in life like hanging out with my loved ones and being kind to myself, which I struggled with for the longest time.I’ve met so many incredible and supportive girls from a wide range of STEM fields through ASK, who I undoubtedly would not have had the luck or chance to meet them if I didn’t join, and I know I’ve made life-long, dependable friends who have stuck by me through thick and thin and continue to challenge me to be a better person.
Regardless of what happens for next quarter, I know that our girls in ASK will continue to keep in touch; I'm just excited to spend my last year at UCSB with the people that I love and a community through ASK that I’ve really come to call my home away from home.
Written by Kat Wu
Kat Wu is a third year Psychological and Brain Sciences major, with a double minor in History and Applied Psychology, and hopes to become a child or school psychologist! She will be the 2020-21 Philanthropy Chair next year, and is currently an officer in Psi Chi UCSB (an honors psych organization), is involved in labs on campus, and works for Health and Wellness.
I came into college not the most confident with myself and definitely not the best at making connections prior to that. I tried and joined different organizations, but it still just felt like something was missing. Fast forward to spring quarter my sophomore year when ASK was founded at UCSB, I made the tough decision to give another organization a shot. And looking back as a fresh graduate now, I have to say that joining ASK was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my undergrad career at UCSB, because I have found a sense of community with the fun sisters who are just as genuinely passionate about STEM and sisterhood as I am. I have also made friends who I know have my back and that I will be able to do things with post-graduation. As my undergrad has come to a close here at UCSB, I can safely say that I would not have had a nearly as fulfilling of a time at UCSB if I didn’t end up joining this sisterhood. ♥️
Written by Claire Qian
Claire recently graduated from UCSB this past March with a B.S. in Statistics and Data Science. She is a member of the Alpha Class and served as PFC chair last year. Claire will be working at a startup post- graduation!
If you came up to me and asked about my favorite memory from ASK, I could tell you about the spontaneous boba run we did after that one event, how competitive we got at the sisters scavenger hunt, or our retreat to LA where we tried to make cookies without a recipe. I could tell you about the seven straight hours we spent together during our installation or go into length about how my sisters planned a surprise party for my 21st birthday. I could talk about that moment when I installed a girl from my floor my first year who quickly grew into my best friend and became my current roommate and confidant. I could show you the video of the moment when I got my little and couldn’t stop smiling. I could even tell you about the time me and the former president freaked out about whether or not our interest group could ever be as a big as we hoped.
I could tell you all those memories and more, but to me those are just memories. To me, ASK is so much more than a bunch of highlights strung together throughout my years at UCSB. It isn’t about the events we hold, the fundraisers we run, or academic enrichment events where we teach each other what being a woman in STEM means to us.
To me, ASK is made up of all the little things, the daily reminders of what it means to be a part of this sisterhood. It’s the fact that although we are in different majors from distinct backgrounds with different career goals, we’re always there to support each other. It’s when my sisters brought me snacks and caffeine when I had to miss Bid day to spend 20 straight hours writing a pharm lab report. It’s waiting an extra ten minutes before we can start a meeting because even though we saw each other last week, we can’t help ourselves from catching up. It’s the pride I’ve felt as the Big Little coordinator making those first Big Little parings with Emi and seeing those pairings grow into families, each with their own distinct personalities. It’s seeing family lines posting Instagram stories about them cooking dinner together, going on a hike, or just studying together after I spent the last five weeks and a couple of mental breakdowns to find the perfect fit for each new candidate.
That’s what ASK is to me. It’s the community new sisters join and immediately find a home in. It’s the constant empathy and understanding from fellow sisters who know that sometimes academics come first and sometimes you just need to hang out with your sisters. It’s knowing that although this was something I spent the last three years of my life building, this is something I’ll always have with me to support me as I graduate from UCSB. That’s my favorite part of ASK.
Written by Sophie Mulligan
Sophie is a fourth year Pharmacology major on the pre-PA route and is the current Vice President. She’s also the head course assistant for SOC 152A, a scribe for a local nephrologist, and is working in the Montell Lab at UCSB to publish her research on drosophila melanogaster.
Before my time here at UCSB began, I was always a part of some sort of team where I truly felt connected to everyone involved. I thought that part of my life ended when I stopped playing sports at the end of my junior year. That feeling grew a year later when I decided to move away from my hometown to attend UCSB. It wasn’t until I rushed ASK that I felt a sense of community again. Although I’ve only been a part of this amazing sorority for a few months, I found my place in the academic community and formed lifelong friendships with the wonderful ladies of ASK - including my amazing future roommates!
I think it’s important for people to surround themselves with people who share the same values and life goals. It really helped me find my place at UCSB, and my self confidence and ambition have greatly benefited from being a member of this sorority. It’s always nice knowing that I have so many sisters who have my back and continue to inspire me. I couldn’t be more honored to be one of ASK’s women in STEM!
Written by Mia Bartolotti
Mia is currently a first year Pre-Chemistry major who is intending to declare Biochemistry. She is a member of the Delta Class and plans on running for leadership positions in the future.
Like most freshmen, I entered into college excited to meet new people and make new friends. By spring quarter, I had met a lot of people, but I hadn’t found a group I truly belonged in. I decided to rush a sorority, something I never thought I’d do. Expecting to find a group of fun girls who I could hang out with, I ended up with more than I thought possible. I found a group of girls who I could have fun with, but who would also support me in my academic and professional goals. From the very beginning, my favorite part of ASK has always been our integration of sisterhood and academics. I love our strong sisterhood bond because far from detracting from our goals, it motivates us to strive toward them. Desiring to promote this aspect of our sisterhood, I became the Academic Chair, and I have found so much fulfillment in taking on this role. From planning fun study events with yummy food to hosting professional development events, I have been able to promote our sorority’s goal of encouraging women support each other in their academics. Thank you ASK for giving me this opportunity to grow in sisterhood with these amazing women!
Written by Hannah Nawrocki
Hannah is a third year Biopsychology major and is currently our Academic Chair.
I decided to rush ASK during my spring quarter of my freshman year because I wanted a home away from home. When trying to find where I fit in, I realized that many organizations and fraternities on campus didn’t quite tie sisterhood and academics together. I wanted to be a part of a group of girls that were passionate about their education and career, but also emphasized relationships with one another. ASK is the perfect sorority for me because everybody is encouraged to succeed academically, while valuing the importance of genuine bonds with one another. I can count on all of my sisters to catch me when I fall, and also help me develop as a student. Having a diverse range of STEM majors means that everybody can benefit in one way or another. My sisters have helped me gain insight on my education journey, provided me with professional opportunities, and of course, a sisterhood that’s like no other.
Written by Valerie Htun
Valerie Htun is a second year pre-biology major and philosophy minor on the pre-medical route. She is currently the Apparel Coordinator, and future Treasurer for 2020-21.
When I decided to rush ASK this past fall, I had no idea how much it could change my college experience. Like many others, coming into my freshman year I was filled with nerves and excitement to meet new people and form the lasting bonds we all hear about with college friends. Yet, I soon realized it wasn’t everything I imagined it would be, and meeting new people in college was a lot harder than I expected. Joining ASK changed all of this for me as I was welcomed by a group of amazing girls that made me feel as if I had a place on campus where I belonged. I rushed with my best friend in the fall, and we both got initiated into the Delta class and met so many incredible girls. ASK is a group of strong women who support each other both academically and socially, and I could not be prouder to be a sister. I love them with all my heart, and now I know I not only have college friends for life, but I have my entire sisterhood.
Written by Marisa Gauna
Marisa is the Delta Class president and currently a second year Psych and Brain Sciences (B.S). major. She is following her passion of mental health activism on campus and in her studies, and she hopes to get a master's in mental health counseling.
I never thought sororities were “for me.” I’m pretty much the opposite of the stereotypical “sorority girl,” and I’m a member of the LGBTQ community. I thought that I would never “fit in” in a sorority. Some friends invited me to rush ASK during my first year at UCSB and I was very skeptical, but I decided to try it out. The rush process was very welcoming and very different from anything I had pictured in my head. Everyone was very welcoming and very genuine. I joined the Alpha Class of ASK and have been involved in recruitment since. As one of the current recruitment chairs I try my best to reach out to girls that don’t think of themselves as conventional “sorority girls” and show them how accepting and one-of-a-kind ASK is. My years in ASK have challenged me to look beyond my preconceptions, and this has led me to form many very meaningful friendships at UCSB. I can very honestly say I love my sisters and I love ASK.
Written by Angie Laguna
Angie is a third year Biology (B.S) major and is currently our recruitment chair.
In high school, I was always a quiet and reserved person. I was the person who sat in the back and was often overlooked, but I had my core group of friends who were always there for me, they were like a safety blanket, so the thought of going to college without them was petrifying. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited about college and the freedom that came with it, but I had so many questions running through my mind: will I make friends, what if I don’t like my roommates, am I in the right major, etc. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to do a research internship over the summer before my first year and I was able to meet some amazing people through the program. It’s through this program that I got to meet Shelby, ASK’s president, and Sophie, ASK’s vice president. They reached out through the research program to tell us that they were starting a sorority for women in STEM and I figured why not. I wanted to explore all the extracurriculars college had to offer. I admit I went into the meeting very skeptical; everyone knew the sorority stereotype; bleach blonde, fake tan, partiers, and I went in with this idea in the back of my mind. I remember walking into the apartment and all my preconceptions of them dissipated instantly. After talking with them and learning more about what ASK was, I realized the true impact these girls were making in creating a place for women who were pursuing STEM majors which have always been male-dominated. I realized that they were making their marks here at UCSB and I wanted to be a part of it. Helping expand an organization that empowered women and helped them achieve their goals inspired me. It hasn’t always been easy and we had, and still, have a lot to learn but I’m so proud of us for getting this far. I am so glad I went that initial day because I have been able to watch this tiny interest group grow into a full chapter, and it brings me so much joy and pride. I cannot imagine my life without my sisters. These girls have taught me how to open up and be more outgoing, they have taught me how to be resilient, and most importantly they taught me what true friendship (sorry that was cheesy).
Thank you ASK, I couldn’t imagine my life without you.
Written by Claudia Do
Claudia is a second year pre-biology major, a member of our founding class, and our current secretary. She is also actively involved in our campus community as an undergraduate researcher in the Mazer lab, an associate director of UCSB's Health Profession's Association, and a member of the Vietnamese Student Association.