CHAPTER NEWSLETTER | SPRING 2021
Sigma Nu Hopeful for a Return to Normalcy in the Fall
Welcome to the spring 2021 edition of Sigma News. The world wakes up in springtime. Suddenly, there are sights, sounds, and smells bursting from the natural world inviting action, inspiration, and commitments to a fresh start!
With the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, alumni events for the spring semester have been canceled. We are optimistic that we will be able to interact with our alumni in person by this time next year. In the meantime, the active chapter’s alumni relations chairman has implemented an Alumni of the Month social media blast to help keep our alumni engaged.
Fraternal duties over the past couple of months have included a Pursuit of Excellence submission, our annual Gameball Run, and executive board elections. The active chapter report in this newsletter will provide further detail into these topics.
Bradley University continues to excel as a top private university in our state and across the country. US News and World Report ranks Bradley as a top-five university in the Midwest region and first in Illinois.
Over the past 10-plus years, Bradley has strived to modernize its campus to improve both student engagement and academics. Pictured above is the Business and Engineering Convergence Center, which celebrated its one-year anniversary at the end of 2020.
After being postponed last year, Sigma Nu’s 69th Grand Chapter is scheduled for June 23-27. Grand Chapter was originally planned to be in person, but due to the health and safety threats of the continuing global COVID-19 pandemic, related restrictions, and the lack of certainty regarding the pandemic conditions in the near future, the fraternity’s board of directors made the decision to conduct the 69th Grand Chapter virtually.
With hope on the horizon, I encourage all of us to hold true to our roots: to believe in the Life of Love, to walk in the Way of Honor, to serve in the Light of Truth.
Wes Zobrist ’06 (ZΦl023)
Peoria, Illinois Sigma Nu Building Corporation (309) 696-1389
Q & A WITH NATHAN CRABEL ’13 (ΖΦ1147)
ADVISORY BOARD CHAIRMAN
Q: What brought you to Bradley University and why did you decide to join Sigma Nu?
A: Bradley was the perfect-sized school for me, I had family in the area, and it has a highly reputable engineering program. Bradleywas a win-win-win. During every round of recruitment, I met somebody new and left each visit with a good feeling about the brotherhood and the unique blend of social and scholarly leaders I found there.
Q: What did your undergraduate experience in the Zeta Phi Chapter mean to you?
A: I grew and matured in ways I never would have expected within the walls of Zeta Phi Chapter. Leadership, decision-making, and developing meaningful relationships are few ways that resonate the most.
Q: If you could relive any memory with your fraternity brothers, what would it be?
A: Ritual! While quirky and antiquated, our ritual cannot be replicated and was a fun and powerful way to connect with the founders and principles of our fraternity.
Q: How did the fraternity prepare you for life after college?
A: The leadership roles I served in as an undergraduate at Zeta Phi taught me how to approach and work through tough situations. Leading with empathy and “starting with why” were two lessons I learned along the way.
Q: Do you keep in touch with any of your fraternity brothers? If so, who and how?
A: Yes! Brothers Isherwood, Thomas, Ryan, Timoney, Bailey, and Crowley to name a few; in-person and video chats. I’m fortunate to work with Brothers Lindahl, Costa, and Brown as well and it is nice to have friendly faces around the office.
Nathan, Denise, and Pepper.
Q: What motivated you to join the Zeta Phi Alumni Advisory Board?
A: Both of my parents are retired teachers and my brother is a college football coach; mentoring is in my DNA and I relish the opportunity to help expand the minds and thinking of the next generation of leaders graduating from Bradley.
Q: What would you say to encourage other alumni to volunteer to serve the chapter?
A: I read these newsletters and many alumni speak about the lessons they learned as an undergraduate at Zeta Phi, many of which came from decades (including my own) where we did not have an alumni advisory board. Imagine if those lessons learned were enhanced by 1%, by an alumni mentor, and the positive arc that would have over the years of our young brothers’ personal and professional lives. If that sounds intriguing to any alumni out there, give me a call; there is room on the board for you!
Q: To you, what is the secret to success? What advice would you give to undergraduates or to younger alumni who are early in their careers?
A: First, you must define what success and fulfillment mean to you and align your personal mission and habits accordingly. It is dangerously easy to look at our phones and influencers online and see what we might think is success. Two books that are helping me on that journey are the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Off Balance.
Q: Where has life taken you in your professional career path? Could you share some highlights? What challenges have you faced and what you have enjoyed most?
A: I joined West Monroe, a business and technology consulting firm, right after undergrad and I have been there for eight years now. In industrial engineering (IE), I have found a great home to apply the IE skillset to help
our clients solve complex problems and drive business value.
Q: What are some of your hobbies, and what do you do in your free time?
A: I enjoy downhill snow skiing in the winter, have a love-hate relationship with golf in the summer, and pick up books to read anywhere in between. Most of my free time I enjoy spending with my wife and puppy; cooking, family walks, and traveling together. I also serve as the president for the Chicago chapter of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, helping connect and accelerate the careers of students and professionals in the industrial and systems engineering community.
Nathan and his wife, Denise, live in Chicago, Illinois, with their dog, Pepper. They can be reached at email@example.com.
Zeta Phi Chapter Adapts to New Normal Due to COVID-19 Restrictions
From left: Ethan Smith ‘23 (ZΦ1299 ), Ryan Newstrom ’23 (ZΦ1290), Tristan Vidican ‘23 (ZΦ1292), Anthony Ryan ’21 (ZΦ1272), CJ Johnston ’21 (ZΦ127]), Mike Finder ’23 (ZΦ1301), Jake Fitch ’22 (ZΦ1282), Andrew Pellettiere ’23 (ZΦ1288), Josh Manning ’23 (ZΦ1291) and Mark Milewski ’22 (ZΦ1287) (cameraman) attending the scholarship dinner.
Jackson Pirowski ’23 (ΖΦ1294) participating in the Gameball Run.
This past year, Zeta Phi Chapter has dealt with the many restrictions of COVID-19. However, we still managed to get a lot done. One of our biggest traditions each year is our philanthropy program, the Gameball Run. We raise money throughout the year via fundraisers and outreach to donate to the OSF Children’s Hospital. To present the check to OSF, we host a run from ISU all the way to the OSF Hospital where fraternity brothers take shifts running behind our escorted truck. This year, we raised roughly $3,500.
Another highlight from the past year was getting to recognize our members’ academic achievements through a scholarship dinner. All members of the house with a GPA over 3.5 were treated to a meal at Alexander’s Steakhouse and an entry in a raffle for gift cards. This past fall semester, we hosted nine members from the previous year and 11 from the fall.
Even though the capacity for brotherhood events was limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, we still managed to have a great time through several socially distanced events, such as our Lumberjack breakfast. At this event, we all got up early and tossed on our jeans, flannels, and boots, and made ourselves some pancakes to enjoy outside in the morning weather.
As for recruitment this year, numbers were low across campus. Yet, between the first and second semesters, we still secured 10 promising new members. Seven recently went active, and three are working through their candidacy.
We all look forward to a return to some normalcy as more people get vaccinated and COVID-19 restrictions loosen. We can’t wait to host our alumni once again whenever that becomes a possibility.
Ethan Smith ’23 (ΖΦ1299)
Nathan Lobb ’24 , Mark Milewski ’22 (ΖΦ1287), Leo Ng ’21 (ΖΦ1286), Corey Novander ’22 (ΖΦ1283), Jake Fitch ’22 (ΖΦ1282), Josh Manning ’23 (ΖΦ1291), Josh Kennedy ’24 (ΖΦ1303), Jackson Pirowski ’23 (ΖΦ1294), Wes Diaz ’24 (ΖΦ1307), and Michael Finder ’23 (ΖΦ1301) after finishing this year’s Gameball Run.
CJ Johnston ’21 (ZΦ1271)
CJ is working toward his doctorate in physical therapy. He intends to become a licensed physical therapist.
Brian Leonard ’21 (ZΦ1284)
Brian is a former Bradley track athlete from Palatine, Ill. He started as an electrical engineering major but changed to UX design after his first year; he will be finishing up next year. Brian wants to work for a big company such as Caterpillar.
Jayson Podschweit ’21 (ZΦ1273)
Jayson is a former chapter president and majoring in health science. He will be attending Northern Illinois University to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy.
Anthony Ryan ’21 (ZΦ1272)
Anthony is from Downers Grove, Ill. He will graduate with a degree in marketing and a minor in management and leadership. He has accepted a full-time sales position at Yellow, as an executive account representative.
Jack Simms ’21 (ZΦ1293)
Jack is a transfer mechanical engineering student who joined the chapter during his junior year. He will be finishing his degree next year and hopes to work at a major company after graduation such as Caterpillar or John Deere.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
What keeps you connected to Sigma Nu? Have your spoken to your Zeta Phi brothers
lately? How do you lend a hand in your community? Got a favorite memory from
your time in the Zeta Phi chapter house? What’s your biggest accomplishment since
graduating from Bradley University? By sharing what you’ve been up to, you can be
featured in an upcoming issue of Sigma News.
Do you have photos from your “wonder years” to share? We’d love to include throwback
photos in future newsletters. Be sure to provide a caption and names of those pictured
when submitting photos.
Submissions may be sent to Wes Zobrist ’06 (ZΦ1023) at firstname.lastname@example.org.