We're proud of our fellow Case Western Reserve University Alpha Chi Omega sisters! Tune in here to learn more about the women who make Zeta Upsilon proud!

Alumna Profile: Laura Fox Kuntz

AXO Founders @ 25th Anniversary: Laura, Melissa, Ingrid & Mary

Name: Laura Kuntz

Graduation Year and program: 1985, dual B.A.s in Communication Sciences and Psychology

Involvement with Alpha Chi Omega:

Currently, Laura is a member of Gamma Omicron Gamma (GOG) - the alumnae chapter on the east side of Cleveland.  One of the highlights of the year is helping out at the annual Ronald McDonald breakfast, where Laura's daughter joins her! She also enjoys all the other get-togethers with the rest of the ZU alums, and even some of the advisors when she was at Case.

"When I first moved back to Cleveland, I was really excited to see how the chapter had grown (I couldn’t wait to see the house!) and served on the house corp. committee and then as Chapter Advisor. It was amazing to see the chapter from the alum side of things- talk about a perspective shift!  The one thing that didn’t change was the quality of women AXO attracts.  It was really gratifying to me to see the chapter still had wonderful intelligent, fun girls.  Before moving to Cleveland, I was active in the NYC alum group and served as the Panhel representative.  It was great to meet women from other sororities and it was really interesting to serve on the Panhel scholarship committee. I strongly encourage any AXOs planning on attending graduate school to look into Panhel scholarships that may be available."

Highlights of your AXO and campus experience:  

Since Laura was the first president of the chapter, she cannot remember Case without remembering becoming and being an AXO. She remembers all the moments from becoming a colony to receiving the charter, and then the installation as a chapter. From there came all the memories from Greek Week (back when beer was still widely used in the contest names) and the first fundraiser as a chapter. Laura was also involved in the greater Greek community at Case and played intramural volleyball where she still remembers the one time she broke her ankle in 3 places.

Professional Career After College:

After leaving CWRU, Laura moved back to New York City where she attended graduate school, at NYU and Columbia University.  She decided, however, to change her professional focus from speech pathology to audiology, and went on to finish her Masters in Boston.  There she worked as an audiologist in a private practice until she moved back with her husband to NY for his work. There, Laura still kept quite busy, running the family business and learning the commercial real estate business by the seat of her pants!  After a couple of years, they moved back to Cleveland and started their family, and now have two children, Alex (14) and Elizabeth (11).  

Advice for Current Alpha Chi’s:

"First off, enjoy your time in college.   It’s such a special time in your life and while you have so many milestones to look forward to, the relationships you develop with your AX sisters will hold a unique spot in your heart.  Also, keep your AX ties after college.  Investigate alum groups- not only do they provide a source of friendship in a new place (or even an old one!), they can be an excellent resource for professional contacts (I learned that in NYC)."

The Future (goals and/or passions):

Right now, Laura's focus is on being an active participant in the autism community.  Her son, Alex, was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and Laura has been trying to gather support to start a school in Greater Cleveland for kids who are at the high functioning end of the autism spectrum. Laura knows several AXOs who have been personally affected by having an autistic child and she encourages everyone to support organizations doing research and providing support to families (such as Autism Speaks). Aside from this, Laura has also done some freelance writing and hopes to continue this and in the future start her own business. It seems there is a lot more to come!!

Alumna Profile: Nikki Sharan

Name: Nikki Sharan

Graduation year and program: Case Institute of Technology Class of 1991

Involvement with Alpha Chi Omega:

Nikki is currently the IT Service Delivery Manager at American Institutes for Research (AIR), a non-profit organization located in Washington, DC, whose vast portfolio includes working with the Cleveland Public Schools and the State of Ohio Board of Education.

After leaving Cleveland, Nikki wanted to remain involved with her alma mater as nostalgia hit. She attended a couple of local Alpha Chi Omega alumnae meetings but realized she wanted to be more focused to the local chapter. When Amy Zoldak started talking about the virtual alumni chapter, Nikki immediately started helping out. Nikki participates with the local alumnae chapter and hopes to become more involved with MTM again.

Professional Career After College:

Nikki started as an Office Manager at a manufacturing plant. After working on automating many of the functions with the sole, shared PC in the office she left and started working for GTE Mobilnet. There she moved up the IT ranks and attained her MBA from Weatherhead in the part-time program. Then, Nikki moved to Atlanta with GTE and stayed through the merger to Verizon Wireless. Shortly thereafter she moved to northern Virginia as the Telecom Manager of an outsourcing company, where she managed domestic and international call centers. After a few years of being a road warrior, Nikki settled down as the Telecom Manager of a DC non-profit organization and just recently expanded her role.

Highlights of your AXO and campus experience:  

Nikki's Alpha Chi Omega experience was incredibly positive and she formed bonds for life. She was a second semester pledge and didn’t realize she was being rushed until a friend, a sister, (figuratively) smacked me upside the head and asked: “Are you interested in Alpha Chi? They are rushing you.” While, it took her a bit of time to get settled into AXO but eventually she learned to become a self-aware and a self-confident person. Nikki attributes the sisterhood and her sisters with enabling her to grow as a person. As an engineering major, coming home to a group of women was great after classes and study sessions with all men.

Nikki eventually went on to become the Zeta Upsilon Chapter President at a time when they shifted elections and formal rush to spring semester, so she learned how to manage change; a skill that she uses all the time now. All the formals, parties, Initiations, Greek Weeks, never measured up to times with the sisters though which she treasures the most: like 2 am study breaks, Sunday morning brunches, Leutner dinners, getting ready together before outings, impromptu hallway conversations and especially each Fireside. 

Advice for Current Alpha Chi’s:

In each experience Nikki has felt part of something great at Case and she is proud of that. Her Alpha Chi Omega experience made it even better so here are her words of advice:

·         Be true to yourself and take the time to learn who you are and what you want

·         Respect everyone; their similarities to you and especially their differences

·         Enjoy your time together. The saying is true that some of our truest and best friends are found during our collegiate years.

The Future:

Nikki and her husband plan to move back to the Cleveland area. Ideally she hopes they can retire early or live as a single income family as Nikki would like to spend time being more active with her favorite charity, Room to Read. This organization partners with local communities throughout the developing world to provide quality educational opportunities by establishing libraries, creating local language children's literature, constructing schools, and providing education to girls. Room to Read has recently been named in the list of The 25 Best Philanthropies by Barron’s Magazine and is also the charity partner for Financial Time’s annual seasonal giving campaign.