In celebration of Veteran’s Day, we’d like to introduce you to Lieutenant Lauren Robertson Kervick, Alpha Epsilon. Lt. Kervick is a proud Phi Mu Foundation Scholarship Recipient and loyal donor, and shares with us how her time in Phi Mu has prepared her to serve our country in the United States Navy.
What made your collegiate Phi Mu experience special?
When I joined Phi Mu in 2006, I knew I would become fast friends with the women in my chapter and I expected to form friendships with my sisters that would last well beyond my collegiate experience. But what I didn’t anticipate was that the women in my chapter would continue to be my biggest motivators, encouraging me to be leader in our chapter and on our campus. And because there were women who inspired me to lead, I tried to do the same for the many Phi Mu women who came after me.
How has your journey in Phi Mu impacted the woman that you are today?
Being a member in Phi Mu has taught me to be compassionate about people, and to be giving with my time and resources. The first line of our creed is “to lend to those less fortunate a helping hand”; in my opinion, this line captures the spirit of Phi Mu. After college, I commissioned in the Navy and my first duty station was located in Norfolk, Virginia. I didn’t know anyone in the area but I had heard the Tidewater Alumnae Chapter of Phi Mu was one of the best chapters in the country. I got involved with the alumnae group and I had an instant support network in an unfamiliar area. When I deployed for 10 months to the Middle East, the chapter sent me letters and care packages; I was overwhelmed by their generosity and thoughtfulness.
How did your Phi Mu leadership skills help prepare you for military life?
As an executive committee member in my chapter, I learned how to work with a diverse group of women, how to empower people to take on responsibilities and leadership positions, and how to manage people and projects without interfering. This type of hands on leadership experience prepared me well for my job now, leading sailors as an officer in the United States Navy.
“When you read the Phi Mu creed, there are many lines that directly relate to the pledge that Veterans make to serve our country. To lend to those less fortunate a helping hand … to keep forever sacred the memories we have loved and lost … to walk in the way of honor guarding the purity of our thoughts and deeds … being honorable, courteous, tender … to serve in the light of truth avoiding egotism, narrowness and scorn.” Lt. Kervick
How are your Phi Mu and Naval experiences helping you to create positive change in your community?
While I am still an active duty Navy officer, I have also taken on a part-time role as a Brand Manager for Sword and Plough. Sword and Plough is a socially-conscious veteran owned and operated business started by an active duty Army officer and her sister. The company recycles military surplus and partners with U.S. manufacturers that incorporate it into a variety of stylish bags and accessories. I love their American made products and I truly appreciate the social change that is at the heart of this brand. They are creating jobs for veterans, they donate 10% of net profits back to veteran organizations, they are making an effort to bridge the civil-military divide in our country, and they are repurposing military materials that would otherwise be wasted.
If you could share a sentiment about your service to our country with today’s Phi Mu woman, what would it be?
The six years I’ve spent in the United States Navy have been the best experience of my life. I’ve had the opportunity to invest in my personal and professional development, from making presentations to senior Admirals and Generals to managing 30 people and a $20 million dollar project for our country. If I could share just one thing with today’s college woman, I would say consider military service following completion of your Bachelor’s degree! If you commission as an officer in any branch of the military you are typically required to serve your country for four years, and are guaranteed to have immediate leadership opportunities, develop a variety of skills that will transfer to thriving professions, all with the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting and defending our country.
It’s because of donors like you that Phi Mu Foundation is able to help fund leadership and educational programs for our members that equip them with the tools and experiences they need to be successful. As a young alumna, why is it important to you to support Phi Mu Foundation?
When I served as Panhellenic President on my campus, I quickly realized that the strength of the sororities and fraternities correlate directly with the strength of their national organizations and foundations. As an alumna, I understand that the key to a successful fraternal organization is a strong, well-endowed foundation. I support Phi Mu Foundation because as an organization it does a great job preserving the traditions and history of Phi Mu, it plays a large role they in education and philanthropy, and it supports all members of Phi Mu, especially those in need. On a personal note, I was a recipient of a Phi Mu Foundation academic scholarship while I was a collegiate member, and as an alumna, I believe it is my responsibility to make contributions so that scholarships like the one I received will continue.
Lauren resides with her husband in Virginia, where she servers our country as an active duty Naval Intelligence Officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C. Prior to being stationed in the states, Lauren spent one year in Seoul, South Korea, three years aboard the USS IWO JIMA, and completed one deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Lauren is an active member of the Tidewater Alumnae Chapter and the Alpha Epsilon Chapter Association.