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Westminster College's Alpha Sigma Sorority Awarded Highest Honor

Posted on Monday, August 5, 2013

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Four members of the Westminster College Alpha Sigma chapter of the national Sigma Kappa Sorority attended the organization's first Regional Leadership Conference (RLC) July 26-28 in Philadelphia, where they accepted the sorority's highest honor on their chapter's behalf.


  • Erin Gerst, a senior early childhood/special education major, is a daughter of Gary and Stacy Gerst and a graduate of Bethel Park High School.
  • Erica Hillwig, a senior psychology major, is a daughter of Boyd and Shirley Hillwig of Chicora and a graduate of Karns City Area High School.
  • Maria McTighe, a junior sociology major, is a daughter of David and M. Theresa McTighe of Butler and a graduate of Knoch High School.
  • Ashley Moon, a senior public relations major, is a daughter of Kevin and Susan Moon and a graduate of Butler Area High School.           

The Three Star Standards of Excellence Award is Sigma Kappa's most prestigious collegiate award.  It is presented to chapters who meet all of the Sigma Kappa minimum standards and above.  These standards include high performance in areas such as membership, financial management, philanthropy, scholarship, public relations, ritual, recruitment, new member education, alumnae relations, and campus involvement.

"Being recognized by Sigma Kappa nationals for all of our accomplishments is a great reminder of why we do what we do," said Moon, executive vice president of the Westminster chapter. "It was an honor to be able to represent the Alpha Sigma chapter at this year's conference and to come home with something to show for all of our hard work."

The Alpha Sigma chapter is one of only seven chapters in the country to earn the Three Star Standards of Excellence Award this year.  It is also the fourth consecutive year the chapter has received this honor.  

"These young women worked hard to achieve such an amazing award, and that will continue motivating them to strive for success in the future," Alpha Sigma Chapter Adviser Aleya Tylinski said.

Every year, each chapter in the Sigma Kappa Sorority is eligible for different awards based on a variety of criteria.  This year, in addition to the Three Star Standards of Excellence Award, the Alpha Sigma chapter from Westminster College received an honorable mention for the Lillian Peterson Budd Award, which recognizes chapters for participation in both national and local gerontology activities; a Silver Circle Award for the amount of money donated to the Sigma Kappa Foundation; and an academic achievement award.

This year's conference featured building leadership skills.  The women took part in general sessions dedicated to leadership development, as well as specific sessions that were geared towards their individual positions in the sorority.

"RLC was a great learning experience," said Hillwig, president of the Westminster chapter. "We learned a lot about our chapter and have set exciting goals for ourselves for the next year."

Sigma Kappa Sorority was founded in 1874 and is based on the values of personal growth, service, loyalty, and friendship. The purpose of Sigma Kappa Sorority is to provide women lifelong opportunities and support for social, intellectual and spiritual development by bringing women together to positively impact our communities.

Contact Moon at for additional information.

Westminster College Sigma Kappa Sorority members and the chapter adviser pose with the Three Star Standards of Excellence Award. (L-R): Maria McTighe, Ashley Moon, Erica Hillwig, Erin Gerst, and Chapter Adviser Aleya Tylinski.