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SigEp Newsletter

PABB's Spring 2016 Edition

Posted July 5th, 2016

Current State of the Chapter

President's Update
Written By: Justin San Juan, President

It is no secret that the fraternity system is under a microscope. All across the nation, university presidents are asking the question, “What value do fraternities add to our campuses?” Google search “fraternity” and you will find multiple news articles about a recent hazing or sexual assault incident. However, Sigma Phi Epsilon PA Beta Beta continues to be the exception to the fraternity stereotype through a strong commitment to our Cardinal Principles, a reinvestment in our members, and our partnerships with various Drexel faculty and the community.

Through the Balanced Man Program, members have been provided an environment to grow into exceptional scholars and leaders. This Spring Term, our chapter achieved an outstanding 3.602 Term GPA, well above the All Campus GPA of 3.28. With half of our members on Drexel University’s Dean’s List in the Spring, we continue to be the top in academics not only among fraternities, but all of campus. In addition, several of our new members hold key leadership positions, and we continue to proudly represent our chapter at our national member development continuum events - 15 members at EDGE, 13 at the Carlson Leadership Academy, 7 at Life After College, 2 Ruck Scholars, and most notably 1 Tragos Quest to Greece Scholar.

Past president Mario Squicciarini in Greece

Expanding on the relationships that we created last year, we hosted Dr. Christine Fiori, head of Drexel’s Construction Management Program, to lead a five week program based on the book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”. During this program, Dr. Fiori created various activities for each of the dysfunctions in order to strengthen our leadership abilities and have open and honest discussions as we continue to strengthen our chapter. Dr. Jonathan Wharton, an assistant professor of political science and urban affairs at Southern Connecticut State University and Renaissance Brother at Stevens Tech, visited our chapter once again to talk about his journey to professorship and how he became involved in SigEp. And with members of Phi Mu’s executive board, Meghan Gaffney, the Associate Director of Programming for Fraternity and Sorority Life at the University of Pennsylvania, sat down with us to discuss the challenges and issues surrounding Greek life and what we can do in our chapters to solve them.

Though our personal successes are noteworthy, our chapter believes in being a part of something greater than ourselves. On the tenth anniversary of our St. Baldrick’s Head-Shaving Event, we decided to honor a very special girl, eight year old Cameron McCarthy. Diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma on Mother’s Day last year, Cameron has been a strong fighter. She always has a smile on her face and never runs out of energy for games. Inspired by her outlook on life, we have been able to raise over $40,000 during this year’s event. Cameron and her family were in attendance and needless to say, the day was filled with games, pies being thrown, and smiles. I’m happy to report that she is now cancer free and recently spent the day at Hershey Park, riding all the roller coasters that she could!

Through our shared commitments, we have had a positive impact on many lives. As I begin my new role in the chapter, I am proud of our successes thus far but more so, I am excited to see how our chapter will grow and what we will accomplish in the future.

A visit to the Zollinger House

Trip to Richmond
Written By: Ryan Benjamin, House Manager

A trip to the Zollinger House in Richmond, Virginia was more than just a visit to the place of origin for Sigma Phi Epsilon; it was a brotherhood bonding event. I did not know what to expect for the trip, but I knew one thing, I was going to be driving again. The first destination was a stop in Washington D.C. The drive down was interesting; two brothers were constantly hanging out of the windows most of the ride trying to get worthy pictures. Not only that, but it was discovered that some brothers needed to learn some of the most known music, such as “Don’t Stop Believing” and other classics.

When we arrived in Washington D.C., we experienced the area like any other group would. At 2 am, we took a trip across the city to see the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and the National World War II Memorial. This late night adventure brought us together more than any previous event I had experienced.


The next morning we drove to the Zollinger House. The drive there was filled with snoring and slight shifting into the most comfortable positions. We got breakfast at a small-family owned coffee place, Brewer’s café, and then right over to the house.

Seeing the house might not give you any insight into what a place such as the Zollinger House could make you feel. The house itself was a historical museum of SigEp items and each item had a story associated with it about a brother or another organization. Even with the Zollinger House now being the headquarters of SigEp and a place of work, it still has a homely atmosphere.

Zollinger House might be far for someone not used to driving for four hours long, but it is closer to us than most other chapters and I think we don’t take advantage of that as much as we should. I relate this experience to Ralph Walden Emerson’s quote, “Life is a journey, not a destination”; the travel there was just as memorable as the place itself.

Pictured left to right:Johnny Zhu, Jinxing Chen, Ali Harb, Ryan Benjamin, Tanvir Bashar, Ryan Bannon, Mario Squicciarini

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PABB's New Members

New Member Profiles: Spring 2016



Favorite Pastimes/hobbies:

Practicing karate, playing the piano, watching netflix and playing board games.

What are you looking forward to most in SigEp?

I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone better. Also, Greek Week next year should be fun.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years, I see myself searching for a job after I get my BSBA and starting to apply what I learned at Drexel to my career.



Favorite Pastimes/hobbies:

Skiing, playing video games, watching TV, and hanging out with friends.

What are you looking forward to most in SigEp?

Developing myself and meeting new, amazing people.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Graduated with BS/MS in Mechanical Engineering and working in an aerospace company.



Favorite Pastimes/hobbies:

Ice hockey, longboarding, surfing, scuba diving, sciences, and golfing.

What are you looking forward to most in SigEp?

Meeting new people and making a difference in the community.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Working towards getting my PA or NP license



Favorite Pastimes/hobbies:

I like hanging out and playing sports, such as basketball and football, with friends. I also like to play video games now and then. Most importantly, I go to the gym everyday to make sure I stay healthy and fit.

What are you looking forward to most in SigEp?

I am looking forward to challenging myself by taking part in leadership roles in the fraternity and helping the chapter improve in all aspects possible.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I hope to be working in a prestigious company such as Google or Apple as a project manager.



Favorite Pastimes/hobbies:

Football, basketball, bowling, and playing the guitar.

What are you looking forward to most in SigEp?

Getting to know all the great guys in SigEp and contribute to the improvement of the chapter

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years, I will be about a year out of college so I hope to have a job in the medical device industry. I see myself back in New England after college, even though Philadelphia has been an amazing experience. I also want to keep up with all of my friends, from SigEp and Drexel

Freshman Ali Harb goes to Ruck Leadership Institute

Written By: Ali Harb, VP of Programming

This year I had the honor of representing SigEp PA Beta Beta at the Ruck Leadership Institute in Richmond, Virginia, alongside one of my brothers Justin San Juan. In the weeks leading up to Ruck, I was unsure of exactly what to expect from this traditionally amazing SigEp week. However, after landing in Richmond and meeting over 100 brothers from all across the country I knew I was in store for a once in a lifetime experience.

(top)Ali and Justin San Juan (bottom)Split into teams at the University of Richmond, where Ruck is held.

Throughout the five days at the University of Richmond, I felt as though I was able to develop and grow as a leader and a SigEp. By critically analyzing what it means to be leaders, we were able to point out personal strengths and weaknesses while also diving into ways to improve upon them. Supplemented by a plethora of sound mind and sound body activities this week was truly one to remember for years to come.

On the first day, Grand President Rick Bennet said, “This week is going to be the smartest investment you have ever made in your future”. This statement really stuck with me through my time at Ruck. I believe that I will be able to take the lessons I have learned to develop myself as a leader altogether, but more importantly inspire and develop my SigEp chapter to be better than it was before. In addition, for all the undergraduates reading this, I encourage all of you to apply next year! Ruck is something you have to experience to fully understand!

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10th Annual St.Baldrick's Headshaving fundrasier

Written By: Jonathan Napolitano, VP of Member Development

Over the past 10 years, the Drexel Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon has been proud to partner with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to unite in order to accomplish one goal: to end childhood cancer. Some may see this as too much to take on, but through dedication and hard work, our brothers have collectively helped change the lives of several cancer patients by raising just about $400,000 over the lifetime of our partnership.

This year’s carnival-themed event was definitely a fun challenge to organize. After being invited by St. Baldrick's in July 2015 to attend their Volunteer Event Organizer (VEO) meeting for the East Coast, I was trained and VEO certified to be properly prepared to lead an event myself. I set out to accomplish 3 goals: hit our donation goal, have an awesome event, and honor a kid at our event. I am proud to say that with the tireless dedication of our brothers, alumni and friends, these goals were met and surpassed!

I mentioned above that one of my three goals was to honor a kid. During St. Baldrick's Head Shaving Events, there is an opportunity to invite pediatric cancer patients to attend and be honored for their continued fight and perseverance. It was through a few alumni connections that we met Ms. Cameron McCarthy. Just after her 7th birthday, Cameron was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer for a healthy kid to suddenly face. Over the next year, her and her family took countless trips to CHOP and other surrounding hospitals for chemotherapy, radiation or other types of treatment.

8 year old Cameron McCarthy receives a teddy bear from SigEp.

Despite taking on this battle, there was one thing that remained true; her bright personality. I can remember the first time I met Cameron and her family; it was a night I would never forget. We played one of her favorite games where we took turns putting our taste buds on the line eating interestingly flavored jelly beans that ranged from grass to even vomit! Her laughter and excitement were rich and heartwarming for someone going to battle each day.

But that’s what it is; a battle. In early May of 2015, just about a year after being diagnosed, doctors found no more evidence of disease. Later that month, she was able to return back to school, an almost-foreign place to her. And on the way back to school, there was no pouting or crying. Cameron was smiling; just as she always does.

Having Cameron attend our head shaving event really did put the icing on the cake. Her fun attitude matched the atmosphere in the Drexel Recreation Center as the music was playing and raffles were called off left and right. I could not thank all of the volunteers, brothers, alumni and sororities that took time out of their day to make that event happen. While I will call St. Baldricks 2016 a success, it is in my nature to look at the big picture, and realize that we’re not finished. Cancer is still there and these kids need our help.

I know that St. Baldricks 2017 will be the best event yet because we’ll be pushed by a now 8-year old’s smile.


Rough Finish for SigEp at Greek Week

Greek Week
Written By: Jinxing Chen, VP of Communications

SigEp starting off strong when Greek Week began in early April this year. The brothers managed to get full points in the early events. In Football, our offence made several critical mistakes and although our defence was good, it was not enough to repair the damages. This was not the end all be all though. Brother Justin Bright quickly brought home a 1st place finish in tile designs. A few hours later, underdog Brendan Zimmie brought home 1st place in heavyweight arm wrestling followed by a 3rd place finish by brother Jonathan Napolitano in the lightweight category.

Brother Justin Bright's first place tile
Brothers Brendan Zimmie(left) and Jonathan Napolitano(right)

With a much needed boost in motivation, the chapter began planning for the all important Greek Week talent show. The theme was the 1986 movie Top Gun. Brother Paul Ciaccia III mustered up a group of guys and began creating a choreography. Meanwhile, graduating seniors Brian Bucci, Kyle Fitzpatrick, and Daniel Stenger led the prop construction team. The night before the show, the brothers faced a miserable defeat in Quizzo. SigEp had to place in the show to keep up.

On the day of, the brothers were faced with fierce competition from the other houses. When their turn was up, the last to go, the whole gym roared as brothers ran out in their cardboard airplanes, white shirts,boots, and jeans.The performance was stellar, perfect sync to the soundtrack and magnificent display of movie knowledge. After an eternity it may have seemed, the judges finally announced the winners. SigEp brought home 2nd place that day.

First place was still hotly contested, so the chapter turned to the upcoming events. A 3rd place finish in the chariot race contributed greatly to our cause. Soon after, a defeat in dodgeball to the eventual winners of Greek Week, poor performance in both volleyball and tug of war solidified our standing.So we thought. The chapter was faced with even more disappointment when 30 potential points were not gained in missed events. SigEp dropped from a solid 3rd place to 5th place out of 13.

Our results may not have stellar, but I am proud to say the standings do not reflect how much fun, drive, and unification the chapter showed during this year's greek week. Every single member contributed in a meaningful way that helped advance us to a common goal. Although it is always fun to win, it was more important for us this year to give 110%. PABB will be sure the mistakes made this year will not be repeated. Hopefully next year will bring better results and bring back the title of greek week champions to PABB.

Final seconds of the talent show

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An Interview with Dimitri Arhontoulis: Drexel ’16

Alumni Interview

Dimitri Arhontoulis hails from Linwood, NJ and recently received his Masters degree in biomedical engineering this past June 2016. He is now a Research Specialist at the University of Pennsylvania working on research that aims to redirect the immune system against cancer. He hopes to one day become a physician scientist and help progress translational research.

Dimitri joined SigEp in Fall of 2011, his first quarter at Drexel. He was a finalist for the Balanced Man Scholarship. “At the banquet, I met several of the brothers and instantly made a connection with them. They were friendly, driven, and displayed a sense of composure and maturity that I found appealing.” he says. Dimitri eventually became the Vice President of Recruitment, held the Balanced Man Scholarship Chair, and was an Epsilon Coordinator.

When asked how SigEp has impacted him as a person he says:

“SigEp honestly helped develop me into the person I am today. Through the chapter, I learned how to lead, how to listen, and how to push myself into doing everything I wanted to do in college. The chapter gave me opportunities to learn from previous experiences, and has given me a group of friends I know I can rely on forever.”

Dimitri in the lab

The organization is set up for success because all members are bonded by a belief in our cardinal principles. Dimitri says, “SigEp aims to develop its members through multiple perspectives. This allows our members to grow intellectually, physically, and professionally. A person is truly the most successful when they are learning as much as they can, but also taking care of their body. I think striving to have a balance in your life can help our members live our cardinal principles.”

Dimitri closes the interview by advising all undergraduate members to stay close with their class:

“As a senior, I look back and realize how quickly the last 5 years have gone by. Going our separate ways is tough, and I will greatly miss my brothers. Learn everything that you can from the chapter. I wouldn’t be where I am without SigEp. Be true to yourself and let SigEp push you to work hard in college. It’s an incredible opportunity not every is fortunate enough to have, so make the most of it.”

If you are an alumnus of PABB and would like to be featured please contact

Congratulations to Our Graduating Seniors!


Congratulations to our graduating seniors! Thank you for all your contributions to the chapter. PABB will always welcome you home. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors! Damn Proud

Left to Right: Daniel Stenger, Bill King, Kyle Fitzpatrick, Tom Weil, Travis Weiss, Sam Hofbauer, Matthew Boyer, Dimitri Arhontoulis, Brian Bucci, Louis Schetley, Jacob Pretroski (not pictured: David Zilly, Matthew Cameron, Mike Brandon, Yingda Huo)