By Alicia Cherem
Sherry Levine somehow manages to do it all: as president of her sorority, head manager of a major club on campus and a part of an honors program, her friends have nicknamed her “superwoman.”
Levine recently took on her biggest leadership role yet, becoming president of this university’s Sigma Delta Tau sorority. A national and historically Jewish sorority, SDT aims to connect not only women with their local Jewish community through local events, but it gives them a chance to be a part of something much bigger than themselves, such as organizations like Jewish Women’s International.
According to its website, JWI is an organization that focuses on supporting and empowering women of all ages and backgrounds through “economic literacy, community training, healthy relationships, and the proliferation of women’s leadership.” Levine, a junior finance and information systems major, takes pride in her involvement with SDT and JWI. It allows her to empower women and present them with the same opportunities that she’s been able to experience.
“JWI and SDT make me feel that I am making an impact in my community,” said Levine. “I am not just attending events and going to meetings, but I truly feel that I am making a profound change in other people’s lives and giving back to the community.”
Levine described her upbringing in Baltimore as very “normal.” She was varsity tennis captain and had a passion for theater; she played Peter Pan in 9th grade. Although she was on her high school’s Jewish Student Union board, Levine says she lacked a large sense of community within her high school and her environment.
“Prior to coming to college I wasn’t very involved within my Jewish community, but leading the chapter of SDT and having the Jewish community as support, I know now that I have a place that I can comfortably go to for the holidays and be involved in,” Levine said.
Her major has brought her unique leadership opportunities such as being president for the Operations Management & Business Analytics Society (OMBAS) and being a member of Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams (QUEST).
QUEST is an honors program that gives business students the opportunity to take outside coursework that extends their learning within their major. Meanwhile, OMBAS is a club within the business school that gives students the chance to learn outside of the classroom by bringing in firms and speakers to mentor students.
Last year, when most of the OMBAS seniors graduated, Levine said that the club basically disintegrated, due to the lack of people. Levine saw this obstacle as an opportunity to pull in leadership skills she acquired from SDT and slowly build the club back up.
She said she has not only acquired leadership experience through SDT, but learned a quality that she values the most: friendship.
“Sherry is a leader in many communities at UMD such as the business school community and in Greek life,” said Levine’s roommate Jess Goldstein, a community health science major. “But most importantly, she is such a humble leader, an amazing friend, and one of the nicest and hardworking people you can find.”
This coming year, Levine plans to continue to expand her ties within the Jewish community through SDT and continue to “use my leadership roles as a powerful tool to give other people the opportunities that I have been able to experience.”
Levine plans on pursuing a career in banking or finance, but says that no matter where she goes in the future, this university will always be ”a place where I feel important and valued and that is just as important as what I am learning in a classroom and something I will always remember.”