After graduating from the University of Arizona, Joni Saquilayan Malina, Arizona, served Tri Delta as a chapter development consultant (then known as field consultant) in 2007-2008. She then went on to attend medical school at Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. Now board-certified in internal medicine, Joni is currently an academic physician/hospitalist at St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center. She has served as an officer of the Phoenix Valley Alumnae Chapter since moving back to Arizona, including having served as events committee co-chair, membership chair, treasurer and now secretary.
How did you first hear about volunteering for Tri Delta, and what made you decide to volunteer?
I first heard about volunteering for Tri Delta as a new member of Phi Beta. Not only did I learn about lifetime membership and ways to remain involved after graduation during my new member education, I immediately witnessed the dedication of the local, regional and national volunteers. When I became collegiate chapter president, I became even more aware and appreciative of our volunteers and knew I wanted to volunteer after graduation.
Two volunteers in particular stood out: 1) Longtime University of Arizona Alumna Advisor Kathy Damstra who attended every chapter meeting, standards meeting, and several other events and mentored us despite having a full-time job and other outside responsibilities. And 2) Linda Purkapile who visited our chapter as a representative of the Fraternity during a time of chapter need. Both served as mentors, advisors and role models for me, and now I’m proud to consider both of them as friends to this day.
What do you get most out of volunteering?
What I get the most out of volunteering is being able to give back to this organization that means so much to me. I must admit when I joined Tri Delta, I didn’t fully understand what I was getting myself into. I just thought it would be a good way to get involved on campus and meet some friends. Little did I know that this organization would shape me into the woman I am today. I joined Tri Delta as a reserved freshman who didn’t realize my full potential. I was shocked when I was slated to be our chapter secretary as a freshman and president as a sophomore. I was terrified and actually almost asked to be removed from the slate both times. But I trusted my sisters who pushed me to succeed and grow both personally and professionally. I discovered that I could be a leader and team-player and be able to work with different types of people of different backgrounds. I can confidently say that my experiences through Tri Delta, from collegian to alumna, have directly prepared me for my career as a physician.
What has been the most rewarding experience?
The most rewarding experience has been contributing to the successes of Tri Delta and watching her continue to grow and flourish. I am proud to be able to continue Tri Delta’s legacy to benefit collegiate and alumnae members alike.