Alpha Xi Delta hosts Inaugural Summer Immersion Experience

Monday, August 6, 2012 10:00 am

Indianapolis, IN – Alpha Xi Delta proudly hosted the Fraternity’s first Summer Immersion Experience in Washington, D.C., from Sunday, July 29 through Saturday, August 4, 2012.

Fourteen collegiate members had the opportunity to spend six days fully immersed in the four pillars of Autism Speaks – research, advocacy, family services and awareness.

Participants stayed at Georgetown University and participated in the following activities:

  • Toured an autism research facility and observed actual scientific research

  • Met with legislators on Capitol Hill to discuss autism legislation

  • Visited the Ivymount School which provides quality educational programs and therapeutic services to students with special needs from 4 to 21 years of age.

  • Assisted at a pool party for families and children affected by autism

  • Hosted an Autism Awareness Night with the Washington Nationals Baseball Team
  • Volunteered at Bike to the Beach, a one-day, 104-mile charity ride starting in the District of Columbia and ending in Dewey Beach, Delaware, to benefit Autism Speaks

“We are thrilled to be able to provide our undergraduate members with this amazing leadership experience. For these women to have a hands-on opportunity to fulfill the mission of Autism Speaks is one step further for us to help change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders,” said Elysia Gallivan, Alpha Xi Delta’s National Executive Director.

The following women were participants in Alpha Xi Delta’s inaugural Summer Immersion Experience.

Samantha Barley, Marietta College
Lisa Bresson, Florida Atlantic University
Callie Brown, Purdue University
Jesse Harris, Auburn University                                                                                  
Kaitlin Hart, Slippery Rock University                                                 

April Kirkland, Western Michigan University
Letisha Noyes, California State University, Northridge
Katherine Petrosky, Youngstown State University
Kayla Recchio, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Courtney Roberts, University of Alabama at Birmingham 
Shelby Sweeney, Florida Atlantic University

This experience was facilitated by Alpha Xi Delta staff members Megan Horst, Associate Director of Area Development, and Brittany Donatelli, Leadership Coach, along with Alpha Xi Delta volunteers Jennifer Beeman Zipf and Jennifer O'Donnell Breisacher. Ann Boeker Gibbons, Executive Director for Autism Speaks National Capital Area and Alpha Xi Delta Sister, also served as a facilitator for this event.

View photos from this event.

Alpha Xi Delta partnered with Autism Speaks in 2009. Since then, Alpha Xi Delta has raised more than $800,000 for our philanthropic partner. Our college chapters and alumnae associations raise awareness and funds by participating in various Walk Now for Autism Speaks events across the country and hosting AmaXIng Challenges at our host institutions. For more information Alpha Xi Delta’s partnership with Autism Speaks, visit the philanthropy section of our website at

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks