Hi everyone! My name is Laura Winikka, and I’m the Philanthropy Vice President of Alpha Xi Delta! I plan all of our philanthropy events, such as Taco Xi and Football FrenXi, as well as other fundraising efforts for Autism Speaks. I also plan activities, organize tabling on campus, and facilitate lighting up local buildings blue for World Autism Month in April. Autism Speaks means so much to me and all of my sisters, and I love how rewarding it is to raise money for such an awesome organization!
Besides working on philanthropy projects, one of my favorite experiences in Alpha Xi Delta has been living in the house. This year I have gotten so much closer with all of the girls in my pledge class, especially my roommate Chelsea Perry. It has been so nice to come home from a difficult, busy day of classes to have dinner with my sisters, to blast music while getting ready together for big events, and to have companions when I’m up late preparing for exams.
I’m notorious for camping out in the same seat in the dining room for hours or even days when I have a big test or a lot of assignments due. However, when I’m not at the house or in class, you’ll probably find me at the Dell Pediatric Research Institute. I’m a sophomore Honors Advanced Nutritional Sciences major, and I am also an undergraduate research assistant in a molecular breast and prostate cancer research lab. Undergraduate research and Alpha Xi Delta are two of the most beneficial and meaningful opportunities that I have taken part in at the University of Texas, and I am extremely grateful for both of them!