the Delta Gamma Blog

Looking Back at a Year on the Road with Our Two Named CDCs

Tracy, Lexie, Ella and Leslie pose together
Tracey Williams, Fraternity Executive Director, CDC Lexie, CDC Ella, and Leslie Martin, Foundation Executive Director

For over 75 years, Collegiate Development Consultants (CDCs) have been an integral part in the growth and development of the Do Good Sisterhood. In recognition of the character and quality of CDCs, two awards are given each year through the Delta Gamma Foundation. The Stuart Award was established by Helen Catherine (H.K.) Davis Stuart, Kappa-Nebraska, in 1995, for the CDC with the highest interview score. The Baynard Award, created by Mildred Moyer Baynard, Kappa-Nebraska, recognizes the CDC who will work with Delta Gamma's newest chapter.

The 2022 recipients of these awards were announced last summer:

  • Alexie (Lexi) Rendon, Gamma Xi-Texas Tech, 2022 Stuart Consultant
  • Ella Brown, Epsilon Phi-Loyola, 2022 Baynard Consultant

Lexie and Ella were featured in the Foundation's 2021-2022 Annual Impact Report, where we learned what they were looking forward to and what they intended to accomplish during their year on the road.

As the academic year comes to an end, Lexie and Ella shared personal reflections about their experiences and memories that will remain close to their hearts forever.

Ella Brown, Epsilon Phi-Loyola

Ella headshot in a green shirt
Ella with a DG block
Ella and attendees at Anchor Academy

“This past year as a CDC has truly been a year of challenges, growth and new experiences. From assisting Epsilon Kappa-Clemson with their first formal recruitment to watching Bachelor in Paradise with the women of Beta Gamma-Utah, this job is anything but boring! I simply hope that I have made an impact on the women who have made such an impact on my life!

One of my favorite memories this year was serving as a facilitator at Anchor Academy in Seattle. It was wonderful seeing and meeting other staff members, alumnae volunteers and Friends of the Anchor while exploring a new city! Another one of my favorite memories is playing sardines with the other CDCs while staying at EO for training! In case you were wondering, there are so many great hiding spots at Executive Offices!

I'm so thankful that the CDC program has given me such an amazing team of women who truly support each other on both personal and professional levels. They inspire me to be the best version of myself each and every day, and I hope these friendships will last a lifetime!"

Lexi Rendon, Gamma Xi-Texas Tech

Lexie and her guide dog
Lexie and friend at a game
Lexie with her guide dog and friend at a theme park

“As we approach the 150-year celebration, I can’t help but reflect on the many incredible leaders of our fraternity and all those to come. I feel blessed and honored that I was chosen to be one of them. My year as a CDC is one that I will never forget. Time and time again, I am inspired by the courage, ambition, joy, love and passion our collegians have for life in and outside of Delta Gamma.

Additionally, I feel so fortunate to have met the most genuine and kind-hearted advisers, regional volunteers and alumnae who welcomed me with open arms and reminded me how much of a treat and privilege it is to be part of this sisterhood.

Of all the memories, I am most thankful for those spent making genuine connections and getting to know women for who they truly are. From deep talks about life passions while grabbing sushi, to late-night chats about alumnae life over hot tea, to hiking while telling funny childhood stories, to all the times in between, these are moments I will never forget.  Thank you to the many sisters who have made my year as a consultant so special. I am forever grateful for you.”


The Delta Gamma Foundation proudly funds Training and Programming opportunities through generous gifts to the Foundation, in the areas of social responsibility, health and well-being, and leadership. This includes the Collegiate Development Consultant program, which is funded in part by the Foundation.

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Ed and Sully, a yellow lab guide dog, sit outside in Florida on a metal bench.

Service for Sight Grant Creates a Perfect Pair

This is the story of Ed and Sully, a perfect partnership that was made possible by a Service for Sight grant from the Delta Gamma Foundation to Southeastern Guide Dogs. Ed and Sully are an inspiring pair and are proud to share their story with you. 

Ed Burton is a U.S. Navy veteran and operating engineer mechanic, who was unable to continue serving due to vision loss. Having lost his sense of purpose in a sighted world, Ed felt adrift and isolated. But Sully, a four-legged firecracker full of energy, nicknamed his "Alfa Romeo sports car" wouldn’t let Ed give up. Now, these two are living life to the fullest, side by side, ready for any adventure. 

Before receiving his first guide dog, Ed was using only a cane. Although the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs kept telling Ed he should consider getting a guide dog to aid mobility and independence, Ed was not interested at the time. For the most part, he managed to get around without too much trouble, except one day when he crossed the street while jogging with his cane. He didn’t hear anyone coming, so he proceeded into the crosswalk. A car quickly approached and turned right without stopping and hit him on his left side. It became apparent to Ed that he needed a guide dog as a result of the accident. 

The process of being matched with a guide dog is extensive. The applicant completes a detailed questionnaire and phone screening about their lifestyle, where they live, what they like to do, and anything else that might help them find their perfect partner. The puppy raisers also take notes about the dogs they are raising through the process. Using all the information collected, the center determines which dog will best suit the recipient. There is typically a backup dog in case the first match doesn’t work – sometimes it is just a matter of trial and error.  

For Ed, once he was matched with Sully, he attended a puppy boot camp for 26 days where he lived on campus and learned how to work with his new companion. His favorite moments with Sully during that first month were recalled by Ed: “My favorite part of the training was about the second week in, as you’re bonding. I was with Sully and told her to sit and stay with the trainers. They then took me and sat me down in a chair in a different section of the hallway and I called to her. She came running and launched herself and hit me in the chest.” 

Now, one year later, Ed is living an independent life. He is passionate about sharing his story and how receiving a guide dog changed his life. “I trust my life with this dog. She keeps me from falling into holes, running into tree limbs, and so much more. She has literally saved my life twice. It’s amazing the work they do. And the dogs just seem to know who needs them.” 

And the story gets even sweeter – Sully’s puppy-raiser is a Delta Gamma! Cheryl Hoffman Zsido Poage, Gamma Upsilon-Wichita State, was integral in Sully’s fundamental training, bringing this do good story full circle.  

Cheryl holds Sully while she licks the side of Cheryl's face.
Sully sits outside with her blue collar that says 'Guide Dogs for the Blind.' This photo is from when she was a puppy.
Dave and Cheryl Poage stand outside with Sully in front of a large rock that has 'Southeastern Guide Dogs' along with their logo engraved in it.

Cheryl shared, “I began raising puppies for Southeastern Guide Dogs in 2015 as a part of a service learning project with my students. I have raised six puppies for Southeastern Guide Dogs, including Sully. We received Sully at 8 weeks old, and we worked with her until she was 18 months old. As a puppy-raiser, we are responsible for teaching our pups basic cues and socialization, and Southeastern Guide Dogs provides the puppy raisers with all the resources needed to successfully raise the pups. Once the puppy reaches anywhere from 14-18 months they are called back to Southeastern Guide Dogs to begin formal training. This is done by professional trainers, and this is where the puppies begin training for various careers, including Guide Dogs, Veteran Service Dogs or a handful of other careers. Once the puppy graduates,  the match process begins, and the puppy will be placed with its handler.  

Sully was a fun pup to raise.  She was very smart and loved to work. When she saw her coat, she knew it was time to go out and practice her cues — nothing made her happier than that. When she was off work, she was a silly girl just like any other lab puppy you might meet. My favorite things about raising Sully were her can-do attitude and confidence. She was always up for the next challenge whether it was canine fitness, working on distractions, or fine-tuning basic cues. When we turned Sully back over to Southeastern Guide Dogs, she never once looked back. It was almost as if she was saying, ‘I’ve got this!’” 

Sully poses in her graduation cap with Cheryl.
Puppy Sully sleeps on the floor, exhausted.
Ed and Sully
Ed and Sully
Sully stands in her harness at an ice cream shop.
Sully stands outside in front of a sign that says 'Taco Shack'

Southeastern Guide Dogs reaches a variety of people in need and offers guide dogs to adults and teens with vision loss, as well as service dogs to veterans with PTSD and other disabilities, all at no charge to the recipient. They also provide skilled companion dogs, facility therapy dogs and Gold Star Family Dogs to individuals and families facing emotional hardships, such as depression or the loss of a loved one in the military. If you are interested in becoming a puppy raiser or would like more information on the services Southeastern Guide Dogs provides, please visit

The Delta Gamma Foundation is committed to supporting organizations that share our mission of Service for Sight. In the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the Foundation awarded 63 Service for Sight grants totaling $400,000 to national organizations to fund programs benefiting people living with blindness or low vision.