Social sorority for female engineers colonized at Vanderbilt

Phi Sigma Rho National Council Visit
Phi Sigma Rho National Council Visit


Phi Sigma Rho, a social sorority for women in engineering and engineering technologies, was recently colonized at Vanderbilt University. The sorority was approved as a student organization and provides female students with a network of academic support and encouragement.

Phi Sigma Rho was founded in 1984 by Abby MacDonald and Rashmi Khanna at Purdue University. MacDonald and Khanna were unable to participate in traditional sorority rushes due to the demands of their engineering program, so they decided to start their own sorority instead. The Alpha chapter was founded with ten members.

The sorority is also committed to bettering the community with various philanthropic and community service events.

“Nationally, Phi Sigma Rho supports the American Cancer Society and the Girl Scouts,” said junior chemical engineering student and Phi Sigma Rho President Tori Trout. “Our group is actively participating in Vanderbilt’s Relay for Life, and we are planning on attending and helping with two Girl Scout events this semester.”

The interest group was brought to Vanderbilt’s campus during the 2013 spring semester. The Alpha class recruited 15 young women dedicated to expanding their small group into a chapter. During that semester, they became recognized by Phi Sigma Rho National Council as an interest group and began the process to become a colony. The group is officially a colony and currently has 19 members, six of which were recruited during the fall semester.

Their faculty adviser is Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Kelly Holley-Bockelman.