In celebration of Alpha Phi’s 150th Anniversary in 2022, we proudly share stories and moments that have created the legacy of sisterhood originally launched by our ten founders and which we still hold dear today.
This is story 3 of 150.
RFM: Organizing Data in Formal Recruitment
Laura Malley-Schmitt (Zeta Phi-MIT) and Tara Riemer (Zeta Omicron-Johns Hopkins) are the women responsible for bringing the Release Figure Methodology (RFM) analysis program that is used on every college campus that hosts a formal recruitment with National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) organizations. The creation of RFM transformed the way all NPC organizations approached the recruitment process and is coming up on its 20th year of use.
“We track statistics from previous recruitments in a way that helps to project the statistics for the current recruitment year. [In using RFM to look at the data,] specialists are able to adjust invitation numbers during recruitment to get the best result for all chapters,” said Tara.
“I started by analyzing data sets of multiple campuses and developing some modeling that drew from my background at MIT,” said Laura of how she began working on RFM. “I also interviewed a number of NPC representatives and fraternity and sorority affairs staff that had done some experimentation on their campuses – outside of the law of averages formula that had been used for 50 years.”
Laura Malley-Schmitt (Zeta Phi-MIT) - pictured here - and Tara Riemer (Zeta Omicron-Johns Hopkins) the women behind RFM, helped transform the approach to formal recruitment for National Panhellenic Conference organizations.
After the fundamental model was developed, Tara and Laura piloted the program on nine campuses in 2002 – 2003 as they refined the process. These included Florida, Washington, Michigan, UC Santa Barbara, William and Mary, UC San Diego, Georgia Tech, Maine and Mississippi State. Forty additional campuses were added the next year, and 68 more in 2005.
It was designed to use a modified version of excel workbooks in the effort to deliver more accurate data. Today, 508 campuses use RFM.
Thanks to the passion these women have for sorority life and their love of Alpha Phi, the recruitment process has advanced. Over the years, Laura has held a variety of roles including but not limited to Alpha Phi International President, International Executive Board director, international governor and collegiate chapter strategy committee chair. Additionally, she was part of the alumnae strategy team and NPC delegation. Tara has taken on roles as an NPC delegate, alumnae chapter president, recruitment and chapter advisor, as well as serving on the collegiate membership strategy and extension committees.
We appreciate Laura and Tara for their commitment to excellence!
Laura Malley-Schmitt (Zeta Phi-MIT) and Tara Riemer (Zeta Omicron-Johns Hopkins) - pictured here, the women behind RFM, helped transform the approach to formal recruitment for National Panhellenic Conference organizations.