Tell us a bit about your career background, and what brought you to the University of London.
I’m from Chicago. My career in higher education started back in 2001 when I worked in the library at the University of Illinois, before moving to the career services office within its alumni office.
From there, I worked in the private sector for a few years before moving to development and operations in the non-profit sector. For a number of years, I worked as a consular officer with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (formerly the FCO), working to assist British nationals in the United States. I then returned to higher education, working in alumni relations for a few years before doing database management work at Roosevelt University.
Upon moving to the UK, I worked at the Royal College of Art as its Alumni Relations Manager, before moving on to North London Collegiate School and worked as an Alumnae Relations Manager there. I started working at the University of London in August 2021.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Alongside my work in Higher Education institutions, I’m a writer and essayist, having work published in anthologies, journals, magazines. As a writer, I also appear on panels and talks, as well.
What does your role at the University involve?
As Alumni Engagement Manager, I work to foster our global community of alumni, through various projects such as events, nurturing alumni groups, and working with our alumni volunteers. Alumni are key to a University because they tell the story of its history, as well as its present and future; their contribution to their disciplines, industries, and communities is a reflection on the world-class education of the University. Alumni also play a key role in supporting our current students through volunteering and donations.
It’s going well, so far. I’ve never worked with an alumni population quite as large as the University, but we have more alumni than most, so that’s not a surprise! I have experience working with global alumni, so though it’s a learning curve, I’m doing well.
What is the most interesting part of your job?
The most interesting part of the job – and the favourite – is meeting alumni, one-to-one. I am inspired by learning their stories, hearing about their work, and understanding their interests – particularly if it’s to do with innovation, entrepreneurship, or social justice work.
What is your favourite thing about the University of London?
My favourite thing is two-fold and related: the diverse and dynamic alumni community as well as the University’s history, especially in its expansion of education to women.
What activities and initiatives are you working on at the moment that alumni can look forward to?
We’re looking at events and expanding our volunteer opportunities for our global alumni. As we’re (hopefully) moving away from lockdowns, I’m excited about the chances for our alumni to be able to gather and meet. I’m also working with The Careers Group at the University to see what projects, such as panel talks, we can host. It’s an exciting time.
What would you say to alumni who are wanting to get more involved in supporting the University and its students?
I would say to contact me and let me know that you’re interested. There are lots of things our alumni can do for the University and its students. We are always looking for speakers for our talks. We also have a great Alumni Ambassador programme, and so interested alumni should keep their eyes open in summer next year, for when our next call comes out. We also have global groups, which serve a great purpose, as well.
Is there anything else you would like to highlight to our alumni community?
I would like to say that in the short time that I’ve been here, I’ve been bowled over by the kindness of members of the alumni community; I’ve also been inspired by the innovative, dynamic work of the alumni – whether it’s in non-profit work, education, business, or the arts. This is a fabulous group.
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