The Cobb Cab: Student Philanthropy Programming + Why Students Are the Key to Alumni Engagement (and Giving)

Sunday, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Student engagement and giving is usually a secondary focus of alumni relations offices—if it is a priority at all. But building relationships with students is key to creating both a healthy engagement pipeline for future alumni and robust alumni engagement in the present. This session focuses on specific tactics to serve student needs and then engage them in conversations about philanthropy. This innovation requires reconsidering outdated programming, listening and responding to students’ preferences, adopting a “give to get” mindset, and forging strategic cross-campus partnerships. Learn best practices you can take back to your campus to increase student engagement and giving.


Matt Dymoke, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, Concordia College

Eric Johnson, Director, Alumni Relations, Concordia College

Tristan Neviske

Mara Zepeda


The Life Cycle of Engagement, An Innovative Organizational Model

Sunday, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Michigan Technological University is pleased to present our Student Affairs and Advancement Lifecycle of Engagement model for the CASE V conference session. This session details the successful fusion of Michigan Tech’s student affairs, advancement and alumni engagement units. This organizational structure has incorporated a dynamic and very unique organizational model that engages students from pre-college programs through their planned gift. This merger brought together the following departments; advancement, alumni engagement, enrollment management, university relations, marketing and communications, athletics, the dean of students and student activities. To our knowledge, there are no other higher education institutions that have aligned Student Affairs and Advancement under one Vice President for Student Affairs and Advancement.


William R. Roberts, Associate Vice President of Advancement and Alumni Engagement, Michigan Technological University

Les Cook, Vice President for Student Affairs and Advancement, Michigan Technological University


Alumni and Development: Leveraging Collaboration

Monday, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

This session focuses on the true partnership of alumni and development working together to leverage resources for mutual outcomes.  It takes into consideration shrinking budgets and staff resources, and will highlight engagement, stewardship and cultivation strategies during a campaign cycle.  Areas of reference will include events and engagement strategies, community and corporate programming, cost sharing, and collaborative national campaign events.  Additionally, we will introduce tools that have advanced our alumni and development objectives by streamlining systems, planning and reporting to include alumni affinity scoring used for segmented target marketing and engagement.  Finally, we have created an alumni engagement management tool that compliments the development model by entering alumni actions into the database making this a truly collaborative effort in developing strategy and execution through portfolio management.


Adrienne Bass, Associate Vice Chancellor, University of Milwaukee -Wisconsin

Patrick Kessenich, Chief Operations Officer and Director Major and Planned Gifts, University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee


ECE Expeditions: Utilizing Alumni Volunteers to Create VIP Engagement Experiences for Students

Monday, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Michigan has taken a proposal from an alumni council subcommittee and launched a new VIP engagement experience for current students. ECE Expeditions places a unique emphasis on seeing the inside of an organization through the eyes of a Michigan engineering alumnus. Visits are carefully crafted by partnering with alumni to highlight the daily lives and career paths of engineers including projects they undertake, challenges they face, and opportunities they have to grow. Join us to learn how the program was established, what we’ve learned after four trips and what’s next.


Kristin McDonough, Electrical and Computer Engineering Alumni Relations Manager, University of Michigan

Lisa Armstrong, ECE Unit Administrator, University of Michigan

Ann Stals, ECE Events Manager, University of Michigan


Commit, Kill or Reinvent: What to do with Events that Just Don’t Work

Monday, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

We all have (at least) one: the event we dread planning. It drifts in the wilderness, seemingly without purpose or merit — and yet, “we’ve always done it this way.” In this session, we’ll provide a roadmap for tackling, transforming and, yes — taking out — your organization’s wayward events. Through real-life examples, we’ll provide a road map for assessing events and utilizing data to gain buy-in from leadership to take the crucial next step: to reinvest, reinvent or kick it to the curb.


Matthew S. Helmer, Executive Director, CSU Events & Community Engagement, Colorado State University

Angela Joens, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Development Outreach, UC Davis


Engaging Young Alumni through Successful Volunteer Leadership

Monday, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

With a rapidly expanding young alumni population, Oakland University saw a need to create meaningful connections with its most recent graduates – and thus the Young Alumni Chapter was born. Over the past three years, the Young Alumni Chapter’s objectives have focused on serving one-third of the alumni population through innovative niche programs and sold-out events. In this one-hour session, explore how the council gained traction and found success by identifying key volunteers, focusing on social engagement, recognizing recent graduates, and educating young alumni on the power of philanthropy with collaboration between alumni engagement and annual giving.


Amanda Fylan, Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement, Oakland University


Diversity and Inclusion:  Thoughts and Strategies from the Field

Monday, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

How do we meet the needs of our student body and create a reality in which we are serving all of our students and alumni? How do we ensure that our alumni are able to relate to our student body as it exists today? How do we do our part to create an equitable environment for ourselves and our colleagues? We’ll share some thoughts, from our experiences, on how we can insure that we are assisting all alumni and growing the engaged base. Additionally, we’ll offer some current thoughts on subjects such as microaggressions, safe spaces, intersectionality, and more.


Bobby Dunlap, Senior Associate Director, Alumni Engagement, Northwestern University

Neely Heubach, Associate Director, Alumni Engagement, Macalester College

LaDarius Gorden, Assistant Director, Student-Alumni Programs, Purdue University



Does your alumni board provide value?

Tuesday, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Is your Alumni Board relevant today and for the future of your institution? We will share the Strategic Alignment process of the Northwestern Alumni Board and professional staff undertook to develop common goals, improve transparency and communications and provide meaningful engagement for volunteers.


Laura Wayland, Executive Director, Northwestern Alumni Association & Alumni Engagement, Northwestern University

Mark Ledogar, Immediate Past President, Northwestern Alumni Association, Northwestern University

Samir Mayekar, President, Northwestern Alumni Association, Northwestern University


How to Engage Your Alumni Virtually 

Tuesday, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Anna Ghiotti, Marketing Specialist, Harper College, and Cassie Petoskey, Assistant Director for Alumni Engagement, Northwestern University, will discuss the implementation of different types of virtual alumni engagement opportunities. Ghiotti will discuss Harper College’s Virtual 5K, an annual virtual event, and Petoskey will discuss the Northwestern Alumni Association podcast, an ongoing virtual engagement program. They will discuss how to stay relevant with alumni through launching innovative programs, through either annual and/or ongoing virtual programs. They will review how they developed each new program; where the idea came from, getting buy-in from senior leadership, and the logistics of managing an additional program.


Anna Ghiotti, Marketing Specialist, Harper College

Cassie Alumni Petoskey, Assistant Director, Alumni Engagement, Northwestern University


From Theory to Best Practice – An Alumni Engagement Metric Discussion

Tuesday, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

In Summer 2018, CASE published its Alumni Engagement Metrics Whitepaper. The Whitepaper provides a basic framework to measure alumni engagement. This session will review the Whitepaper framework and will provide practical examples of how your institution can measure alumni engagement and begin developing its own engagement metric.


Caryn Korman, Executive Director – University of Illinois at Chicago Alumni Association 

Josh Harraman, Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations, Rutgers University