ALUMNI COUNCIL - Department of Communication

Saturday, April 26, 2014
Council Members: Tina Benevento*, Leslie Klonoff, Fran Mancia*, Vicki Prentice Rubin,
Kamyab Sadaghiani, Mary Shirley, Kibibi Springs, Ken Sterling*, Rebecca Law Stone
Friend of the Council: Laura McHugh
Faculty Advisors: Linda Putnam*, Karen Myers*, Anna Laura Jansma*
Department Chair: Ron Rice*
Director of Development, Social Sciences: Marcie Marsh*
Student Representative: Joshua Bell*, Communication Association Membership Director
*In attendance
April 26, 2014
Schedule –UCEN—Corwin Pavilion
AC Members arrive. Coffee and beverages available.
Alumni Council Meeting, Flying A Studios, UCEN
Alumni Lunch in Green Room
Alumni Photo
Kick-Off Career Day—39th Anniversary Celebration
Panel Sessions
Alumni-Student Mentoring Mixer and Refreshments
Alumni Reception
I. Introduction, Membership, and Budget – Linda
Linda opened the meeting and welcomed everyone. Attendees introduced themselves.
We’re looking for new members. Alumni Council (AC) members were encouraged to think about
potential members. Linda reviewed the various types of membership options and credit card
payments. The “Friends of the Alumni Council” ($1000/500) membership is to provide a
category for people who want to support the Council/Department but know that they do not have
time to activity participate in the AC. The “Supporters of the Alumni Council” ($250) is a
membership for individuals who may not have discretionary money to join the AC, but wish to
give back and are willing to volunteer 10 or more per year. This membership is designed to be a
bridge for recent grads to the AC.
Linda reported that the AC’s finances still look good. However, Career Day now costs about
$5,000. Karen talked about donors for Career Day. This year and in years past we did not solicit
donors. Last year we raised more than $2,000, but we did not have a large number of students and
students did not approach the tables. Donors were disappointed. The AC gave suggestions. At
Career Day ask alumni to talk to donating organizations. They could encourage students to
approach the tables, especially when they have jobs and internships. This will make the
organizations feel welcomed and also encourage others to approach the organizations. Fran
suggested no tables, just invite them to network. The tables create a barrier. Anna Laura agreed.
Some have asked to be a part of the speed mentoring. This year, Zaca Mesa is paying $100 to talk
to our students be a part of Career Day and participate in speed mentoring. Tina suggested
making it more comfortable for the conversations to happen. Consider cocktail tables, couches,
food interspersed and other props for interacting. Ken suggested we encourage donors to be on
the other side of the tables with the students. Other ideas included BINGO and raffles—students
must go to every both to qualify for the drawing. Flyers with donors and what positions they are
looking to fill. Supporters of the Council might be perfect for this. Anna Laura suggested we
could actually have a panel for the donors. They could each talk about their company. After the
Career Day, this could be another panel for seniors, but there are issues related to having yet
another panel.
II. Career Day
Anna Laura gave an overview of the day. Ron will be the Master of Ceremonies. To kick off the
event, Dean Melvin Oliver will welcome everyone. We will then have short talks by the three
student groups: Communication Association, Lambda Pi Eta, and the Marketing Association.
The Associated Students Food Bank will also have a presenter there asking for donations and
publicizing the food bank.
We’ve simplified the Career Day format this year. The day will include three panels (Marketing
& PR, Entertainment, and First 3 years). The speed mentoring will include 26 mentors and 25
round tables, 1-2 alumni at each of the tables. Every 15 minutes students move (rotate 2x). This
should be a less intimidating for students, allowing them to ask questions of alumni in a less
formal situation. After the speed mentoring, we will have a toast to the alumni, faculty, grad
students and staff for making Career Day possible and to celebrate the 30th anniversary.
We explained that some who graduated from the department prior to 1984 might wonder how we
can only be 30 years old. Anna Laura explained that prior to that time the department was not a
free-standing department and was known as speech communication and communication studies.
Josh made a suggestion for the Speed Mentoring sessions. He suggested we have lists of
questions available to start conversation. Many of the speed mentoring people are recent grads
and they may also feel unsure about how to start the conversation. We could also encourage
students to give 3-minute elevator speeches and/or introduce themselves and what they are
looking for in their future careers. Ron will include that in the instructions he gives at the start of
the speed mentoring session.
Karen said that we’ve focused our efforts toward getting more students to attend. Linda and
Karen offered extra credit for attendance. Anna Laura also encouraged her students to attend. In
addition, students from the Marketing Association helped with in-class announcements. The hope
is that we can get the number of student attendees up again so that we might be able to attract
donors in the future (as described above).
Anna Laura discussed an idea for future Career Days--Honorary Guest and Table of Friends.
This is an idea that has worked with the Women in Communications organization that she is a
part of. We would select a high-profile alumni and contact them telling them that we are honoring
them at our Career Day event. This can be a way to attract high profile alumni to our event. We
would need to select people to honor and may need help in selecting and recruiting high profile
people. Susan Goodall at the Alumni Association might know of some high-profile COMM
alumni. Ken said he would be happy to help make contact with those high-profile people through
his company—Big Speak. We need to get Ken a “hit list” and he will pursue it.
III. Development Initiatives
Marcie Marsh, Director of Development, Division of Social Sciences, introduced herself as our
new development contact. She is one of 2.5 people in social sciences (12 depts). She talked about
how she works with people, often trying to engage them by talking to them about their
experiences with UCSB. The keys are follow-up with people and keeping them interested. State
funding is down to 17% for UCSB. We need development.
Ron talked about the research lab facilities. Currently, they are all up-to-date, but they are fully
booked. Faculty and grad students are beginning to have difficulty in scheduling lab time. We
need a new research lab in the department. Dean Oliver has promised the space but we still need
$70K to furnish the lab. If we could secure a $100K donation, we could name it after a donor.
All agreed that alumni and companies could be contacted. Many alumni are excited to hear from
us. Marcie would like to partner with AC members for outreach. She assured them that she
would develop their trust. Some companies have matching gifts. Ken asked that our COMM
intern contact him to sort and find alumni through Linked-In. Marcie would be happy to prospect
people that we find.
Ken had a question about development. How can we be ensured that the monies go to COMM if
we bring someone to development? Marie said that we need to direct their monies to where they
are passionate.
IV. Activities
Recap of Internship Mixer for 2014
This was the third year and the event is now a Communication Association event held at the end
of February. It includes local employers and students. Students who were not Communication
Association members pay $5 to attend. Attendance: 86 students and 30 employers. Employers do
not pay to participate. The Communication Association rented Corwin for $400. Ken donated for
the cost of the refreshments. Panelists talked about internships and internship possibilities. Each
organization had a chance to introduce themselves. Students then talked to potential companies
one-on-one. Anna Laura suggested that AC members send potential employers to the event.
Several suggested that the event could evolve to also be an employment fair--not necessarily just
internships. It is better for communication students because it is not a big career fair. It is more
intimate. Ken asked if the Associated Students’ group on campus could also contribute to the
event. Anna Laura said that they do contribute a small amount.
Seniors’ Mixer—October--need date and plan
We need to decide on a date for the next AC meeting and the Senior-Alumni Mixer. In the past
we’ve tried tying it to the Bradac Lecture and to the Chancellor’s meeting. This didn’t seem like
it mattered to AC members. Fran suggested that we link to the Chancellor’s meeting since he and
others often attend that. We don’t yet know the date of that. Possibly Oct 18th? We will check on
it and let AC members know. Possibly we could do a doodle poll to find the best possible date.
The Department also hosts a wonderful Commencement celebration for our students. It follows
commencement and is held on the SS&MS 4th floor patio. Students bring their parents and
introduce them to faculty. If AC members are here, please come!
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