The College’s office of Alumni Affairs recently hired Sandra Carroll to be its new director. Having worked in the office since late August, with 16 years of alumni affairs experience from other colleges, Carroll has done extensive reorganizing of the department, increasing its online presence and contacting alumni who had not been involved with the College in years.
The biggest improvement Carroll has created is an online community that links students and alumni into one community on the Internet. This makes it easier for both to communicate, sending e-mail to spread the word of upcoming events. This method is much easier to use than flyers.
Also, it is much easier for both the department to keep track of where alumni live and who is involved with current College events by using the online database. In a few minutes, any former alumni can record new information to be informed of College events, and the office of Alumni Affairs can be updated with new information on former students’ current occupations and locations.
Carroll has been encouraging students to become involved with Alumni Affairs, as the office provides a variety of ways for them to keep in touch. After they graduate, students need to sign up at alumnitcnj.edu, to become part of the community and participate in the events that take place on the site, including networking with College alumni who now work in their respective fields. By bridging old and new, the online community can become an important aspect of the College’s image.
As she said when she first became director, “I encourage students to get excited now, get to know alumni, imagining beyond today into the tomorrow.”
The events on campus also have had an improved attendance, which could be due to Carroll’s Web site and online community. Homecoming attracted the largest number of alumni in years. “We had 8,000 people attend, which is huge,” Carroll said.
Both recent and old classes returned for the Homecoming and Sesquicentennial celebrations, including a third of the class of 1954, the largest showing of any class at the event.
“Of the three communities I have been involved with, this one is the most vibrant,” Carroll said.
Another recent event Carroll pioneered was the College’s participation in the New Jersey Engineering Association reception in Washington. Over 600 alumni visited the College’s booth this year, and recently over 10,000 pieces of information were updated in the database.
Carroll has previously worked for Drew University and Hartwick College of Oneonta, NY, where she received her Bachelor’s in Sociology. At Drew University, she created a similar online community for students and alumni.