Alumni Trending Podcast

Alumni Trending Podcast

Alumni Trending is a podcast that explores the issues that higher education advancement professionals face each day. From episode to episode, you hear the voices of our profession discussing the challenges and opportunities they face and the innovative and creative solutions they deploy. As advancement professionals, we are here to lead a movement, a mobilization of our alumni in service to their alma mater. Listen for ideas. Listen for inspiration. Listen for professional development. Subscribe to Alumni Trending on your favorite podcast app today.


June 6, 2021 35 mins

On this episode of the podcast, I talk with Wendy Wilsker, managing partner, with Boyden, an international executive search firm.  Our trend lines include:

  • the current state of executive search;
  • allyship for the Jewish community; and 
  • understanding the executive search process. 

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On this episode of the podcast, I talk with Steven Mezzacappa, author of Passion With Purpose.  Our trend lines include:

  • go beyond living your passion...experience it ;
  • struggles with depression and removing mental health stigma; and 
  • understanding career and personal fulfillment. 

Special rate: Download his new book for .99 cents on Amazon


Steven Mezzacappa is a  g...

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On this episode of the podcast, I talk with Dr. Yonette Thomas of Strategic Transitions LLC.  Our trend lines include:

  • when your career lightbulb flickers;
  • incorporating all your passions; and 
  • the ongoing social justice movement and push for equity in higher education.

Dr. Yonette Felicity Thomas is a globally acknowledged thought leader, urban health champion, and an advocate for valuing the health of women and girls...

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On this episode of the podcast, I talk with Dale Wright, Associate Dean of Advancement in the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois.  Our trend lines include:

  • the transition from alumni relations to development and the tough decision to leave your alma mater;
  • preparing young professionals for a career in advancement;
  • helping Deans and academic leaders build their fundraising acumen; and 
  • the ongoing social j...
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On this episode, I talk with Lauren Hamilton, Associate Director of Student and Recent Alumni Programs at Boise State.

Trendlines include:

  • the challenge of COVID,
  • Student Engagement, and
  • the CASE ASAP community.
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This episode's trend lines include:

  • the impact of developing your team;
  • launching a campaign during a pandemic; and
  • and service to CASE.

Shaun Keister became UC Davis’ first vice chancellor for development and alumni relations in 2011 and functions as the campus’s chief development officer, leading a team of over 300, and president of the UC Davis Foundation. In his role as vice chancellor, Keister also serves on ...

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On this episode of Alumni Trending, we dive into engaging diverse alumni with the University of Oregon's, A. Philanda Moore.  Trend lines include:

A. Philanda (A.P.) Moore is the assistant director for alumni engagement, affinity groups. As the...

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On this episode of Alumni Trending, we talk with Todd McCubbin, Executive Director of the Mizzou Alumni Association.  Trendlines include:

  • learnings from Covid-19;
  • building a diversity, equity, and inclusion infrastructure; and
  • disruption in Alumni Engagement.

Todd is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations and Executive Director of the Mizzou Alumni Association. As the chief alumni relations officer, Todd le...

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On this episode,  I talk with Sara Wald, Senior Director of Development with the NDSU Foundation:
Today's trend lines include:
- her career journey,
- support of colleagues through COVID -19, 
- and a little NDSU Bison sports talk.

Sara Wald has worked in higher education advancement for 19 years at North Dakota State University. Passion for keeping alumni and students connected has driven Sara...

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What's Up Trendsetters!

Today, I talk with Rob DiMartino, Co-founder and Chief Evangelist at Finalsite:
Today's trend lines include:
- the entrepreneurial journey,
- key elements of an engagement strategy, 
- UConn sports, and
- life and leadership lessons learned from Dee Rowe.


Rob DiMartino, Co-Founder and Chief Evangelist at Finalsite, has presented globally on effective use of strategic web commun...

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On this episode,  I visit with Caitlin Johnson, Director of Alumni Engagement at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.  

Trendlines include:

  • building a college-based engagement program;
  • college-based affiliate groups; and
  • engagement through COVID.

Caitlin Johnson facilitates, maintains, and grows relationships connecting alumni back to the business school and bring people together to continue to support the missio...

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NOTE: This episode was produced before the University of Cincinnati appeared in the 2021 Peach Bowl.

On this episode,  I visit with Jennifer Heisey, Chief Alumni Relations Officer for the University of Cincinnati and we discuss data and customization for richer alumni engagement.  

Trendlines include:

  • learnings from 2020;
  • optimism for 2021; and
  • her plan to leverage data to customize alumni engagement.

Jennifer Heisey i...

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A conversation with the Vice President for Advancement at Lander University (SC), Mike Worley, about learnings from 2020 and the state of higher education advancement.

Trend lines:
- learnings from 2020;
- looking forward to 2021; and
- launching a campaign in 2021.

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A conversation with William Corbin, Vice President of Revenue and Brand Partnerships for Sound that Brands.

Trend lines include:

  • Engagement through podcasting;
  • telling your brands story; and
  • revenue generation.
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What's Up Trendsetters!

Today, I talk with Viannca Velez, Director of Alumni Communication and Digital Engagement at Seton Hall University. Our trend lines include:
- ramping up digital engagement,
- podcasting, and 
- conversations about racial equality.

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Today, I talk with Dr. Kevin Fleming, Co-Founder and CEO of Prosper, a consulting firm that provides guidance to nonprofit organizations to transform their engagement and philanthropic programs, specializing in fundraising practice, Board management, volunteer programs, event planning, and communications.
Today’s trend lines include:
– student experience is the strongest indicator of alumni involvement,
– pots of water ...

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What's Up Trendsetters!

Today, I talk with Alisha Hartley, CASE resident and Assistant Director of Leadership Giving at Penn State.
Today's trend lines include:
- perspective of a new professional,
- self-care and grace, 
- CASE residency program, and
- development in Covid times.


Alisha Hartley is a native of Monroe, NC. She earned a B.A. in Psychology and minors in Entrepreneurship & Social Ente...

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Today,  I talk with Mo Cotton Kelly, the Vice President for Alumni Relations and Communications at the UConn Foundation
Today's trend lines include:
- COVID-19 engagement,
- UConn's advancement model, and
- Leadership in challenging times.

Vice President, Alumni Relations and Communications

Mo Cotton Kelly leads the University of Connecticut Alumni Relations s...

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What's Up Trendsetters!

Today,  I talk with Dr. Anthony McAdoo, the Executive Director of the WKU Alumni Association.
Today's trend lines include:
- COVID-19 innovation,
- the new WKU Alumni diversity, equity and inclusion council, and
- his advice to new professionals

Dr. Anthony McAdoo currently serves as the Executive Director of the WKU Alumni Association. He holds three degrees in agriculture an...

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What's Up Trendsetters!

Today, I talk with a panel of experts about engaging graduate and doctoral alumni from alumni relations, career development, and philanthropic perspectives.  Our panelists include:

  • Anna De Cheke Qualls, Director of External and Alumni Relations, Graduate School, University of Maryland (Linkedin)
  • Natalie Lundsteen, Assistant Dean for Career and Professional Development, University of Texas Sou...
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