Tag: university

AT18. Steward of our Profession with Abby Hopkins of Penn State

What’s Up Trendsetters!

Today, I talk with Abby Hopkins, Associate Director of Development, College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State and most recent chair of the CASE District V conference.
Today’s trend lines include:

  • growing in your career at 1 institution
  • Getting involved with your professional organization 
  • The power of professional networking

Since 1999, Abby Hopkins has played in integral role in the success of Penn State’s fundraising efforts, first as a development assistant and stewardship professional in the College of Agricultural Sciences, and then working in stewardship University-wide to provide guidance and leadership on stewardship policy, procedures and best practices. In 2018, Abby decided on a career shift and returned to the College of Agricultural Sciences to apply her stewardship knowledge to major gift fundraising.
Helping people reach their full potential, making meaningful connections with others, and continuous learning has been a thread throughout her career, and in 2015 Abby joined the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District V conference committee to contribute to her profession. This service culminated in her role as conference chair for the 2019 conference, which was held in Chicago this past December.
Abby holds a bachelor’s degree from Penn State in Human Development and Family Studies and is a graduate of the University Scholar’s program. A lifelong resident of State College, Abby is one of nine Penn Staters in her family and a lifetime member of the Penn State Alumni Association. 

AT17. Start-Up Mentality with Virginia’s Cindy Fredrick

What’s Up Trendsetters!

On this episode, I talk with Cindy Frederick, Associate Vice President, University of Virginia. Cindy is the 2020 Faculty Chair of the Summer Institute in Alumni Relations.

Today’s trend lines include:
– start-up mentality through COVID-19,
– providing resources for volunteers,
– and the power of the alumni professional community.

Quick Listening Guide
at 2:59 Career in Alumni Relations
at 6:03 UVa Office of Engagement
at 9:36 Startup mentality to overcome COVID 19
at 9:50 Believe You Can
at 11:01 Fight the Fear
at 11:21 Be nimble not perfect
at 14:03 Support the volunteers with platforms
at 14:35 150 virtual events, regional focus
at 22:25 Tenet of alumni relations: Stories increases the value of your institutions degree
at 27:42 Story about our community of practice

Cindy Fredrick is a respected leader with over 30 years of administrative experience in higher education and community-based organizations. Throughout her career, Cindy has been a champion for building community through mission-driven results, volunteer engagement, and philanthropic support.

Cindy currently leads the University of Virginia’s central engagement office for alumni, parents, and friends. A founding leader of UVA’s  Office of Engagement, created in 2006, her team has produced over 16,000 events, engaging thousands of constituents in the life of the University. In FY20, her office produced 1,000 events (20% virtual), registering over 63,000 constituents (50% virtual).  The Office of Engagement is the lead producer of all alumni engagement events at UVA, representing 67% of events and 54% of event registrations.

In her role as AVP, Cindy created an inclusive constituent engagement model for all alumni, parents, and friends, regardless of membership, affiliation, or donor status. She created a volunteer centered approach where alumni, parents, and faculty are key players in the design and delivery of engagement content.  Cindy oversees the central annual giving team, including the creation of The Virginia Fund, which raises financial support for Presidential priorities. She serves on the University Advancement senior leadership and the $5 billion capital campaign team.

Cindy previously served as President and CEO for Madison House, UVA’s award-winning volunteer service non-profit organization. Before her time at UVA, she held leadership positions with the Virginia coalition of sexual assault crisis centers, a start-up professional touring theatre for children, and long-term care facilities where she helped create the first Alzheimer’s unit in California.

A dedicated volunteer, she is the recipient of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s Crystal Apple Award for Teaching Excellence and has taught at over ten international conferences. Cindy is the current chair for the Institute for Alumni Relations, a former CASE District III board member, and co-chair for the 2015 conference. Board Chair appointments have included: Virginia Campus Outreach Opportunity League, Charlottesville Social Services Advisory Board, and Jefferson Area Board for Aging-Retired Volunteers.

Cindy holds a B.S.W. from Luther College and an M.Ed. from California State Sacramento. She is a recipient of UVA’s Champion Respect@ Award, a  member of the 2020 Advancement Leadership Lab, a graduate of Leadership Charlottesville, and a graduate of UVA’s Leadership in Academic Matters program.

AT16. Integrated marketing, racial equity and tough conversations with Tom Bull

What’s Up Trendsetters!

Today, I talk with Tom Bull, former Executive Director of Alumni Engagement at Portland State University.
Today’s trend lines include:
– alumni marketing and communication,
– trends in alumni engagement, and
– his perspective as an African-American in higher ed advancement.

Quick Listening Guide
at 4:26 Finding a passion for alumni relations
at 6:09 Four Foci: Student Outreach, Strategic Communications, Volunteerism On-Campus and Volunteerism Off-campus
at 6:28 Strategic Communications on a budget
at 8:51 Connect Alumni to the University not the Association
at 10:20 Adjusting to culture of campus and region
at 11:15 Unconscious bias and slights
at 11:59 Public vs Private
at 14:08 Honest truths about being a Black professional in higher education
at 17:30 Being anti-racist by having conversations
at 17:45 Be anti-racist by showing up
at 18:55 Be anti-racist by learning
at 20:32 Fair hiring practices in higher education
at 24:45 Alumni Clubs now called Networks

Tom Bull was the executive director for the Portland State University Alumni Association serving more than 185,000 (+) graduates 2011 – January 2020. He was responsible for overseeing and managing all alumni association activities and communications including serving as a member of the Foundation’s executive team for alumni engagement, Advocacy, and communications while representing the continuing interests and affinities of graduates at the University.

Tom has worked in the advancement field since 1995, serving in leadership roles for Northwestern University, Loyola University Chicago, DePaul University and Bastyr University. He has a strong belief in supporting communities: activities include service to his alma mater alumni in various volunteer roles, professional boards, student mentoring, neighborhood and community programs. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Loyola University Chicago and a master’s degree from Northwestern University.

AT15. Power of Partnerships with Microsoft’s Susan Vosper

What’s Up Trendsetters!

Today, I talk with Susan Vosper, the Chief of Staff for Customer Service and Support at Microsoft and former Assistant Vice President for Alumni Engagement at Seattle University.
Today’s trend lines include:
– power of partnership,
– corporate alumni groups, and
– lessons learned in corporate life and higher education.

Quick Listening Guide
at 2:43 Microsoft Exec turned high education pro
at 6:12 Diversified Business Experience
at 8:05 Complaining with solutions
at 9:38 Difference between corporate and higher education? Technology and Budget!
at 10:57 Environment where innovation and creativity thrive
at 11:21 Our biggest innovation where in our partnerships
at 12:20 Benchmarking against others
at 15:16 Corporate Alumni Chapters
at 18:13 Conversations on social justice at Microsoft
ay 21:20 What are you reading and binging?

As Chief of Staff for Customer Service and Support at Microsoft, Susan serves as an integral member and trusted advisor of the senior leadership team. She also leads Strategy & Business Planning which drives shared services for the organization including strategic planning, business management, communications, and employee experience.

Susan came back to Microsoft in October 2017 after successfully serving for 20 years building upon a broad portfolio of skills in operations, product planning, and change management. She backed the development of the company’s first sales operations team tasked with supporting Inside and Outside Sales. As a Business & Product Management Leader, Susan led strategic planning efforts and execution of initiatives such as leading organization development across global teams responsible for the delivery of technical support for Microsoft’s cloud services. Susan also brings significant business planning expertise through her experience overseeing the Corporate Controller’s office where she developed key financial and performance reporting, communications and strategic plans.

Prior to coming back to Microsoft, Susan spent over 6 years as Assistant Vice President at Seattle University where she oversaw the strategic direction for the alumni engagement strategy and outreach efforts. Susan built a world-class Alumni Engagement Office by restructuring their business based on a customer relationship management model, designed to position the institution as a forward-thinking organization igniting human potential and forming leaders for purpose and impact. Susan excels at setting organizational vision, leading major change, scaling operations, and building positive organizational culture.

She holds a BA in Psychology & Communications and a Leadership Executive MBA, both from Seattle University.

On a personal note, Susan is married to Douglas and both are avid dog lovers with two golden retrievers Jupiter (11) and Darby (6). Outside of family, Susan is passionate about creating great experiences for customers and employees, creating clarity and strategic direction, and helping her team achieve their goals as well as reading, gardening and being a fitness junkie. 

AT14. Lessons Learned: Virtual Events with Hilary Cohen

What’s Up Trendsetters!

Today, I talk with Hilary Cohen, Senior Director of Alumni Engagement at Rutgers University- – New Brunswick.
Today’s trend lines include:
– alumni engagement strategies,
– virtual events in response to COVID 19,
– trends in alumni engagement.

Quick Listen Guide
at 2:40 What do you love most about your work? The results…
at 3:30 Difference between corporate and higher education? BUDGET
at 4:52 Outcome driven event planning
at 8:25 COVID 19 and switch to virtual
at 10:26 Lessons Learned with virtual events
at 13:18 Strategic approach to events
at 15:06 Post-COVID 19 engagement
at 17:18 Fall plan without Rutgers Athletics
at 19:54 Navigating without a map
at 20:45 B1G Community of Practice
at 21:26 Re-org forced by COVID
at 23:54 Lightning Round: book recommendations, pizza and advice
at 28:15 Epic Engagement: Mosaic and the Who

Hilary started at Rutgers in December 2014 as the Senior Director for Events and Benefits for the Rutgers University Alumni Association, a title she held until July, when she became the Senior Director of Alumni Engagement – New Brunswick. Hilary came to Rutgers with 15 years of event planning experience, though Rutgers is her first foray into the higher education industry. Prior to Rutgers, Hilary worked at a variety of financial institutions, trade associations and founded her own event and meeting company. Hilary received her BA in English from Haverford College in Haverford, PA and earned her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) in August 2014.

AT13. Affiliate Groups and Volunteers with Scott Francis

Stay #OnTrend with Scott Francis

What’s Up Trendsetters!

Today, on this episode I talk with East Carolina Pirate, Scott Francis. Scott is the Associate Vice Chancellor of Alumni and President of the ECU Alumni Association board at East Carolina University.
Today’s trend lines include:
– his career,
– affiliate groups – the Florida Gator way,
– fall plans in response to COVID 19,
– and his perspective as an African-American in higher ed advancement.

Quick Listening Guide
at 3:28 Scott’s Career progression
at 4:01 Baseball Career (BA .167)
at 10:40 Affiliate Groups: The Gator Way
at 13:36 Florida’s Association of Black Alumni and Association of Hispanic Alumni
at 15:21 Programming beyond Athletics
at 17:43 Welcome to the GatorHood
at 20:07 Race and Ethnicity based Affiliate Groups
at 34:36 Lessons in Leadership through COVID 19
at 39:48 Experience as an African-American higher education professional
at 45:54 What’s Trending in Advancement


Scott Francis is the Associate Vice Chancellor of Alumni and leads the alumni team. In this role, he works directly with the ECU Alumni Association board, serving as its President.

Scott joined the Pirate Nation in August of 2019, bringing 20 years of Higher Education experience to the role. Scott served his first 12 years in higher education in housing and residence life, followed by 7 years serving as the Director of Gator Clubs and Affiliate Groups for the University of Florida Alumni Association where he was responsible for support and development of the 95 Gator Clubs®, and the 6 affiliate groups, representing over 422,000 alumni.

A graduate of Stockton University, Scott earned a degree in Criminal Justice. He also earned his Master of Science degree from Western Illinois University in College Student Personnel. Scott hails from South Orange, New Jersey and lives in Winterville, NC with his wife Stephanie and their children Steven (8) and Isabelle (6).

Scott is committed to the vision of the ECU Alumni Association developing and executing programs and initiatives that transform the experience of being a Pirate.