Lifelong Engagement Begins with U
May 9, 2014 1:00 PM
College of Nursing Alumni Board of Directors, 2013-2014
Third semester accelerated BSN student Zack Huston spends a lot of time thinking about life after graduation. He wants to enroll in the Critical Care Internship program at University of Utah Hospital and divide his time between the emergency department and an intensive care unit. Within five years, he hopes to be working as a flight nurse. He’d also like to serve in the United States Air Force Reserves. At some point, he plans to pursue a doctor of nursing practice.
Members of the College of Nursing’s Alumni Board of Directors also spend a great deal of time thinking about Zack’s future. What resources will he need to meet his career goals? How might Zack one day share his knowledge with the next generation of nurses? And how, regardless of where Zack’s career takes him, can the College of Nursing continue to elevate for him—and all alumni—the value in being a graduate of the college?
“Our students as well as our alumni are very busy people, so we have to think outside the box in terms of how we engage them,” says Board President Jody Osteyee, CNP, APRN, CPNP. “We recognize that as a board, we need to do a better job of making the transition from student at the college to a graduate of the college as seamless as possible. We’re focusing a great deal on how we get students to think of themselves as alumni, and alumni to think of themselves as mentors.”
In 2013, the Alumni Board welcomed six new members. In doing so, the board not only enhanced its reach (all major health care organizations along the Wasatch Front are now represented), it also gained new resources with which to restructure and regroup. Sub-committees were formed in areas of Alumni and Community Engagement, Student Programs and Honors for Nursing (the board’s major annual event which raises funds for nursing student scholarships). From serving pancakes to students at the crack of dawn to showcasing alumni via a new online Class Notes web page, the board is finding ways to support students and alumni alike in an effort to engage them.
And, to ensure students have a voice in the overall strategy, Huston and fellow student Joni Whiting, Student Advisory Committee (SAC) co-presidents, serve on the board. The Alumni Board in turn sends a representative to all SAC meetings to address student needs and exchange ideas. “Students, especially in the accelerated cohorts, are eager to connect with, and get advice from, experienced nurses,” Huston says. “The Alumni Board is a natural choice and has been an excellent partner.”
The board is working to establish a student emergency fund and a mentorship program that will connect alumni with students for networking opportunities. “It is an exciting time for the Alumni Board as they provide new oversight and direction for the benefit of all alumni, students, and friends of the college,” says Melanie Osterud, director of advancement. “The board is united and engaged with Dean Trish Morton and faculty of the college; alumni should be proud of the commitment and time spent by volunteer board members, on their behalf, to strengthen resources for the benefit of the entire alumni network.”
Are you a graduate of the College of Nursing? The Alumni Board invites you to submit a Class Notes update and share with us your accomplishments and career highlights. We also invite you to become involved with the College by volunteering some of your time by participating in student mock interviews or in the new mentoring program. There are many ways to get involved.
If you would like to learn more, please contact Melanie Osterud, director of advancement, at (801) 581-8919 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie SchrierKatie Schrier is the former Communications Manager for the College of Nursing.