Many of you may recognize the popular social media hashtag #107kStrong that coach James Franklin uses to refer to the strength and impact of the Penn State football fan base. Were you aware that we, the alumni of the Eberly College of Science, are more than 50,000 strong? Imagine the power and influence of our professional community and the impact we could have together in supporting Penn State and Eberly Science.
The Eberly College of Science Alumni Society was established 45 years ago with the intent of providing a means for alumni and students to work together to enrich the college and the University. The Alumni Society’s Board of Directors consists of 18 volunteers. Are we—the board—doing enough to help achieve the society’s purpose? It’s time to renew our commitment to this mission and to reassess how we can best support the college, its students, and its future.
While 18 dedicated volunteers can make a difference, it’s a fraction of what we can do as a larger collective. Therefore, we need your help. Keep reading! We do not mean monetary donations (though if you have the means and the desire, the need is there). Rather, the board would like to establish a mechanism for alumni to give back to the college in whatever way you can, leveraging your skills, experience, and connections with your passion for Penn State.
As a part of our efforts, we are working diligently to improve the college’s Mentoring Program. While successful over the past decade, we recognize that the number of alumni interested in participating often exceeds the proportion of students seeking a mentor. Therefore, we are developing new messaging and platforms for reaching current students. For example, we recently launched our Mentoring Program in LionLink, an online networking platform offered by the Penn State Alumni Association that connects students and alumni. LionLink expands our reach by not only providing a tool for matching and connecting mentors and mentees, but also providing a forum for students to reach out to interested alumni and other students in a less formal manner.
By engaging our broader alumni network, we aim to create a vibrant, collaborative, and engaged community of alumni and students. The board will be exploring the following as possible future initiatives and projects:
- Working with the Office of Science Engagement to increase students’ exposure to career paths outside academia and research
- Broadening the Mentoring Program to support science students at other Penn State campuses
- Supporting the college’s efforts to establish corporate partnerships
- Launching regional alumni events and engagement opportunities
- Developing outreach programs to promote science in the community
If you are interested in volunteering, or if you have other ideas the board should consider, we want to hear from you. Please reach out to Mary Kilcoyne, assistant director of alumni relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and to Mark Lane, board president, at email@example.com.
We look forward to working with you to enrich the college. As a community of more than 50,000 alumni, we can make a lasting impact. WE ARE #50kStrong!
For the glory,