News Items In Category XCareer/Life

Alumni Programs team travels across America boosting network activity

Posted on Jul 26, 2017 in Alumni News

New York City Jayhawks network meeting at a rooftop happy hour
Nick Kallail and Danny Woods continued their work to boost alumni networks by traveling cross-country visiting with local Jayhawks.

The pair of KU Alumni Association program staffers are looking at potential growth cities as part of their goal of unique and diverse programming across the nation. Their itinerary included visits to Atlanta, Portland, Seattle, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Phoenix, and New York City​.

Kallail, d’04, l’07, and Woods, j’13, hosted a meeting at each stop to connect existing network leaders with new area volunteers. They introduced their plan for successful networks to the group, and then let the local alumni plan amongst themselves.

“We really want to empower all of the network leaders,” Woods said. “These leaders know their network way better than we ever could. We just want to give them the tools to build a successful network and let them run with it. This will ultimately help the network sustain and grow for years to come.”

One of the main goals of the network visits was to promote planning events in all of the five event buckets such as Rock Chalk Connect, which provides networking opportunities, and Rock Chalk Cultivate, which gives alumni the opportunity to learn a new skill—often from other Jayhawks.

“For our network moving forward, I would like to see the meeting’s enthusiasm to continue,” Brandon Snook, New York City network leader, said. “I want us to fully embrace the new event branding, which I love…especially KU Cares. It will be a great way for us to give back to the community, and strengthen our bonds in the process. I hope the new branding will be a springboard for our network board, and that everyone involved won’t be hesitant in popping out fresh new ideas for programming.”

Kallail and Woods also introduced a new structure for network leadership. Instead of traditional roles such as president, vice president, and treasurer, networks will have leaders who manage event buckets. “I like the concept of having a group with individuals focused on different areas of outreach for the Alumni Association,” Scott Lundgren, Portland network leader, said.

After the planning meeting, other local Jayhawks joined for a happy hour. Both Snook and fellow New York City network leader Kellie Johnson were pleased with their meeting. “We assembled a nice variety of people who seem enthusiastic to lead,” Snook said.

Wherever they went, Kallail and Woods were excited to see the networks’ turnout. Johnson has a theory why.

“I think KU alumni attend the events to keep that special connection alive. I’ve met several people from other schools who have noted that KU alumni are the most loyal they have ever met. One told me he doesn’t get involved with his alumni because he left nothing there – and when I asked him to clarify – he said it was clear all of us had left our hearts in Lawrence.”

If you want to get involved, visit our website and check out a list of all alumni networks to learn how you can help connect Jayhawks in your community.

-Ryan Camenzind

P.S. If you’re on Twitter, follow Nick Kallail at @NiXstyle and Danny Woods at @dcwoods89. They won’t disappoint.

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Chicago alumni, students connect with local business leaders

Posted on Jul 24, 2017 in Alumni News

Chicago Innovation and Entrepreneurship Panel: David Grossman, Todd Holmes and Sherry Scott

More than 40 alumni and 15 current students met July 18 on Michigan Avenue to learn from some of the best and brightest Jayhawk alumni based in the Windy City.

The event, Chicago Innovation and Entrepreneurship Panel, featured a panel of business leaders who shared the stories of their journey with Chicago area alumni. A select number of KU Student-Alumni Network members also attended.

Bryce McMichael, d’08, Chicago Network leader, said “One of the main goals we have in Chicago is diversifying our event offering beyond watch parties for KU games and expand into the careers and lifelong learning space. This event definitely fit the bill in that regard.”

David Hoese, e’86, vice president at Goldman Sachs served as panel moderator, with Todd Holmes c’89, CEO at Liquidus Marketing and co-founder of Goose Island Beer Co., Sherry Scott j’91, president at Gagen MacDonald, and David Grossman j’89, president at Freshii comprising the panel.

“The panelists stemmed from a Presidents Club reception we had last year in which Todd Holmes suggested an event like this,” McMichael said. “David Grossman and Sherry Scott were also added due to their specific entrepreneurial experience, local ties, and fascinating life stories.”

The event was the first of a series highlighting business leaders and entrepreneurs in Chicago. The panel offered advice to students and young alumni on topics such as how to start a business and risk tolerance.

“With 15 current KU students who hail from the Chicago area in attendance, I believe they came away with inspiration and pointers on how to create your own destiny and do the work you truly love,” McMichael said. “I also hope that those who went also came away knowing that their Alumni Association can provide much, much more value than they had originally thought going into the event!”

Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09, president of the KU Alumni Association, echoed McMichael’s sentiments for the Alumni Association as a whole.

“We want to do more to directly connect students to industry leaders and showcase the power and reach of the KU degree,” Peterson said. “We must leverage the story of successful alumni to ensure current students have direct and constant access to a powerful network.”

Peterson’s goals were realized for Rebecca Hans, j’18, a Student-Alumni Network member who made an unexpected connection.

“I didn’t expect to know anyone [at the event] but I saw a family friend,” Hans said. “He introduced me to someone who has a connection to the military at KU. My dream job is a military psychologist where I could work with soldiers or their families and help them with mental health issues.”

“This event helped me realize that I can be successful in Chicago. Knowing that I am graduating in the spring, it is comforting to see that KU stays with you forever.”

—Ryan Camenzind

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Alumni Profile: Caleb Bobo

Posted on Apr 24, 2017 in Alumni News

Caleb Bobo, c’16, is a native of St. Louis who earned a degree in political science with a minor in African and African-American Studies. He is currently a first-year graduate student and diversity fellow at Saint Louis University. Caleb is a member of the KU Alumni Association and served on the Student Alumni Leadership Board as an undergraduate.

Caleb BoboI became a Jayhawk because…

Simply put, there was no competition. I applied to and visited several universities, but none gave me the same feeling that the University of Kansas did. It was the perfect size and distance from home. I found it to be the perfect balance between the social scene of a major, state university and the academic rigor of an elite research institution. Everything one could want out of their college experience, they can get at KU.

How has KU propelled you into your current career?

Graduate school is difficult for many reasons. Professors expect a lot out of their students and most of us balance professional opportunities with classes. Luckily, KU’s academic programs prepared me extremely well for my graduate studies, and the emphasis my professors and advisers put on internships during my undergraduate career allowed me to find employment in my new city.

What’s your favorite spot on campus? and/or What spot do you return to whenever you’re back on the Hill?

The Nunemaker Center is the home of the KU Honors Program. Not only is it an awesome place to study on The Hill, but the staff who works there always made me feel so welcomed when I walked through the doors. I’ve remained very close with several of the faculty and staff I met through KU Honors, and I always try to visit when I come back to Lawrence.

My best advice for college students:

Be flexible with your academic program! A lot of students, myself included, think we have our lives figured out at 17 or 18 years old but that’s often not the case. Allow yourself to be challenged through classes, projects and extracurricular activities outside of your chosen discipline. You never know when you’ll discover an interest or passion that you didn’t know existed.

Describe a moment, during or after your time as a KU student, when you felt the greatest sense of Jayhawk pride.

I was really fortunate to make a great group of friends at the University of Kansas and after we all graduated, it’s been amazing to watch each of them begin their lives post-undergrad. Several are working for major corporations in New York, Chicago and Kansas City. A few moved to Washington D.C. to work for members of Congress or other governmental organizations. A handful ended up in elite graduate, legal or medical programs across the country, and I know a few who became officers in the United States Military. Each and every time I’m able to touch base with them over the phone or via social media, I always feel so much pride knowing that although we have a wide variety of interest and goals, we all walked the streets of Lawrence together.

Check out more profiles of outstanding Jayhawks to find out where a degree from the University of Kansas can take you.

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Alumni Profile: Jonathan Ng

Posted on Apr 20, 2017 in Alumni News

Jonathan Ng, c’03, j’03, earned degrees in Spanish and strategic communications and currently works as an attorney advisor for the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington, D.C. Originally from Leawood, Kansas, he now resides in Arlington, Virginia. He is a Life Member of the KU Alumni Association.

Jonathan NgI became a Jayhawk because…

As a native Kansan, it’s the flagship institution of our state, and I wanted to go to the best place possible while still maintaining close ties to my home. But no matter where you go, the quality of your experience depends on what you’re willing to put into it. KU provides all the opportunities that you could ever hope for in a full college experience — to be challenged academically at a nationally-recognized research institution, to cheer on elite athletic programs and to spend four years on a beautiful campus in a quintessential college town.

How has KU propelled you into your current career?

KU represents a true microcosm of our larger global society by reflecting the diversity you will encounter in your personal and professional lives. It’s large enough to find other students and groups who share your common interests, but it’s also diverse enough to bring you in touch with, and to teach you to be open and empathetic to other views, opinions and worldviews that are different from yours. It’s ultimately those “soft” skills of empathy, adaptability and compromise that help you excel in your career that you learn by immersing yourself in a rich and full college experience that a place like KU offers.

How did KU push you to try harder or to try something new?

As a freshman, I got involved in Student Government because I had an interest in shaping public policy and loved the democratic process of governance. By my junior year, I ended up running for and being elected student body president. Winning the election was obviously a great experience, but just putting myself in the arena regardless of victory or defeat was one of the most formative experiences of my life.

My best advice for college students…

Practice being present. College is not simply a stepping stone to your career. It is a rewarding and formative experience in itself. There’s a reason why many people form their best friendships and memories during their college years. Once you start working, society has a way to differentiate and separate us with arbitrary labels. In college, everyone is essentially on the same playing field, which enables you to get to know people for who they are, not what they do. Enjoy it for what it is. Don’t be in such a hurry to graduate.

What’s your favorite spot on campus? and/or What spot do you return to whenever you’re back on the Hill?

I always love returning to the Campanile and the view that overlooks Potter Lake, Memorial Stadium and the Kansas Union.

What’s the best KU tradition?

By far, the best KU tradition is the Rock Chalk Chant during the final moments of KU basketball games. It’s distinctly and uniquely KU. It’s a tradition you grow up watching on TV, participating in as a student at games in Allen Fieldhouse, and continue chanting as alumni long after you have graduated.

Reveal a “best kept” secret about the KU campus or Lawrence.

I’ll tell you after you graduate.

Check out more profiles of outstanding Jayhawks to find out where a degree from the University of Kansas can take you.

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KU Builds KC: Smart Cities Engineering Panel

Posted on Apr 18, 2017 in Alumni News

Panelists at the KU Builds KC: Smart Cities Engineering Panel, April 11, 2017

Five distinguished Jayhawks working in the world of engineering in Kansas City recently discussed the many challenges and questions facing the metro area now and in the very near future.

The event was hosted by Black & Veatch and held Tuesday, April 11. Clint Robinson, e’85, g’91, associate vice president of Black & Veatch, served as moderator.

The panelists included Kevin McGinnis, c’93, vice president at Pinsight Media; Angie Grant, e’04, vice president at Henderson Engineers, Inc.; Stephen Hardy, c’00, chief executive officer at mySidewalk; Herb Sih, ’89, managing partner at Think Big Partners; and Scott Stallard, e’81, b’81, vice president at Black & Veatch.

The Kansas City Network’s career networking committee helped organize the Smart Cities panel. The committee plans to host quarterly industry-specific events for KU students and alumni.

Watch the video below:

 

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Alumni Profile: Alex Ross

Posted on Apr 12, 2017 in Alumni News

Alex Ross, c’12, is a Life Member of the KU Alumni Association who earned a degree in communication studies. He lives in his hometown of Chicago where he is the CEO of New Coast Foundation, which helps accelerate the impact of innovative, emerging organizations working to alleviate poverty in the city. He is also the co-founder of New Coast Ventures.

Alex RossI became a Jayhawk because…

I came here for my campus visit and I knew right away. I didn’t even apply to any other schools to my mom’s dismay. There’s something special about walking down Jayhawk Boulevard—I can’t explain it any other way than just to say it’s unlike anything else.

How has KU propelled you into your current career?

Going to KU and having the opportunity to start several successful student organizations gave me the confidence that I could do anything. In addition, it gave me the opportunity to travel all around the world and meet amazing people.

My favorite KU memory is…

100% going to the last KU & Mizzou basketball game. I bought seats on a whim for me and a buddy and the whole game two Mizzou fans were behind us talking trash. We came back and won the game, I turned around to give them a taste of their own medicine and they had already left. I screamed so much I lost my voice, it was the most adrenaline I’ve ever had pumping and I wasn’t even playing.

Describe a moment, during or after your time as a KU student, when you felt the greatest sense of Jayhawk pride.

Whenever I travel I always, always, have something KU on and without fail I always get a “Rock Chalk”. Nothing better.

Where is the most unexpected place you’ve ever heard someone yell, “Rock Chalk”?

I was in the middle of nowhere Australia (legit at a gas station in the middle of nowhere) and someone just screams out “ROCK CHALK BABY!!!!” He was a grad from 10 years before and saw my shirt. My sister thought we were nuts.

Check out more profiles of outstanding Jayhawks to find out where a degree from the University of Kansas can take you.

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Alumni Profile: Jocilyn Hansen

Posted on Apr 7, 2017 in Alumni News

Jocilyn Hansen, e’15, earned a degree in architectural engineering and currently works as an assistant project manager for Burns & McDonnell. Originally from Dell Rapids, South Dakota, she now resides in Overland Park. Jocilyn is a Life Member of the KU Alumni Association.

Jocilyn HansenI became a Jayhawk because…

I got chills doing the Rock Chalk Chant during my first visit to KU. Being a Jayhawk is just as magical and mystical a feeling as the mascot itself. I have felt that magic from that first visit and I still feel it today.

How has KU propelled you into your current career?

I got my first internship offer from a former Jayhawk who had been an adviser during my first years at KU. Today, he and I continue to work for the same company; our network of Jayhawks has only grown. The Jayhawk network can take you anywhere, from Lawrence to St. Petersburg, to Sydney and back!

What’s the best KU tradition?

The KU tradition I love the most is being somewhere and making connections with someone based on our Jayhawk. I’ve made Jayhawk connections in the middle of nowhere Montana just because of my Jayhawk pin, worn every game day with pride! Or just shouting ‘Rock Chalk’ across an airport terminal, it’s really the best feeling!

What spot do you return to whenever you’re back on the Hill?

I love to grab Sylas and Maddy’s and head up to the Campanile. It’s especially great when a carillonneur is playing an evening concert. The lights of Lawrence beyond the Hill, “I’m a Jayhawk” playing on the bells, it can really be a sureal experience.

Describe a moment, during or after your time as a KU student, when you felt the greatest sense of Jayhawk pride.

I can remember walking home from the engineering school, down Jayhawk Boulevard on a particularly sunny day and thinking to myself, “Wow. I am weeks from graduating from THE University of Kansas. I made it as a Jayhawk.” This was my paradigm moment. I was proud of myself, proud of my school, proud of everything around me.

Reveal a “best kept” secret about the KU campus or Lawrence.

Allen Fieldhouse. Sure, during basketball games it’s the greatest place on Earth, but there are two other times you should go. During the weekday when no one is around–the lights are out and it’s beautiful. And after a game, after all the rushing to get out of the bleachers stops, it’s just you and the newspaper and the scoreboard. Try them both, you won’t be disappointed!

Check out more profiles of outstanding Jayhawks to find out where a degree from the University of Kansas can take you.

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Alumni Profile: John Holt

Posted on Apr 3, 2017 in Alumni News

John Holt, j’81, l’84, is originally from Great Bend, Kansas. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the KU School of Journalism and a juris doctor from the KU School of Law and works as an anchor and special projects reporter for Fox4 News in Kansas City. He currently resides in Leawood, Kansas, and is a Life Member of the KU Alumni Association.

John Holt I became a Jayhawk because…

I was raised a Jayhawk! The five Holt kids are third generation Jayhawks and all of us found our way to Mount Oread.

How has KU propelled you into your current career?

In addition to my William Allen White School of Journalism degree, I remained at KU to obtain my law degree. Both helped pave the way to my current broadcast journalism career and prepared me for the challenges of a constantly evolving and challenging business.

How did KU push you to try harder or to try something new?

My professors constantly challenged me to push the envelope, whether in my broadcast classes, political science, or law school. They taught me the value of hard work and critical thinking that has stood the test of time in the “real world.”

My best advice for college students is…

Study hard, but find the fun too. Get involved in campus activities, your housing experience, and yes, the social life that is Lawrence, one of the best college towns in America (yes, I’m biased).

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

While most Jayhawks take great pride in our nationally ranked basketball program (as do I), my favorite spot on campus is Memorial Stadium. There’s nothing like “game day on the Hill,” and I return to take in football games as often as I can!

What’s the best KU tradition?

No matter where you are in the world, if you see someone in Jayhawk gear, even a complete stranger, there is an immediate connection when you smile and say “Rock Chalk!”

My favorite KU memory is…

I have so many, but I have to say perhaps the most vivid is the day I arrived on campus. I was a fresh-faced, small-town Kansas lad with much to learn not only in college, but about life in general. I had few friends in Lawrence and was starting fresh. But like so many, KU embraced me and it became not just a college, but a home.

Describe a moment, during or after your time as a KU student, when you felt the greatest sense of Jayhawk pride.

I couldn’t have been prouder to be a Jayhawk when in 2008, our football team won an Orange Bowl, followed a few months later by the basketball team winning a national championship. I was there for both, and in San Antonio, I provided basketball coverage for Fox 4 in Kansas City. It was the thrill of a lifetime to be a part of that joy!

What was the greatest gift you took with you after graduation?

The great network of fellow Jayhawk alumni all over the world!

Check out more profiles of outstanding Jayhawks to find out where a degree from the University of Kansas can take you.

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Alumni Profile: Kelly Cure

Posted on Mar 29, 2017 in Alumni News

Kelly Cure, b’09, earned a degree in marketing with a minor in Germanic language and literature. She currently works as head of strategic initiatives for Montigny Investments and resides in Swaziland. Kelly is a Life Member of the KU Alumni Association.

Kelly CureI became a Jayhawk because…

On my first visit to KU I was immediately drawn to the infectious energy present on the campus and around Lawrence. I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to study, but I saw limitless potential to pursue my passions for dance and travel, while determining a major in one of KU’s fantastic colleges. I hadn’t found a University with this vibrant feeling that also offered a myriad of prestigious schools and areas of study.

How has KU propelled you into your current career?

It’s not an exaggeration to say that KU changed my life and set me on this phenomenal journey that I’m still enjoying today! Thanks to the KU School of Business Career Center, I started with Deloitte Consulting in Kansas City after graduation and began traveling the world through my work. When Deloitte sent me to London for several years, I had the chance to work and explore throughout Europe, the Middle East and was introduced to the continent that I now call home – Africa. After 6 years with Deloitte I was recruited to join an NGO in Swaziland where my eyes were opened to a new way of life in a country still developing with endless potential.

I now reside in Swaziland where I’m responsible for several projects and the Head of Strategic Initiatives for a local private company. The projects include developing renewable energy and managing community conservation projects. In the past year my work has taken me to London, Morocco, Israel, Italy and Johannesburg…There’s absolutely no way I would be in this brilliant journey if it weren’t for my education, connections and experiences in the Jayhawk family!

How did KU push you to try harder or to try something new?

KU introduced me to an incredibly diverse mix of friends, mentors and acquaintances, who inspired me through their work-ethic and constant commitment to growth in and out of the classroom. With such a vast array of clubs, activities and opportunities at KU, I found it the perfect place to experiment with new interests and see what I could learn. Specifically, joining the Rock Chalk Dancers dance team, attending the School of Business and studying abroad in Berlin were all instrumental experiences in my person growth while at KU that I’m forever grateful for.

My best advice for college students…

Take time to listen to yourself and not get swept up in the fast moving pace of college life – which I found difficult! This is your time to expand your knowledge in an area that ignites your curiosity…You know what these areas are better than anyone. Enjoy that.

What was the greatest gift you took with you after graduation?

This is the easiest question The greatest gift is the Jayhawk family that we all leave our time at KU with. My Jayhawk family never ceases to amaze me with their loyalty, love and unique but powerful approaches to life, work and friendship. It’s one of the greatest gifts I could ask for.

Check out more profiles of outstanding Jayhawks to find out where a degree from the University of Kansas can take you.

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Alumni Profile: Eileen Remley

Posted on Mar 21, 2017 in Alumni News

Eileen Remley, c’12, earned degrees in English and global and international studies and currently is a Masters student at Vanderbilt University. Originally from Concordia, Kansas, she now resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

Eileen RemleyI became a Jayhawk because…

I became a Jayhawk because I felt it was a good fit for my interests and would provide me with the opportunities I was looking for in my future.

How has KU propelled you into your current career?

KU Study Abroad was a catalyst for my current career.

While at KU, I did a six-month immersion program in San Jose, Costa Rica. This led me to take my first job in Madrid, Spain, teaching English to high school students. I then accepted a Fulbright award in Turkey for the next two years to teach English at Bulent Ecevit University. I returned to the United States to begin my Masters in International Education Policy and Management at Vanderbilt University. I will graduate this upcoming May!

My best advice for college students…

Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable and try something new. Take a hard class, study abroad, join a club, do whatever you can to extend your experience while at KU. The possibilities for growth and experience are endless, put yourself out there!

Describe a moment, during or after your time as a KU student, when you felt the greatest sense of Jayhawk pride.

I’ve lived abroad in three countries and in every single one I’ve been walking down a street and someone has yelled “Rock Chalk!” The network really is worldwide and I always fill with pride when I get to connect over KU.

What was the greatest gift you took with you after graduation?

The people. Honestly, KU is full of amazing individuals from professors, to staff and fellow students. Some of the strongest friendships and best mentors have been from my time at KU.

Check out more profiles of outstanding Jayhawks to find out where a degree from the University of Kansas can take you.

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