Alumni Profile: Caleb Bobo

Posted on Apr 24, 2017 in Alumni News, Career/Life, and 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, Career/Life, and 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, Career/Life, and 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, Career/Life, and 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, Career/Life, and 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: Kelly Cure

Posted on Mar 29, 2017 in Alumni News, Career/Life, and 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, Career/Life, and 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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Jayhawk connection leads alumni to Budapest

Posted on Aug 22, 2016 in Alumni News, Career/Life, and News

Scott Collin and Jeff Goldfarb in Budapest | photo courtesy of Scott Collin
Scott Collin (left) and Jeff Goldfarb (right)

Scott Collin and Jeff Goldfarb both attended the KU School of Journalism, graduated together in 1994, and have crossed paths plenty of times in their professional careers—first at a WPP Advertising Agency in the late 1990s.

Last year, the two Jayhawks worked together again, this time with Jeff, j’94, as one of Scott’s clients. Jeff is the director of cooperative marketing for ASI, the for-profit side of AARP, while Scott is the chief creative officer for Influent50, a full-service advertising agency that focuses on people 50 and older.

The photo above was taken in May in Budapest, Hungary, where the pair was on a television shoot. “We shot the commercials in Budapest because of the incredible efficiencies and savings we were able to realize there,” explained Scott. “Those savings allowed us to work with The Mill, one of the top and most respected CG and Virtual Reality production shops in the world. Ten days in Budapest with an old friend and fellow Jayhawk just firmed up why I got into this business.”

Scott, j’94, shared more insights about his time on campus, advice for students and alumni— and explained the photo above.

So, what about the mug shots?

The “mug shots” were for fun. We had brunch one morning in Budapest at this fantastic little restaurant. That whole scene was just there. Just a wall with words and graphics on it with two cut-out frames. Behind the frames was a wall of flowers. So I thought it would have been a total missed opportunity if we didn’t take our photos there.

Tell us about your experience at KU.

It was fantastic. On every level. What I love about it is that it wasn’t easy. In fact, it seemed at every turn I was up against obstacles I didn’t think I could navigate. But I did. Both with my classmates and, when things seemed insurmountable, my professors. There was a day when I was presenting what I thought was the best idea I’d ever had to a class and professor Bengston tore me to pieces. I was devastated. Yet, after class he told me it was his favorite idea…and he wanted to teach me how to keep a good idea alive. Best lesson I was taught the entire time I was at KU. My career since then has been all about making good ideas great…and keeping great ideas alive.

People are afraid of anything that’s new or difference. So…keeping new ideas alive is far from easy.

What advice do you have for current students or recent graduates?

Be curious. Never stop asking why. When things seem to stagnate or you don’t think new ideas are coming, throw something completely inane or bizarre into the mix. Take walks. Hydrate. Offer to help other people with things that don’t necessarily connect to what you do.

Be nice. Be kind. Be astute. But the most important thing of all is to outwork those around you. Especially when it comes to creative, those who work the hardest are rewarded the most. If you want your idea to live, will it to. Give it life. Give it the support it needs. And never give up. The minute you do, someone else will sweep in and take over.

But at the end of the day, be genuine. A happy client means a happy agency. Celebrate your friends successes. Applaud winning efforts. Do this, you will be healthy and go far.

At the end of the day…

Advertising affords you many amazing opportunities. But at the end of the day, advertising is a job like any other. Lawyers. Garbagemen. Politicians. We all love to think we do the most interesting thing in the world.

We don’t. We do what we do. Ideally, we do it really well.

The most interesting people in the world are the ones with the best stories. So it’s in your best interest to take good notes and learn to own the stage.

Here’s one more photo from Scott, taken at the Statue Park outside of Budapest. He explained that this is where the Hungarians took all the old Russian statues after they took back their own independence. Jeff and Scott are pictured along with Scott’s art director partner, Rebecca Mabie, and their chaperone, Zília Tóth. Scott welcomes messages from alumni—you can reach him at scollin@influent50.com.

Scott Collin and Jeff Goldfarb in Budapest | photo courtesy of Scott Collin
Pictured left to right: Zília Tóth, Rebecca Mabie, Scott Collin, Jeff Goldfarb

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Alumnus finds value in regional networking

Posted on Mar 29, 2016 in Alumni News, Career/Life, and News

Many times, members of our alumni network find themselves engaging with one another in a way that promotes personal and professional engagement. Glen Collins, c’98 , wasted no time after leaving KU to start his career as a marketing professional.

Now the marketing director and partner for Switch in Dallas, Collins sees the value of his KU experience weaving into his everyday work. Switch offers strategy, branding and digital assistance for a variety of companies: American Heart Association, Coyote Grills, Country Club Plaza, Maggiano’s Little Italy and Vim + Vigor to name a few.

We caught up with Collins to find out more about how he came to be a partner at Switch.

CollinsTell us a little bit about your experience as a student at KU: things you were involved in, your favorite professor, your favorite traditions.

My experience at KU can be summed up in one word: transformative. The relationships, education, culture, the Midwest, Lawrence, the fraternity, live music and the cult religion that is KU basketball. It ran through my veins, and still does.

Growing up in Dallas, I knew very little about KU. Fortunately, the fraternity I joined, FIJI, on-ramped me quite well. My favorite experiences included directing Rock Chalk Revue, working at a brand new store called Hobbs on Mass Street, enjoying live music at Liberty Hall and The Bottleneck. But it’s all the filler in between that was the greatest—making friends from all over the country, reading the University Daily Kansan before class, and having awesome exchanges with professors and teaching assistants. I loved every minute of it. I had too much fun my sophomore year, and my GPA slipped so much my parents made me come home for a semester to straighten up. It was the best thing for me. I worked to save up enough money to go back, and it made me appreciate just how great it was. I never took KU for granted after that, and while I didn’t make the Dean’s List, my grades were significantly better until I graduated.

How did you meet your business partner, and how did that lead to your company?

I met my business partner, Kimi Dallman, through a friend I met at KU. That friend was Matt Dallman c’01, a great guy who was a few years younger than me in my fraternity. Matt and I originally bumped into one another at a KU Alumni Association watch party, then soon after that at an alumni happy hour. We were catching up on life and business, and he suggested that I connect with his wife, who was in a similar career as mine.

At the time, my company was a marketing consultancy supporting small to medium-sized businesses. Kimi’s company, originally Switch Creative, was a design firm focused on branding and web. A week or two later we all had lunch, and Kimi and I immediately connected and discovered the means to support each other’s businesses. We worked together for six or eight months on a number of successful projects before we started talking about merging our shops. A few months later, we merged and have grown more and more ever since. At the time of our merger, Switch had five total employees. Currently we have sixteen employees and have merged with another interactive development shop, Good Work, to grow our service offering even more.

We have had a blast running Switch, and KU is central to core of our business — both consciously and subconsciously. We’ve hosted multiple March Madness watch parties at the office, with the bell cow being Switch Sixteen (a pre-party/pep rally) that preceded KU’s sweet sixteen game in Dallas in 2013.

How do you stay connected to KU as an alumnus living in Dallas?

Fortunately I have several very close friends that I met at KU that live in the DFW area. The KU bond is real, and we often seek each other out. My best friend married a Jayhawk. One of my other best friends is on the alumni board and is very plugged in to the alumni events (watchers, happy hours, coffees). I attend as much as I can. Honestly, I would have to try to not brush up against KU friends past and present these days. And I like it that way. A lot.

KU Flag at SwitchWhat advice do you have for current KU students and graduates?

Never take it for granted. KU is a special place with a heartbeat all it’s own. It’s authentic and pure, and the relationships you develop there reflect that purity and authenticity.

For existing students: Enjoy all aspects of KU and Lawrence: slugging to class in the cold; the pageantry of game days; Day on the Hill; and the live music of Lawrence. Get a job if you can — I worked in restaurants, as an intramural referee and in a retail store. Those relationships are so meaningful to me as I was transforming from student to graduate and professional.

For graduates: Lean on the KU network. The trust tree is strong, and the reception is always warm and comfortable. Jayhawks look after Jayhawks — they really do. Seek out the community. You’re gonna watch KU hoops somewhere, so you might as well go to a watch party and do the Rock Chalk chant with strangers. Eventually some of those strangers will become relationships that are more than basketball buddies.

Group shot on the bus

Tell us a little bit about the recent Dallas Network breakfast and what alumni can expect when they attend a KU event.

The Dallas Network breakfast is great. It’s very intimate and casual. You can expect to meet Jayhawks from a variety of different places, ages and careers. Often one or two Jayhawks are singled out to share their story, and specifically their business background. It’s a great time on a relational and business networking level. It will invariably lead to spin-off meetings, lunches, etc. Don’t miss it.

— Cole Anneberg

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KU alumni careers: Matt Gowen, j’95

Posted on Feb 13, 2016 in Alumni News, Career/Life, and News

Roses are red,
crimson, not blue.
Matt Gowen loves his job,
and he went to KU.

Okay, let’s face it. Not all of us are gifted in poetry, romance or humor, myself included. But Lawrence native Matt Gowen used his KU journalism degree to land a pretty good gig writing for greeting card giant Hallmark Cards in Kansas City.

A former opinion editor for the University Daily Kansan and reporter for the Lawrence Journal-World and Kansas City Business Journal, Gowen, j’95, started to burn out on the grind of news journalism. In 2000, his career took a turn, thanks to the help of his Jayhawk connections and some thoughtful siblings who steered him toward Hallmark, where writing became fun again. And funny too.

We went behind the scenes at one of Kansas City’s most famous companies to learn how this Jayhawk journalist went from writing headlines to humor.

 
So if you care enough to send your valentine a card from Hallmark, don’t be surprised– it might have been penned by a Jayhawk.

Now wouldn’t that be poetic?

–David Johnston

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