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Make a Difference: Join Our Alumni Advisory Council

By Christina Balmer-Gage
Student and Alumni Affairs Liaison

The alumni community at the University is a vast network of more than 116,000 inspirational, dedicated and dynamic individuals. Our University strives to build and foster lifelong relationships with our alumni so that we may continue to serve and support each of our alumni in their many endeavors whether it be personal, professional or academic.

To remain transformative as a University, we’ve created a strategic partnership with our alumni through the formation of our Alumni Advisory Council. An important aspect of this partnership is the ability for our alumni to contribute to the University’s goals and objectives. The Alumni Advisory Council was created in 2016 with the purpose of advancing the University’s mission. Now in its sixth year, the council continues to build upon its purpose and help the University strive to create an exceptional alumni experience.

Our 2022 Alumni Advisory Council in Action

Alumni Advisory Council
Alumni Advisory Council members in action at GradFest during Commencement. Images used with permission from Student & Alumni Affairs.

The 2022 Alumni Advisory Council is working diligently to meet its goals and objectives. To date, our council members have provided feedback on the University’s Student Conduct Policy, tested a new platform for alumni networking and engagement, created avenues to better connect with the alumni community at large, and brought more visibility to the council and alumni community via social media and in-person and virtual events.

In 2022, the University resumed its in-person commencement at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. We were honored to have a few of our council members represent the 2022 Alumni Advisory Council at this year’s GradFest. They had the opportunity to engage with new graduates and distributed the challenge coin, which was the alumni gift sponsored by the council.  

An Inside Perspective: Thoughts from Our 2022 Alumni Advisory Council Officers

We recently had the opportunity to connect with our 2022 Alumni Advisory Council officers and ask them what it means to serve in their positions and what they would like to see in the future for the council.

Hannah Via, President
Image provided by Hannah Via

What has serving as the Alumni Advisory Council President meant to you?

Serving as the AAC President has meant that I was able to give back to the larger university community. Being able to meet with other amazing alumni and work with them to make a difference in our community has been amazing. Knowing that I get to use my skills and talents to help further the university mission and make the alumni community better is one of the biggest reasons I wanted to be President. 

As our 2022 Alumni Advisory Council President, what would you like to see happen with the Alumni Advisory Council in the future? 

I would love for the AAC to continue to push for the various issues that both alumni and students face. As we are on the other end of our degrees, we are able to offer many different perspectives that can help better the various departments at the university. I would like the AAC to continue to push to make the university experience better. 

Daniel Fidonik, Vice President
Image provided by Daniel Fidonik

What has serving as the Alumni Advisory Council Vice President meant to you?

I have been honored to serve on the council these past three years, and especially as the Vice President. Serving on the council has given me a sense of belonging to the university beyond just being an alumnus.

I feel my voice has been heard and that I have been able to make meaningful contributions to the university so that the student and alumni experiences may be improved. The sense of community within the council and the fraternal work towards a common goal has been an incredibly satisfying experience.

As our 2022 Alumni Advisory Council Vice President, what would you like to see happen with the Alumni Advisory Council in the future? 

The council needs to continue our work of outreach and pushing the alumni experience. I believe that the idea of having regional events such as conferences and networking weekends would go a long way to developing our community ties with each other.

I would like to see the council become more active in guiding curriculum and program development. As graduates working in our chosen fields, I believe we have valuable insight into what should or should not be included in our respective programs.

For instance, in my master’s program (organizational leadership) I thought the class on entrepreneurship was superfluous. I would have benefitted far greater from a class on budgeting. It is this type of feedback the university needs to hear from the council.

Ultimately, the council needs to focus on awareness of the council and the work of educating alumni on what it can do for them. With more support from the alumni, the council can have a greater voice concerning the issues we are addressing.

Suschna Scott, Secretary
Image provided by Suschna Scott

What has serving as the Alumni Advisory Council Secretary meant to you?

Serving as the Alumni Advisory Council Secretary has given me the opportunity to make lasting connections with my peers within this community and know that the work, we are doing is helping to strengthen the alumni community for years to come. I have reinforced my skills in  communication, leadership, and making sure as the secretary that important information is being communicated in a timely fashion.

This position has been rewarding and has given me the confidence to apply myself in additional roles in other community involvement. It also presents a positive aspect of online colleges where we can connect with each other and do great work. More than ever, I needed to build an online community where no matter where we are all located; we are not alone and what we do has great value to the University community.

As our 2022 Alumni Advisory Council Secretary, what would you like to see happen with the Alumni Advisory Council in the future?

I hope to see the development of an “All-Star crew” of individuals who no longer can be a part of the council but can be tapped and leveraged for support when needed. I also feel that the officers should have more input or be aware of who will be the potential new members. More in-person involvement once we get the green light to do so. 

Who is Eligible to Join the Alumni Advisory Council?

All alumni of AMU and APU are eligible for membership and welcome to apply!

Apply Now to Join the 2023 Council

Are you interested in joining the Alumni Advisory Council in 2023 to help influence the alumni experience? As an Alumni Advisory Council member, your service helps to advance our university’s mission in many ways, with opportunities to:

  • Engage with fellow alumni through networking events, community initiatives, and social media engagement.
  • Partner with university leadership to help advance the University’s goals and objectives.
  • Connect and engage current and prospective academic, educational, business, and government partners.

Nominations for the 2023 Alumni Advisory Council will remain open until October 21 at 11:59 p.m. ET, but don’t wait! Submit your nomination today!

Christina Balmer-Gage joined the university as a Financial Aid Advisor in 2016 and joined Student and Alumni Affairs as a Liaison in 2022. Christina will complete her Bachelor of Applied Science (B.AS) in Technical Management with a concentration in project management from American Public University in October 2022. Christina is a member of Sigma Beta Delta and Golden Key International Honor Societies. Christina has a passion for leading and serving others and has found helping students and alumni reach their goals to be the most rewarding part of her position.

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