Q & A With Cathy Nosel

Jun 17th, 2013 | By | Category: Advancement

Since devel­op­ing an insti­tu­tion­al strate­gic plan five years ago, Wes­ley Col­lege has remained com­mit­ted to fol­low­ing through on ini­tia­tives that will help grow its resources and sup­port. To that end the Office of Insti­tu­tion­al Advance­ment has reor­ga­nized its team of pro­fes­sion­als to bet­ter meet the chal­lenges ahead. One of the changes includes Cathy Nosel’s new role as direc­tor of alum­ni rela­tions and annu­al giv­ing. After man­ag­ing the annu­al giv­ing efforts for almost four years she will now add alum­ni rela­tions respon­si­bil­i­ties. As the new liai­son with the Alum­ni Asso­ci­a­tion, she looks for­ward to serv­ing the needs of Wes­ley grad­u­ates and took a few min­utes to answer some ques­tions about her back­ground and objec­tives to fur­ther alum­ni engage­ment.

Q: What is your vision for alum­ni rela­tions?

A: I would like to see more alum­ni come back to cam­pus for reunions and/or attend the region­al events that we hold each year. Wes­ley alum­ni have great sto­ries from their time as stu­dents. Last year the class of 1962 had their 50th
reunion, and the con­nec­tion they all still had with each oth­er was amaz­ing even though most of them hadn’t seen each oth­er for decades. The sto­ries nev­er ended—they laughed all week­end long! We all get busy with our lives but col­lege mem­o­ries are so spe­cial. My vision is to get more alum­ni to par­tic­i­pate in events and to pro­vide more oppor­tu­ni­ties for them to vol­un­teer. I would like to con­tin­ue the efforts that Aman­da Downes and the Alum­ni Board have start­ed to get more alum­ni involved as ambas­sadors with the Admis­sions Office, to have them return to cam­pus for “Meet the Pro­fes­sion­als Night” and to expand the Alum­ni Asso­ci­a­tion Com­mit­tee struc­ture so that there are more vol­un­teer oppor­tu­ni­ties avail­able.

Q: What expe­ri­ence do you bring to the posi­tion?

My expe­ri­ence in high­er edu­ca­tion began in career ser­vices where I have worked in a num­ber of dif­fer­ent envi­ron­ments that include a lib­er­al arts col­lege as well as small to large state uni­ver­si­ties. After sev­er­al years of work­ing in stu­dent affairs, I migrat­ed over to alum­ni and annu­al giv­ing most­ly due to the event plan­ning expe­ri­ence I had gained over the years. I have also worked in the non-prof­it sec­tor, which involved fundrais­ing and com­mu­ni­ty part­ner­ships with oth­er agen­cies. Pri­or to com­ing to Wes­ley, I was the asso­ciate direc­tor of alum­ni rela­tions and annu­al giv­ing at McDaniel Col­lege (for­mer­ly West­ern Mary­land Col­lege) for more than five years. Obvi­ous­ly, that posi­tion is most direct­ly relat­ed to my new role at Wes­ley. How­ev­er, the diver­si­ty of my expe­ri­ences helps me to bet­ter under­stand that all depart­ments are inter­re­lat­ed and each has an impact on the suc­cess of the Col­lege.

Q: Are there any advan­tages to being both the annu­al fund and alum­ni rela­tions per­son?

I don’t know if I would term it an advan­tage but more that it is a log­i­cal merg­er of these two func­tions. In most cas­es, when alum­ni look back on their expe­ri­ence atcol­lege they remem­ber rela­tion­ships. Whether it is friend­ships, part­ner­ships or fac­ul­ty men­tor­ships, alum­ni con­nect with peo­ple, not build­ings. When mak­ing gifts, peo­ple con­sid­er their con­nec­tion to the orga­ni­za­tion. There­fore, it makes sense that it is the com­mon con­nec­tion that dri­ves giv­ing. It is my hope to keep alum­ni con­nect­ed to Wes­ley so that they take pride in their alma mater and want to help it suc­ceed. We always hear alum­ni from all the decades com­ment that Wes­ley gave them a chance and was inte­gral to their suc­cess after col­lege. With almost 50 per­cent of our cur­rent stu­dents being the first in their fam­i­ly to attend col­lege, financ­ing their edu­ca­tion is the promi­nent con­cern. We hope alum­ni will reflect on their expe­ri­ence and how Wes­ley helped them and then pay it for­ward to help stu­dents achieve their dream of attain­ing a col­lege degree.

Q: What do you see as the biggest chal­lenge?

To increase alum­ni aware­ness of what is going on at Wes­ley and to be con­sid­ered a resource for our alum­ni. The online com­mu­ni­ty and Face­book are both easy ways to keep up to date on news and events. Just by updat­ing their email address with the online com­mu­ni­ty, alum­ni receive the month­ly newslet­ter. Whether online or at a Wes­ley event, alum­ni can find fel­low alums who could help with a job search, relo­ca­tion to anoth­er area, or get career advice from peo­ple who share their expe­ri­ences. I encour­age all alum­ni to update their pro­files with the online com­mu­ni­ty at www.weare.wesley.edu and to like Wes­ley Col­lege on Facebook—that would be a great start!

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