Q & A With Cathy Nosel

Jun 17th, 2013 | By admin | 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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