On behalf of the Alumni Association Executive Board, thank you for your appetite to be an engaged alumni community. During homecoming, AAEB introduced new ways to give back our alma mater, based upon your schedule and your appetite for engagement. This a la carte menu—a.k.a. Alumni Bites— provides an offering of small, medium and large engagement opportunities—a.k.a. bites—in admission, career development, and alumni relations.
Below is a sampler, highlighting just a few fellow alums whose hunger led them to select a bite that suits their busy lives. We hope it will inspire you to take a look at Alumni Bites and think about what bite will satisfy your hunger to give back to K.
Small Bite: Attend a Hornet Happy Hour
Menu Area: Alumni Relations
Alumnus: Tendai Mudyiwa, class of 2014
Major(s): Math, Computer Science
Lives in: New York, New York
Tendai Mudyiwa ’14 came to K as an international student from Zimbabwe and got involved in campus life, including serving as a President’s Ambassador. After graduation, Tendai moved to New York City to work at Morgan Stanley as a technology associate. A young alum and new to New York, Tendai noted that, “the happy hour experience has given me the opportunity to reconnect with alumni I know as well as meet others. It’s been a good resource for advice (career and social, things to do in the city). It’s always great to hear K alumni share their experiences.”
There are now nearly thirty happy hours that occur each term—from Kalamazoo to Los Angeles to London. As Tendai has found, these events are a great way to connect with alumni in your area in a fun, informal setting. Check out the events page for a happy hour near you. The next event occurs on Wednesday, July 22.
Medium Bite: Send congratulatory notes to admitted students
Menu Area: Admission
Alumnus: Chris Wozniak, class of 1993
Major(s): Economics & Business, English
Lives in: Denver, Colorado
The K community may not have a large Colorado contingent just yet, but Denver alumnus Chris Wozniak ’93 is helping to change that by partnering with the admission department. Chris has attended college fairs, Swarm events, and most recently he wrote congratulatory notes to admitted students. Participating in these experiences during the admission cycle can make a profound impact with a minimal investment o time; it also helps to emphasize the personal connections that characterize the K community as a student and as an alum.
Chris believes what many of us have found to be true: giving of our time and experience is something that we enjoy doing. He noted that by engaging through actions that impact others, alumni can continue to exemplify one of the key components of the K-Plan—experiential education. Through his work with admission Chris stays educated on what’s happening at K and continues to reflect on his own K experience and how K remains very relevant to his current life path.
Large Bite: Host a discovery externship/provide a summer internship opportunity
Menu Area: Career Development
Alumna: Debra (Tokarski) Yourick, class of 1980
Major(s): Health Sciences
Lives in: Silver Spring, Maryland
Deb Yourick ’80 has been actively engaged in career development for more than 12 years—hosting her first externs in 2003. What started as a great way to give back and engage with students has now become a passion for Deb and her family. Deb remains determined to find ways to fuse her love of science with her love for K in order to help students engage with science and science education. Deb is director of science education and strategic communications at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. In that role she partnered with a colleague to design a STEM education program that is now army-wide, reaching underserved students to spark their interest in the sciences. Deb’s interns have helped both in the lab and as mentors and teachers in the STEM education program.
Deb finds K students’ openness to experience unmatched. With great enthusiasm she noted that her K interns have been “young, energetic students—taking science off a text book page and doing a hands-on experience with young students who may not get this experience.” Externships and internships help students better understand how to apply classroom learning, and they also enrich the lives of alumni who, because they’re K alumni, are engaged in that ongoing learning process. Deb is welcoming back a few of her interns this summer who will be working on their Senior Individualized Projects.
Ready to take a large, life-enriching bite? Contact the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) to learn more!
Thank you to Tendai, Chris, and Deb for sharing your stories and bringing to life “More in four. More in a lifetime.”
We want to hear your stories! Each homecoming, the AAEB presents the Distinguished Service Award to an alumni or friend of the College who has made exceptional personal contributions to the College—contributions that may include swallowing one or many of the Alumni Bites. Know someone deserving of this award? We encourage you to submit nominations.