Alumni Association News
Letter From the Executive Director
We each have a unique story and a remarkable journey to share. And periodically, we each could use a reminder of just how amazing we are.
This spring, we dedicated time to do just that at our inaugural Women’s Leadership Development Conference, which brought together an inspiring panel of alums for a day of empowerment and personal connection. (See story below.) One of the messages that resonated with me was from Tanasha Dalton MBA ’16, founder of WHOA (Women Helping One Another), who encouraged us all to embrace our inner champion.
Like many elite institutions, we have expanded our career resources to support alums who are looking to start, advance or pivot careers and entrepreneurial endeavors. We recently added to them, launching a monthlong virtual mentorship program, Terps Thrive, that paired Terp mentors and ambitious mentees based on career industries. We are truly grateful for our incredible mentors who volunteered their time to help others reach their goals.
As your Alumni Association, our mission is to better serve and connect our global community so that more Terps may lead a life of meaning and impact through unique alum-to-alum engagements like this one. Whether it’s finding a stepping stone to advance a career, a referral to do business with a fellow Terp or mentorship across disciplines, our alums can pursue their passions fearlessly with the strength of their alum network behind them.
This academic year has been one of tremendous growth for our community. We welcomed thousands of new members, celebrated record-breaking event participation, introduced new learning experiences and had fun while doing it all.
Stay fearless, forever.
Associate Vice President, Alumni and Donor Relations
Executive Director, Alumni Association
From the ‘Big Brother’ Set to the Olympic Stage
4 Exceptional Young Alums Share What They’ve Learned About Friendship, Family and the Fun of Doing Good
By Sala Levin ’10
A reality TV personality, Olympic speed skater, TikTok executive and master mead-maker walk into a room ... and, no joke, impart a lot of good advice.
On April 3, four young alums headlined Terps Under 30, an Alumni Association and Student Alumni Leadership Council signature event on campus designed to bring together students and alums to connect and share how they are moving fearlessly forward.
Amy Eichhorst, associate vice president of alumni and donor relations, and executive director of the Alumni Association, reminded the audience that UMD has 405,000 living alums. “That’s a lot of alumni all doing amazing things and really making an impact on the globe.”
Read on to hear what these UMD grads had to say.
THOMAS HONG ’20
2018 Olympic Speed Skater and Medical Student at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
“Once I was finished with skating, it gave me all this time to reflect on what I really wanted to do. And I realized that within speed skating, once you take the sport out of it, it’s really the relationships and the interactions I had with people that resonated with me. So when I came back to Maryland, I was studying finance, but planning so that I could get into a field where I would have (those relationships). I decided, after talking with mentors and loved ones, to go into medicine. It was a long journey, but I’m happy that my experiences in sports have translated this far.”
RACHEL LIPMAN ’15
Head Winemaker and General Manager, Loew Vineyards
“I came up against a lot of challenges, being a young female in a male-dominated industry where most of the winemakers are double my age. I have over 10 years of experience in this industry because of the fact that I was able to immerse myself in every aspect while working part-time to full-time with my grandparents.”
ALEXANDRA GIVAN ’16
Global Community DEI Programs Lead, TikTok
“I’m responsible for making sure our underrepresented creators have equitable experiences they can safely create on the platform, and really just making sure folks who have been minoritized and who are marginalized have a better experience on TikTok. I work across 24 markets. It’s a global scope, and I’m having the most fun I’ve ever had.”
DEREK XIAO ’19
“Amazing Race” Season 34 Winner and “Big Brother” Contestant
“Before I make any big decision in my life, there’s a couple key people that I call, and I actually met all of them at Maryland. One of them is this guy Mike. Mike was like, ‘Take “Big Brother.” When you’re 50, 60, you have kids, maybe you have grandkids, what are you going to wish that you did? Are you going to wish that you took that job and sat behind that desk for 15 years and tell them about how you helped one company buy another company to go buy another company? Or do you want to sit down on the couch, pull up the tapes of “Big Brother,” show them 90 days of your life, and tell them, ‘This is me at 25,’?”
Terp Sisters, Doing It for Themselves
New Event Celebrates Women
By Sala Levin ’10 | Photo by Lisa Helfert
“There’s room for all the girls.”
That was the message Monica McNutt M.Jour. ’13 (right) delivered to nearly 300 alumnae on March 3 at the Alumni Association’s inaugural Women’s Leadership Development Conference at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center. As the keynote speaker, the ESPN reporter and basketball analyst
urged women to support one another as they make professional strides.
McNutt was among 20 women—all of them UMD alumnae or university leaders—who spoke at the event on topics ranging from wealth creation and management to building a personal brand to health and wellness.
“The main goal is building community amongst Terp women and enhancing the network that is available to them,” said Erica Lane, the Alumni Association’s manager of volunteer programs, who co-organized the event.
McNutt shared her story from growing up as a girl who loved basketball through her current role. She also told attendees about feeling the difficulties of being a Black woman in the workplace: At one station, she yearned to be sports anchor, but when the blonde, white woman who held the position departed, she was replaced by another blonde, white woman who, McNutt said, “had zero interest in sports.”
Though frustrated and jealous in the moment, McNutt eventually understood that by seeing one another as comrades, not competitors, women can widen the circle for others.
“I needed to find it in myself to truly root for other women, because their success is not coming at my expense,” she said.
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