Alumni Association News
By Alumni Association Staff
Photo by Lisa Helfert
Letter From the Executive Director
With summer just around the corner, many of us are making plans for ourselves and our families. The University of Maryland is also mapping out its future with a new 10-year strategic plan, which was influenced by feedback from stakeholders, including alumni.
The strategic plan highlights four pillars: to reimagine learning, to advance the public good, to tackle the grand challenges of our time, and to invest in people and communities. With these goals leading us fearlessly forward, the entire Terp community aims to be a force for positive change locally and globally.
Our alumni are a crucial component of this new vision for our university. The Alumni Association’s survey of its members and multiple alumni listening sessions revealed that you want to see our university take on important issues like climate change and racial injustice, and that diversity and academic excellence are among your top priorities for UMD.
The Alumni Association is uniquely positioned to help UMD achieve its ambitious goals. Our 400,000-plus graduates mentor students, hire Terps for internships and jobs, and elevate the reputation of our university through remarkable accomplishments across a wide swath of professional fields.
In conjunction with the university’s new strategic plan, the Alumni Association will launch our own version this summer. In it, we will lay out the ways the association and alumni as a whole can play a role in advancing UMD. We will build on the work we are doing to serve others; to support alumni personally and professionally; and to address the world’s grand challenges.
I wish all of you a summer filled with fun and adventures.
Associate Vice President, Alumni and Donor Relations
Executive Director, Alumni Association
Career Week in Review
What do Terps want from the Alumni Association? Job assistance, industry networking and professional development, according to a recent survey. The second annual Career Week offered all that and more.
Held in January, Career Week featured 26 online programs to help Terps advance in their professions. Topics included writing a winning resume, working with mentors and defining personal values.
“Engagement during Career Week can look different to each Terp,” says Ellie Geraghty, director of alumni career programs for the association. “Some may be interested in making new Terp connections to help land a job, while others may be wanting to share their expertise and hire a fellow Terp to their company.”
More than 4,000 Terps have registered for Career Week sessions since it launched last year. Bita Riazi ’19 said the sessions, along with the Alumni Association’s other career resources, have been instrumental to her success.
“If it weren’t for the Alumni Association, I wouldn’t have reached my 500-plus goal for connections on LinkedIn and created my Terrapins Connect profile,” she says.—ALLISON EATOUGH ’97
An Event With Good Tastes
Like to saample excellent food? And to support fellow Terps? (Who doesn’t?!)
The Alumni Association will bring both together at its third annual Terrapin Taste Fest on Sept. 18 at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.
From noon to 3 p.m., guests at this celebratory farmers market can explore food, drink and apparel from Terp-owned vendors in the DMV. Other highlights will include a deejay, photo booth and caricature artist.
Each registration also includes a festival tote and complimentary access to the museum the day of the event. Alumni Association members will receive an exclusive experience as well as a discounted rate.
For more information and to reserve an event passport, visit alumni.umd.edu/terrapintaste-22
Terps Supporting Terps
New Business Directory Generates Leads, Connections
Having launched a business less than a month after graduating, Kiara Anthony ’21 is the picture of the University of Maryland entrepreneurial spirit.
The former government and politics major, member of the UMD Equestrian Team and co-chair of the University Student Judiciary owns Perfectly Possible, a virtual tutoring and college admissions consulting firm that helps students get the most out of higher education.
She’s also an inaugural member of the University of Maryland Alumni Association’s new Terp Referral Exchange Business Directory.
“It’s like a LinkedIn for Terps who are also entrepreneurs,” Anthony says. “A community of alumni and people who are like-minded, driven, pushing boundaries and helping others to do the same.”
She was among more than 350 guests attending the launch of the online directory in March during the Alumni Association’s Celebration of EnTERPreneurship event at The Hall CP, in the university’s Discovery District. It featured Scott Plank ’88 (below, right), developer of the restaurant and event venue, talking with President Darryll J. Pines about innovation, entrepreneurship and Plank’s journey to success.
Asked to share advice with Terps looking to launch a startup, Plank says: “Look to the person to the right of you and the left of you, particularly with your Terp community, your graduate community, the Dingman Center community. The person to the right and left of you are probably the right people to start your venture with because you know them well, you trust each other.”
The online directory currently lists over 150 business founders, owners and decision makers who are alumni or lifetime members of the association. It’s yet another way the Alumni Association encourages Terps around the world to do business with each other, says Amy Eichhorst, associate vice president of alumni and donor relations and executive director of alumni relations.
“The University of Maryland has been named one of the top 10 entrepreneurship programs in the country seven years in a row,” she says. “This new business directory will serve as a catalyst for connections and create a culture of Terps patronizing other Terps’ businesses.”
Here’s how the directory works: Business leaders apply to be in the directory. Once approved, they are listed under one of six categories: coaches and consultants, creatives, finance and development, food and beverage, products and services and Terps in technology.
Users can then search by category or name. They can also apply filters to find Alumni Association members, minority-owned businesses or members of the Alumni Association’s Coaches Corner program.
The directory is free for all students and alumni, although participants can upgrade their profiles for a yearly fee. Lifetime Alumni Association members receive a complimentary profile upgrade.
“I see this platform as an opportunity to reconnect to the school, reconnect to a community I loved being a part of, help other Terp alumni grow their businesses, and
of course, to grow my own business,” says Lauren Lefkowitz ’98, a leadership coach. “I love the idea that this network can make us all feel local and connected in a world that’s gone virtual.”—ALLISON EATOUGH ’97
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