With their past experiences both as Mount Carmel graduates and now fully fledged professionals or retirees from a successful nursing career, Mount Carmel alumni are vital to MCCN. Beyond rekindling memories, sharing knowledge or life experiences, engaging alumni through collaboration with MCCN faculty and staff enables the College to enhance the student experience while offering a meaningful experience for the alumni and a way for them to give back to the alma mater that gave them the foundation for or enhanced their career path.
Led by Debbie Boggs, RN, as director, Alumni Relations harnesses the enthusiasm and fond memories of alumni, focusing their engagement to ensure a bright future for the College through a number of initiatives.
“It is an honor and a privilege to work with faculty, staff, alumni and students to find meaningful ways for alumni to work with students and the College, not just to share their knowledge and experience, but be a part of their future as well,” said Boggs.
With the Admissions office, Boggs works with 15 alumni who write letters to all students accepted to MCCN in the traditional program, sharing their experiences and offering words of welcome and encouragement. Some of these alumni live in other parts of the country. This program offers them the opportunity to connect with our students even though they may be hundreds of miles away. Many of these same alumni also help with Admissions’ recruitment visits, which began last fall with one alum. A lengthier list of alumni have volunteered to help during recruiting visits this fall, sharing their experiences with prospective students.
Alumni Mentoring Program
Boggs collaborated with Tanika Cherry-Montgomery, PhD, RN-BC, coordinator of the Second Degree Accelerated Program (SDAP) to develop a mentor program with the outgoing SDAP cohort, soon to be alumni themselves, mentoring the incoming SDAP cohort. This program began last year and has grown this year. “We also added lunch-and-learns for the mentees, bringing in alumni to discuss different career path opportunities, their journey since leaving Mount Carmel and tips on employment and job interviews,” said Boggs.
Service Learning Program
This year, Boggs also is excited about the incorporation of service learning into the MCCN curriculum and the opportunity for alumni participation at the freshman level. Working in conjunction with Kathy Fernandez, PhD, RN, from the Columbus campus and Deidre Smith, MSN, RN, at MCCN-FMC, alumni are acting as facilitators for freshman students at the various community partner sites.
Connecting alumni with students/graduates in pursuit of nursing careers both locally and nationally is important. “In its beginning stage, this initiative has unlimited possibilities,” Boggs said. This past year, she introduced a senior to alumni in other parts of the country as the graduating student began looking for employment opportunities in the West. Additionally, several students expressed interest at the Fall Wellness Fair in a speed networking event with alumni. Boggs hopes to organize such an event for the spring.
At Orientation last August, all registration tables were staffed with alumni to welcome new students and visit with their parents at lunch. “It was very exciting and our alumni had a wonderful time,” said Boggs.
Social Opportunities for Students and Alumni
Alumni Relations also looks for opportunities for social events for students and alumni to mingle, including those that are less formal. Last fall, in collaboration with the Mount Carmel Alumni Association, Alumni Relations organized an alumni tailgate before one of the home Ohio State football games. This year, they have decided to extend the invitation to students to offer another opportunity for alumni to visit with students.
Alumni Association Liaison Responsibilities
As the Mount Carmel Alumni Association liaison for the College, Boggs meets with the board and assists them with various projects, including generating welcome bags for new students, assisting with scholarships and assisting in the planning of finals breakfasts and the alumni homecoming celebration.
Even with all theses initiatives, Boggs still sees plenty of additional opportunities for meaningful engagement among alumni, students and the College.