Dean's Desk (July 2017)
By Bre Jelsma
As the Alumni and College Relations Coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, I have had the distinct privilege of getting to know several alumni over the past two years. I've especially enjoyed hearing their "college years" stories because it makes me reminisce about my own time as an APU student. The exciting adventures with new friends. The eye- and heart-opening study abroad trips. The 3 AM espresso shots that helped me survive all-nighters. But, most of all, I remember the professors. One professor would bring us homemade banana bread before every class. Another would invite us over for dinner and fellowship throughout the year. Several took extra time out of their week to help me understand a lecture I wasn't grasping. To me, it’s because of these professors that we, as alumni, graduate to become Difference Makers. If you’re an alum or current student, I would love to hear about your standout APU memory and how it's helped you become a Difference Maker.
When I made the transition from alumna to staff, I quickly realized the extent of CLAS’ devotion to its students, even after graduation. As an example, I was hired solely for the purpose of providing alumni and students with opportunities to stay engaged with the university and help advance their careers. Here are some exciting initiatives the faculty and I have launched as a means to fulfill that mission:
- This eNewsletter! CLAS Connect allows you to stay up-to-date on what your peers are doing, learn about upcoming events, and possibly help you find a job.
- Virtual Networking: Last year, CLAS formed a partnership with Brazen Connect, an online platform that allows participants to connect with one another via text-based chats. We’ve used this platform to help alumni from around the globe network with others in their industry; to connect students with potential alumni mentors; and to connect students and alumni with Career Counselors. The fall calendar will be out soon so keep an eye out!
- On Campus Events: I’ve teamed up with your favorite professors to plan major-specific events on or around campus for our alumni and students. Check your emails so you don't miss the chance to network!
- Alumni Chapters: One alumni chapter has launched in Washington, D.C. and we hope more will launch soon! For those who aren’t local to APU, this is great way to connect with other alumni and make new friends. Send us an email if you’re interested in being a chapter leader.
Each of these initiatives support our vision of fostering a culture of scholarship and preparing students for a well-lived life. We encourage you to share your thoughts on our progress and give us ideas on how else we can serve you.
Bre (Kirk '09) Jelsma
Alumni and College Relations Coordinator
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Azusa Pacific University
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."