Turning the Page: Elizabeth Austin ’08TCB, ’10MBA Takes Charge of Alumni Chapters
When she first stepped foot onto the Queens campus as a freshman in 2004, Elizabeth Austin ’08TCB, ’10MBA fell in love with New York City. But this Kansas City, MO native also recognized that the big city is just one part of the St. John’s community.
“I always marveled at how geographically diverse our student body was,” explained Austin, who joined SJU in a professional capacity after graduation and recently was named Assistant Director in the Office of Alumni Relations. The most important aspect of her new role is overseeing the revitalization of Alumni Chapters.
“Of course, New York City is a huge part of the St. John’s community, but we’ve got alumni and students with roots all across the country,” she said. “It’s important that we work with graduates in those areas to ensure that there’s strong SJU alumni leadership there, allowing us to keep all our graduates of that region connected to the University and to one another.”
To this end, Austin has already begun traveling across the country, meeting alumni and attending events and receptions. Some of these areas include: Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, Los Angeles, CA and Washington, DC – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“We’ve done a lot of fun things already,” Austin said, “like attending a Dodgers game in Los Angeles and gathering for a private reception with graduates living in the Atlanta, GA area. These are the types of fun events we hope to host throughout the country: sports games, networking opportunities, arts-and-enrichment outings – there’s so much to do!”
Austin stresses that she is also hoping for alumni suggestions – in fact, she encourages all graduates to contact her if they would like to get more involved, participate, take on a leadership role or simply establish an Alumni Chapter in their area. She has worked with a handful of alumni to create Twitter accounts for certain chapters, like in Connecticut (@SJUCT), New Jersey (@SJUalumniNJ) and San Francisco (@SJUSanFran). She hopes to create more in the future to further spread the word about regional activities.
“We will be updating our chapter Web pages,” Austin explained, “and also using Twitter to get the message out there, so I hope that all of our alumni – no matter where they live – will be able to feel connected and engaged with the University they love.”