Mentor Gains Confidence to Lead (Reunion Weekend 2014)

8 Oct

In honor of Reunion Weekend Oct. 17-19, we’re spotlighting this year’s affinity receptions, which recognize former Orientation Leader alumni and those who were involved with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Here, an Orientation Leader alumnus shares what the group meant to him. Remember: All alumni are welcome at Reunion Weekend 2014, so register today. Registration ends Oct. 10!

Matt Horvath (EDU ’03)

Matt Horvath (EDU ’03)

In the summer of 1999, I remember being extremely nervous about attending college, as it was a massive transition in my life. Premiere DePaul changed that! The mentors were energetic, my group was friendly and I became comfortable with the campus. Plus, my eyes were opened to diversity through the Mile Walkers theatre troupe and I was able to experience dorm-life for the first time. When the orientation program was over, I couldn’t wait to go back and begin my freshman year at DePaul.

Two years later, I became a mentor through the Orientation Leader program. I learned to work as part of the incredible team that was our 2001 Premiere DePaul staff. We bonded during the 70-hours-per-week training period (and over countless icebreakers!). Then, while in the process of leading multiple orientation sessions every week, we picked each other up when our energy levels were running on fumes. I have plenty of fond memories with the 2001 Premiere staff both inside and outside of the orientation sessions.

My summer as an Orientation Leader was the first time that I truly felt I could succeed as an educator. I knew that I had the work ethic and organizational skills but was worried that my introverted personality would prevent me from being an effective educator. Facilitating discussions, performing in skits, and guiding tours of the campus helped to break me out of my shell and give me confidence to lead. I also became familiar with the rewarding feeling of seeing my orientation group members excited about becoming a Blue Demon (just like I felt in 1999). This is the same rewarding feeling I get when students make a breakthrough or tell me that they have been accepted into college.

I hope to see everybody at Reunion Weekend and the Orientation Leader reunion on Saturday, Oct. 18. I am looking forward to sharing stories with mentors from many different eras, and reconnecting with the 2001 Premiere staff.

- Matt Horvath (EDU ’03)

Co-Chair, Orientation Leader Reunion Committee

How PRSSA Connected Me to DePaul (Reunion Weekend 2014)

1 Oct

In honor of Reunion Weekend Oct. 17-19, we’re spotlighting this year’s affinity receptions, which recognize former Orientation Leader alumni and those who were involved with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Here, a PRSSA alumna shares what the group meant to her. Remember: All alumni are welcome at Reunion Weekend 2014, so register today! Early bird pricing ends Oct. 3 (with registration closing Oct. 10).

Nicole Young

Nicole Young (CMN ’08)

As you’re preparing to enter college, people you know and love and even acquaintances tell you to enjoy every moment, because “those are the best days of your life.” In college, you connected at some level to your alma mater—whether it was the friends you made in Munroe Hall, your first home away from home, the professor who taught you to utilize your natural talents in communication, or simply being a part of a diverse community in the great city of Chicago. Those types of connections leave you with a smile and sense of nostalgia at the mere mention of DePaul.

As a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, I remember hoping to learn from the executive board and members, boost my resume and secure a real public relations position after graduation.

Along with my fellow executive board members, we stumbled to the realization that the PRSSA we had been members of for two years was not actually recognized by the parent organization. Collaborating as a strong, diverse and motivated team, we worked tirelessly to communicate the obstacle to our constituents, inspire support both internally and externally, and strive toward the goal of establishing our organization while laying the foundation for those to come.

Little did I know at the time that I’d learn and accomplish more than I had hoped all while making lifelong friends and establishing the first recognized PRSSA DePaul chapter. As I look back, six years later, I still feel pride for the team that came together, the goal we accomplished, and the continuous success the organization and members have established since. I invite my fellow PRSSA members to join me on Oct. 18 for Reunion Weekend to reconnect, network and share memories!

- Nicole Young (CMN ’08)

Co-Chair, PRSSA Reunion Committee

An Orientation Leader Looks Back (Reunion Weekend 2014)

26 Sep

In honor of Reunion Weekend Oct. 17-19, we’re spotlighting this year’s affinity receptions, which recognize former Orientation Leader alumni and those who were involved with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Here, an Orientation Leader alumna shares what the group meant to her. Remember: All alumni are welcome at Reunion Weekend 2014, so register today. Early bird pricing ends Oct. 3!

Alumna Sarah Shields

Sarah Shields (EDU ’12)

My experience at DePaul University was—to try and sum it all up in one word—amazing. I learned so much about myself, and by participating in so many extracurricular activities, I found I had a passion for working in student affairs! Thanks to so many wonderful staff mentors, I grew so much as a person, student and professional during my time there. Out of everything I was lucky enough to be a part of at DePaul, hands down my most impactful experience was being an Orientation Leader for two summers.

In 2008 and 2009, I was fortunate enough to be chosen to serve as an OL alongside some of the brightest and kindest students from across the university. Those two summers taught me not only about DePaul and all it offers, but also how to give entertaining tours through Lincoln Park while walking backward, how to interact with stakeholders (parents, academic advisors, etc.), how to execute the best icebreakers (candy is key!), and how wonderful it is to create friendships that will last far beyond those few months.

The moments we spent hanging out in the green room of the MPR, playing cards and pumping each other up at the start of each orientation session, were some of my favorite of each summer. However, so many funny stories came out of the time spent outside of actually working—the hour-long bus ride back from our retreat in Wisconsin that turned into a five-hour trek through flooded highways, numerous late-night trips to the beach that turned into epic dance parties, and even spending a day together at Six Flags! There is something special that happens when you work that closely with people for an entire summer—a bond that can’t really be explained or replicated anywhere else. And I am so thankful I had the opportunity to meet and learn from so many fantastic people!

I cannot say enough wonderful things about my time as an Orientation Leader. I know everyone I worked with those summers would agree that we had the time of our lives. I am so looking forward to reconnecting with all of my orientation friends in Chicago for Reunion Weekend. Hope to see you there!

- Sarah Shields (EDU ’12)

Co-Chair, Orientation Leader Reunion Committee

Alumni: Thank You for Being All for DePaul!

2 Jul

All for DePaul GoalDuring the All for DePaul participation challenge, we set a goal to count 9,000 alumni as supporters of DePaul University during the 2014 fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). In total, 9,663 alumni joined together to make a difference, showing that they truly are All for DePaul!

If you showed your support during All for DePaul, thank you for demonstrating your pride by making a gift!

If you weren’t able to participate this past fiscal year, know that it is never too late to make a difference! Gifts from alumni have an impact on current students year-round.

Alumni Couple Know That Their Combined Support Makes A Difference!

18 Jun
DePaul alumni Michael and Lovelyn Velazquez enjoy paying it forward.

DePaul alumni Michael and Lovelyn Velazquez enjoy paying it forward.

This year, alumni couple Lovelyn (BUS ’07) and Michael Velazquez (BUS ’06, MBA ’13) made their first joint gift to DePaul during the All for DePaul participation challenge.

What compelled you to make a gift?

Michael: We’ve received the emails and letters asking for our support, and it’s something we’ve considered for a while. But this year, we received a call from a current student who shared her DePaul experience with us.

Lovelyn: Getting that call reminded us about how much we loved our time at DePaul and the relationships we built there—including meeting one another! After graduating, alumni may forget about how valuable their time on campus was, but it’s important to take a couple of minutes and remember DePaul!

Which fund(s) do you support, and why?

Lovelyn: Both of us are scholarship recipients. A big factor in me coming to DePaul was the scholarship support I received. When we decided to make our gift, we knew that we wanted to give to scholarships. Giving back is our chance to pay it forward, even if it’s a small dollar amount.

What would you say to fellow alumni who don’t currently give?

Michael: Take a few minutes to think about what you got from DePaul. For us, the friendships we built with faculty and especially classmates have continued to be important to us. I think the experiences students receive at DePaul make it worth giving back as alumni, even if you can’t give a lot. Even if one-third of our alumni gave back a dollar, that would be huge!

Follow Lovelyn and Michael’s example and make your gift today!

What DePaul Alumni Miss About Their Alma Mater

22 May

 

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  1. Making new friends and hanging out between classes.
  2. Using the UPass to get around the city.
  3. Rocking out to the FEST headliner.
  4. Free Public Safety escort rides to get across campus on frigid days.
  5. Soaking up the sunshine on the Quad, the 11th floor terrace and North Avenue Beach during spring quarter.
  6. Pulling all-nighters during finals week… just kidding, no one misses that!
  7. Being inspired by professors and classmates each quarter.
  8. Attending endless events around campus, from comedy shows to barbeques to Mass on the Grass.
  9. Being known by name at Kelly’s and Exchequer.
  10. Taking a seat on the Father Egan statue in front of the Lincoln Park Student Center, on the hills in front of SAC and on a bench in front of the DePaul Center.
  11. Scoring free food and T-shirts!
  12. Cheering for the Blue Demons at athletic events.
  13. Savoring every minute of the six-week winter break.
  14. Gaining your freshman 15 from Sweet Mandy B’s cupcakes.
  15. Exploring Chicago with lifelong friends.

Honor your memories and help ensure that current and future students have these same experiences by supporting All for DePaul! Your participation will bring us one step closer to our goal of 9,000 alumni donors before June 30. Make a gift of any size to be counted today—we’re only 7 percent away from successful completion of this challenge!

P.S. Still feeling nostalgic? Reminisce more about your college years by reading “You know you went to DePaul if…”

Young Alumna’s Small Gifts Add Up to Big Impact

9 Apr

140129_Beirne_Ashley_8816Ashley Beirne (BUS ’11) supports DePaul each year with gifts that range in size from $5 to $25.

Why do you give?
I was compelled to make my first gift at Cap and Gown Pickup right before I graduated. Since then, I have continued to give to DePaul both monetarily and by volunteering my time, because I want to show my gratitude and help other students have as great of an experience as I did. I am thankful to DePaul for the career advancements and opportunities that I have been fortunate to have.

How do you decide how much to give?
I have decided to give smaller amounts regularly each time I sign up or go to events throughout the year. Whenever I register for a DePaul alumni event, I make sure to add a donation to show my support.

Which fund(s) do you support, and why?
I support the Driehaus College of Business fund, as well as the Fund for DePaul. I graduated from the Driehaus College of Business with a double major in marketing and management. I am very proud to say that my education at DePaul truly set me up for success in the workplace.

Why do you think it’s important for young alumni to show their support?
I think it’s important for young alumni to show their support for DePaul because we account for the most recent graduate successes. Our appreciation means so much when we are just starting out and able to donate what we can. I look forward to continuing to see DePaul grow and prosper!

Follow Ashley’s example and make your gift today!

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