January is the best and busiest month at AlumniCorps. As the chill sets in and the holiday cheer recedes, we open our doors and get to work interviewing Project 55 Fellowship applicants. Our staff and alumni interviewers read through hundreds of essays, resumes, and transcripts. The office buzzes with students talking excitedly about why they want to do a Project 55 Fellowship. We go through a lot of coffee. As we consider which of our 162 applicants—a record!—will comprise the 27th class of PP55 Fellows, the AlumniCorps mission feels very alive.
This year in particular, as our political life together has taken increasingly concerning turns, my spirits were buoyed by the stream of brilliant and passionate students who marched through our office door. One applicant I met is utterly determined to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, and I left our interview sure that he will make major contributions to solving this challenge. Another, who first heard of PP55 when she attended Princeton’s admitted students’ gathering in Chicago four years ago, aspires to a policy career promoting gender equity. It is inspiring to imagine what the next class of fellows will contribute to our partner organizations, and also the ways they will be transformed by Project 55.
In the middle of all this, I took a day to attend our Emerging Leaders session in New York. Guest speakers Liz Duffy ’88 and Peter Daneker ’95 talked about their experiences leading and working with nonprofit boards. As the group of sixteen Emerging Leaders reflected on Liz and Pete’s comments, I was reminded that the qualities a leader exhibits correlate to the kind of change she creates. In that room I saw reflective, empathic, dedicated, and self-aware leaders prepared to run highly effective organizations. This kind of leadership is desperately needed, and Emerging Leaders creates the conditions for its growth.
Perhaps less visible but equally as important for the future of AlumniCorps, our strategic planning work continued in January. When the Board meets later in February they will vote on a plan that envisions AlumniCorps first and foremost as a network of individuals and organizations ready to be mobilized for the public good. If you are reading this issue of Shared Effort, you are part of our network, and I hope you will be part of bringing our plans to life in the coming years.
A month of PP55 interviews is both a little draining and totally exhilarating. Our long January days didn’t just keep us distracted from the news this year; they deepened our commitment and raised our hope. Every day, the AlumniCorps community works together to solve public problems, train future leaders, learn from different perspectives, and create community. That is work worth doing for the long haul.
On November 3 the area committee hosted a wine and cheese reception with AlumniCorps Executive Director Andrew Nurkin, Board President Kef Kasdin ’85, and Board Member Leesy Taggart ’78. Current and former fellows, mentors, and area committee members had the opportunity to meet one another, learn more about AlumniCorps’ organizational goals and plans for the future, and to engage new volunteers in supporting the fellowship program.
Committee members also hosted a workshop on December 7 for Project 55 Fellows about “managing up,” facilitated by May Mark, a former Emerging Leader and Project Manager at OneUni. In the session attendees defined “managing up,” learned strategies to manage up effectively, and worked through real-life challenges in peer-to-peer consultancies.
Supported by the Pace Center for Civic Engagement at Princeton University, Breakout Princeton is a student-driven alternative break program that encourages engagement with domestic social issues through immersion in communities. Breakout Princeton students who visited Boston were invited to attend a mixer with Boston Project 55 Fellows on November 3.
The Breakout Princeton students spoke about exploring the impact of the 2008 recession on low-income neighborhoods in Boston. The Project 55 Fellows shared their thoughts on their current positions, and why they chose to do a Project 55 fellowship after graduation.
The Boston Area Committee also hosted a gathering with the fellows in December to celebrate the first half of their fellowship year and the holidays. Current Project 55 fellow Nina Narayanan ’16‘s hard work was featured in AlumniCorps’ December appeal and blog.
The Committee has a very exciting series of seminars coming up at the Boston University School of Public Health. The first is an all-day symposium on how public health can take a leadership role in mitigating social determinants of health including race, class, disability, and gender. The second is a lecture by a Princeton professor, Eldar Shafir, on decision-making in contexts of poverty and on the application of behavioral research to policy.
Recent seminars hosted in Chicago have included the Chicago Area Committee’s annual panel with former fellows, including Chelsea Mayo ’14 and Andrew Kinaci ’10, to help Project 55 fellows navigate life after their fellowship— whether they stay on with their organization, attend graduate school, or transition to another career. At the end of 2016, fellows also attended a dynamic and timely seminar hosted by Sharon Fairley ’82, a Princeton alumna and current chief administrator of the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) in Chicago.
In December, Project 55 Fellows joined fellows from Northwestern’s and University of Chicago’s Public Interest Program for a holiday party at the Galway Arms. Virginia Midkiff ’16, current fellow at National Equity Fund said, “I enjoyed this week’s seminar at the Chicago Legal Clinic. The speaker, Mr. Ed Grossman, was incredibly inspiring. It was clear that he’d made it his life’s work to meet people where they’re at, and to respond to the specific needs of various Chicago neighborhoods and the community as a whole.”
On January 28, 2017 the NJ Fellows, Kelsey Jane-Ritsch ’16, Aliisa Lee ’16, and Maya Wahrman ’16 drove to Philadelphia to visit Sahana Jayaraman ’16, who is serving her fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. They explored Penn Treaty Park and Fishtown where they took in some beautiful views, fun hipster shops and streets, cute bakeries, and delicious Mexican food. These young women have proclaimed themselves “the tightest Project 55 corps around!”
On February 2 the NJ Area Committee hosted a gathering at the residence of a Committee member in Jersey City. Fourteen attendees learned about AlumniCorps’ new strategic vision from Kef Kasdin ’85, President of AlumniCorps. Area Committee volunteer Marsha Rosenthal ’76 commented, “The conversation was lively, and Kef’s talk was right on target.”
New York City
On November 3, the NYC Area Committee hosted a Press and Politics seminar. In the days leading up to the election, Judith Hole Suratt s’55 moderated a panel discussion with journalists to discuss the role and responsibilities of media in politics. The three panelists were: Kathleen McCleery (award-winning broadcast journalist who has worked for PBS and NBC, currently a visiting professor at Princeton, teaching a course on “Politics and the Media”); Jack Holmes (assistant editor at Esquire.com, experienced in digital writing); and Bill Plante (retired reporter who has been a White House correspondent and State Department correspondent for CBS)
On January 19, the Committee hosted a seminar at Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center. The seminar’s key speakers were the Center’s executive director, Dr. Angela Diaz and Dr. Matt Oransky. They focused on the work that the Center does to address mental health.
On November 13, Committee members and current fellows went ice skating in Bryant Park. Then, on December 15, Victoria Lee ’16 hosted a holiday party for current Project 55 fellows, mentors, and Emerging Leaders. In addition, AlumniCorps president Kef Kasdin ’85 and Ry Beck from 12 Stockton staff, were in attendance.
On January 27, the social committee organized a group of Project 55 fellows to visit the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and take advantage of Free Admission Fridays.
The Washington, DC Area Committee hosted two panels for Project 55 fellows: Anne Goldstein ’79, AlumniCorps board member and Human Rights Education Director for the International Association of Women Judges, spoke about women’s rights. Retired Ambassador Tom Graham ’55 spoke about careers in government. The Project 55 fellows were joined by University of Chicago Public Interest Program fellows. The committee also hosted a holiday happy hour at a local restaurant for the Project 55 fellows and their mentors.
Princeton AlumniCorps is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. As such, we rely on the generosity of our donors, who provide nearly 80% of our operating budget. Our programs in Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Jersey, and Washington DC, provide mentorship, training, and professional development to approximately 80 talented passionate university graduates and nonprofit professionals who in turn, directly affect thousands of people served by our partner organizations. Your contribution helps assure that leaders at nonprofits across the spectrum from the arts, community development, and social justice, to education and the environment will continue to learn the skills they need to be effective agents of social change.
The IRA Charitable Rollover /Minimum Distribution Requirements
If you are at least aged 70½, you may be eligible to make a gift to Princeton AlumniCorps directly from your IRA.
An IRA donation must be transferred directly from your IRA to Princeton AlumniCorps.
There is no subsequent tax deduction.
The distribution does not enter your income calculation, and thus, no tax is due.
Gifts may be made up to a maximum of $100,000 per year.
The Keystone Society is comprised of a select group of donors who have chosen to assure the long-term health and sustainability of Princeton AlumniCorps by including AlumniCorps in their estate planning. Society members know that the
assets they commit now will continue to aid AlumniCorps for generations to come, as it develops civic leaders, builds an expansive a community, and creates social impact.
Keystone Society members are honored each year with a small gathering featuring noted speakers. Past guests have included Nobel Prize-winner Professor Angus Deaton and noted first-amendment authority, Professor Margaret ‘Peggy’ Russell. Our 2017 speaker is noted author and media theorist Douglas Rushkoff ’83. This year, we welcome Lewis Miller ’49, Judith Hole Suratt s’55, and J. Rogers Woolston ’55 as our new Society members. Thank you for your pledge of support!
For more information on how you can ensure your legacy with AlumniCorps, please visit the Keystone website.
Lorraine Goodman ’83 joined AlumniCorps in November 2016 as Development Officer. Since graduating from Princeton, she has been involved with Princeton Annual Giving, served as the Director of Development and Alumni Communications for the Friends of Theatre Intime, and was recently named Co-Chair of Princeton Women’s Network of NYC.
Her professional fundraising experience includes two years working for The Red Hot Organization, which produces record albums and then donates the proceeds to AIDS-related charities. Subsequent development positions included Corporate Membership Manager at the Paley Center for Media, Grants Manager at Theatre for a New Audience, and Director of Development at both The New York Musical Festival and Roulette Intermedium.
Lorraine also has a wealth of volunteer experience with organizations ranging from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, InTouch Radio Network for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and Hearts & Voices. Prior to her career in fundraising, Lorraine appeared on Broadway and overseas in first class productions of Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Master Class, Les Miserables, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and more. Goodman has a Masters of Arts Administration from NYU’s Steinhardt.
The AlumniCorps Emerging Leaders program transforms talented nonprofit professionals into the next generation of public interest leaders. The program meets the critical need for highly skilled leadership in the nonprofit sector.
According to The Bridgespan Group, surveys consistently show that nonprofit organizations are acutely aware of their leadership development gaps, but unsure about how to address them. The Emerging Leaders program was conceptualized to address this public sector issue. The program runs for a total of eight full-day, monthly sessions from June-February (skipping August), and is made possible by a lead grant from American Express.
One of the hallmarks of the Emerging Leaders (EL) program is the high caliber of guest speakers that engage and educate participants.
New York City:
In November 2016, Jezra Kaye, President of Speak Up for Success coached participants on presentation skill-building and practice.
In December 2016, Rainah Berlowitz ’97, Director of Operations at Education Through Music, spoke about Nonprofit Financial Management & Reporting. AlumniCorps Executive Director Andrew Nurkin also spoke about Inter-Organizational Collaboration.
In January 2017, participants heard AlumniCorps Board Chair Liz Duffy ’88, President of International Schools Services, and Peter Daneker ’95, Board Vice Chairman of Harlem RBI, speak about Embracing Board/Staff and Executive Director/Chair Roles and Relationships.
In November Amber Romine, an executive coach and leadership development consultant, coached participants on presentation skill-building and practice.
In December Amy Nakamoto, Program Officer at the Meyer Foundation, spoke about Executive Perspectives on Nonprofit Financial Management. Amy has spent her career working in education, nonprofits, fundraising, and youth development.
In January, James Siegal, President of KaBOOM, joined Alex Moore, DC Central Kitchen’s Director of Development and Communications to speak about Inter-organizational Collaboration.
The AlumniCorps NJ Area Committee is hosting a free gathering on February 2 from 7:00 to 10:00pm. The event will be held at the residence of an area committee member in the Rec Room (5th Floor) in Building Atlantic, 31 River Court, Jersey City, NJ 07310. This is just minutes from the Newport PATH Station. Wine, cheese, crudites and finger food will be served. Attendees will hearfrom Kef Kasdin ’85, President of AlumniCorps.
Learn about the new strategic vision for AlumniCorps
Share your expertise as mentors for social entrepreneur opportunities
Network with Project 55 alumni and AlumniCorps supporters, including current Project 55 fellows and alumni; Emerging Leaders; ARC Innovators; Princeton alumni; and AlumniCorps friends;
Meet the 2016-17 New Jersey Project 55 Fellows!
We’ll be joined by our current NJ PP55 Fellows (pictured below):
Sahana Jayaraman, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
Kelsey Kane-Ritsch, D&R Greenway Land Trust
Aliisa Lee, International Schools Services
Maya Wahrman, Princeton University, Office of Religious Life
About Kef Kasdin ’85:
Kef Kasdin is President of Princeton AlumniCorps. Prior to assuming this role in June 2016, Kef created and grew AlumniCorps’ ARC Innovators program, which matches experienced professionals with impactful pro bono projects in the social sector, inspiring participants toward encore careers. Kef herself has made that transition. Kef teaches the introductory “Foundations of Entrepreneurship” course at Princeton University, where she inspires and mentors Princeton undergraduates to pursue social entrepreneurship pathways. She is also Board Chair at Rachel’s Network, a vibrant community of women at the intersection of environmental advocacy, philanthropy and women’s leadership with a mission to promote women as agents of change dedicated to the stewardship of the earth. Kef received her BSE degree from Princeton University in 1985 in Operations Research, with a certificate in Science and Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School; and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business in 1989. Earlier in her career she held senior leadership roles at 3Com Corporation, including general manager of a $1B division; and was a founding General Partner of Battelle Ventures where from 2003 to 2015 she led the firm’s investments in clean energy and started several companies based on Department of Energy Lab technologies.
About the New Jersey Area Committee:
We support the Project 55 fellows who are placed in New Jersey, with area alumni mentors and networking/training opportunities. We also support the ARC Innovators program in New Jersey. We help identify nonprofit partner organizations to work with our Fellows, Innovators, and Emerging Leaders.
Marsha Rosenthal ’76 and Tom Magnus ’77 K55 chair the New Jersey Committee, which also includes Rick Ober ’65, Julia Otis ’91, and Haoqian Chen ’08.
Thank you so much for your interest and enthusiasm. Please join us. Many hands make light work, and we hope to have fun together.
About Princeton AlumniCorps:
Princeton AlumniCorps engages alumni at every age. Our year-long Princeton Project 55 Fellowships are for graduating Princeton seniors and other recent graduates. Emerging Leaders is a professional development program for nonprofit managers a little bit further along in their careers; the program is open to alumni of other institutions. ARC Innovators is for seasoned alumni with skills to offer; Innovators have ranged in age from 22 to 82; anyone in the wider Princeton network is welcome. Our volunteers are Princeton alumni of all ages, who serve as mentors, advisors, area committee members, Board members, seminar speakers, and more.