A message from Interim Executive Director, Kef Kasdin ’85

Kef Kasdin ’85, Interim Executive Director of Princeton AlumniCorps

Princeton AlumniCorps’ Network is in the midst of a busy spring, as you will read in this Shared Effort. Though I have served as ARC Innovators Program Leader since late 2010, as a member of the AlumniCorps Board of Directors since 2012, and as its President for the past year, I am struck by how much more I have learned about AlumniCorps in the past several weeks since stepping into the shoes of our previous Executive Director, Andrew Nurkin. For one thing, I learned that our home at 12 Stockton was built in 1824 by a famous Princeton architect and builder, Charles Steadman. I have also learned of the professionalism and dedication of not only our small, hardworking staff at 12 Stockton, but also of our multitude of volunteers across the country, and it is awe-inspiring. Over the last month, I had the opportunity to visit with some of our partner organizations, Fellows, and Area Committee members in Chicago; I am repeatedly struck by the variety of work our partner organizations do and the significant contributions of our Fellows to those efforts. We have concluded our pilot year of Seminars from Stockton and have received many of our Fellows’ capstone projects – both firsts for the program. We are about to welcome our newest class of Fellows (at least 46 this year) from the class of 2017 and have completed the selection of our next Emerging Leaders cohort. In both cases, we have seen record numbers of extremely well-qualified applicants.

I also want to thank the Board for their support during my transition, and most importantly for the hard work they have done to create a bold vision for the next several years of Princeton AlumniCorps with our Common Purpose: A Plan for Princeton AlumniCorps 2017-2021. We firmly believe AlumniCorps has an important part to play in expanding our society’s collective capacity to address the world’s most pressing challenges.
Our new mission, which was formally adopted by the board in December, is to mobilize people, organizations, and networks for the public good.

A new strategic plan was recently approved. Here is a brief summary:

AlumniCorps Values:

  • Thoughtful Engagement
  • Systemic Solutions
  • Empathic Partnerships
  • Intergenerational Insights
  • Vigorous Dialogue
  • Reciprocal Mentorship
  • Longevity

Five key strategic goals:

  • Mobilize our network
  • Strengthen existing leadership programs
  • Expand existing leadership programs
  • Launch new “Bold Idea” initiative
  • Ensure long-term organizational strength

You can take a look at the full strategic plan below:

You can also download a printable copy here. We look forward to working with all of you in the coming months and years to realize this vision.

In Community,

 

 

 

Executive Director’s Update – February 2017

Notes from a Princeton Project 55 orientation session

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.  

In Community,

Andrew

Regional Updates for February 2017

2017 Regional Map of Princeton AlumniCorps Project 55 programs

Bay Area

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.

Bay Area Project 55 fellows at the ‘Managing Up’ workshop on December 7.
The ‘Managing Up’ workshop was facilitated by May Mark, a former Emerging Leaders fellow and Project Manager at OneUni.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boston

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.

Chicago

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.”

 New Jersey

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.

Washington, DC

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.

Be sure to follow AlumniCorps on Facebook at facebook.com/AlumniCorps to see photos from regional events!

Development Update

A Case for Giving

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.

Please note:

  • 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.

Keystone Society Breakfast attendees in February 2016

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 Breakfast 2017 speaker, Douglas Rushkoff ’83

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 ’49Judith 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.

New Staff at 12 Stockton!

Lorraine Goodman’83, our new Development Officer

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.

Emerging Leaders Learn from Seasoned Nonprofit Professionals

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.

Washington, DC:

  • 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.
Applications are due Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Learn more and apply online here.