Phonathon Connects Students With Those Who Came Before

Building relationships on common ground

Nine student development assistants are in the midst of a Penn College phonathon – calling alumni to learn about life after graduation, filling them in on the latest campus happenings and asking for support.

“My goal is to educate and engage current students in the importance and impact of philanthropy at Penn College,” said Becky J. Shaner, manager of alumni and student engagement. “The phonathon gives student callers insight into the impact that alumni generosity has for students like them, while providing the opportunity to develop their communication skills and network with alumni.”

Lining up for duty are many of the college's student development assistants. From left are Monteleone, Crouse, Bozzelli, Bordell, Smoyer, Thomas and Ressler.

Years ago, presidential student ambassadors volunteered their time to make alumni calls on behalf of the Institutional Advancement Office, but this is the first time for a full-fledged campus phonathon with paid students using an automated calling system.

Monteleone clearly enjoys alumni interaction.

Hired from a variety of academic programs to reach out to alumni this year are Jensen A. Bordell, Coal Township, pre-dental hygiene; Jordan C. Bozzelli, Worthington, business administration: marketing concentration; Lauren J. Crouse, Turbotville, applied human services; Lane S. Gross, Manchester, construction management; Nigel I. Mettle, Olney, Maryland, business administration: management concentration; Ryan Monteleone, Stevens, information assistance and cyber security; Travis J. Ressler, Dalton, New York, heavy construction equipment technology: operator emphasis; Kasandra L. Smoyer, Spring Mills, nursing; and Shakeem J. Thomas, Williamsport, emergency management technology.

A playful pose outside the Student & Administrative Services Center – before getting down to the business at hand

“The students are excited to call alumni, especially those who graduated from the programs they are currently experiencing,” Shaner said. “We’ve let alumni know that students will be making these calls by sending emails and a prerecorded message and, as a result, we have heard positive responses from alumni who are looking forward to their calls.”

The email included a very practical reminder of a Penn College education: the very Caller ID technology that allows alumni to know that students are calling was invented by Edward J. McCabe, a 1967 graduate of Williamsport Area Community College and a retired (and award-winning) instructor of electronics technology. His story was shared in the Summer 2005 issue of the college magazine: Risk & Reward

Photos by Tia G. La, student photographer

Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University