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Student Life

Making Connections Through Dinner with Alumni: A Student's Reflection

By Ugoeze Achilike, SIS student

During the fall semester of 2016, I had the opportunity to participate in the Dinner with Alumni series offered through the American University Alumni Association. Before that, I had not interacted with many alumni, and, as a current senior pursuing a degree in Sustainable International Development from the School of International Service, I was excited by the opportunity to engage with former AU students to learn about their college experiences and discuss our various passions.

Through engaging with alumni, including Sara Nieves-Grafals, CAS/BS '75, CAS/MA '79, CAS/PhD '80; Penny Pagano, CAS/BA '65; Bradley White, SPA/BA '99, WCL/JD '07; and London McCloud, Kogod/BSBA '02, I was able to learn about various student opportunities the American University Alumni Association has to offer. I learned about the Black Alumni Alliance Book Award, as well as the Women's Network Coffee Chats, where alumnae and current female AU students have the opportunity to connect with one another.

During the dinners, I enjoyed listening to alumni tell stories about what AU was like when they attended. It helped me realize how much progress our campus and country have really made. Overall, I look forward to these dinners because they are golden opportunities to network in a relaxing environment. I feel that the alumni are truly interested in me as a person, learning about my experience at AU, and offering guidance and help when needed.

Lastly, through this program I have been able to meet different students that I otherwise would have not had to opportunity to meet. This has been one of the best parts of the program because I feel more connected to AU and my fellow peers. The Dinner with Alumni program has been very beneficial for me and I think that more students should consider participating.