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New York Alumni Among AU's Most Engaged

By Daniel Mularz, CAS/MA ’13

New York City skyline

As graduation approaches, New York City alumni volunteers Ashley Rose Stumbaugh, Kogod/BSBA ’12, Jason Gold, SOC/BA ’05, David Teslicko, SIS/BA ’09, WCL/JD ’12, and the 10,570 American University alumni from New York City look forward to welcoming new graduates and sharing with them all the exciting engagement opportunities NYC offers AU alumni.

David, who is currently a member of the NYC Young Alumni Chapter, was initially drawn to American University for its focus on international studies and public affairs. “Visiting AU sealed the deal for me, as I instantly appreciated the unique atmosphere of the campus,” he says. After graduating from American University’s School of International Service and then the Washington College of Law, David began working for a judge on the court at the Court of International Trade. Like most New Yorkers, David is constantly enthralled by the buzz of activity the city has to offer. As president of the NYC Young Alumni Chapter, he works to create buzz of his own by putting together a variety of programs throughout the year.

David says that one event he and many other young alumni look forward to each year is AU’s Back to School Night. The event invites recent alumni who just moved to the city to meet with current alumni in New York in an effort to foster the growth of the AU community there. Other events include AU happy hours, museum tours, and presidential receptions. David says he remains engaged with the university because it shaped the person he is today. He finds the NYC alumni network to be filled with other individuals who share the passion he has for American University and looks forward to attending alumni events in the city to learn how other alumni are making a difference professionally as well as in their communities.

Another young alumna, Ashley Rose Stumbaugh, is currently social media manager for the Young Alumni Chapter and promotes many of the upcoming NYC engagements alongside David. She says fellow alumni often joke with her that it’s counter intuitive to have a “financial gal” working the social media campaign. A nod to AU’s liberal arts education, Ashley has put together a number of successful social media campaigns, including a series called, “Eagles Who Soar," to introduce NYC young alumni to the chapter board members. Ashley is always looking for fun ways to share the stories of fellow alumni and uses social media like Facebook to highlight the many engagements New York City offers AU alumni. She shared that during the month of March many young alumni were excited by the success of the AU basketball team and came to support the team at viewing parties for the Patriot League Championship and NCAA tournament. Despite a tough loss, she says alumni still had a fun time showing school spirit and cheering on their AU Eagles.  

Ashley knows many NYC alumni are also looking forward to the upcoming summer events, including another season of AU kickball and the upcoming AIDS Walk in May. Being a financial professional, she particularly enjoys engaging with students at the NY Finance Network trip and site visit. As a young alumna, Ashley understands the importance of networking and looks to help AU Finance students any way she can with internships or job opportunities. She explains, “The most rewarding thing to me is seeing a student who I met with on a site visit or exchanged emails with over coffee succeed in landing an awesome internship. I get to feel like I had a tiny part of their success.”

Site visits in New York City for students interested in media and marketing have also been a popular engagement opportunity. Each winter, students interested in the field of media and marketing take a trip to New York and experience the inner workings of the businesses they hope to be part of after graduation. Jason Gold, director of scripted production at AMC and a member of the Entertainment and Media Alumni Alliance, arranged for AMC to host its first ever site visit in January. “I enjoy passing along all the knowledge I’ve gained back to students who will be joining me in the workforce,” says Jason. He often stresses to students and recent graduates that, while the television and media industries are not easy to break into, they should not to give up. “Make connections and know that you need to start from the bottom and work your way up,” Jason adds, saying he remains connected to his classmates and fraternity brothers through many alumni events in NYC.  

All three of these active New York alumni feel a need to pay it forward to students. These Eagles of the Big Apple cannot stress enough the importance of student-alumni connections and still live by their alma mater, “Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle.” David says, “AU wasn’t the kind of school where students succeed simply by showing up to class and hanging out in the dorms the rest of the day. I frequently find that I am relying on skills, lessons, and connections that I thought would be relevant and ultimately it has led to a far more memorable and exciting life.”