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As a BU student, Valerie Sun (CGS’04, CAS’06) was an admissions ambassador who enjoyed talking about her experiences to prospective students. So when she graduated from the University, it seemed fitting that she would join the alumni community in her new home in New York City. It’s a close-knit group, where alums can meet new people with similar interests and explore the city.

Since then, Sun has become a true ambassador for BU. A committed volunteer, she has attended or organized most of the alumni events held in New York since she moved there.

“My connections through the alumni community have allowed me to meet other alumni and gain valuable knowledge and career advice in a relaxed environment,” says Sun. “With every BU event I attend, I learn something new.”

For her enthusiastic dedication to the BU Alumni Network of Greater New York City, Sun was awarded a 2013 Alumni Network Award. Each year, BU Alumni Association volunteers and staff nominate the most committed alumni from networks around the globe for Alumni Network Awards. The Boston University Alumni Council (BUAC), the Alumni Association’s leadership group, selects and presents the awards at the Alumni Weekend Alumni Leadership Forum, a global roundtable of alumni who practice exemplary leadership in their volunteer roles. The forum was developed by the BUAC as a platform for volunteer leaders to gather and share best practices. The council congratulates the following awardees and thanks them for their service to BU.

Alumni Volunteer of the Year

Along with Sun, the following alums share Alumni Volunteer of the Year honors for their successful efforts to strengthen BU’s alumni network and raise the profile of the University:

Courtney Vander Poel (CAS’03), communications chair and a leader of the Alumni Network of Washington, D.C., has been a critical member of the leadership team. Her dedication and enthusiasm make her a valuable volunteer and a bright star in the D.C. alumni community.

Lisa Rothstein (CGS’01, CAS’03), founder and volunteer leader of the Alumni Network of Minneapolis-St. Paul, singlehandedly launched the network in the Twin Cities. Her inspiration and persistence have led to the engagement of dozens of alumni and the creation of a variety of successful events.

Britt Hoglund (CGS’98, CAS’00), an instrumental leader in BU’s Alumni Network of Orange County, has developed unique ways to get involved with alumni, the community, and the University. She has contributed to the success of events in the Orange County area and beyond.

Best Community Service Program

Two 2013 Global Days of Service (GDS) programs received accolades this year:
The Alumni Network of South Korea, made up largely of College of Fine Arts alumni and led by Yongmaan Park (GSM’82), performed for patients and their families at a local hospital.

Led by Lance Ganis (SMG’72) and the Alumni Network of Southeast Florida, GDS volunteers in Boca Raton gathered for the fourth year in a row at Boca Helping Hands to sort and distribute food to the local community.

Best Networking Program

Eggs & Entrepreneurs in NYC, a monthly breakfast series led by Adam Marsh (COM’95) and the Alumni Network of Greater New York City, brings together 50 alumni to network and connect with fellow Terriers. The success of the program, which has sold out every month but one since it launched, has led to the creation of similar series in Boston and Washington, D.C.

BU on the Hill, produced by the Alumni Network of Washington, D.C., and led by Vander Poel, Chelsey Kelly (SED’04), Mary Aquino (COM’05), Colin Reed (CGS’99, COM’01), and Trish Garrity (CAS’12), celebrated BU’s impact on the nation’s capital, provided a networking opportunity for alumni working in the political arena, and showcased the University’s extensive network of alumni on Capitol Hill. The event drew nearly 300 attendees and galvanized the Terriers on the Hill network, which has since held two Capitol Hill Happy Hour programs.

Best New Program

Social Butterfly: Strategies for Managing the Flutter of Social Media was led by the Alumni Network of Chicago and panelists Scott Monty (CAS’92, GSM’96, MED’96), Ben Pavlovic (COM’99,’01), Carolyn Breit (CAS’06), and Anna Briskman (CGS’00, SHA’02). The event featured an expert panel that discussed strategies for managing social media effectively in the professional realm.

The LGBTQ Alumni Network attended the Boston Pride Festival. BU was the only university with an alumni group at the festival, and network volunteers, led by Shane Morgan (CGS’01, CAS’04), created a wonderful opportunity for the BU community to show support for the LGBTQ community and raised awareness about BU’s tradition of inclusivity.

Best Student Engagement

Spotlight on the BU London Community, led by the Alumni Network of the United Kingdom, featured an interactive panel discussion and networking session in London, bringing together students and alumni from both sides of the pond to share their experiences and perspectives. The program was created by Jessica Jia (CGS’04, SMG’06) and was made possible by Michelle Ortega (CAS’14), Natalie Deutsch (SHA’14), Ruby Danowski (CGS’02, COM’04), and Kevin Packford (SAR’07).

The Evening With… event series, led by the Alumni Network of Los Angeles and Clare Gillmore (CAS’03), is an industry-expert speaker series that gives BU students and alumni a deeper understanding of the entertainment industry. The program also provides a space for networking among current students, alumni, and special guests.

Outstanding Network

Finally, Boston University’s awards for Outstanding Network in 2013 went to the alumni networks of Chicago, the United Kingdom, and Washington, D.C. The Alumni Network of Chicago hosted nearly one event per month last year, including three sold-out events. The group has consistently offered content-rich activity and engaged new alumni at each event. The Alumni Network of the United Kingdom is run by volunteers and has created successful programming with a strong emphasis on education, networking, culture, and service. The Alumni Network of Washington, D.C., under the leadership of president Kelly and the guidance of past president Paul Chen (COM’87), has an extensive list of achievements, including a leadership position in Terriers on the Hill, three separate Global Days of Service sites, and a variety of educational programming.

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