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Career Paths & Profiles

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Are You an Advancement VP of a Different Stripe?
CURRENTS Article Even if alumni relations professionals are leaders in their field, they often hit roadblocks on the path to the advancement vice presidency. Despite these candidates’ qualifications, search committees rarely gamble on someone lacking fundraising experience. Learn how exceptional leaders in alumni relations can prove their philanthropic prowess and become executive leaders of an advancement team.

Education Leaders Share their Journeys
Advancement Weekly Article A panel of presidents shared insights about their career paths at the Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada’s annual conference.

The 4 Skills Every Communications Pro Needs
Advancement Weekly Article What's the best strategy to promote innovation and stay on track with existing goals? Get back to the basics, writes one expert.

Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling
Advancement Weekly Article Individuals with a variety of interests and passions aren’t abnormal—they’re simply multipotentialites, says a career coach.

My First Year in Alumni Relations
CURRENTS Article A 25-year-old assistant director of alumni relations shares the lessons learned during her first year at Williston Northampton School.

Advice
CURRENTS Article A 25-year-old assistant director of alumni relations shares the lessons learned during her first year at Williston Northampton School.

Reflecting One Year Out
CURRENTS Article A 25-year-old assistant director of alumni relations shares the lessons learned during her first year at Williston Northampton School.

Office Space: Keep on Keepin’ Up
CURRENTS Article Advancement veterans share their tips for remaining professionally agile.

Small World, Big Ideas
CURRENTS Article n March 2015, Cunningham became CASE's 10th president. To mark that six-month milestone, CURRENTS met with Cunningham in her Washington, D.C., office to discuss a variety of timely topics, including the biggest challenge facing higher education and the best advice she's received about leadership.

Odds and Ends: Genius? No. Creativity? YES.
CURRENTS Article If you've been nominated for a MacArthur Fellowship, better known as a "genius grant," you'll never know it unless you win. And those who do win get the life-changing news from Cecilia Conrad, the program's vice president.

Develop an Advancement Internship Program
Article,  BriefCASE Article Advancement leaders should consider developing an internship program to help meet their division’s goals, says an alumni relations practitioner.

Odds and Ends: Ambassador for the Final Frontier
CURRENTS Article To prepare for life in space, astronaut Randy Bresnik trains in environments generally unsuitable for human life, including weeklong missions in an underground cave complex and an undersea lab.

The Student Becomes the Teacher
CURRENTS Article San Francisco University High School's 5-year-old teaching fellowship program is an alumni perk that allows graduates to explore a career as an independent school educator.

Odds and Ends: The Thin Line Between Life and a Life Sentence
CURRENTS Article Two men with the same name, Wes Moore, have followed two different paths in life. One is a Rhodes Scholar, an author, and an educational advocate. The other is serving a life sentence for murder. This Q-and-A with author Wes Moore reveals his insights about how education shaped his future.

A Different Kind of Homecoming
CURRENTS Article Alumni who become presidents of their alma maters often take their posts to preserve, improve, and expand the best aspects of their own undergraduate experiences for future generations. While memories of yesteryear shape only part of these presidents' executive goals and actions, elements of their undergraduate days help them lead their institutions more effectively, in advancement and other areas.

Study: Presidential Pipeline Slow to Change
Article,  BriefCASE Article A new study shows slight increases in the age and gender diversity of senior administrators in positions that often lead to the presidency.

In Her Shoes
CURRENTS Article Each March, Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in New Jersey hosts Women We Admire Day. Students inhabit the personas of notable women past and present whose work has improved society.

Moving from Advancement Leadership to the Presidency
Podcast Hear Robert R. Lindgren from Randolph-Macon College talk about the skills that translate from advancement to institutional leadership. Also, hear what he thinks advancement leaders should consider before making such a career move.

Finding Tomorrow’s Advancement Leaders
Article,  BriefCASE Article At a recent CASE conference of student alumni associations, foundations and similar organizations, a number of attendees expressed a strong interest in pursuing careers in advancement.

Path to the Profession
CURRENTS Article Where does a development shop find good fundraisers? How do you hold on to them? Those questions and more are answered through an exploration of the latest talent management strategies.

Westerners Adjust to Advancement Leadership Positions in East
Article,  BriefCASE Article A growing number of experienced advancement professionals from Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom are taking leadership positions at institutions relatively new to the field in the Asia-Pacific region. Their adjustment depends on various factors, says one expert who recently made the move.

What Makes Chief Advancement Officers Tick?
Article,  BriefCASE Article Self-awareness is one of 14 competencies that successful chief advancement officers have in common, according to two fundraising experts who will share their research findings in an upcoming CASE Online Speaker Series.

Communication Runs Through It
CURRENTS Article In this article, Tom S. Landrum, the senior vice president for external affairs at The University of Georgia, traces his career path in advancement from his first job in public relations more than 35 years ago to his appointment to the top advancement job in 2008 and discusses how his background in communications has affected his views on how development, alumni relations, and communications work together.

Minorities Still Underrepresented in Advancement Leadership
Article,  BriefCASE Article Professionals of diverse backgrounds still face a “glass ceiling” with respect to securing leadership positions in educational advancement but participants of the recent Minority Advancement Institute say progress is being made.

Office Space: How Heaven Has Changed
CURRENTS Article Jeffrey Lott, longtime editor of the Swarthmore College Bulletin, offers some parting advice, remembrances, and a few things he'll be glad to be rid of in this essay that looks back at his experiences over the past 20-plus years.

Tied but Not Bound
CURRENTS Article Alumni leaders who have worked for their alma mater and another institution (or two) offer insight on both experiences.

The Leadership Ladder
CURRENTS Article How will you acquire the skills necessary to be a leader in our profession or a leader on your current team? An alumni relations leader reflects on the experiences that prepared her for leadership.

Presidents from Advancement
Good Question Do you know if there's a list of college and university presidents who have come from advancement positions?

At the Fundraising Core: Strategic Public Relations in Fundraising Practice
White Paper This CASE white paper reports on a study exploring the views of chief fundraising executives about the relationship between public relations and fundraising. The research focused on how chief fundraisers define public relations; how they use public relations tactics and strategies in fundraising; and what they identify as the essential skills, training or academic degrees a fundraiser needs to be successful.

Office Space: Pay It Forward
CURRENTS Article Few development offices offer internships. The author, himself an intern, makes the case for why they're beneficial to the institution and the profession and describes a few existing successful internship programs.

The Secret Talents of Fundraisers
CURRENTS Article A large but unknown number of fundraisers have backgrounds in the performing arts and have redirected their creativity and passion into development. The many artistically talented fundraisers interviewed in this article talk about how the skills they honed pursuing artistic endeavors inform their fundraising today.

An Inspiring Life's Work
CURRENTS Article One of the pioneers of educational fundraising, David Dunlop discusses ultimate gifts and the personal qualities of successful development officers in this interview. He shares similar insights annually as a faculty member of the Inspiring the Largest Gifts of a Lifetime conference.

Career Path: Acting Your Age
CURRENTS Article A young fundraiser discusses what life is like as a development professional. Once you know the challenges a young person faces, perhaps you can encourage your own employees.

Career Path: The Mommy Track
CURRENTS Article A director of university relations finds a better fit at her institution when the birth of her second child makes her want to slow the pace a bit.

Career Path: Breaking With the Law
CURRENTS Article After working as a lawyer, this author finds that law and development have a lot in common. He examines how a law degree can help while working in advancement.

Advance Work: Multifaceted Field
CURRENTS Article A question on the CASE 2007 Salary Survey asked respondents to list the certificates and advanced degrees they have earned. The results were very varied.

Career Path: In My Life
CURRENTS Article An alumni relations director talks about the similarities between student recruitment and alumni relations. Both disciplines are frequently misunderstood, and the skills required to do both well are similar.

Career Path: On the Other Side
CURRENTS Article No matter the size of the organization, development work is at its core the same. It's a matter of figuring out how to work with what you have.

Career Path: The Unexpected Perfect Job
CURRENTS Article A development writer has realized that what he thought would be a stop-gap job until he landed in a communications position is in fact a perfect fit for his skills and aspirations.

Career Path: Stay and Deliver
CURRENTS Article Contrary to current trends, this development professional has stayed at his institution for more than 20 years.

Career Path: Going Academic
CURRENTS Article A longtime marketing and PR professional whose career at Procter and Gamble lasted more than 25 years reflects on her current job as a director of communications at an independent school.

Career Path: Extracurricular Experience
CURRENTS Article A professional fundraiser learns a lot about her job and how to do it better by volunteering in her community.

Career Path: A Different World
CURRENTS Article After an advancement career in the United States, the author took a development job at an independent school in Paris and finds that the U.S. advancement model is not so easily exported.

Career Path: A Shift in Perspective
CURRENTS Article An advancment professional with experience in both alumni relations and development thinks the two offices can work together much more effectively than they frequently do.

Career Path: Step by Step
CURRENTS Article Angela Davis is an African American woman and a new advancement professional at Purdue University. How did she end up in a profession that is more than 90 percent Caucasian?

Career Path: Home Again
CURRENTS Article The writer of this article appreciates her work in higher education advancement much more after experiencing the difficulties of fund raising for a social services nonprofit.

Career Path: New Times Two
CURRENTS Article Both new to education advancement and creating a new position in the University of Alaska system, a corporate and foundation relations officer describes the unusual career path that brought her to this point and the challenges she faces in getting herself and her office established.

Career Path: The Road Taken
CURRENTS Article Susan Thurston Kern joined the staff of Illinois State University in 1974, beginning a 31-year career that culminated in a seven-year tenure as vice president for university advancement and ended with her retirement in July 2005. In this column, Kern reflects on her years in advancement--a profession she calls her “true calling”--and the four words that make success possible: learning, linking, leveraging, and loving.

Career Path: Growing Pains
CURRENTS Article In 2001, Bobbi Burns decided she wanted to pursue a career in development. Looking for on-the-job experience, Burns accepted a part-time development internship in Michigan State University’s College of Engineering. Upon graduation in May 2004, Burns leveraged her internship into a paid position as part of MSU’s two-year Development Associate Program. This column documents her transition from an intern learning the ropes of development into a professional fund raiser tasked with building relationships with young alumni.

Career Path: Lessons on Longevity
CURRENTS Article After 38 years in top-level jobs in the business office and in advancement at Anderson University, Ron Moore looks back on his career and offers five lessons in how staying put can improve fund-raising results. This Career Path column is of particular interest to chief advancement officers and development managers, but also managers of advancement services, alumni relations, and communications.

AdvanceWork: Sparks and Matches
CURRENTS Article Three married couples who work in advancement tell how they how they met at CASE conferences and juggle two careers.

Career Path: Out of the Shadows
CURRENTS Article Annual giving jobs are no longer mere stepping stones to major gift positions. Instead, annual fund professionals are gaining new respect for their skills with statistics, data mining, market research, customer and volunteer relations, and more. This Career Path column is of interest to annual giving professionals, development managers, and major gift officers.

AdvanceWork: Drawing from Experience
CURRENTS Article In this AdvanceWork Q&A, cartoonist and nonprofit staffer Miriam Engelberg shares her experiences that provided inspiration for her comic book, They Came From Planet 501c3.

An Advancement Odyssey
CURRENTS Article In this career perspectives essay, Sobel, director of development for the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, shares his 15-year journey through various positions in communications, development, and alumni relations working for the government, public and private universities, and a top accounting firm.

Turning Over A New Leaf
CURRENTS Article Many campus communications professionals worked in the mass media before taking their current positions in academe. One such refugee shares her reflections on fleeing the fourth estate to become a university magazine editor.

Postcards from the Edge
CURRENTS Article This article features profiles of five professionals who have left advancements to follow their heads and hearts into new careers. They share their answers to this question: Is there life after the vice presidency?

Closing Remarks: Rung Out
CURRENTS Article A former development officer reflects on her hesitation to move up in advancement

In Advance: Straight to the Source
CURRENTS Article Former Indiana State University vice president for university advancement Ed Pease describes his move to the U.S. House of Representatives, and how his advancement experience helps in his new role as a legislator.

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