Advance Work September/October 2019
Taking a Bite Out of Hunger
Kansas State’s one-day campaign to fund its food pantry
As a student at Kansas State University, Sarah Barrett often went to bed with a growling stomach.
“From the outside, people saw an active, engaged, happy, and healthy student. On the inside, I was starving, even while working two to three jobs just to support myself. I had to prioritize tuition and rent over food, so I often skipped meals and just didn’t eat,” recalls Barrett, who went on to become the school’s assistant dean of student life and is now the compliance coordinator for the Clery Act, which maintains and discloses campus crime statistics and security information.
Barrett was one of the driving forces behind Kansas State’s recent one-day fundraising campaign to help stock the school’s food pantry, called Cats’ Cupboard, named for the Kansas State Wildcats. About 14% of the Manhattan, Kansas, school’s 21,000 students say they can’t afford food on a regular basis.
Called “All In for K-State,” the campaign focused on a single issue, a departure from Kansas State’s and many other universities’ fundraising methods, says Eric Holderness, assistant vice president of development, who spearheaded the day of giving.
“The concept of ‘all in’ addresses what we believe is the future of philanthropy: cause-based philanthropy,” he says.
Actor Eric Stonestreet, a KSU alumnus who plays Cam on the long-running TV show Modern Family, tweeted about the campaign. And first-time donor Kroger, the parent company of the local Dillon chain of grocery stores, donated US$50,000, the largest single gift during the campaign.
At the end of the day, $320,155 had been raised from 1,428 donors in all 50 states.
Kansas State plans to repeat a one-day campaign annually, with each year’s event focused on a different critical area of need for the university.
“We work on removing the shame and stigma of food insecurity every day. That’s the hard part about food insecurity—it’s hidden,” says Barrett. “Our job is to bring the students out of the shadows and provide them the resources they need to be successful.”—BARBARA RUBEN
Stickers with Spirit
Mascot stickers wow on WhatsApp
Agility and adaptability are two traits the Universidad del Valle de Puebla aims to cultivate in its students. That’s why, in 2004, the Mexican university selected a panther as its mascot. Now, Sable the panther can prowl the new digital wilderness of WhatsApp. The university created nine WhatsApp stickers in April 2019 to boost digital interactions.
“At UVP, we’re interested in keeping up with the technological progress and advances, especially those that students use the most on a daily basis,” says Irma H. Illescas Lozano, director of administration and finance. “This is a way to foster the recognition of the mascot as an element of the UVP identity and as a close member of the university community.”
Students have begun using the stickers in daily WhatsApp chats, and the university is hoping to spread the word to more students and alumni this year.—MEREDITH BARNETT
By the Numbers
October is International Coffee Month. Cozy up with these fast facts from the University of California, Davis’s Coffee Center, the first university research center devoted to coffee.
Hittin’ the Road
Scenes from the University of Florida’s social road trip
Road trips are all about exploring new horizons—and the University of Florida’s 2018 UF Social Road Trip was no exception.
The UF social team—Todd Sanders, director of digital communications and social media, and Ryan Morejon, social media specialist—hit the road during 10 summer weeks to visit 10 different offices across the institution.
“We’ve had countless meetings where people come to our office and we talk about how to accomplish goals using the social web. The trip was a way to dive into their world to see how they’re tackling things on their home turf,” says Sanders. “It was an opportunity for our team to get a new perspective while collaborating with colleagues from around campus.”
Less than 24 hours after announcing the project, the team’s trip calendar was booked solid. At each stop, Sanders and Morejon worked with the department to swap ideas and craft post-visit work plans.
“Social is about building and strengthening relationships, and that was definitely accomplished,” says Sanders.
Here’s a little taste of the journey.
Ethel Walker School’s Women in the World program grows global (and local) ties
In March 2018, 34 women headed to Panama for a trip that included a sunset bicycle ride, a hike through lush forest to spot toucans, and sipping local coffee.
Also on their itinerary? Powerful discussions about girls learning and women’s philanthropy.
These were alumnae, friends, board members, parents, and staff members of the Ethel Walker School, who packed their bags, donned a Walker’s baseball hat, and set out for the first Walker’s Women in the World program. The four-day trip gave alumnae of the Simsbury, Connecticut, school a chance to savor new cultural experiences, build connections with each other, and delve into institutional dialogues, says Gretchen Orschiedt, director of advancement.
“We tried to give people a broad sense of the place but also engage in meaningful conversations around girls learning, their Walker’s experience, philanthropy and its impact on the institution, and the role that women play in philanthropy today,” she says.
In Panama City and El Valle de Anton, a town nestled in the mountains, the group hiked, bird-watched, and toured the Museum of Contemporary Art. In a rum tasting, they sipped spirits from glasses, fittingly, emblazoned with the school’s motto in Latin: “None but golden hours.”
The trip was built on alumnae connections: Key alumnae in Panama helped the Walker’s team hatch the idea for the trip. The team had hoped for 15 participants, but alumnae reached out to their classmates to more than double that number, drawing graduates and parents from five countries (and updating contact information for many more in the process, says Orschiedt). Alumnae families also helped underwrite activities, arrange lodging, and serve as hosts.
“There was great pride among them to have us in their country interacting, observing, appreciating, asking questions,” says Orschiedt. Now, well over a year later, the group still chats on WhatsApp. The trip has opened doors for environmental science students to visit next year and paved the way for Walker’s Women in the World to explore new destinations in the future.
“This is a great example of if you don’t ask, it won’t happen,” she says. The discussions the group had contained powerful moments. “They set a tone for the cohesiveness of this group for the rest of the trip, as well as beyond.” —MB
Opening Image Credit: Tara Moore/DigitalVision/Getty Images
About the author(s)
Meredith Barnett is the manager, digital communications at CASE.
Barbara Ruben is a senior content creator at CASE.
Article appears in:
Breaking Barriers: How advancement professionals are meeting the challenges that face community colleges. Also, a shared identity of connecting alumni through affinity groups, and how alumni advocates are rallying alumni online, at the statehouse, and beyond.