CAAE Member Spotlight, April-May 2022

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Based on a Q&A-style interview developed by the CAAE Communications Committee, we're pleased to present this month’s spotlight  of new member Caryn Schultz Korman (University of Illinois Chicago), compilation courtesy of Raphe Beck (Oregon).

Name: Caryn Schultz Korman, Executive Director, UIC Alumni Association

Institution: University of Illinois Chicago (UIC)

Q: Are you new to alumni relations, new to your institution, neither, or both? 

A: Neither, I have been working in higher education and in alumni relations for 25 years (!!!) this year. This is the third time I have worked at UIC – the previous two times I worked for the University of Illinois Alumni Association (when we were all one alumni association for the three campuses of Illinois), but I have always been and focused on UIC.

Q: Best perk of the job so far?

A: I have had an incredible opportunity to come back to UIC and build our first Alumni Association for only UIC Alumni. The campus has a vast and interesting history and has had incredible momentum over the past few years. There has been tremendous support for Alumni Relations across UIC. It has been rewarding to build a team, a strong and diverse alumni board, and the strategy to engage our alumni. It’s been hard work, but never a dull moment!  

Q: Biggest challenge so far?

A: Same answer as above – building a new Alumni Association is very rewarding, but has been very challenging. Lots of twists and turns I couldn’t have predicted. And, of course, the other challenge I know we have all felt has been adjusting during the pandemic and now dealing with the great resignation.  

Q: If you needed to, could you sing your school’s fight song and/or alma mater?

A: Yes, I can sing Fire Up Flames (fight song) and May the Flames Burn Brightly Forever (school song). However, I am in the minority as we are primarily a commuter campus in downtown Chicago. Most people/alumni can’t sing it and don’t know either song even exists, but I work to teach people every chance I get!  

Q: What would it surprise people to know about you?

A: I’m pretty much an open book!

Q: Who would be your dream dinner guests?

A: This is so hard as there are so many people whose brains I would love to pick! The first people who come to mind are Susan B. Anthony, RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) and Betty White.

Q: When I’m not on the job, you’ll find me…:

A: With family, friends, at swim meets, at Broadway in Chicago or on the pickleball court!

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